A New Page – Pope Saint John Paul II

Over the past week, I have been working on a new page for this blog. Like my pages for “Mondays with Mary”, Quick Lessons from the Catechism, and the Doctors of the Church, I wanted this page to focus on a particular subject. Well, after a few days of slowly copying and pasting articles, I have created the new page – Pope Saint John Paul II.

You will find this page right after “Mondays with Mary” and before Quick Lessons from the Catechism on the top of my home page. Since so much of my writing is about Pope St. John Paul and since “JP2 Generation” is part of my subtitle, I figured that I should create a page where my readers can go and read my specific writings on John Paul II.  As of currently, there are 81 articles (82 if you include this one) that specifically focus on Pope St. John Paul II.

I hope you can read some of my articles on JP2 and share them with your family and friends. Feel free to share my website/blog with others as well.

In Christ through Mary,

Tom Perna

Pope Saint John Paul II…Pray for Us.

Cardinal Wojtyla on the ski slopes.

Remembering My World Youth Day Experiences

As I have been seeing all the posts from my friends on social media as well as some of the videos posted by priests and figures such as Bishop Robert Barron, about World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, I can’t help to remember the fond memories that I have from the two World Youth Day events I was blessed to attend years ago.

When I was nineteen years old, I attended my first World Youth Day, which was held in Denver, Colorado in 1993. Our young adult group from St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church sponsored a pilgrimage for us to attend. Father Pete Rossa, Pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church here in the Diocese of Phoenix was on that trip before he discerned Holy Orders. Our young adult leader at the time, Bobby Kloska, got us so fired up about attending and seeing the great Pope John Paul II.

WYD 1993 T-shirt

The shirt Bobby created for our pilgrimage. On the back is a list of all the Popes – from St. Peter to John Paul II (that shirt sits in my closet).

The first time we saw Pope St. John Paul II was in Mile High Stadium while sitting high in the upper deck. The experience was so vivid – it has been stamped in my mind forever. I can still remember it all perfectly. I recall someone that day saying that John Paul II was being flown in by a helicopter. I remember hearing in the distance military helicopters, which quickly made their way to the stadium. After flying over the stadium once, they landed in some landing area where the Holy Father deplaned.

Ten to fifteen minutes later, Pope St. John Paul II came into the stadium riding in the “Pope Mobile.” Once he appeared, the entire stadium went crazy…I mean absolutely bananas!! We all started cheering and were screaming at the top of our lungs for Pope John Paul II. The chant of “JP 2, We Love You…JP 2, We Love You!” begin quietly but quickly grew into a great crescendo. The Pope Mobile made a lap around the stadium, parked, and then the opening ceremonies began.

JP II - Denver - Pope Mobile

Pope St. John Paul II in Pope Mobile driving around Mile High Stadium.

The World Youth Day experience is fantastic because you witness so many young people from around the world praising Jesus Christ and being attentive to his Vicar. World Youth Day really showed me for the first time in my life the universality of the Catholic Church. Twenty-three years later, I still cherish the experience deep in my heart.

Pope St. John Paul II said at the closing Mass of World Youth Day 1993,

“Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (Cf. Rom 1,16). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (Cf. Mat 10,27). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern ‘metropolis’.”

The second World Youth Day I attended was in Rome, Italy during the Jubilee Year of 2000. I was twenty-six years old at the time and the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Litchfield Park, Arizona. There were 22 of us (teens, young adults, and adult chaperones) on the pilgrimage which first visited Turin, Italy, where we were blessed to see the famous Shroud of Turin. 

Out of the two World Youth Day experiences I witnessed, it was by far the best experience. First, I had never been so close to Pope St. John Paul before, and second, my sister was with me on the trip.

Carla and Tommy - WYD 2000

My sister and I in Turin, Italy.

The first time we saw John Paul II up close was when the Pope Mobile drove right by our group on the Via dei Fori in the heart of Rome amidst the Roman ruins and the Colosseum. I could have leaned over the railing and the touched the Pope Mobile it was so close. I remember we were all in tears of joy as he drove by us. It’s been said that being so close to a living saint would bring tears to your eyes. Even though he drove by us quickly, the fact still remains, we were all brought to tears.

