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UNRAVELING OUR FAITH




UNRAVELING OUR FAITH



“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

– Isaiah 55:8

We don’t always understand everything there is to know about our Catholic Faith. We often struggle to get a grip on exactly what it is that God is asking of us. Unraveling Our Faith is an attempt to look at some of the precepts, dogmas, documents, and other “good stuff” of our Catholicism. Stop, reflect, and hopefully get a little deeper grasp of God’s Ways.

[Reflections will be posted weekly. Please feel free to interact by writing down your thoughts and sending them to: egervais@arch-no.org]

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Now that Lent is over, and we are entering the Easter Season, let us take a pause. All too often we take our Catholicism for granted, we forget, or we don’t truly appreciate what a beautiful faith it truly is. We often go to mass, the single most important mystery of who we are and why we are, and just go through the motions, not really letting the actions of the Eucharist fill our hearts. As we begin this unraveling, let us take a closer look at what our Catechism has to say regarding the Eucharist. The format will be as follows:

·       I will start with a statement of one of the Church Fathers, or from those that we all know can bring us a deeper understanding of God.

·       Then I will take a slice from the Catechism. Read it slowly, allow its mystery and beauty to dance around in your soul for a bit.

·        To end things I will write, and share with you an original prayer.

I will post the reflections weekly, and I will leave them up for a month. At the end of each month, I will start anew (but I will keep them so if you miss something just shoot an e-mail to the address above and I will be more than willing to resend them to you. Since we are still in April, the first set will run through April and May.

MGPJ&LBEAYSWTJL

Earl Gervais, DRE

NOTE: Scroll through to get to the next reflection.



First Week of Easter

EUCHARIST

“Everything we believe and do, including our work for justice in the world, culminates in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.” ― Cardinal Francis George
1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.
1323 "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'"
1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
1325 "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."
1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.
1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.”
And we pray...
How can I be worthy oh God          
To take into my being                                                                                      
The Life of Your Son                                     
Yet You deem me worthy                                       
Through His Most Holy Sacrifice                                     
 May every Eucharist I take                                                            
Set my heart on fire with Your Love


Second Week of Easter

II. What is This Sacrament Called?

What Christ gives us is quite explicit if his own words are interpreted according to their Aramaic meaning. The expression 'This is my Body' means this is myself.  - Karl Rahner
1328 The inexhaustible richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called: Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. the Greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.
1329 The Lord's Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meal when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread, above all at the Last Supper. It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection, and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies; by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.
The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.

If we truly think about that translation - "this is myself" - and we understand it to mean that it is Jesus, in His entirety, then we are getting it all. And, if we are getting HIM, all of HIM, should not we act in the same manner. Shouldn't He get ALL of us? Let us pray... (the Anima Christi of St. Ignatius of Loyola seems very fitting here...

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.

From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee.
That with Thy saints I may praise Thee.
Forever and ever. Amen.