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Posts Tagged ‘Adoration’

Four Last Things

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2015/09/11 at 12:00 AM

On the left side of our church we have this beautiful stained glass window of our Lord crowned with thorns. I love this window – in large part because it is dedicated to the memory of a dear friend of mine: Fr. Peter Conroy.

Fr. Peter and I met in Eastern Europe almost 20 years ago, and by providence we ended up in the same seminary a year later where we were classmates and close friends.

Fr. Peter was ordained in June of 1999 for the Diocese of Portland, Maine, and I was planning a trip to see him in November of that year, when he died quite unexpectedly in his sleep. Today is the anniversary of Fr. Peter’s death. He was 39 years old.

Fr. Peter was a priest on earth for only 5 months, but now he is a priest for all eternity.  When I look at this window, I think not only of my good friend, but I am also reminded of the brevity of life and of how none of us knows when we’ll have to face our Lord and His particular judgment of us.

Certainly that is the theme of our readings today. Both our first reading from the Book of Daniel and St. Mark’s Gospel speak in apocalyptic terms, reminding us of the great, final battle between good and evil and the subsequent Final Judgment.

As we come to the close of the liturgical year and prepare for Advent, Holy Mother Church leads us in the liturgy to meditate on death, judgment, Heaven and hell – what we traditionally call the “Four Last Things.”

And Holy Mother Church encourages us to meditate on the Four Last Things bearing in mind that we do not know the day or hour when we will be asked to give an accounting of our lives.

So while we trust whole-heartedly in God’s mercy and goodness, we also know that we need to prepare ourselves to see Him!

Our second reading today reminds us that our sins are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but all the same we must be sorry for our sins, ask forgiveness, and make reparation for our sins if we hope to enjoy the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice!

The prophet Daniel tells us in very clear language of the eternal punishment that awaits those who have refused to repent of their sins, but he also speaks so beautifully of the eternal reward that awaits the just!

He says that, “the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”

And so we must give very careful consideration to our death, knowing that once we pass through that great and mysterious veil separating the invisible from the visible, there will be no going back.

The judgment rendered in that first moment that we step into eternity will be final and irrevocable.

As a priest it has been my observation that most people die as they live. What I mean by that is that, if you live your life for God, seeking to love and serve Him; if you have a real relationship with our Lord, placing yourself in His presence daily through prayer, then you will – in all likelihood – know His presence at your death and pass away peacefully.

But if you’ve fought God and His commandments your whole life, if you’ve refused His mercy by refusing to repent of any of your sins, then chances are you won’t repent on your deathbed.

It is the sad lot of serious sinners that they tend to die in despair rather than in peace. Even when at death’s door they know they have sinned against God, so many refuse to trust in His mercy that our Lord gives so willingly and freely to any who ask for it.

The point is that we must begin preparing for our death now, even if we’re young.
Death is a mystery. For the soul who knows our Lord, who trusts and loves our Lord, death can be beautiful and joyful. But for those who have turned away from our Lord, death can by horrifying.

This is because the soul knows its eternal fate before it passes into eternity. Indeed, none of us will be surprised by the final judgment rendered upon us by our Lord. For in the depths of our hearts we know whether or not we are truly God’s friends.

So how do we ensure our names are written in the Book of Life that Daniel mentions? First of all, we must repent of all sin – especially our mortal sins. This means that not only must we be sorry for those actions, but we must try never to commit them again.

For Catholics it is imperative that we participate in the sacramental life of the Church, going to confession regularly and receiving Holy Communion regularly.

We must seek to follow all the tenets of the Church, and we must do our best to serve our Lord and show our love for Him by serving and loving others.

But most importantly, my brothers and sisters, we must pray daily. We must cultivate the silence necessary to truly listen to our Lord. For this is how we develop a lasting relationship with Him that will help carry us into eternity.

In prayer our Lord gives all the graces we need to fulfill our vocations and live holy lives. In prayer our Lord reveals His will to us so that we know what it is that He wants us to do.

But He also reveals His heart to us in prayer so that we come to love Him more than we love ourselves. And this is the key! For it is when we love God more than we love ourselves thatour contrition for our sins becomes perfect and we make great strides in holiness.

We are very blessed here at St. Ann’s to have Eucharistic Adoration 33 hours each week, for in Adoration we can enjoy the profound experience of seeing God in the Eucharist.

By faith we know that at every Mass our Lord humbly descends from Heaven to come to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Our Lord is really, truly present in the Eucharist, and in Eucharistic Adoration we can worship Him at length.

Truly, my brothers and sisters, spending time with our Eucharistic Lord is the best way to prepare for Heaven, for by being in His presence we get to see Him Whom we hope to adore for all eternity. If you don’t already come to Adoration, make it a point to do so.

