Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
This weekend has been our Annual Forty Hours. Thank you to those who signed up for an hour, and thank you to those who helped promote Forty Hours.
Old St. Mary’s is blessed to have regular Exposition of Blessed Sacrament for many years. A once regulated devotion, this practice has become widespread in recent years. This has had many blessings for the Church throughout the world and here.
This practice, however, is something that can be the cause of laxity. The Church regulated Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament out of a fear of carelessness around the Eucharist. Its regulations showed concretely that exposition was an extraordinary occasion meant to foster devotion and faith in the Blessed Sacrament. There is nothing more impressive than the display that we had on the altar this past weekend, which hopefully increased the faith and piety of the parish. If this happened too frequently, a careless mind set would creep in. A loss of the mystery of the Eucharist.
I wanted to use this Forty Hours as a means to mention some of these abuses so that we can ensure that this does not happen at Old St. Mary’s. Such abuses range from a loss of interest in Eucharistic Adoration, on the one hand, to the other extreme of pious selfishness and pride. These can become constant temptations in parishes promoting such holy devotions. Where anything good is found, we can be assured that the devil is not far and is working against the good, the beautiful, and the true.
With the conclusion of this Forty Hours, I offer this moment of reflection for the parish to consider where we place the Eucharist in our lives. In addition to correcting some of our possible laxity, this is also an opportunity to encourage regular and more frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Are we willing to embrace a Holy Hour? Are we willing to embrace the reality of a small parish struggling to ensure we meet the Church’s basic requirements? We have Adoration every Tuesday, Wednesday, and on First Friday. Starting next week, also on Sundays after the 12:30 Mass. Can you not spend an hour a week, a month, or every now and then with the Lord?
I offer these reflections in the hope that we will always give to Christ the greatest honor in the Eucharist. Being courageous to adopt an hour if possible, but also remain open to whatever changes may be necessary to accomplish this. We must remember that the Eucharist is not merely an object, but that He is a person, who desires our communion but also demands our respect.
Have a Blessed Week ahead!