The second time we saw John Paul II up close was when we walked to Tor Vergata for the Evening Prayer Vigil and closing Mass on Sunday morning. As we were walking in, I remember my sister was right next to me, and the Pope Mobile was right in front of us. We were in a crowd of 2 million people trying to catch a glimpse of the future Polish saint. I can still remember the beauty of the Vigil and the Mass on the field at Tor Vergata. It was yet another great experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

JP II - Rome WYD

Pope St. John Paul II at Prayer Vigil.

Pope St. John Paul II said at the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2000,

“Dear friends, when you go back home, set the Eucharist at the centre of your personal life and community life: love the Eucharist, adore the Eucharist and celebrate it, especially on Sundays, the Lord’s Day…May every community always have a priest to celebrate the Eucharist! I ask the Lord therefore to raise up from among you many holy vocations to the priesthood.”

As I read the social media posts and witness the events happening in the home of the great Polish Saint, I remember the impact the World Youth Day events had on my own life and faith in Jesus Christ. Tonight I watched a short clip from Word on Fire where Bishop Barron explained how he and a few others had dinner with the friends of John Paul II when he was their parish priest. He said they were the genesis of World Youth Day since they were the first youths he evangelized.

Even though my time has passed to attend such events for the youth of the world, I encourage those who have never been and are between the ages of 16-35 to go to the next World Youth Day, which will be announced at the end of this years World Youth Day.

Please keep all the pilgrims attending World Youth Day in your prayers for the rest of the week. Please pray for their safety and the conversion of hearts.

Pope St. John Paul II…Pray for Us. 

“Mondays with Mary” – 7 Quotes by Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Sorrows

Today in the Western lung of the Catholic Church, we celebrate a great Marian feast known as Our Lady of Sorrows. This traditional devotion, which helps us understand Mary’s role in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ began in 1814 by Pope Pius VII, although many of the Church Fathers and other saints wrote on how Mary is united with Christ in his suffering and how we are to suffer with Christ as well. For a more complete understanding of this feast, please read my post on the topic from a previous “Mondays with Mary.”

Knowing my love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as Pope St. John Paul II, who also had a great devotion to the Our Lady, I provide you seven quotes from the great 20th century Pope and Saint focusing on Our Lady of Sorrows. These quotes come from letters, addresses, homilies, and papal audiences.

Blessed John Paul II

It’s my hope that you will share this blog post with your family and friends as well as take some of these quotes and use them on your social media sites.

1. “Together with Mary, let us seek to be sharers in this death which brought forth fruits of “new life” in the Resurrection: a death like this on the cross was infamous, and it was the death of her Son! But precisely there, at the foot of the cross, “where she stood, not without a divine plan,” did not Mary realize in a new way everything that she had already heard on the day of Annunciation?”

2. “Turn your eyes incessantly to the Blessed Virgin; she, who is the Mother of Sorrows and also the Mother of Consolation, can understand you completely and help you. Looking to her, praying to her, you will obtain that your tedium will become serenity, your anguish change into hope, and your grief into love. I accompany you with my blessing, which I willingly extend to all those who assist you.”

3. “‘When a woman is in travail, she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world’ (Jn. 16:21). The first part of Christ’s words refer to the “pangs of childbirth” which belong to the heritage of original sin; at the same time these words indicate the link that exists between the woman’s motherhood and the Paschal Mystery. For this mystery also includes the Mother’s sorrow at the foot of the cross – the Mother who through faith shares in her Son’s amazing “self-emptying”: ‘This is perhaps the deepest ‘kenosis’ of faith in human history.”

4. “The Exultet of Easter tells us that he is “the light which knows no decline,” “qui nescit occasum”! Seek the light of the soul. Through it, suffering united with that of our Lord and of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross opens the way to eternal life, for oneself and for others.”

Our Lady of Sorrows.Carlo Dolci

5. “‘Together with Mary, Mother of Christ who stood beneath the cross, we pause beside all the crosses of contemporary man and we ask all of you who suffer to support us. We ask precisely you who are weak to become a source of strength for the Church and humanity. In the terrible battle between the forces of good and evil revealed to our eyes by our modern world, may your sufferings in union with the cross of Christ be victorious.’”

