Friday, June 28, 2013

My yoke is easy and my burden light...

He ain't heavy -- he's my brother.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"In God, whose word I praise..."

Ave Maria!  These are troubling times.  They call for putting on "the whole armor of God," as St. Paul told the believers at Ephesus to do, that they might "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might."  In Eph 6:10-18, St. Paul tells us what this means, specifically instructing us to take "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (vs 17).  So today I spent some extra time with the Scriptures, begging our Lord Jesus to enlighten and strengthen me with His gracious word, which is able to save our souls.  I was inspired to write out the following verses, which I will keep close at hand and even closer in my heart.  JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  ~Mt 11:28-30

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  ~Jn 14:27

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  ~Jn 15:18-19

In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  ~Jn 16:33

He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  ~1 Jn 4:4

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  ~Rom 8:37

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  ~1 Jn 5:4-5

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.  And be thankful. 
~Col 3:15

For he himself is our peace...  ~Eph 2:14

But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.  ~1 Tim 1:12

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  ~1 Cor 15:57

In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust without a fear.
What can man do to me?
~Psalm 56(57):10-11

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"A Soul is a very precious thing..."

A Soul is a very precious thing, and that if Jesus thought it worth so infinite a price, we can scarcely estimate it too highly, or shrink from proving our belief in its value, by cooperating with Him for its salvation. Look at the Cross, if you would learn the true value of a soul, your own soul, the soul of each human being for whom you can do somewhat; measure and weigh your life, your sufferings, your joys, your hopes, by that standard.  ~Rev. Jean Nicolas Grou, S.J. (1731-1803), "The Soul's True Value" from The Hidden Life of the Soul

Dear Lord, may I always cherish my soul and the soul of every human being.  Amen.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Dear Lord, You are my Jesus ... my life, my love, and my holy joy ... my Beloved Bridegroom ... my King and my God ... my Lord and my All ...  so will I ever sing praises to Your Name ... ALLELUIA!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
~Bl. John Paul II, 8/15/04

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.


Ave Maria!  This prayer speaks for itself.  Every line of it is a cry from my poor heart for the peace and salvation of the whole world, for its healing and reconciliation in our Lord Jesus, our Lady's Beloved Son.  Ave, ave, ave Maria!

Friday, June 21, 2013

"You must pray to the Father!"

“To whom do I pray? To a cosmic God? That’s quite normal these days, is it not? … praying to the cosmic God, right? This polytheistic model that comes from a rather light culture…  

“You must pray to the Father! It is a strong word, ‘Father.’ You must pray to Him who generated you, who gave you life. … To the person who accompanies you on your journey: He knows all about your life. Everything: what is good and what is not so good. He knows everything. If we do not start the prayer with this word, not just with our lips but with our hearts, we cannot pray in a Christian language.”  

… “We have a Father. Very close to us, eh! Who embraces us … All these worries, concerns that we have, let’s leave them to the Father, He knows what we need. But, Father, what? My father? No: Our Father! Because I am not an only child, none of us are, and if I cannot be a brother, I can hardly become a child of the Father, because He is a Father to all. Mine, sure, but also of others, of my brothers. And if I am not at peace with my brothers, I cannot say ‘Father’ to Him.”  

… “No, you cannot pray with enemies in your heart, with brothers and enemies in your heart, you cannot pray. This is difficult, yes, it is difficult, not easy. ‘Father, I cannot say Father, I cannot.’ It’s true, I understand. ‘I cannot say our, because he did this to me and this…’ I cannot! ‘They must go to hell, right? I will have nothing to do with them.’ It’s true, it is not easy. But Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit: it is He who teaches us, from within, from the heart, how to say ‘Father’ and how to say ‘our.’ Today we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to say ‘Father’ and to be able to say ‘our,’ and thus make peace with all our enemies.”

~Pope Francis, 6/20/13 Homily 

The Father himself loves you,
because you have loved me
and have believed
that I came from the Father.
~John 16:27

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Prayer by William Barclay

O God, forgive us for the faults which make us difficult to live with.

If we behave as if we were the only people for whom life is difficult;
If we behave as if we were far harder worked than anyone else;
If we behave as if we were the only people who were ever disappointed,
or the only people who ever got a raw deal;
If we are far too self-centered and far too full of self-pity:
Forgive us, O God.

If we are too impatient to finish the work we have begun;
If we are too impatient to listen to someone who wants to talk to us,
or to give someone a helping hand;
If we think that other people are fools,
and make no attempt to conceal our contempt for them:
Forgive us, O God.

