Browsing From the Pastor's Desk

Come to Me, all who are weary...

Mar 4, 2019

Each hour you spend with Jesus will deepen His divine peace in your heart. Saint John Paul II

Come to me all of you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you... Cast all of your anxieties upon the one who cares for you...
 “My Peace is My Gift to you.” (Mt 11:28; Pt 5:7; Jn 14:17)

I know, I tend to go on about Eucharistic Adoration a lot. But I do believe it’s a real treasure of the Faith - a gift we all share in as Catholics - The Eucharist, which is at the heart of the Church. It’s such a gift for our parish family as well. Maybe that’s why I keep bringing it up!

I was speaking with someone about Eucharistic Adoration recently. So, this prompted this bulletin. Someone was asking about how to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. How do we do it? What should we do? Are we doing it wrong? We can always be assured that there is no such thing as praying wrong. Whenever we are moved to pray, we’re inspired by the Holy Spirit. When we’re moved to pray, it’s our Lord who moves us. When it comes to prayer, it’s easier when we’re praying before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed. Sitting before the Lord in itself gives us His healing rays and graces.

There’s a story about Saint John Vianney, who used to see an old farmer sitting in the back of church looking at the Eucharist on the altar. Saint John Vianney saw the man often and finally asked him, “What are you doing?” The man said, “I look at Him and He looks at me.”

When I was a little boy, my mother took my sisters and me to Adoration often. We would drive out to the Carmelites in Clayton, which seemed like a little vacation to us, coming from south Saint Louis. It was a little piece of heaven on earth. We also attended the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena in the summers. I have many fond memories of visiting the Pink Sisters for their summer Novena as well. Years later, when I was thinking about a religious vocation, I found myself at the Carmelites again. I was working at the Schnuck’s on Clayton and Hanley, which was just down the road from the monastery. Incidentally, that location closed a few months after I entered the monastery. My shift would end at 8:00 and I would drive down for part of the Rosary and Benediction. One night, I thought the monstrance was moving above the tabernacle where it is placed. I thought I had witnessed a Eucharistic miracle, but then someone told me when the sisters are in the chapel on the other side of the wall, they move the monstrance closer to them. Oh well.

In our parish we have the great gift of Eucharistic Adoration several times a month. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Parish Center lower level chapel, we have our Encounter with Christ evening once a month, and we have XLT West program as well. We are blessed with many opportunities to receive the many gifts and graces from this beautiful form of prayer in our parish.

Why do we pray before the Blessed Sacrament? The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life. We attend Mass on Sunday and receive the Lord and adore Him in the Mass. But if we really believe Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, we’d would want to be with Him as much as we could. Now, we can’t do this all the time. But even little short visits help us and feed us to live our lives and expand our hearts. This devotion brings us together with our friend, Jesus. It helps us to nourish our friendship with Him, by spending time with Him and asking Him for all our needs and those of the whole world. We are healed and refreshed by being in His presence. Just being together. We often see older couples sitting together in a restaurant. They often don’t say anything to each other, but they don’t have to. They can just be with each other. We know this also with close friends. When we’re with close friends, there is no such thing as awkward silences or pauses, but just being together. We know each other so well, that sometimes nothing has to be said.

When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now. Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him. Saint Clare of Assisi

We are coming up again upon the Holy Season of Lent. In addition to our extra prayer and fasting for this season, we might prayerfully consider spending some time in Adoration as part of our Lenten observances. We all know our world, Church, and families can always use more prayers. Let us pray for each other in these coming weeks. May our hearts be renewed in our Lord’s love and may we continue to grow in a deeper friendship with Him.

God bless you and your families,
Father Aidan, OSB


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