6. “‘Standing by the cross of Jesus was hit mother’ (Jn. 19:25). The Virgin, with her mother’s grief, participated in a quite particular way in the Passion of Jesus, cooperating deeply with the salvation of mankind. Like Mary, each of us can and must unite with the suffering Jesus in order to become, with his own pain, an active part in the redemption of the world which he effected in the Paschal Mystery. With these wishes, may my comforting blessing, strengthened by Mary’s motherly help, accompany you and those who lovingly assist you in daily offering.”

7. “Today’s liturgy makes use of the ancient poetic text of the sequence which begins with the Latin words Stabat Mater:

‘By the cross of our salvation/Mary stood in desolation/While the Savior hung above/All her human powers failing,/Sorrow’s sword, at last prevailing,/ Stabs and breaks her heart of love…/Virgin Mary, full of sorrow,/From your love I ask to borrow/Love enough to share your pain./Make my heart to burn with fire,/Make Christ’s love my own desire,/Who for love of me was slain.’

The author of this sequence sought, in the most eloquent way humanly possible, to present the “compassionof the Mother at the foot of the cross. He was inspired by those words of Sacred Scripture about the sufferings of Mary which, though few and concise, are deeply moving.”

Our Lady of Sorrows…Pray for us. Pope St. John Paul II…Pray for us.

This blog post is dedicated to the Saint John Paul II Facebook Group, founded 2nd May, 2011. May we all through the power of the Cross and the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and our beloved Pope St. John Paul II, pray for the many great sufferings occurring in the world today. 

“Mondays with Mary” – Pope John Paul II on Mary’s Witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Although the Sacred Scriptures never speak of the Blessed Virgin Mary interacting with Jesus Christ after his Crucifixion on Calvary, it is highly doubtful that He would have never appeared to her or speak to her again.

He does give her to Saint John on the Cross, “Women, behold your son”, who in turn represents all Christians and all of humanity, for she is now our maternal mediator. The Gospel does tell us that he, Saint John, took her into his home from that day forward, but do we really believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ would not have spoken to his own Mother again? Why did the gospel writers choose to not include any conversation between Jesus and Mary into their accounts?

Blessed John Paul II These are the questions that the soon-to-be saint (less than six days now), Blessed Pope John Paul II asks in his Wednesday Audience from May 21, 1997. As we begin the Season of Easter, let us prayerfully contemplate the words of John Paul II –

“In the supposition of an “omission”, this silence could be attributed to the fact that what is necessary for our saving knowledge was entrusted to the word of those “chosen by God as witnesses” (Acts 10:41), that is, the Apostles, who gave their testimony of the Lord Jesus’ Resurrection “with great power” (cf. Acts 4:33). Before appearing to them, the Risen One had appeared to several faithful women because of their ecclesial function: “Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (Mt 28:10).

If the authors of the New Testament do not speak of the Mother’s encounter with her risen Son, this can perhaps be attributed to the fact that such a witness would have been considered too biased by those who denied the Lord’s Resurrection, and therefore not worthy of belief.

Furthermore, the Gospels report a small number of appearances by the risen Jesus and certainly not a complete summary of all that happened during the 40 days after Easter. St Paul recalls that he appeared “to more than 500 brethren at one time” (1 Cor 15:6). How do we explain the fact that an exceptional event known to so many is not mentioned by the Evangelists? It is an obvious sign that other appearances of the Risen One were not recorded, although they were among the well-known events that occurred.

How could the Blessed Virgin, present in the first community of disciples (cf. Acts 1:14), be excluded from those who met her divine Son after he had risen from the dead?

Indeed, it is legitimate to think that the Mother was probably the first person to whom the risen Jesus appeared. Could not Mary’s absence from the group of women who went to the tomb at dawn (cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1) indicate that she had already met Jesus? This inference would also be confirmed by the fact that the first witnesses of the Resurrection, by Jesus’ will, were the women who had remained faithful at the foot of the Cross and therefore were more steadfast in faith.