Death comes for us all. But for Christians death should be a joyful and peaceful event. It can be just that: joyful and peaceful, if we are willing to live our lives in communion with our Lord.

May we all resolve to dedicate more time to our Lord in prayer. And by doing so, may we all be well prepared for that moment when we must render an account to God for our lives.

St. Joseph, Patron of Happy Death, pray for us.
18 November 2012

On the left side of our church we have this beautiful stained glass window of our Lord crowned with thorns. I love this window – in large part because it is dedicated to the memory of a dear friend of mine: Fr. Peter Conroy.
Fr. Peter and I met in Eastern Europe almost 20 years ago, and by providence we ended up in the same seminary a year later where we were classmates and close friends.
Fr. Peter was ordained in June of 1999 for the Diocese of Portland, Maine, and I was planning a trip to see him in November of that year, when he died quite unexpectedly in his sleep. Today is the anniversary of Fr. Peter’s death. He was 39 years old.
Fr. Peter was a priest on earth for only 5 months, but now he is a priest for all eternity.
When I look at this window, I think not only of my good friend, but I am also reminded of
the brevity of life and of how none of us knows when we’ll have to face our Lord and His

particular judgment of us.

Certainly that is the theme of our readings today. Both our first reading from the Book of
Daniel and St. Mark’s Gospel speak in apocalyptic terms, reminding us of the great, final

battle between good and evil and the subsequent Final Judgment.

As we come to the close of the liturgical year and prepare for Advent, Holy Mother Church
leads us in the liturgy to meditate on death, judgment, Heaven and hell – what we

traditionally call the “Four Last Things.”

And Holy Mother Church encourages us to meditate on the Four Last Things bearing in mind
that we do not know the day or hour when we will be asked to give an accounting of our

lives.

So while we trust whole-heartedly in God’s mercy and goodness, we also know that we need
to prepare ourselves to see Him!

Our second reading today reminds us that our sins are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice on
the cross, but all the same we must be sorry for our sins, ask forgiveness, and make

reparation for our sins if we hope to enjoy the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice!

The prophet Daniel tells us in very clear language of the eternal punishment that awaits those
who have refused to repent of their sins, but he also speaks so beautifully of the eternal

reward that awaits the just!

He says that, “the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who
lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”

And so we must give very careful consideration to our death, knowing that once we pass
through that great and mysterious veil separating the invisible from the visible, there will be

no going back.

The judgment rendered in that first moment that we step into eternity will be final and
irrevocable.

As a priest it has been my observation that most people die as they live. What I mean by that
is that, if you live your life for God, seeking to love and serve Him; if you have a real relationship with our Lord, placing yourself in His presence daily through prayer, then you will – in all likelihood – know His presence at your death and pass away peacefully.

But if you’ve fought God and His commandments your whole life, if you’ve refused His mercy by refusing to repent of any of your sins, then chances are you won’t repent on your deathbed.
It is the sad lot of serious sinners that they tend to die in despair rather than in peace. Even when at death’s door they know they have sinned against God, so many refuse to trust in His mercy that our Lord gives so willingly and freely to any who ask for it.
The point is that we must begin preparing for our death now, even if we’re young.
Death is a mystery. For the soul who knows our Lord, who trusts and loves our Lord, death
can be beautiful and joyful. But for those who have turned away from our Lord, death can by

horrifying.

This is because the soul knows its eternal fate before it passes into eternity. Indeed, none of
us will be surprised by the final judgment rendered upon us by our Lord. For in the depths of

our hearts we know whether or not we are truly God’s friends.

So how do we ensure our names are written in the Book of Life that Daniel mentions? First
of all, we must repent of all sin – especially our mortal sins. This means that not only must

we be sorry for those actions, but we must try never to commit them again.

For Catholics it is imperative that we participate in the sacramental life of the Church, going
to confession regularly and receiving Holy Communion regularly.

We must seek to follow all the tenets of the Church, and we must do our best to serve our
Lord and show our love for Him by serving and loving others.

But most importantly, my brothers and sisters, we must pray daily. We must cultivate the
silence necessary to truly listen to our Lord. For this is how we develop a lasting relationship

with Him that will help carry us into eternity.

In prayer our Lord gives all the graces we need to fulfill our vocations and live holy lives. In
prayer our Lord reveals His will to us so that we know what it is that He wants us to do.

But He also reveals His heart to us in prayer so that we come to love Him more than we love ourselves. And this is the key! For it is when we love God more than we love ourselves that
our contrition for our sins becomes perfect and we make great strides in holiness.

We are very blessed here at St. Ann’s to have Eucharistic Adoration 33 hours each week, for
in Adoration we can enjoy the profound experience of seeing God in the Eucharist.

