Sunday, June 10, 2012

Something To Think About On The Glorious Feast of Corpus Christi

"Bishop Sheen, you have inspired millions of people all over the world. Who inspired you? Was it a Pope?"

Bishop Sheen responded that it was not a Pope, a cardinal, another bishop, or even a priest or a nun. It was a little Chinese girl of eleven years of age. He explained that when the Communists took over China, they imprisoned a priest in his own rectory near the Church. After they locked him up in his own house, the priest was horrified to look out of his window and see the Communists proceed into the Church, where they went into the sanctuary and broke into the tabernacle. In an act of hateful desecration, they took the ciborium and threw it on the floor with all of the Sacred Hosts spilling out. The priest knew exactly how many Hosts were in the ciborium: thirty-two.

When the Communists left, they either did not notice, or didn't pay any attention to a small girl praying in the back of the Church who saw everything that had happened. That night the little girl came back. Slipping past the guard at the priest's house, she went inside the Church. There she made a holy hour of prayer, an act of love to make up for the act of hatred.

After her holy hour she went into the sanctuary, knelt down, bent over and with her tongue received Jesus in Holy Communion, (since it was not permissible for laymen to touch the Sacred Host with their hands.)

The little girl continued to come back each night to make her holy hour and receive Jesus in Holy Communion on her tongue. On the thirty-second night, after she had consumed the last and thirty-second host, she accidentally made a noise and woke the guard who was sleeping. He ran after her, caught her, and beat her to death with the butt of his rifle. This act of heroic martyrdom was witnessed by the priest as he watched grief-stricken from his bedroom window.

When Bishop Sheen heard the story he was so inspired that he promised God he would make a holy hour of prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament everyday of his life. If this frail, little child could give testimony and witness to the world concerning the real and wonderful Presence of her Savior in the Blessed Sacrament, then the Bishop was absolutely bound by all that was right and true, to do the same. His sole desire from then on was to bring the world to the burning Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

The little girl showed the Bishop what true courage and zeal really is; how faith could overcome all fear, how true love for Jesus in the Eucharist must transcend life itself. What is hidden in the Sacred Host is the glory of His love. The sun in the sky is symbolic of the Son of God in the Blessed Sacrament. This is why most monstrances are in the form of a sunburst. As the sun is the natural source of all energy, the Blessed Sacrament is the supernatural source of all grace and love. The Blessed Sacrament is JESUS, the Light of the world. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's In My Blood

Ready for something beautiful today? Sure you are. I'm so disappointed that YouTube would not let me embed this video, but I can offer you a link:

Just sit back, listen, and let the majestic pipe organ at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC wash over you. I know if I were in that cathedral listening to this in person, I would think I had died and gone to Heaven!

I remember visiting the cathedral when I was sixteen with my parents on my one and only trip to NYC.  On the airplane as we descended, I could not get over the size of the massive city.  A young man, a native New Yorker, was sitting next to me, enjoying my reaction as I stared out the window.

"First time to New York?"

The midwestern girl slowly nodded in awe.  I couldn't take my eyes off of the city below.

"Maybe I'll be back one day and live here!" I said excitedly.  "I'm going to be a journalist after college."

"Is that so?" he asked.  We chatted during the descent about my plans for a future in the newspaper industry.  "I happen to know someone who works at the New York Times. I bet he'd show you around the paper."

My jaw dropped. "Do you think so?"

He scribbled a name and a number on a piece of paper and handed it to me. "Call him and tell him that I talked to you on the plane."

I carried that name and number around in my purse, but was too chicken to call it. I'm so mad at myself! But when we saw the building in person while sightseeing, I felt dizzy with excitement. I still feel that way whenever I see a newspaper building.

I guess it's in my blood.

What's that got to do with St. Patrick's Cathedral? Well, I was thrilled and awestruck by that building, too. It is a beautiful, incredible house of God. When we peeked in, a wedding was going on. I stared at the gorgeous bride with her long train and thought she looked just like a princess. Being in that magnificent cathedral was so holy and lovely. It is where, in 1979, Archbishop Fulton Sheen met Pope John Paul II and embraced him to thunderous applause.  The pope quietly told Sheen that he had been a loyal son to the Church. Sheen was immensely pleased to hear this and died two months later in front of the Blessed Sacrament in his private chapel.  That's exactly the place I want to be when it's my time to go!

A long, long time ago, a Protestant asked me if I'd ever consider leaving the Catholic Church.

"Never," I said. "It would be like cutting off one of my arms.  It's too much a part of me."

I guess that it, too, is in my blood and always will be.

Now promise me you'll click on the link, crank up the volume, and watch Stephen Tharp rock this grand pipe organ at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

And tell me it's not in your blood, too.

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