Indeed, the Risen One entrusts to one of them, Mary Magdalene, the message to be passed on to the Apostles (cf. Jn 20:17-18). Perhaps this fact too allows us to think that Jesus showed himself first to his Mother, who had been the most faithful and had kept her faith intact when put to the test.

Lastly, the unique and special character of the Blessed Virgin’s presence at Calvary and her perfect union with the Son in his suffering on the Cross seem to postulate a very particular sharing on her part in the mystery of the Resurrection.

A fifth-century author, Sedulius, maintains that in the splendour of his risen life Christ first showed himself to his mother. In fact, she, who at the Annunciation was the way he entered the world, was called to spread the marvellous news of the Resurrection in order to become the herald of his glorious coming. Thus bathed in the glory of the Risen One, she anticipates the Church’s splendour cf. Sedulius, Paschale carmen, 5, 357-364, CSEL 10, 140f).

It seems reasonable to think that Mary, as the image and model of the Church which waits for the Risen One and meets him in the group of disciples during his Easter appearances, had had a personal contact with her risen Son, so that she too could delight in the fullness of paschal joy.

Present at Calvary on Good Friday (cf. Jn 19:25) and in the Upper Room on Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14), the Blessed Virgin too was probably a privileged witness of Christ’s Resurrection, completing in this way her participation in all the essential moments of the paschal mystery. Welcoming the risen Jesus, Mary is also a sign and an anticipation of humanity, which hopes to achieve its fulfilment through the resurrection of the dead.

Queen Mother

In the Easter season, the Christian community addresses the Mother of the Lord and invites her to rejoice: “Regina Caeli, laetare. Alleluia!”. “Queen of heaven, rejoice. Alleluia!”. Thus it recalls Mary’s joy at Jesus’ Resurrection, prolonging in time the “rejoice” that the Angel addressed to her at the Annunciation, so that she might become a cause of “great joy” for all people.”

This is no way undermines the important role of Saint Mary Magdalene, who is told by our Lord to go and tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Pope John Paul II is just giving us another expression of the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s relationship with Jesus Christ.

It would be from this moment on that She becomes our Advocate, our Queen Mother, and our maternal mediator. As Jesus resurrects and then forty days later ascends into Heaven, Mary’s role as the Mother of the Pilgrim Church would develop. To this very day and till the day when Our Lord Jesus Christ come again, Mary’s role is to lead souls closer to Jesus Christ as Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of All Graces.

Holy Mother of All Humanity…Pray For Us.

“Mondays with Mary” – ‘Mother of Fairest Love’

The phrase “mother of fairest love” is revealed to us in Chapter 24 of the Book of Sirach in the Latin Vulgate text and states,

“I am the mother of fairest love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope; being eternal, I am therefore given to all my children, to those who are named by him. I will again make instruction shine forth like the dawn, and I will make it shine afar; I will again pour out teaching like prophecy, and leave it all to future generations. Observe that I have not labored for myself alone, but for all who seek instruction.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary as the “mother of fairest love” found its genesis in the liturgies dedicated to the Mother of God in the 10th century. In the Old Rite (1962 Missal), there is a specific Mass dedicated to Blessed Mary, Queen of Saints and Mother of Fairest Love. It was not a universal feast for the whole church, but was only celebrated “for certain places.” The day of the feast was May 8.

In his Letter to Families, Gratissimam Sane, Blessed John Paul II uses the phrase, “mother of fairest love” in paragraph 20 when speaking about the love between the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph and love of Jesus Christ. Continuing from yesterday’s blog post, The 20th Anniversary of the Year of the Family, I provide with more great wisdom and insight from the soon-to-be Polish Saint –

“The history of “fairest love” begins at the Annunciation, in those wondrous words which the angel spoke to Mary, called to become the Mother of the Son of God. With Mary’s “yes”, the One who is “God from God and Light from Light” becomes a son of man. Mary is his Mother, while continuing to be the Virgin who “knows not man” (cf. Lk 1:34). As Mother and Virgin, Mary becomes the Mother of Fairest Love. This truth is already revealed in the words of the Archangel Gabriel, but its full significance will gradually become clearer and more evident as Mary follows her Son in the pilgrimage of faith.”