By faith we know that at every Mass our Lord humbly descends from Heaven to come to us
under the appearance of bread and wine. Our Lord is really, truly present in the Eucharist,

and in Eucharistic Adoration we can worship Him at length.

Truly, my brothers and sisters, spending time with our Eucharistic Lord is the best way to
prepare for Heaven, for by being in His presence we get to see Him Whom we hope to adore

for all eternity. If you don’t already come to Adoration, make it a point to do so.

Death comes for us all. But for Christians death should be a joyful and peaceful event. It can be just that: joyful and peaceful, if we are willing to live our lives in communion with
our Lord.

May we all resolve to dedicate more time to our Lord in prayer. And by doing so, may we all
be well prepared for that moment when we must render an account to God for our lives.

St. Joseph, Patron of Happy Death, pray for us.
18 November 2012

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

 

 

 

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“The God of our faith is not a distant being”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/03/21 at 9:11 AM
We must adore devoutly this God of ours, hidden in the Eucharist [1] — it is Jesus himself, born of the Virgin Mary, who suffered and gave his life in the sacrifice of the cross; Jesus, from whose side, pierced by a lance, flowed water and blood [2].

This is the sacred banquet, in which we receive Christ himself. We renew the memory of his passion, and through him the soul is brought to an intimate relationship with God and receives a promise of future glory [3]. The liturgy of the Church has summarised, in a few words, the culminating points of the history of our Lord’s love for us.

The God of our faith is not a distant being who contemplates indifferently the fate of men — their desires, their struggles, their sufferings. He is a Father who loves his children so much that he sends the Word, the Second Person of the most Blessed Trinity, so that by taking on the nature of man he may die to redeem us. He is the loving Father who now leads us gently to himself, through the action of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts. (Christ is passing by, 84)

[1] Cf hymn Adoro te devote
[2] Cf hymn Ave verum
[3] Cf hymn O sacrum convivium

He Is Worthy of Adoration

In 14 Book Corner on 2012/01/13 at 9:28 PM

The reason Msgr. Romano Guardini gives for God being deserving of adoration is because He is the Creator and consequently is all good, holy and true; that it is that holiness which makes him worthy and omnipotent. Therefore adoration is an act that makes sense;  one bows one’s body and soul before His omnipotent Creator.

Guardini also stresses the grandeur of spiritual purity with not only the body, heart having purity but also the soul; all of which are essential for the health of the entire person created in the image of God.  He elaborates eloquently: “The purity of the spirit is dependent upon truth.  A spirit is pure when it makes clear-cut distinctions between great and little, good and bad; when it refuses to bend yes into no and no into yes, but keeps them undistorted by a straight either-or.  This does not mean that with the resultant clarity the good is also already accomplished and the bad avoided; it means something much more elementary: that virtue is never called vice, and vice virtue.

Purity of spirit lies at the beginning of things, there where the first stirrings set in, where conceptions of being and doing are formed.  It is that initial authenticity to which the true meaning of words is grounded and their relation to each other is corrected, their edges trimmed.  Spirit becomes impure through essential dishonesty.  When it attempts to call evil good, it becomes essentially corrupt.  A lie is always evil, but worse than its conscious evil is loss of the fundamental sense of truth.  The spirit that errs is not yet impure–for  example when it judges facts falsely, uses words incorrectly or confuses images.  It is impure when it is indifferent to truth; when it no longer desires to think cleanly or to measure by the standards of eternity; when it no longer knows that the dignity and honor of truth are its own dignity and honor; when it besmudges the sense of word  which is the sense of things and of existence itself, robbing them of their austerity and nobility.

Divine worship protects the purity of spirit.  As long as a person bows his head before his Maker as before on “worthy: because he is holy and true, that person will be immune to intrinsic deception.  Health and purity of spirit are man’s greatest forces, but also, as human nature now is, his most vulnerable and seducible.  They need protection.  Some sure means of distinguishing between true and false, pure and impure must exist.  That a person fails to do the right thing after he has recognized it is serious, and he will be called to judgment because of it.  But incomparably worse is a break with truth itself: intrinsic deception readable in the eyes because it has taken hold of the spirit.  That is why something must exist in which the truth of the heart can constantly renew itself, in which the spirit can be cleansed, the eye cleared, the character strengthened.  And there is: adoration.  Nothing is more important for man than to incline his spirit before God, personally to experience the truth that is God; this is great and sacred and salutary for body and soul.”

Guardini, Romano.  THE LORD.  Regnery pp576-578

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lord-romano-guardini/1002014783?ean=9780895267146&itm=1&usri=guardini%2bthe%2blord

What is this practice of Adoration?