If we too often rub people the wrong way;
If we spoil a good case by trying to ram it down someone's throat;
If we do things that get on people's nerves,
and go on doing them, even when we are asked not to:
Forgive us, O God.

Help us to take the selfishness and the ugliness out of life and to do better in the days to come.

~William Barclay

Make haste and come to my help, my Lord and my salvation!  ~Psalm 38(37):22

Sunday, June 16, 2013

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Her many sins were forgiven her, because she has shown great love.  ~Luke 7:47

A sinful woman has proclaimed to us that God's love has gone forth in search of sinners. For when he called her, Christ was inviting our whole race to love; and in her person he was drawing all sinners to his forgiveness.

He spoke to her alone, but he was drawing all creation to his grace.

No one else persuaded him to help her come to forgiveness; only his love for the one he himself had formed persuaded him to do this, and his own grace besought him on behalf of the work of his hands.

Who would not be struck by the mercy of Christ, who accepted an invitation to a Pharisee's house in order to save a sinner!

For the sake of the woman who hungered for forgiveness, he himself felt hunger for the table of Simon the Pharisee; and all the while, under the guise of a meal of bread, he had prepared for the sinner a meal of repentance!

The shepherd came down from heaven for the lost sheep, to catch in Simon's house the woman the cunning wolf had carried off. In the house of Simon the Pharisee he found the one he sought.

Seeing Jesus' feet, the sinner took them to be a symbol of his incarnation, and in grasping them believed herself to be grasping her God on the level of his corporal nature.

By her words she besought him as her Creator -- for clearly her words, though not written down, may be guessed at from her actions. She must surely have uttered words corresponding to her deeds when she bathed his feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, and poured precious ointment over them.

It was a prayer that she offered to the incarnate God: by bringing him her humility she showed her trust in him, and by the conversation they had with one another she proved him to be truly man.

Such then were the words addressed to Jesus by the sinner when she clasped his feet. He listened to them patiently, his silence proclaiming his steadfastness, his patience proclaiming his endurance.

By his kindness he showed his approval of her boldness. He made it obvious that it was right for her to wrest pardon from him in the presence of all the guests.

He did not speak at once and when he spoke he uttered only one word, but by that word he destroyed sins, abolished faults, chased away iniquity, granted pardon, uprooted evil, and made righteousness bud.

All at once his forgiveness appeared within her soul and chased out of it the darkness of sin; she was cured, she recovered her wits, and gained both health and strength.

For when Jesus gives graces he gives them lavishly, as he easily can, being the God of all things.

In order that you may have the same experience, reflect within yourself that your sin is great, but that it is blasphemy against God and damage to yourself to despair of his forgiveness because your sin seems to you to be too great.

He has promised to forgive your sins, however many they are; will you tell him you cannot believe this and dispute with him, saying that your sin is too great; he cannot heal your sickness?

Stop at this point, and cry out with the prophet, “Lord, I have sinned against you.” At once he will reply, “As for me, I have overlooked your fault: you shall not die.” Glory to him from all of us, for all the ages. Amen.

Orient Syrien 7, 1962: 180-181,189,193,194)

Draw me after you, let us make haste.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
We will exult and rejoice in you;
we will extol your love more than wine;
rightly do they love you.
~The Song of Solomon 1:4

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Staunch Fiat

"...Mary, although aware of the lofty dignity conferred upon her at the angel's announcement [at the Annunciation], spontaneously declares herself 'the handmaid of the Lord'. In this commitment of service she also includes the intention to serve her neighbor, as the link between the episodes of the Annunciation and the Visitation show: informed by the angel of Elizabeth's pregnancy, Mary sets out 'with haste' (Lk 1:39) for Judah, with total availability to help her relative prepare for the birth. She thus offers Christians of all times a sublime model of service.

"The words: 'Let it be to me according to your word' (Lk 1:38), show in her who declared herself handmaid of the Lord, a total obedience to God's will.

"The optative genoito, 'let it be done', used by Luke, expresses not only acceptance but staunch assumption of the divine plan, making it her own with the involvement of all her personal resources."

~Bl. John Paul II, 9/11/96 General Audience

Ave Maria!  Now there's a word that I've not heard in eons -- staunch.  It's one of those words that looks and sounds like what it means:  strong; substantial; firm or steadfast in principle, loyalty, etc.  Its synonyms include faithful, stalwart, sure, sound, true, constant, reliable, stout, resolute, dependable, trustworthy, and immovable.  The word staunch always makes me think of a long, hard struggle ending in glorious victory.   Matthew 24:13 comes to mind:  "But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved."  And we know that Our Lady persevered not only throughout her lifetime but also to Mount Calvary and beyond until her magnificent Assumption into Heaven. 

