Saint Peter Julian Eymard on Eucharistic Adoration

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Saint Peter Julian Eymard on Eucharistic Adoration

Throughout his Priestly life St. Peter Julian Eymard worked to promote devotion and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1856 he founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament a Religious Order devoted to the adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Here are some of his thoughts on the importance of Eucharistic Adoration in our lives: Continue reading

Saint William of Monte-Vergine

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Saint William of Monte-Vergine.

[Founder of the religious congregation of that name.] HAVING lost his father and mother in his infancy, he was brought up by his friends in great sentiments of piety; and at fifteen years of age, out of an earnest desire of leading a penitential life, he left Piedmont, his native country, made an austere pilgrimage to St. James’s in Galicia, and afterwards retired into the kingdom of Naples, where he chose for his abode a desert mountain, and lived in perpetual contemplation, and the exercises of most rigorous penitential austerities. Finding himself discovered, and his contemplation interrupted, he changed his habitation and settled in a place called Monte Vergine, situate between Nola and Benevento, in the same kingdom; but his reputation followed him, and he was obliged by two neighbouring priests to permit certain fervent persons to live with him, and imitate his ascetic practices. Thus, in 1119, was laid the foundation of the religious congregation called de Monte Vergine. The saint died on the 25th of June, 1142, and is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology. His congregation, to which he left no written rule, was put under that of St. Benedict by Alexander III. See his life by Felix Renda: Helyot, Hist. des Ord. Relig., and Papebroke, t. 5, Jun. p. 112.

June 25. Rev. Alban Butler. 1866. Volume VI: June. The Lives of the Saints

True Presence 

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True Presence

In recent years one hears more and more frequently the expression the True Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The use of the term raises questions, no doubt unintentionally, about the nature of Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

As the doctrinal texts below show, the Church is very careful in her use of language with respect to the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist. Words can say something true, but still be an inadequate expression of the whole truth. That is the case here. True Presence says something accurate, but it is an inadequate term because it doesn’t distinguish the manner in which Christ is present. Christ has a true presence in the Holy Eucharist, but also in His mystical Body, in His Scriptures, in his minister the priest, in the can in the state of grace. However, only in the Blessed Sacrament does His presence pertain to the ontological or metaphysical order, the order of real being.

This is why the Church uses the term Real Presence to uniquely distinguish His Presence in the Blessed Sacrament from His presence in other contexts. Catholics should therefore use the expression canonized by ecclesiastical usage and which alone adequately expresses the truth about the unique manner of Christ’s Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Finally, the Church does speak of Christ’s true body and true blood (e.g. Council of Trent, Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist). In such cases, however, the use of the term body as the reality modified by true makes it clearly a metaphysical reference. True Presence lacks such clarity.

Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei (1947):

For by the “transubstantiation” of bread into the body of Christ and of wine into His blood, His body and blood are both really present …

Pope Pius XII, Humani generis (1950):

Some even say that the doctrine of transubstantiation, based on an antiquated philosophic notion of substance, should be so modified that the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist be reduced to a kind of symbolism, whereby the consecrated species would be merely efficacious signs of the spiritual presence of Christ and of His intimate union with the faithful members of His Mystical Body.

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

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The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

In the holy Gospel, the nativity of St. John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of Christ, is described by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, not only for our instruction, but also that we may rejoice in the Lord our God. In the mountains of Judaea, at Hebron, eight miles from Jerusalem, lived Zachary and Elizabeth. They were just people, and lived in accordance with the commandments of God, but had no children, although they had prayed for them many years. The great age which they had attained, naturally gave them no longer any hope of issue. But still they continued their prayer. One day, when Zachary, who was a priest, offered incense in the Temple at Jerusalem, he saw at the right side of the altar, an angel, whose appearance filled the pious old man with fear and trembling. The angel, however, said to him: ” Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard. Elizabeth, thy wife, shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. He shall bring thee joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. He shall be great before the Lord and shall drink no strong drink, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb. He shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God: and he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias: that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.”  Continue reading


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“Do this for a commemoration of me.”–LUKE xxii. 19.

The Sacrifice of the Mass, my beloved brethren, is offered up for four great ends:

1. To give fitting, or, in other words, infinite praise and honor to Almighty God. (a) The natural law, written in the heart of man, directs that every inferior should pay homage to his superior; and, futhermore, that this homage should be always in proportion to the rank and dignity of the superior. Now, this being the case, we should pay to Almighty God, as the Supreme Creator and Ruler of the universe, as our first Beginning and our last End, infinite praise, infinite honor. Anything short of the infinite would not be sufficient, nor would it be adequately worthy of His acceptance. But, since all our human offerings, all our human acts, are, like ourselves, finite, how can we offer any infinite gift to our good and merciful God?

If all the creatures of this world, no matter how rich, or beautiful, or delightful they might be in themselves, were brought to the feet of Almighty God, and laid there as an offering, they would not be worthy His acceptance; for there is nothing worthy of God’s acceptance except God Himself. Jesus Christ, then, seeing this great want on the part of man, has, in a marvellous excess of divine love, supplied it by offering Himself, a God of infinite worth, to His Eternal Father in the Sacrifice of the Mass. In that Holy Sacrifice, dear Christians, we can give infinite praise and honor to God, by uniting ourselves to the offering made to Him on our altars by the consecrated hands of His priest. Nay, more, by every Mass that we offer, or get the priest to offer for us, by every Mass at which we assist, we can co-operate in the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our behalf; for, thereby discharging our first and chief duty to God, we acknowledge our total dependence on Him, and return Him fitting praise and honor. The accumulated worship of the Saints and Angels in Paradise, of the Archangels, the Seraphim, the Thrones, the Dominations, and the Powers, is unspeakingly grand and pleasing to Almighty God; but it is, as it were, nothing in comparison with the praise and honor given to Him by a single Mass celebrated by a poor, obscure priest in some hidden corner of this lower world. For the praise of all those celestial beings, great though it be, is only finite, whereas the praise given by a Mass is infinite! Continue reading