Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Contemplating the Mystery of the Eucharist

                “Dear precious Lord, I sit in awe contemplating the mystery of the Eucharist. I don’t fully understand it, but I know it is You and for this gift of faith, I thank You. When I remember that You created everything in all its complexities, then the mystery of Your presence in the Eucharist doesn’t seem so impossible.
                “Lord, I love the mass because You are right there, and You invite us to receive You so intimately, in communion. I remember the days I thought going to Church was a chore, an obligation. Now, I long for the opportunity to attend mass and when it is over, I look forward to the next mass. It is like eating – you get hungry, you eat a great meal and feel satisfied but you know that soon you will eat again and you look forward to the next meal. Lord You know us so well that You became our food, literally and spiritually, and we crave it, sometimes with a voracious appetite.
                “You ask so little of us – just a minimum of one hour a week to spend in mass with You. When I think about how a mass is celebrated every hour of every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the entire world, I am in awe. Therefore, for that one hour, You have people gathered in love for You so that everywhere throughout the world, there is a place on earth that is a mirror of Your command in the Lord’s prayer, ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ I feel privileged to attend mass and to be a part of just one hour of this act of worship in one tiny spot on this earth You created for us. I am eternally grateful to play a part in this beautiful act of worship throughout the world.
                “Oh dear Lord, inflame the desire in people’s hearts to celebrated mass with You. Create a deep hunger in all of us to crave the banquet of the Eucharist You provide at mass everywhere throughout the world. I pray that all Your people everywhere will join You in the precious communion You generously offer. Please open their hearts and minds to understand this gift and to receive it worthily. Dear Lord, I sit in awe contemplating the mystery and beauty of the Eucharist.”

I Am Here

                “Dear Lord, dear God, dear redeemer, my heart aches to be near You today. I am here, I am here, I am here. Look down upon Your humble daughter and with Your merciful heart, draw me close and let me rest in Your glorious embrace. You make me whole, You make me want to live, You make me walk through this life with a purpose.
                “I love symmetry and balance and the number three encompasses this concept very well which is why I am especially drawn to the Trinity. It is not just one part of You that I love and honor, but all three in one. Your genius surpasses my feeble understanding of how this can be but my heart fully accepts all three of You and bubbles up with great love for all of You.
                “Oh God the Father, I tremble in Your presence, in awe and fear of Your power. I avert my eyes yet still sneak a peek to witness Your glory. I know You love me, You created me, yet I wonder how You can love something so small and inferior to Yourself. I return Your love, humbly and gratefully, and kneel at Your throne submitting all that I am to You. My Lord, my God the Father, I am here.
                “Dear Jesus, the precious son of God, both human and divine, I run into Your arms, sobbing tears of love, joy and sadness as I long to be with You forever. You understand our flawed sinful hearts because You lived as one of us. You showed us how to live in pure love – love for Your Father and His will and love for one another because Your Father created each of us all and loves us. You encompass living and loving as one holy body. You are our head, guiding us, and we are Your body, attempting to conduct all that You wish. Everything You do is to honor and glorify Your Father and You show us how. We cling to You as Your body and try our best to move when and how You ask us to. Dear Jesus, You are my love, my life, my guide. You show us how to be the people Your Father created. I melt into Your arms, I rest my head on Your chest, I close my eyes as I feel Your breath on my face. Dear Lord, dear Jesus, I am here.
                “Oh God the Holy Spirit, the very breath and living force of love produced from God the Father and God the Son. You are the one I understand the least yet the one whose presence I sense the most. You are with me, in me, around me, like the very air we breathe. You permeate my very soul and sustain my life. You bring the Lord deep into my inner self and give life to all my thoughts and actions the way our blood brings nutrients to every part of our body enabling us to live, breathe, move, think and function. You, dear Holy Spirit, float in and around me in pure love, igniting all my actions and purpose for living with God’s holy flame of love. Oh Holy Spirit, I cannot live without You. I breathe You in deeply, not wanting to exhale. You are so precious to me. I am here, breathing.
                “Oh my Lord, my God, my merciful redeemer, let me always recognize all of You in everything around me. May I always honor, love, and worship You. May I always kneel humbly in Your glorious presence and breathe in Your loving life force. Oh Lord, I am here, I am here, I am here.”