That was Mary's FIAT alright -- staunch!  With her entire being, she made the divine plan her own, freely and unreservedly placing herself at the Divine Lover's disposal with great humility, total obedience, and unwavering love.  I want my own fiat to be staunch, too, but I have such a long way to go in making it so.  I am not discouraged, though, because I know that Our Blessed Mother will help me if I but call upon her.

Dearest Mary, Mother Most Wonderful, please help me for the sake of your Son and the glory of the Father.  Amen!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The answer to many prayers...

Do not forget that the answer to many prayers is "Wait," or sometimes, "No, not that, but something else, which when you see Me, you will know was a far better thing."  ~Amy Carmichael, 1867-1951

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.  ~Psalm 147(146):11

Dear Lord, I trust that You will answer all my prayers
according to Your infinite wisdom and everlasting love.
Amen!  Alleluia!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pope Francis on the Beatitudes

Ave Maria!  Yesterday at Mass, Pope Francis preached on the Beatitudes.  "They are the new commandments," the Holy Father said, and they "cannot be understood with human intelligence alone."  We can only grasp them "if we have an open heart, from the consolation of the Holy Spirit." In order to comprehend the Beatitudes, we need the freedom that "is born of the Holy Spirit, who saves us, who comforts us" and is "the giver of life."  Without "a heart open to the Holy Spirit, [the Beatitudes] will seem silly. Just look, being poor, being meek, being merciful will hardly lead us to success. If we do not have an open heart and if we have not experienced the consolation of the Holy Spirit, which is salvation, we cannot understand this. This is the law for those who have been saved and have opened their hearts to salvation. This is the law of the free, with the freedom of the Holy Spirit."

As I read and reflected upon the above, I recalled that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) urges us to prepare ourselves for confession by reflecting upon the Word of God:  "The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God. The passages best suited to this can be found in the Ten Commandments, the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings. (Cf. Mt 5-7; Rom 12-15; 1 Cor 12-13; Gal 5; Eph 4-6; etc.)." (CCC, #1454)

Among the Scripture passages that the Church recommends in preparation for confession is the fifth chapter of Matthew, the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount, which begins with the eight Beatitudes.  Whenever I use the Beatitudes as my examination of conscience, I am always enlightened by the Holy Spirit as to what I might confess!  And yes, with this revelation, the Spirit of Jesus also gives me the freedom and consolation of God's love and salvation.  Deo gratias!

In closing his homily, the Holy Father invited us to pray.  "Let us ask for the grace to open our hearts to the consolation of the Holy Spirit, so that this consolation, which is salvation, allows us to understand these commandments. So be it!"

Spirit of Jesus,
set us free to love and serve You
for the glory of the Father! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Heart of Jesus, full of mercy and compassion

"...the Heart of Jesus is the ultimate symbol of God's mercy –- but it is not an imaginary symbol, it is a real symbol, which represents the center, the source from which salvation for all humanity gushed forth.

"In the Gospels we find several references to the Heart of Jesus, for example, in the passage where Christ says, 'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. (Mt 11:28-29).' Then there is the key story of the death of Christ according to John. This evangelist in fact testifies to what he saw on Calvary: that a soldier, when Jesus was already dead, pierced his side with a spear, and from the wound flowed blood and water (cf. Jn 19.33-34). John recognized in that -- apparently random -- sign, the fulfillment of prophecies: from the heart of Jesus, the Lamb slain on the cross, flow forgiveness and life for all men.

"But the mercy of Jesus is not just sentiment: indeed it is a force that gives life, that raises man up! The Gospel tells us this as well, in the episode of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17). Jesus, with his disciples, is just arrived in Nain, a village in Galilee, at the very moment in which a funeral is taking place. a boy is buried, the only son of a widow. Jesus’ gaze immediately fixes itself on the weeping mother. The evangelist Luke says: 'Seeing her, the Lord was moved with great compassion for her (v. 13).' This 'compassion' is the love of God for man, it is mercy, i.e. the attitude of God in contact with human misery, with our poverty, our suffering, our anguish. The biblical term 'compassion' recalls the maternal viscera: a mother, in fact, experiences a reaction all her own, to the pain of her children. In this way does God love us, the Scripture says.