In 07 Observations on 2011/09/16 at 1:11 AM

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament – An Introduction

If you have a really good friend, or if you are married, then you know what it takes to be in a relationship with someone. Two of the most important things you can do to deepen your friendship is to spend time together, and to talk with each other frequently.

The best friend and the love of our souls is Jesus Christ. Yet many of us suffer from a feeling that we don’t really know who Jesus is, or we don’t feel like we have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus is more like a figure from a history book to us, or some mysterious God-man who we know we have obligations to, yet we don’t really feel anything in our hearts towards Him.

Adoration: The Answer to Deepening our Relationship With Christ

The solution to this personal struggle is to deepen your relationship with Jesus. Just as you would with any human friend or your spouse, you have to make a decided effort to get to know Him better. You have to spend time with Him, and speak with Him often. In other words, you need to spend time in prayer.

Eucharistic Adoration is the best way we have on this earth to spend a long time in quiet conversation with Jesus. You’ll recall that just before Jesus physically left the apostles and ascended to the Father, he reassured them, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) This statement is fulfilled in the reality of Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist, in the hands of the priest at Mass each day, reserved in the tabernacles in the heart of our churches, and right before our very eyes in Eucharistic Adoration.

“Feel the Love” in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

What sets Eucharistic Adoration apart from other forms of prayer is that we are able to be in the same room with Him present in the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. Though veiled under the appearance of bread, in reality we are gazing on His Sacred Heart, and the love that radiates from the little white host in the monstrance (the beautiful stand which holds the host behind glass for the adorer to see) is transforming. Sitting or kneeling in the presence of Jesus in this way could be called “Son-bathing.” Like the rays of sunshine that warm our skin, the rays of His love touch our souls and provide healing, reassurance, comfort, strength… whatever it is we need in this life to help us live according to God’s will so we can one day live with Him forever in Heaven.

Get More Out of Mass – Adore the Blessed Sacrament Outside of Mass!

The ultimate highlight of our life as Catholics is when we receive the Eucharist at Mass. It is at that moment when we are most intimately in communion with God, experiencing a taste of Heaven, a foreshadowing of what it will be like when by God’s grace we one day enter into the life that never ends with the Holy Trinity. But is your experience at Mass a little chilly? Does it leave you with something to be desired? Are distractions getting between you and a true experience of communion?

St. Augustine said, “No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it.” The experience of receiving Communion is so brief. To make the most of that fleeting moment, prepare yourself to receive Him by spending time in Adoration. Adoring the Blessed Sacrament heightens our senses to perceive the Real Presence, the Real Jesus. After receiving Him at Mass, spend time in prayer in His Presence, reflecting on the gift you have received, asking Him to transform your life through the power of the Eucharist. He is waiting for you in the tabernacle, or in the monstrance in Perpetual Adoration chapels or at special times of Eucharistic Adoration.

Everyone’s Welcome at Eucharistic Adoration

For a non-Catholic who is attracted to the majesty and tradition of the Catholic Church, it is a form of suffering to not be able to receive Communion. Eucharistic Adoration can provide a great source of consolation if you are discerning about or are in the process of converting to Catholicism. In Eucharistic Adoration you can find a quiet and sacred place to pray. And though you are unable to receive the Eucharist , you can make a spiritual communion to unite yourself with our Eucharistic Lord. This is especially meaningful when you are praying in His Real Presence in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Eucharist Changes Hearts

As our current Holy Father wrote when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger,

The adoration of the Lord in the sacrament is also an education in sensitizing our conscience. ‘Christ comes into the hearts of our brothers and sisters and visits their consciences.’ When the conscience becomes dulled, this lets in the violence that lays waste the world. Anyone who gazes upon the face of the Lord, which the servants of the Sanhedrin and Pilate’s servants have spat upon, which they have slapped and covered with spittle, will see in his face the mirror of our violence, a reflection of what sin is, and their conscience will be purified in the way that is the precondition for every social reform, for every improvement in human affairs. For the reform of human relationships rests in the first place on a reinforcement of moral strength (God is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life, p. 98).

All you have to do is turn on the news to discover why prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is so desperately needed. Pope John Paul II said in a Eucharistic Congress in 1993, “the … surest and the most effective way of establishing peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.” Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended.” The power of the Eucharist to change hearts is documented around the world in places where the Eucharist is adored.

Whatever reason brings you into the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, rest assured that Jesus does want to meet you there. Have you ever been “asked out” on such an important date as the one you are called to by the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

Copyright 2006 Darcy Bunn, MTS for Saint Peter Catholic Church. Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  Permission for non-profit use is granted. Please include this notice when you publish or print this article on Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.