A question about the Holy Eucharist

Question: To any normal person, this sounds very much like the script of a gruesome horror film. The whole idea of “eating Jesus’ body” and “drinking his blood” is grotesque in the extreme. What do you believers have to say about this?

Answer: The Jews were required to eat the flesh of the Passover Lamb, ever since God liberated them from slavery, in Egypt.

Christians have been required to eat the risen and glorified flesh and blood of Jesus Christ – the true, Lamb of Godever since he liberated all of mankind from perpetual slavery to Satan, sin and death by his atoning sacrifice on the cross, at Calvary and his subsequent, glorious resurrection from the dead.

This is an essential part of a uniquely powerful Eucharistic Celebration/Commemoration (known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) where we Christians joyfully, thankfully and powerfully receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ (known as “The Real Presence”) under the more palatable and aesthetically pleasing auspices of ordinary bread and wine.

To put it even more simply:
This is merely one more extraordinary and awesome example

of God’s total self-giving for our salvation.

For those in the know, who possess at least a modicum of true faith, this is historically and traditionally consistent, logical, rational and supernaturally nourishing.

For others, it remains a total mystery and a scandal.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Des Plaines, Illinois is expecting up to 100,000 celebrants over the next two days

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CHICAGO, IL (December 6, 2013) – This overnight celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, will begin with an opening Mass on Wednesday, December 11, at 4 p.m., at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1100 North River Road in Des Plaines.  The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Marco A. Mercado, Archbishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry and Rector of the Shrine.  The lighting of the traditional “Antorcha Guadalupana” or “Guadalupe Torch” will take place at 10 p.m.

Throughout the two-day celebration, Masses will be offered every two hours in the Shrine’s outdoor grotto and in the gymnasium. The outdoor mass celebrated at the grotto will be shown live in a tented area outside the gymnasium.  Music and Folkloric dances in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will also be held indoors throughout both days. . A large food tent, located in between the outdoor grotto and the gymnasium, will be available as a warming center.  Another large heated tent will be available directly outside the gymnasium.

After the lighting of the Guadalupe Torch, pilgrims, representing dozens of parishes throughout Cook and Lake counties, will light their own torches and participate in the Guadalupe Torch Run.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe 

1170 North River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: (847) 294-1806 Fax: (847) 294-1981
A Shrine of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago IL

photo: YouTube

In spite of all the scandals, it’s nice to know that the Catholic Church still accomplishes its’ divine mission.

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There is probably never a moment during the day in which Mass is not being celebrated somewhere on this planet, where the Liturgy of the Hours is not being celebrated. At every moment, Catholic school bells ringing, the poor and sick attended to by the Church, confessions being heard, counsel being given.

Text and video

Editor’s note: Msgr. Charles Pope provides a much needed look at all the good things the Catholic Church continues to accomplish in the world. The short video is both inspiring and informative. And all this has been going on virtually nonstop, 24/7 and 365, for the last 2000 years!

Michael J. Matt writes about “Reclaiming the Catholic Feast of Christmas”. Hint: It’s all about the Christ Child!

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Over the years many Catholic families have adopted the old Christ Child tradition, believing it to be a beautiful means of restoring the true meaning of Christmas while strengthening Catholic identity in children. And it can be gradually implemented, of course.

Santa Claus (St. Nicholas), for example, can still be invited to visit the Catholic home on Christmas morning but in a dramatically reduced capacity, perhaps leaving a few stocking stuffers above the mantle and moving on.

As it was in Catholic homes throughout Christendom, Christmas must become all about the Christ Child once again. And a truly merry Christmas remains forever predicated on careful observance of Advent. No Christmas trees, no lights, no good things to eat until December 25, when the time of waiting comes to an end and all of Christendom rejoices at an event so magnificent even a two-year-old gets it. Christ is to be born—and the world, the flesh and the Devil will never change that reality, no matter how hard they try. 

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Celebrating the birthday of the Baptist

The birth of St. John the Baptist

by Doug Lawrence

The Catholic Church officially celebrates only three birthdays each year: the birth of Jesus Christ, the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the birth of Jesus’ cousin, St. John the Baptist.

Celebrating the birth of Jesus and Mary makes perfect sense, but why John the Baptist? I’ll let Jesus explain, in his own words:

And when the messengers of John were departed, he (Jesus) began to speak to the multitudes concerning John.

What went ye out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are in costly apparel and live delicately are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet?

Yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say to you: Amongst those that are born of men, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he that is the lesser in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (Luke 7:24-28)

New York celebrates Cardinal Dolan. 1776 foot tall One World Trade Building decked out in red.

According to reports, the tribute will continue every evening for the next week. Notably, while a private group controls the Empire State lights, the One World Trade decision was made by its government-chartered owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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Holy Week: Easter Sunday

97. Mass is to be celebrated on Easter Day with great solemnity. It is appropriate that the penitential rite on this day take the form of a sprinkling with water blessed at the Vigil, during which the antiphon Vidi aquam, or some other song of baptismal character should be sung. The fonts at the entrance to the church should also be filled with the same water.

98. The tradition of celebrating baptismal Vespers on Easter Day with the singing of psalms during the procession to the font should be maintained where it is still in force, and appropriately, restored.103

99. The paschal candle has its proper place either by the ambo or by the altar and should be lit at least in all the more solemn liturgical celebrations of the season until Pentecost Sunday, whether at Mass, or at Morning and Evening Prayer. After the Easter season the candle should be kept with honor in the baptistry, so that in the celebration of Baptism the candles of the baptized may be lit from them. In the celebration of funerals, the paschal candle should be placed near the coffin to indicate that the death of a Christian is his own passover. The paschal candle should not otherwise be lit nor placed in the sanctuary outside the Easter season.104

100. The Celebration of Easter is prolonged throughout the Easter season. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated as one feast day, the “great Sunday.”105

101. The Sundays of this season are regarded as Sundays of Easter, and so termed, and they have precedence over all feasts of the Lord and over all solemnities. Solemnities that fall on one of these Sundays are anticipated on the Saturday.106 Celebrations in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the saints which fall during the week may not be transferred to one of these Sundays.107

102. For adults who have received Christian initiation during the Easter Vigil, the whole of this period is given over to mystagogical catechesis. Therefore wherever there are neophytes the prescriptions of the “Ordo initiationis Christianae adultorum,” nn. 37-40 and 235-239, should be observed. Intercession should be made in the Eucharistic Prayer for the newly baptized throughout the Easter octave in all places.

103. Throughout the Easter season the neophytes should be assigned their own special place among the faithful. All neophytes should endeavor to participate at Mass along with their godparents. In the homily, and according to local circumstances, in the General Intercessions mention should be made of them. Some celebration should be held to conclude the period of mystagogical catechesis on or about Pentecost Sunday depending upon local custom.108 It is also appropriate that children receive their first Communion on one of the Sundays of Easter.

104. During Easter time, the pastor should instruct the faithful who have been already initiated into the Eucharist on the meaning of the Church’s precept concerning the reception of Holy Communion during this period.109 It is highly recommended that Communion be brought to the sick also, especially during the Easter octave.

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Six million turn out for Mexico City celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe


St. Juan Diego and the Tilma

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Canton celebrates Mother Angelica’s legacy

On Saturday, speakers, such as Raymond Arroyo, EWTN news director and host of the “The World Over,” recalled stories, often humorous, about Mother Angelica, while Deacon Bill Steltemeier, EWTN CEO and President Michael Warsaw and the Franciscan Friars answered questions from the audience on topics that included how they got their religious names, future network programming, proper dress for Catholics and words of comfort to those whose parishes are consolidating.

EWTN Spokeswoman Michelle Johnson estimated that roughly 2,000 people had attended the celebration as of Saturday afternoon. Parking lots surrounding the Civic Center were full of vehicles with out-of-town license plates, such as New York, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin. At least four hotels were sold out due to the event.

Mother Angelica, now 87 and in poor health, did not attend the celebration, but Warsaw told the audience that she was listening on her radio in Alabama and assured her that she was in the prayers of everyone who gathered just blocks away from the Liberty Avenue SE home she knew as a child.

Warsaw recounted a quote by Mother Angelica, saying “That unless we are willing to do the ridiculous, God cannot accomplish the miraculous.”

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Postulator of her cause speaks about Mother Teresa on the 100th anniversary of her birth.


We’re here because of the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth. Would she want us to be celebrating her birthday?

She would approach this the same way she approached receiving an award, which is that it gave her an occasion to speak about God, speak about the poor and try to inspire people to also look and see, even around them, who Jesus in the poor is, beginning in their own family. These kinds of occasions are just means. With Mother in heaven and especially since the beatification, there’s another kind of role Mother Teresa has.

Even in these things, the focus is on her, but just like when she was alive, she would turn the focus to Jesus.