"And what is the fruit of this love? It is life! Jesus said to the widow of Nain, 'Do not weep,' and then called the dead boy and awoke him as from a sleep (cf. vv. 13-15). The mercy of God gives life to man, it raises him from the dead. The Lord is always watching us with mercy, [always] awaits us with mercy. Let us be not afraid to approach him! He has a merciful heart! If we show our inner wounds, our sins, He always forgives us. He is pure mercy! Let us never forget this: He is pure mercy! Let us go to Jesus!

"Let us turn to the Virgin Mary: her immaculate heart – a mother’s heart – has shared the 'compassion' of God to the full, especially at the hour of the passion and death of Jesus. May Mary help us to be meek, humble and compassionate with our brethren."

~Pope Francis, 6/9/13 Angelus
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us!
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us!
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


by Gertrude von Le Fort
Your voice speaks:

Now I will pray the ardor of the soul as a great litany is prayed.
Now I will raise the song of praise that is not sung but loved.
Blood-red secret of all that is:
Holy Heart, divine Heart, almighty Heart.
Be loved, Love, eternal Love, be thou eternally loved.

Hearth in the dark of the frozen world,
Be loved, Love!
Flame-shadow over all the false brightness of the world,
Be loved, Love!
Burning sign in all the false rest of the world;
Lonely Heart, flaming Heart, unquenchable Heart:
Be loved, everlasting Love.
Heart deep as the nights that have no face:
Be loved!
Heart strong as the waves that have no shores:
Be loved!
Heart tender as little children that have no bitterness:
Be everlastingly loved!

Rose from the flower-beds of the invisible,
Rose from the chalice of the humble maiden,
Blossoming rose-bush, in which heaven and earth are entwined:
Be loved, everlasting Love!

Royal Heart in the flowing mantle of Thy blood:
Be loved!
Brother-Heart in the wild mockery of the thorny crown:
Be loved!
Breaking Heart in the stark ornament of Thy death wounds:
Heart dethroned, Heart betrayed, Heart cruelly martyred:
Be loved, everlasting Love, be everlastingly loved.
Heart before whom the mighty find their knees,
We ask Thee for Thy love.
Heart before whom the careless find their tears:
We ask Thee for Thy love.
Heart in whom thieves and murderers yet find forgiveness,
Great Heart, Heart of mercy, Heart of glory,
We ask Thee for Thy love!

Red-thorn of our gladness,
Sorrow-thorn of our repentance,
Fair evening glow of our own setting,
We ask Thee for Thy love.

Crimson cloth that turns sin pale as death:
We ask Thee for Thy love.
Ruby stream after which the sick souls thirst:
We ask Thee for Thy love.
Whispering nearness in which parted friends may meet:
We ask Thee for Thy love.

Comforting lamp of the distressed,
Lighthouse of the persecuted and the disgraced,
Hidden chamber in which the gentle dead may yet breathe;
All-knowing Heart, all-guiding Heart, ultimate Heart:
We ask Thee for Thy love!

Heart that takes us all to itself,
Heart that strikes the center of all our hearts,
Heart that breaks the proud hearts of us all:
We ask Thee for Thy love.

Heart that makes solitude into a great people:
We ask Thee for Thy Love.
Heart that makes discord into a united people:
We ask Thee for Thy love.

Heart in which the whole world becomes Thy people:
We consecrate ourselves to Thy love.
Overflowing Heart, overflaming Heart, overstorming Heart:
Be loved, Love, everlasting Love, be everlastingly loved.
That Thy Dawn may break with kindling light,
We consecrate ourselves to Thy love.
That Thy day may bring fire to our hearts,
We consecrate ourselves to Thy love.
That Thy day may burn all our hearts into Thine,
We consecrate ourselves to Thy love,
Mighty Heart, ineluctable Heart, all-consuming Heart.

Fire! Fire! The angels' wings are burning, the swords of the seraphim are aflame!
The lights of heaven are burning, the depths of earth are burning rocks
and yesterdays are all aflame!
The expectation of all creatures burns --
the spirit burns in the darkness of high thought.
All has been taken from love, all must become love;
sing "Holy, Holy, Holy!" rustling flames of the Seraphim!
Heart from which the heavens draw their glory,
Heart from which suns and constellations draw their beginning and their end,
Heart from which the souls of the blessed draw their blessedness.
World-ordering Heart, world-conquering Heart, Thou only Heart of hearts:
Amen. Amen. May the day of Thine infinite love come quickly.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

When we do not feel like praying...

