Sunday, March 06, 2011

"The time I have spent before the tabernacle is the best spent time of my life."

"Jesus is in our tabernacles, and this fact we call the Real Presence. The same Jesus Who was sheltered by Mary Immaculate within Her virginal body, is in the little body of a white Host. The same Jesus Who was whipped, crowned with thorns, and crucified as a Victim for the sins of the world, remains in the ciborium in the Host as a Victim sacrificed for our salvation. The same Jesus Who rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, where He now is gloriously reigning at the right hand of the Father, resides on our altars, surrounded by a multitude of countless adoring Angels — a sight that Blessed Angela of Foligno beheld in a vision.

Thus Jesus is truly with us. 'Jesus is there!' — The holy CurĂ© of Ars could not finish repeating these three words without shedding tears. And St. Peter Julian Eymard exclaimed with joyful fervor, 'There Jesus is! Therefore all of us should go visit Him!' And when St. Teresa of Jesus heard someone say, 'If only I had lived at the time of Jesus ... If only I had seen Jesus ... If only I had talked with Jesus ...,' she responded in her spirited way, 'But do we not have in the Eucharist the living, true and real Jesus present before us? Why look for more?'

The Saints certainly did not seek for more. They knew where Jesus was, and they desired no more than the privilege of keeping inseparable company with Him, both in their affections, and by bodily presence. Being ever with our beloved — is this not one of the primary things true love calls for? Indeed it is; and, therefore, we know that visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Eucharistic Benediction were the secret yet evident loves of the Saints. The time of paying a visit to Jesus is wholly the time of love — a love we will resume practicing in Paradise, since love alone 'does not come to an end' (1 Cor. 13:8). St. Catherine of Genoa made no blunder in saying, 'The time I have spent before the tabernacle is the best spent time of my life.'" (From Jesus Our Eucharistic Love, by Father Stefano Manelli, O.F.M., Conv., S.T.D.).

Are we cold toward Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament?  Do we only visit Jesus when we need something or when we feel obliged?  Or do we visit Him for the best reason: because we want to be near Him? 

When we neglect Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we hurt ourselves.  This because it is only through frequent visits to Jesus in the Eucharist that we are able to grow in that union with God which Jesus desires to bestow upon us in our daily lives.  Jesus is interested in our thoughts, our desires, our needs and hopes, our ambitions and our work.  Put simply: our daily lives are of the utmost importance to Him.  He is there for love of us.  And we should be there for love of Him.

Who else is always there for you?  Fickle men who praise you one day and denounce you the next?  Who else is as interested in you as the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

He waits for you.  He waits for me.  Our sad world cannot hear Him as He says, "Could you not watch with Me for one hour"?

Are we indifferent?  Do we seek out the Eucharistic Jesus or do we prefer the noise of this dying world?

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