“…This mutual spousal love, to be completely “fairest love”, requires that he should take Mary and her Son into his own house in Nazareth. Joseph obeys the divine message and does all that he had been commanded (cf. Mt 1:24). And so, thanks also to Joseph, the mystery of the Incarnation and, together with it, the mystery of the Holy Family, come to be profoundly inscribed in the spousal love of husband and wife and, in an indirect way, in the genealogy of every human family. What Saint Paul will call the “great mystery” found its most lofty expression in the Holy Family. Thus the family truly takes its place at the very heart of the New Covenant.”

Mother of Fairest Love

“”Fairest love” always begins with the self-revelation of the person. At creation Eve reveals herself to Adam, just as Adam reveals himself to Eve. In the course of history newly-married couples tell each other: “We shall walk the path of life together”. The family thus begins as a union of the two and, through the Sacrament, as a new community in Christ. For love to be truly “fairest”, it must be a gift of God, grafted by the Holy Spirit on to human hearts and continually nourished in them (cf. Rom 5:5). Fully conscious of this, the Church in the Sacrament of Marriage asks the Holy Spirit to visit human hearts. If love is truly to be “fairest love”, a gift of one person to another, it must come from the One who is himself a gift and the source of every gift.”

“When we speak about “fairest love”, we are also speaking about beauty: the beauty of love and the beauty of the human being who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is capable of such love. We are speaking of the beauty of man and woman: their beauty as brother or sister, as a couple about to be married, as husband and wife. The Gospel sheds light not only on the mystery of “fairest love”, but also on the equally profound mystery of beauty, which, like love, is from God.”

“Mary was the first to enter this realm [great mystery], and she introduced her husband Joseph into it. Thus they became the first models of that “fairest love” which the Church continually implores for young people, husbands and wives and families. Young people, spouses and families themselves should never cease to pray for this. How can we not think about the crowds of pilgrims, old and young, who visit Marian shrines and gaze upon the face of the Mother of God, on the faces of the Holy Family, where they find reflected the full beauty of the love which God has given to mankind?”

“…All that a husband and a wife promise to each other—to be “true in good times and in bad, and to love and honour each other all the days of their life”—is possible only when “fairest love” is present. Man today cannot learn this from what modern mass culture has to say. “Fairest love” is learned above all in prayer. Prayer, in fact, always brings with it, to use an expression of Saint Paul, a type of interior hiddenness with Christ in God; “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3)…The future of each family unit depends upon this “fairest love”: the mutual love of husband and wife, of parents and children, a love embracing all generations. Love is the true source of the unity and strength of the family.

Let us pray: O God, through the intercession of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we ask that the our families today embrace the “great mystery” which will lead us to “fairest love.” May our modern families embrace the cross of Jesus Christ and walk with each other leading each human person in the family directly to the Heavenly Banquet. Amen.

Holy family Icon

The 20th Anniversary of the Year of the Family

Today in the western lung of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the great feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. On this day, we seek to understand the unconditional love and sacrifice that existed between Jesus Christ, his mother, Mary and his earthly father, Joseph. The Holy Family is the perfect prototype for every Christian family.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 533 states,

“The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life: The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus – the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character… A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the “Carpenter’s Son”, in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work…” (Pope Paul VI, Feast of the Holy Family 1964).

Twenty years ago today, Blessed John Paul II declared the Year of the Family for 1994. Drawing on the text, Familiaris Consortio, the Church sought to focus on the family as the “domestic church”, to promote the dignity and value of each person in the human family, and to promote the importance of traditional marriage and family life.

pope-john-paul-IIKnowing the importance of marriage and family life in the modern world, the soon-to-be Saint, Blessed John Paul II wrote, Gratissimam Sane (Letter to Families). In the twenty years since this document was written, our views on marriage, which come directly from the Sacred Scriptures, have been mocked, ridiculed, and threatened by those seeking to demolish the traditional family as we know it. As Catholics, we must stand up against these forces and declare the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church.