So, hopefully, people who say they are believers — Catholics — would, through Mother, again focus on Jesus, and then on the message of seeing Jesus in the poor and seeing Jesus in those around them and doing ordinary things with extraordinary love.

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“How can I be afraid of death? I desire it; I await it because it allows me finally to return home.”

She remained again for some seconds in silence; then, going back to the question that I asked her, she continued: “I would be as happy as you if I could say that I will die this evening. Dying I too would go home. I would go to paradise.”

“I would go to meet Jesus. I have consecrated my life to Jesus. Becoming a sister, I became the spouse of Jesus. See, I have a ring on my finger like married women. And I am married to Jesus. All that I do here, on this earth, I do it out of love for him.”

“Therefore, by dying I return home to my spouse. Moreover, up there, in paradise, I will also find all my loved ones. Thousands of persons have died in my arms. It is now more than forty years that I have dedicated my life to the sick and the dying.”

“I and my sisters have picked up from the streets, above all in India, thousands and thousands of persons at the end of life. We have taken them to our houses and helped them to die peacefully. Many of those persons expired in my arms, while I smiled at them and patted their trembling faces. Well, when I die, I am going to meet all these persons. It is there that they await me.”

“We loved one another well in those difficult moments. We continued to love one another in memory. Who knows what celebration they will make for me when they see me.”

Read the rest of the interview with Mother Teresa

The Solemnity of St. Joseph

Today, March 19, 2010, is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it is also a Friday during the season of Lent.

According to Canon Law 1251, the obligation to abstain from meat is lifted, therefore it is permissible to eat meat today or voluntarily observe Lenten abstinence on Fridays.

Have a blessed Feast of Saint Joseph!

Thanks to American Catholic for this post

Cheating on Lenten sacrifice no sin

For those who do sacrifice to get closer to God, what matters is effort, not perfection, said the Rev. Michael Watson of St. Andrew Parish, a Catholic church in Upper Arlington.

“Because we’re prone to human weakness from time to time, it doesn’t mean the end of the world,” he said.

Slipping up is not a sin unless the action you committed is itself a sin, he said.

So if you swore off alcohol and had one cocktail, that’s not a sin. But if you had five and got drunk, you probably committed the sin of immoderation, whether it’s Lent or not.

People who slip sometimes tell the Rev. Jerry Rodenfels of the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, as if they have to confess their misdeeds.

He tells them “not to worry. It’s not a sin,” he said. But they still feel bad.

“For those of us who are older, there’s something instilled in us called Catholic guilt,” Rodenfels said, laughing.

Churchgoers also debate whether they can “cheat” on Sundays, because those days technically aren’t included in the 40 days of Lent.

The priests say you can. Sunday is, as Rodenfels called it, a “free” day.

That’s because Sunday is the weekly joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection, said Leo Madden, a professor of theology at Ohio Dominican University.

“It is incompatible for a period of time marked by sacrifice to occur at the same time,” Madden said. “Technically speaking, Sunday is not a day of Lent.”

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A neat thing about Christmas

Christmas, Christ’s birth in a carnal body, calls forth faith, perhaps precisely because it mystifies. Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholics, it’s sometimes said, put different emphases on the events of Christ’s life. The Orthodox supposedly focus on Easter, Resurrection, and Redemption, while Catholics emphasize Christmas, Incarnation, and Christian life in the world (with the implied criticism that this tends to make us worldly). But there can be no competition of this kind between real Christians. No one perfectly imitates Christ, who came into the world and lived virtually like everyone else for thirty years before his extraordinary public ministry, death, Resurrection, and Ascension. Without His birth and Incarnation, however, there could be no death and Redemption. Earth and Heaven come together in Him in ways that exceed all telling.

Speaking with holy and Christian accuracy, we believe in this without understanding it. It remains a mystery for even the greatest theologians. Why were we redeemed in this and no other way? The pagan and Jewish critics had a point about Christ’s life and death, as Paul says: for the pagans it was foolishness and for the Jews a scandal.

And yet there is the fact of Christ, a man of no high birth who came into the world, not at Rome or Athens or one of the great Asian capitals, but in a small village in an unimportant nation on the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean in mid-winter. He won no public office, waged no military battles, developed no grand intellectual system – things we might understand as greatness. In human terms, only a fool would have expected such a person appearing in such a place and in such circumstances to turn the world upside down.

But he did, and does, which is why we ponder and prepare this month for His coming.

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