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DO YOUR RECREATIONS THREATEN TO TAKE UP TOO MUCH OF YOUR TIME AND ENERGY?

ARE WE TO READ ONLY HOLY BOOKS?

“QUESTION:

I read a lot but much of it is ephemeral fiction. If I am to be a good Catholic should I stop this and only read Catholic books?

ANSWER:

Many of the saints show us an example of single-minded dedication to the work of the Lord, shunning any secular entertainments, and spiritual writers often warn us about wasting time on trivial pastimes. However, they also tell us that recreation is part of a balanced life. St Francis de Sales says:

‘There can be no doubt that it is a defect to be so rigorous, boorish and unsociable as not to be willing to take any recreation ourselves, or permit others to do so.’ Reading popular books, enjoying sports or hobbies, or engaging in other recreations, can help us to unwind, to be balanced in our life and outlook, and cultivate good relationships with others.

What St Francis de Sales and other writers do insist on is a proper balance in our activities. The holy bishop uses the example of playing chess for five or six hours, leaving us exhausted and weary in spirit. Today, highly sophisticated entertainments are available to us that are open to misuse or even act as a kind of addiction. Books are written to a formula that makes them ‘unputdownable’, computer games lure people to spend hours trying to complete a level and television programmes are designed to hook us so that we give too high a priority to catching the next episode.

In the language of St Francis de Sales, we should not set our affection on recreation ‘to such an extent that we long for them, occupy ourselves with them and become too eager about them’. In other words, recreations should serve us as part of a balanced life, not become our master. So with books there is no harm in reading fiction to relax, but we should also find time to read books that deepen our faith and spiritual life, and exercise self-control over how much of ourselves we give to any recreation that threatens to take over and use up too much of our time and energy.”
– This article entitled “Catholic Dilemmas” by Fr Tim Finigan was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue March 28 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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“I WAIT FOR YOU” – EUCHARISTIC ADORATION

“Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION

I WAIT FOR YOU

“Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him” (Rev 3:20). God knocks on the door of our heart throughout our lives and waits with infinite patience for our response. Because there is a deep longing for God in every human heart, we will never be truly happy until we invite Him into our lives. As St Augustine said, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless, until it rests in you.”

Man is both body and soul. As the body needs food to survive, so too does the soul. God placed the soul in us. He alone can nourish it. By spending time in His presence and by (daily or weekly) Holy Communion we will find food to nourish our soul.

WHAT IS EUCHARISTIC ADORATION?

It has been the consistent belief of the Catholic Church from the very beginning that the bread and wine consecrated at Mass truly become the Body and Blood of Christ and that the Eucharistic Christ then continues to be present in our midst when the consecrated host is either reposed in a tabernacle or exposed on the altar.

Eucharistic Adoration is the continuation in a personal way of the communal worship of the Mass. Generally, the term has come to refer to worship offered before the Blessed Sacrament exposed.

WHY ADORE?

The most important reason to adore the Blessed Sacrament is that Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist out of love for us and longs for us to spend time in His company.

• “I thirst with such a terrible thirst to be loved by you in this Sacrament of my love.” (Jesus to St Margaret Mary Alacoque.

• “See! I will not forget you… I have carved you on the palm of My Hand… I have called you by your name… You are mine” (Isaiah 49).

• “Could you not watch one hour with me?” (Mt 24:40).

• “Behold, I will be with you always even to the end of the world,” because “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Mt 8:20; Jer 31:3).

Pope John Paul II appealed to all parishes to have a Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel, stating that all the evils of the world could be eliminated through the great power of Eucharistic adoration.

The Saints have also recommended Eucharistic Adoration as the shortest path to personal holiness. “The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth” (Mother Theresa).

Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because you are the most important person in the world to Him! “Beneath the Sacred Host, Christ is contained, the Redeemer of the world” (Pope Paul VI).

HOW TO ADORE

The hour you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament can be spent any way you want. You may bring your own book in the chapel, read the Bible, pray the Rosary, or just sit, relax and enjoy the sweet peace that comes from simply being in the presence of God.

If you feel unable to pray, don’t let this discourage you. The mere fact that you take time to spend with Him, pleases Him very much and itself is a prayer of great faith (Fr Martin Lucia, C.C.S.S.).

EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES

• LANCIANO, ITALY: 8th century A.D. A priest has doubts about the Real Presence, however, when he consecrates the Host transforms into flesh and blood. This miracle has undergone extensive scientific examination and can only be explained as a miracle. The flesh is actually cardiac tissue which contains arterioles, veins, and nerve fibres. The blood type, as in all other approved Eucharistic miracles, is type AB!

• BOLSENA-ORVIETO, ITALY: 1263. Again, a priest has difficulties believing in the Real Presence, and blood begins seeping out of the Host upon consecration. Because of this miracle, Pope Urban IV commissioned the feast of Corpus Christi, which is still celebrated today.

• SIENNA, ITALY: August 17, 1730. Consecrated Hosts remain perfectly preserved for over 250 years. Rigorous scientific experiments have not been able to explain this phenomenon.

• BLANOT, FRANCE: March 31, 1331. The Eucharist falls out of a woman’s mouth onto an altar rail cloth. The priest tries to recover the Host but all that remains is a large spot of blood the same size and dimensions as the wafer.

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER POPE JOHN PAUL II:

“The Eucharist is a promise of eternal life, since Jesus himself tells us, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:54).

“Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love. Every member of the Church must be vigilant in seeing that this Sacrament shall be given back ‘love for love'” (Dominicae Cenae).

“Let us be ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our adoration never cease” (Dominicae Cenae).

“The Eucharist helps love to triumph in us – love over hatred, zeal over indifference.”

– The above is from a leaflet on Eucharistic Adoration. For leaflets contact Deirdre at St Josephs, 53 Doire Gheal, Clybaun Rd., Galway. Imprimatur of the above: Most Rev. Martin Drennan, Bishop of Galway. The reference for the Eucharistic Miracles quoted on the leaflet is http://www.therealpresence.org (external link)

 
 

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