Oftentimes when we come to God in prayer, we do not feel like praying. What shall one do in such a case? cease praying until he does feel like it? Not at all. When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray. We should wait quietly before God and tell Him how cold and prayerless our hearts are, and look up to Him and trust Him and expect Him to send the Holy Spirit to warm our hearts and draw them out in prayer. It will not be long before the glow of the Spirit's presence will fill our hearts, and we will begin to pray with freedom, directness, earnestness and power. Many of the most blessed seasons of prayer I have ever known have begun with a feeling of utter deadness and prayerlessness; but in my helplessness and coldness I have cast myself upon God, and looked to Him to send His Holy Spirit to teach me to pray, and He has done it.  ~Rueben Archer Torrey (1856-1928), How to Pray
Dear Jesus, thank You for giving me Your Holy Spirit for without Him, I would be unable to pray.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mother Love


Dear Mary, Mother Most Wonderful,
when I stay close to you.
I am happy and safe.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The way it is...

Self-love is what makes life hard for us.  ~St. Peter Julian Eymard

Nothing disturbs us as much as self-love and self-esteem.  ~St. Francis de Sales

Dear Lord, please deliver me from myself!  Amen.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Communion with Christ

It is not possible to "eat" the Risen One, present under the sign of bread, as if it were a simple piece of bread. To eat this Bread is to communicate, to enter into communion with the person of the living Lord. This communion, this act of "eating", is truly an encounter between two persons, it is allowing our lives to be penetrated by the life of the One who is the Lord, of the One who is my Creator and Redeemer.

The purpose of this communion, of this partaking, is the assimilation of my life with his, my transformation and conformation into he who is living Love. Therefore, this communion implies adoration, it implies the will to follow Christ, to follow the One who goes ahead of us...

...Mary, Mother of the Lord, truly teaches us what entering into communion with Christ is: Mary offered her own flesh, her own blood to Jesus and became a living tent of the Word, allowing herself to be penetrated by his presence in body and spirit.

Let us pray to her, our holy Mother, so that she may help us to open our entire being, always more, to Christ's presence; so that she may help us to follow him faithfully, day after day, on the streets of our life. Amen.

~Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 5/26/05 Homily for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Dear Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, please help me to enter into true communion with our living Lord, your Beloved Son Jesus.  Amen.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"what is most precious of all"

They all ate and were filled.  ~Luke 9:17

Christ gave us his flesh to eat in order to deepen our love for him. When we approach him, then, there should be burning within us a fire of love and longing.

Otherwise the punishment awaiting us will be in proportion to the magnitude of the graces we have received and of which we have shown ourselves unworthy.

The wise men paid homage to Christ’s body even when it was lying in a manger. Foreigners who did not worship the true God left their homes and their native land, set out on a long journey, and on reaching its end, worshiped in great fear and trembling.

Let us, the citizens of heaven, at least imitate these foreigners.

They only saw Christ in a manger, they saw nothing of what you now see, and yet they approached him with profound awe and reverence. You see him, not in a manger but on an altar, not carried by a woman but offered by a priest; and you see the Spirit bountifully poured out upon the offerings of bread and wine.

Unlike the wise men, you do not merely see Christ’s body: you know his power as well, and whole divine plan for our salvation. Having been carefully instructed, you are ignorant of none of the marvels he has performed.

Let us then awaken in ourselves a feeling of awe and let us show a far greater reverence than did those foreigners, for we shall bring down fire upon our heads if we approach this sacrament casually, without thinking of what we do.

By saying this I do not mean that we should not approach it, but simply that we should not do so thoughtlessly. Just as coming to it in a casual way is perilous, so failing to share in this sacramental meal is hunger and death.

This food strengthens us; it emboldens us to speak freely to our God: it is our hope, our salvation, our light and our life. If we go to the next world fortified by this sacrifice, we shall enter its sacred portals with perfect confidence, as though protected all over by armor of gold.

But why do I speak of the next world? Because of this sacrament earth becomes heaven for you. Throw open the gates of heaven -- or rather, not of heaven but of the heaven of heavens -- look through and you will see the proof of what I say.

What is heaven’s most precious possession? I will show you it here on earth.

I do not show you angels or archangels, heaven or the heaven of heavens, but I show you the very Lord of all these. Do you not see how you gaze, here on earth, upon what is most precious of all?

You not only gaze on it, but touch it as well. You not only touch it, but even eat it, and take it away with you to your homes.

It is essential therefore when you wish to receive this sacrament to cleanse your soul from sin and to prepare your mind.

~St. John Chrysostom, c. 347-407

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us Yourself
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar,
our most precious possession of all. 
Amen!  Alleluia!