As a priest celebrating many Novus Ordo Masses, I have seen many people receiving Holy Communion with great faith and devotion. But I have seen many others who seem to have no idea WHO they are receiving. Standing in line and handing out God in Holy Communion is just like any other HAND out. Then is nothing to distinguish Who you are receiving. Just a short time ago after a wedding someone bought me a HOST they had found on the ground. Apparently that person had no idea WHO they were receiving. Recently my friends told me that if they wear a vail or kneel to receive God in Holy Communion, their priest just gives it to them without saying Body of Christ. People who show RESPECT for Jesus in the Holy Communion are so often DISRESPECTED. Thank God Pope Benedict demands that each person receiving Holy Communion from him has to kneel and receive God on the tongue.
What does this have to do with the Holy Name of Jesus. As were read in the readings at Holy Mass today from Acts, Peter says the crippled man was healed by proclaiming the name of JESUS. So if there is so much sacredness and power just in His Name, imagine the sacredness and power in His presence in Holy Communion.
You who kneel for receiving Jesus Christ in Holy Communion and are screamed at (as I have often personally witnessed) rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in Heaven. All knees will bend in heaven, on earth and in hell at the Name of Jesus. When non catholic visitors come to a Holy Mass and observe people kneeling reverently to receive God, they take note and will not be so quick to go up and receive God. Then it will be less likely that we will be finding so many Holy Host on the floor in churches. This is why it is so wonderful that now, and for hundreds of years before, in the Holy Latin Mass all reverently receive God kneeling and on the tongue. WISE MEN STILL ADORE JESUS IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Friday I leave to EWTN and continue to make connections with places that are happy about the pope’s Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae. After meeting with the community at Mother Angelica’s Shrine in Hanceville, I will go to see Fr. Sean and Fr Shannon. Then hope to go to visit and support Michael Voris and his supporter Fr. Paul Nicholson. Then to where ever the Holy Spirit guides me. On this trip it is hard to discern where and when to go. But through prayer and open doors I hope I am doing God’s will. Over the last month I never had to stay in a Hotel or eat in a restaurant thanks to the hospitality of friends, seminaries, and monasteries. It is very hard traveling and living out of the suitcase. But it is worth while meeting and connecting with all the loving people who care so much about the Church, the ancient liturgy and Truth. They are young and full of life and passion. Let us be encouraged.
A great deal of celebration happens every December 31st. and January 1st. So we are happy to have a new year with all kinds of New Year’s resolutions. These HOLYdays have been wonderful as we have celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ and now are celebrating the New Year of the LORD 2013. If only everyone realized that they were celebrating the New Year counting from the birth of Jesus Christ. During these cold, dark winter days, Jesus gives to the world JOY, Gifts, Christmas decorations, colored lights, Time Off and family gatherings. Of course most people enjoy these gifts with out knowing the reason for the season, Jesus’ birthday. But for us Catholic Christians we appreciate these gifts along with the significant religious celebrations on a very deep level. Christ’s birth is not just a happy memory, it is a powerful reality to be lived out every day. Last night a large group of us prayed the Rosary to thank God for last year. We prayed it in front of the Manger scene. Jesus is made out of plaster, but His true presence was felt. Little kids kept gazing at the figures made of plaster, but they could feel the power of the mystery as they stayed quiet and still as we prayed. They would stand up the little figurines that had toppled over. They wanted the order and beauty that Jesus birth represents. Thank You Jesus for BECOMING FLESH AND DWELLING AMONGST US.
Time and eternity intertwine when you have faith in God. We have a new year and yet we know there is no time for God. We count, He is. So eternity is here now as we enter into God’s loving presence. When we go to The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass we enter into the ONE and only Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus offering His life on the Cross once and for all to His Father and our Father to expiate for our sins. That is why silence and reverence are so important. They help us enter into eternal reality with God, Mary, the Angels, all the saints and souls in purgatory. We enter this reality with all adoring Catholics through out the whole world. If only we understood. Then we leave and go out into time again, praying and loving and hoping for a better world. Each one of us are instruments in God’s Eternal plan. We pray to discern God’s will and complete it in this eternal New Year. We may not understand what God’s will is exactly or how to complete it. But we are trying to Serve Him and Love Him. That is enough. He will use us in a great way in spite of our smallness, selfishness and lack of certainty as to what is His will. We try, He completes.
Because in the Tridentine rites the altar servers have to be males the amount of traditional vocations to the priesthood is very strong and raising. But also just ordinary seminarians and religious are becoming more and more in line with Catholic teaching. What good news. In spite of their uphill battle, they are hanging in there and multiplying.
The Dominican Sisters of Ann Arbor Michigan are a good example. There are two young women that are from my old parish who are VERY interested in joining them. That is just two that I personally know. They are discovering this on the internet. I never told them about it. (Yes I agree that the new generation is too much connected to cyberspace.) But the great thing about it is that there is no longer the problem of being misled by liberals. They just go right to the source itself and bingo, they are acting. Let us pray for many holy and happy vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Pope John Pau,l shortly before he died, said that “Altar boys are the school to the priesthood”. In this time of Christmas we see the great vocation of Mary the giver of Jesus to the world. Women are so important. We appreciate you holy mothers. What a sacrifice to take care of you children. Thank you mom. Thank you sisters who bring Jesus presence where ever you work or go. Thank you Sisters who wear the habit. Thank you.
So much violence in the world today. Who is the cause of violence? The devil is. He works today as he did at the birth of Jesus Christ. How heavy our hearts are at all the continual abortions going on. Bloody massacres of innocent life. It is easy to get rid of the problem of an unwanted pregnancy by “getting it fixed”. But as the slaughter children at the bloody hands of King Herod are in heaven forever, so some day all mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers will have to meet the unwanted child when they die. The problem went away, but only till they meet this child after death. There will be the question; why did you take my opportunity to live away at the very beginning of my life? Hopefully we are happy that our parents let us live. Hopefully we are thankful to them and God for this opportunity to enjoy this beautiful life. So the devil’s main goal is to kill and destroy life. But we too are his helpers when we allow ourselves to support violence.
But the devil lost when the angel appeared in a dream to St. Joseph and told him to take Jesus and His mother into Egypt. God is protecting us too. We need to heed the voice of God spoken in our hearts by His messengers, the angels and act. God is on the side of life. He is the creator of all life. He is Life.