Source and Summit of Our Christian Life
Jun 18, 2019
The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
The following story was related by Bishop Fulton Sheen. Known for his preaching skills and television and radio success, Bishop Sheen was also the Director of the Missions for the Church. He tells the story of a young Chinese girl. In Northern China, the Communist army came across a small, predominately-Catholic village. The commandant and his army stormed the church, where they found a priest and crowd of faithful. The commandant shot at the tabernacle door, reached into the tabernacle and pulled out the ciborium full of Hosts, crashing them to the ground. He and his army stomped on the Hosts and asked a man lying on the floor, “Do you believe this is God under my feet?” The brave man replied, “Yes.” The solder shot the man to death. The army imprisoned the priest in a coal bin inside the tiny church and sent the faithful away. The priest sat alone in the cramped coal bin in fearful agony for his flock and himself. One night the priest began to hear odd noises. Through a small opening in the bin room, he saw a young girl come into the church. The priest watched the girl, kneel in perfect stillness for close to an hour in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament still scattered on the sanctuary floor. After praying, she stood up, went toward the sanctuary and knelt down, lowering her head to the floor, taking up one of the Hosts with her tongue. She prayed for a few moments and went home. The girl returned to the church each day in danger of her life to perform this ritual for several weeks. One night as she came into church to consume the last Host, the doors burst open, chaos ensued, and a gunshot rang out. The priest watched in horror through the small opening in the wall as the girl laid on the church floor. After hearing this story, Bishop Sheen vowed to make a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament every day for the rest of his life. He figured if this little girl could do this, he was all the more moved to do so.
One of my happiest memories of my years growing up in Saint Ambrose parish was the annual Corpus Christi procession. The procession would begin after the 11:00am Mass. Many priests came for the occasion, and all the altar servers, members of all the groups in the parish, and many parishioners took part in the procession. The people from the neighborhood would clean their sidewalks and the street in front of their homes in preparation for the procession. The procession would begin at the church and move through the streets of the neighborhood, encompassing about ten blocks of the neighborhood. There were two stops for Benediction along the way, with a final Benediction back at the church.
Next Sunday we’ll have our first Corpus Christi procession in recent history. We hope many of you can join us for this special occasion! The Corpus Christiprocession will also be an occasion for us to promote Eucharistic Adoration in our own parish. I’m pleased to announce Tricia Newell as our new coordinator of Eucharistic Adoration. Tricia will be taking over from Mrs. Joan Braeckel after her many faithful years of service to this important work of our parish. After the procession, we’ll have the opportunity for you to sign up for a time of Adoration either on Tuesday or Thursday. We have good and faithful parishioners already committed to an hour a week or more of prayer before our Eucharistic Lord in Adoration. But we’re still in need of Adorers - we can never have too many! Eucharistic Adoration is what unites us to Jesus first, but also to each other, not only in our own parish but in the Church throughout the whole world. The Second Vatican Council called the Sacrament of the Eucharist, or the Mass, “the source and summit of our Christian life.” Eucharistic Adoration is an extension of the treasure of the Mass. a
Many people ask me what Adoration is or what do we do - good question! We human beings can make things more complicated than they need to be (I’m guilty of this myself). But in Adoration we can simply talk to Jesus. We can unload our heavy hearts to Him. We can pray the Rosary. We can read and pray over sacred Scripture or one of the spiritual classics. We can simply just be with Jesus. Saint John Vianney recalls asking a simple farmer what he does at Adoration. The man simply replied, “I look at Him and He looks at me.” I ask you all to prayerfully consider committing to a time of Adoration once a week in our chapel. It can be difficult to juggle everything going on in our busy lives but I’m most certain an hour with the Lord each week will most certainly transform your heart and your lives.
May God continue to bless you and your families,
Father Aidan, OSB