The words of wisdom from Blessed John Paul II should be a battle cry for us Catholics –

“Among these many paths, the family is the first and the most important. It is a path common to all, yet one which is particular, unique and unrepeatable, just as every individual is unrepeatable; it is a path from which man cannot withdraw… The family has its origin in that same love with which the Creator embraces the created world, as was already expressed “in the beginning”, in the Book of Genesis (1:1)” (#2).

“Prayer increases the strength and spiritual unity of the family, helping the family to partake of God’s own “strength.”” (#4).

“The family has always been considered as the first and basic expression of man’s social nature. Even today this way of looking at things remains unchanged. Nowadays, however, emphasis tends to be laid on how much the family, as the smallest and most basic human community, owes to the personal contribution of a man and a woman. The family is in fact a community of persons whose proper way of existing and living together is communion: communio personarum”(#7).

Holy family Icon

“Marital consent defines and consolidates the good common to marriage and to the family. “I, N., take you, N., to be my wife/husband…First, the common good of the spouses: love, fidelity, honour, the permanence of their union until death—”all the days of my life”. The good of both, which is at the same time the good of each, must then become the good of the children” (#10).

“In the newborn child is realized the common good of the family. Just as the common good of spouses is fulfilled in conjugal love, ever ready to give and receive new life, so too the common good of the family is fulfilled through that same spousal love, as embodied in the newborn child. Part of the genealogy of the person is the genealogy of the family, preserved for posterity by the annotations in the Church’s baptismal registers, even though these are merely the social consequence of the fact that “a man has been born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21)” (#11).

“Who can deny that our age is one marked by a great crisis, which appears above all as a profound “crisis of truth“? A crisis of truth means, in the first place, a crisis of concepts. Do the words “love”, “freedom”, “sincere gift”, and even “person” and “rights of the person”, really convey their essential meaning?…Only if the truth about freedom and the communion of persons in marriage and in the family can regain its splendour, will the building of the civilization of love truly begin and will it then be possible to speak concretely—as the Council did—about “promoting the dignity of marriage and the family” (#13).

“The civilization of love evokes joy: joy, among other things, for the fact that a man has come into the world (cf. Jn 16:21), and consequently because spouses have become parents. The civilization of love means “rejoicing in the right” (cf. 1 Cor 13:6). But a civilization inspired by a consumerist, anti-birth mentality is not and cannot ever be a civilization of love” (#13).

“Every effort should be made so that the family will be recognized as the primordial and, in a certain sense “sovereign” society! The “sovereignty” of the family is essential for the good of society. A truly sovereign and spiritually vigorous nation is always made up of strong families who are aware of their vocation and mission in history. The family is at the heart of all these problems and tasks. To relegate it to a subordinate or secondary role, excluding it from its rightful position in society, would be to inflict grave harm on the authentic growth of society as a whole” (#17).

More of this document will be presented in tomorrow’s “Mondays with Mary” – ‘Mother of Fairest Love.’

Holy_Family_icon1

“The Church Draws Her Life From The Eucharist”

“The Church draws her life from the Eucharist”, comes from the Introduction of Ecclesia de Eucharistia written by Pope Saint John Paul. He continues by saying,

“This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfillment of the promise: Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity. Ever since Pentecost, when the Church, the People of the New Covenant, began her pilgrim journey towards her heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament has continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope.

The Second Vatican Council rightly proclaimed that the Eucharistic sacrifice is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “For the most holy Eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth: Christ himself, our passover and living bread. Through his own flesh, now made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he offers life to men.” Consequently the gaze of the Church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the full manifestation of his boundless love.”

Being able to begin my new job as the Director of Adult Evangelization and Catechesis at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church each day with Daily Mass is a great blessing. It focuses me on where my attention needs to be all day long  – on the Person of Jesus Christ in the Most Precious and Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The Holy Eucharist gives me the necessary supernatural grace I need to endure the every day human trials. When we receive the Eucharist, each of one us is sanctified by Jesus Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

If you have not see this video yet, watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again. Please share the video or this blog post with your Catholic friends or your friends who could be thinking about converting to Catholicism.

WARNING: This video will fire you up for the Catholic Mass and the Holy Eucharist.