If God used Balaam’s donkey to get that prophet’s attention, I guess he can use me to get yours. At the end of this post, I am going to ask you to help get the poignant reflection of Father Mark set forth below into the hands of every Bishop and priest in this country. We can do it! But first I want to share a few thoughts that have long been embedded in my heart.
That which is most essential for our sanctification and salvation is that which we most frequently ignore: The Eucharist.
The late Apostle of the Eucharist, Father John Hardon, S.J., realized “that everything, everything, quote EVERTHING of our faith (indeed the virtue of faith itself) depends on our faith in God being really present with us today in both His human and Divine nature, united in His Divine Person in the Holy Eucharist”.
The time for mincing words is over. Current polls, as well as what we observe with our own eyes, make it clear that a majority (an overwhelming majority of those identifying themselves as Catholic, perhaps as much as 80 percent, including 80 percent of those few Catholics who bother attending Sunday Mass) no longer believe that our Lord is really, truly and substantially present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. The sad but truthful reality is that in far too many of our churches we have lost the sense of the sacred and an appreciation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that are essential for fostering and maintaining a belief in the Real Presence.
“The sanctity of the Christian people,” Pope Pius X wrote, “depends in large measure on the holiness of their priests.” Neither we nor our priests can ever be holy if we fail to make the Eucharist the center of our daily lives. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen so candidly observed: “The moral rot of the priesthood starts with a want of lively faith in the Divine Presence, and the sanctity of the priesthood starts there too.”
We do not need any more study groups or committees or commissions in the Catholic Church. All lukewarmness toward or outright opposition to the promotion of Eucharistic adoration and spirituality must cease. We need Bishops, priests religious and laypeople to get on their knees before their Eucharistic Lord. It is He, not any of them, Who will gift us with a deep, abiding, life-changing, sanctifying belief in His Real Human and Divine Presence here among us. Everything else we need or think we need individually or as Church will flow from Him.
Any notion that the answer to solving the myriad social and financial ills of our nation and world rests on political activity, social justice programs and governmental largesse must be jettisoned. The long-standing pattern of many Church leaders remaining deafeningly silent while increasing numbers of “self-proclaimed Catholics” publicly misrepresent what it means to be Catholic must change. The hesitancy and fear to clearly inform Catholics that they will lose their eternal souls if they persist in advocating, engaging in, supporting or voting for any one who supports such intrinsic evils as abortion, contraception, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual marriage, has to end.
So what can we simple people do about all of this? Listen to the prophets among us. Among those voices resonating in the Church today is Father Mark whose love for our Eucharistic Lord and his brother priests know no bounds. His blog, Vultus Christi, is a must read for any one who loves God and wants to take His call to personal holiness seriously.
With the good Father’s indulgence, I am setting forth one of his more recent reflections, one that I am asking everyone who may read this column to copy and give to your Bishops and priests – every Bishop and every priest in this country. Impractical and impossible goal, you say? You are right unless God wills it!
The simple man writing this blog entry is convinced that there is nothing of more value that any of us can do today than to pass the following reflection on as requested. Let everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter, Google+1, other social media, and all those who visit your blog know of this request. Add a link to this post to all the other blogs you visit. Let’s see God do the impossible because one humble priest has the courage to speak the truth and we simple people responded. God is counting on you!
Love’s Invisible Radiance By Father Mark – September 1, 2012
There are so many tabernacles on earth
where I am, for all intents and purposes,
like one buried, hidden, forgotten, and out of sight.
My divine radiance is diminished
because there are so few adorers
to act as the receptors of My radiant Eucharistic love
and to extend My radiance through space
and into the universe of souls.
Where there is faith in My real presence,
there will be adoration;
and where there is adoration,
there will also be an efficacious radiance of My presence
drawing souls to My Eucharistic Heart
and surrounding them, even at a distance,
with the healing influence of My Eucharistic Face.
In those places where I am exposed upon the altar
to receive the adoration, the reparation,
and the companionship of My friends
– and, first of all, of My priests –
My radiance is powerful and strong.
Faith, adoration, and love act as receptors;
thus is My power drawn out and made effective,
invisibly but really, in space and in time.
It was the same with My Sacred Humanity during My life on earth;
the faith and love of My friends
drew out the virtue of My Divinity,
and an invisible radiance acted in souls, and upon them,
bringing healing, holiness,
and many graces of conversion.
When I am adored in a place,
My hidden action upon souls is wonderfully increased.
The place where I am adored becomes a radiant centre
from which love, and life, and light
are diffused in a world in the grip of hatred,
and darkness, and death.
Chapels of adoration are not mere refuges for the devout.
They are the radiant, pulsating centers
of an intense divine activity
that goes beyond the walls of the place where I am adored
to penetrate homes, and schools, and hospitals;
to reach even those dark and cold places
wherein souls are enslaved to Satan;
to penetrate hearts, heal the infirm,
and call home those who have wandered far from Me.
For these reasons, the work of perpetual adoration,
or even of prolonged daily adoration,
is intensely apostolic and supernaturally efficacious.
Would that My bishops understood this!
But, alas, they put their trust in human schemes,
in plans devised by the worldly-wise,
and in programs drawn-up along shortsighted human principles.
And so they go, and they will continue to go
from failure to failure, and from disillusionment to disillusionment.
I have not set bishops over My flock
to govern, and to teach, and to sanctify, out of their personal abilities
and by making use of the wisdom of this passing world.
I have set them as lights upon a lampstand
to shine in every dark place,
and I have equipped them with supernatural gifts and divine power
to accomplish that for which I chose them
and set them over My Church.
Woe to those bishops
who trust in purely human solutions
to the problems that beset My Church.
They will be grievously disappointed,
and many souls will fall away
because they have neglected to take up
the supernatural weapons I have prepared for them
in this time of spiritual combat.
My presence in the Blessed Sacrament
preached, and confessed,
and surrounded by adoration, love, and heartfelt reparation
is the single greatest remedy for the evils that afflict My Church
and for the sorrows that weigh so heavily upon My priests.
My ways are not your ways,
nor do I act according to the principles of worldly success.
I act in the silent, humble, hidden reality of My Eucharistic presence.
Adore Me, and the radiance of My Eucharistic Face
will begin to change the face of the earth,
even as it heals My priests, calls sinners home to My Heart,
and enlivens the hearts of those grown weary and sad
(like the disciples on the road to Emmaus)
with a spark of divine vitality and with the fire of My Eucharistic love.
I speak to you in this way not only for you,
beloved friend of My Heart,
but also for those who will receive these words, ponder them,
and out of them draw the inspiration
to love Me more generously, more fruitfully, and more joyfully.
I speak to you for the sake of My priests.
You will be astonished at the reception given to these words of Mine.
Many souls of priests will be quickened and consoled by them.
Many priests will be moved to spend time
in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face,
and to abide close to My pierced Heart.
This is My desire for them.
I want to draw all My priests into the radiance of My Face
and, then, into the sanctuary of My open Heart.
(From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest)
CWG Member Michael Seagriff originally wrote this post for his personal blog, Harvesting the Fruits of Contemplation. You can find his book Forgotten Truths To Set Faith Afire! – Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct at the Catholic Writers Guild bookstore in print, and in kindle edition at Amazon.com.