Sunday, August 5, 2012


                Patience. Everyone wants everything right now. In this modern world, people don’t even want to wait for a cup of coffee. People impatiently drive their cars into a line to receive a cup of fresh, instantly brewed coffee direct into their hands with which they can drink while driving to wherever they are going. They don’t even have to get out of their cars. If it takes too long according to them, they promptly express their displeasure to the poor soul who just prepared their coffee on the go.

                What happened to the days when sharing a cup of coffee was a relaxed event with no time limit? I realize there are people who will sit for lengthy times drinking coffee with others but it’s not the expected way any more. You have the option of driving up for your coffee and not talking to anyone and that is considered normal. Coffee used to percolate on the stove or on a campfire. I can still hear the bubbling rhythm of the coffee pot. It took time. And if you drank it alone, you took your time drinking it, at least as long as it took to brew it. Everyone is in a hurry to do a million things and to go to a million places - to do what? When Jesus was here on earth, the people were happy to sit and listen, all day if need be. Now, I hear, “I don’t have time for that.” “Daily mass is too long. I have things I need to do.” What could be more pressing than receiving our Lord and spending time in thanks with Him? People don’t seem to enjoy just receiving the gift of life God gave us.

                Patience. We need patience to listen to others. How often do people try to hurry up a conversation? “Just get to the point.” Did anyone say that to Jesus when He was telling a story? We need to remember that we are in a continual state of waiting, waiting for our Lord to return. It’s been over 2000 years, you would think we would be good at waiting and while we wait, why not enjoy the time we have with others? The Lord tells us we know not when He will come again - so we wait.

So wait patiently. Take note of the things around you as you wait; the people, the flowers, the trees, the smells, the animals – all His creations. He didn’t tell us to wait in a blank box. He gave us a whole world full of His rich handiwork to enjoy and appreciate. He didn’t tell us to race from here to there doing a million things, sometimes at the expense of others, ignoring and even plundering and devouring the things He created, even hurting the very people He made.

                Patience. We must wait patiently for His return and while we wait, why not enjoy and share the beautiful things He has given us? Good children wait patiently for their parents to return. It is so nice to see them happily playing with the toys their parents provided for them; to see them sharing with each other, laughing, building big towers and painting beautiful pictures. It brings a smile to the parents upon their return. No parent enjoys coming home to a room full of fighting children, angry and crying, broken toys strewn about, toppled towers and scribbled or crumpled up paintings. No parent wants to come home to chaos. Impatience breeds chaos; patience brings peace.

                Patience. Jesus was the embodiment of patience. He patiently instructed His people, even those who rejected Him. He could have annihilated everything but He didn’t. He chose a path of patient teaching and He asked us to patiently wait with love for His return, promising to take us with Him into eternal life. How do you want it to look when He returns? Will we be waiting patiently, happily playing, sharing and making beautiful things with His gifts or will we have succumbed to impatience, fighting in anger and chaos with His gifts strewn everywhere, broken and defiled?

Prayer Symphony

                “Lord, as I sit here surrounded by people praying to You, I am humbled at how You can sort out all the sounds. There are the voices of people praying the rosary in Spanish, the sound of elderly voices asking You for help, the sounds of people serving in the sacristy cleaning up from mass, the shifting of people’s weight kneeling in the pews praying silently, the whispers of people sitting in the pews quietly praying and the sound of my pen scribbling across the paper as I write these thoughts.
                “To me, it’s a jumbled array of sounds. To You, it’s a symphony of love expressed in so many different instruments. You are the conductor behind the altar in the Tabernacle. Your hand is raised and directs the rhythm of all our prayers and expressions of love for You. I wish I could hear it like You do. To me it sounds like an orchestra warming up, all disjointed. To You, it must be a masterpiece, a beautiful symphony with connected parts in a melody that moves the soul. Maybe in eternity, we will all hear and play in this wondrous prayer symphony.”