Friday, December 13, 2019

Holy Communion Nourishes Your Supernatural Life

Holy Communion Nourishes Your Supernatural Life

Holy Communion Nourishes Your Supernatural Life
Holy Communion preserves and increases the supernatural life of your soul. In the Holy Eucharist, Christ becomes present so that He may abide bodily among us by His Real Presence in our taber­nacles, renew the Sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody manner on our altars, and nourish our souls in Holy Communion.

The Eucharist is not only a sacrifice, but a sacrament as well. As a sacrifice, it relates in the first instance to God; as a sacrament, to ourselves. Through the Blessed Sacrament God bestows upon us the grace by which we obtain supernatural life and are saved.

By the imparting of divine grace, God has made it possible for us to share His own nature and His own vital activity. The life of God calls for appropriate food. The Bread of Angels has become, through transubstantiation, the food of man. This Bread, the product of our Savior’s love and power, is the only food that is wor­thy of the Father who gives it and the adopted children who re­ceive it from His hands. It produces wondrous effects in those children. The first and principal effect is that it gives divine life to the soul.

Holy Communion is the Body of Jesus under the form of bread, received as food. With His Body, He gives also His Soul, His divin­ity, His merits, and His grace. All that He is, all that He has, He makes your own. No being on earth is richer and more honored than you are when you bear in your heart your God and Savior. You could not ask for more. Christ could not give you more.
Because Jesus Christ Himself is the very essence of this sacra­ment, it follows that the Holy Eucharist is the most sublime and greatest of all sacraments, not only in dignity but also in power. Holy Communion is the most intimate union of ourselves with Christ, and therefore it must excel all other sacraments in power to sustain and increase the supernatural life within us. It is justly called the Blessed Sacrament.

Through the Eucharist, you share in the life of God

God is the source of life. From all eternity the Father gives Himself to the Son. Together the Father and the Son give them­selves to the Holy Spirit, sharing with Him Their one divinity.

The eternal Son of God, in His limitless love for our fallen race, became incarnate that men might have life, and might have it more abundantly. At the time of the Incarnation, most of the children of Adam had ceased to live the supernatural life and had devoted themselves to the pursuit of vain honors, deceitful riches, and sinful pleasures. They had ceased to recognize the glorious dignity to which they were called — that of children of God — and had sunk to the lowest depths of sin.

The only-begotten Son of God then condescended to become man so that He might raise man to God. He descended to the depths of humiliation so that He might raise man to a most exalted dignity, to the sharing of God’s own life. It was not enough for Him to offer to God’s offended majesty that atonement which only a divine Person could adequately pay and to merit for man the super­natural life Adam had forfeited, but in His undying love for men, Jesus bequeathed to us a marvelous gift that was to feed and foster the supernatural life within our souls, adorn them with holiness, and thus perfect us more and more in our glorious dignity of divine sonship. This wondrous gift is the living Flesh and Blood of the Word Incarnate, substantially present in the consecrated Host.

The reception of the Blessed Sacrament is of supreme impor­tance to every soul Christ has redeemed. According as that heav­enly banquet is rightly partaken of, or neglected, man will enjoy throughout eternity the fulfillment of the supernatural life in the Beatific Vision of God, or will be excluded from Him.

God wants to give you a share in His divine life. Before doing so, however, He gave His life in all its fullness to the sacred hu­manity of Jesus because of its union with the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. This divine life then extends from Christ, the Head, into the Body of the Church. The members of this Body are the faithful who in turn share in that intimate life of the three Di­vine Persons.

Christ is the Mediator through whom grace comes to all men. By His sacrifice on the Cross, He has merited this divine life that mankind had lost by sinning. Jesus gives you His divine life and unites you with God through the sacraments, especially in Holy Communion, for it is the sacrament of union.

St. Augustine prays, “Other priests offered for themselves and for their people; this Priest, not having sin that He should offer for Himself, offered Himself for the whole world, and by His own Blood entered into the holy place. He, then, is the new Priest and the new Victim, not of the law but above the law, the universal Advocate.”

The Bread of Life is food for your soul

The first effect of Holy Communion is life. All the sacraments either impart supernatural life to the soul or develop it in the soul where it is already found. They do this for certain purposes. For in­stance, the sacrament of Penance raises the soul from death to life; Confirmation bestows on it a special strength to fight against its external enemies. But the Eucharist is concerned with the super­natural life itself. Its function is to intensify and strengthen that life. St. Thomas writes, “We should consider the effects of the Eucharist with regard to the manner in which the sacrament is con­ferred, as it is given in the form of food and drink: thus all the effects that material food and drink produce for the corporal life — that is, to sustain, to cause growth, to repair loss, and to delight — this sacrament produces them also for the spiritual life.”

Holy Communion is a sacrament, and hence, like all the other sacraments, it is a sign instituted by Christ to give grace. Like all the other sacraments, Holy Communion also is designed to give that precise grace of which it is a sign. Baptism, for example, is a symbolic bath; it contains and confers the grace of spiritual cleans­ing from sin. Confirmation is an anointing; it brings with it the grace of spiritual maturity. It makes its recipient firm in the Faith, anointed for the spiritual battle like an athlete of old.

Holy Communion is a sign of nourishment; hence, it is meant to bring to the soul the graces of spiritual nourishment. Holy Communion is meant to do for the soul what material food does for the body, and that is to preserve life and protect it. Material food enables you to continue living and protects you from fatal disease; Holy Communion preserves the spiritual life of your soul and protects you from the spiritual disease of mortal sin.

In His discourse after the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus stresses this fact five times. “I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven; if any one eats of this Bread, he will live for­ever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my Flesh. . . . Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” The sharing of divine life means that God lives in you and you in Him, and that as God the Son has by nature the same life as the Father in its infinite fullness, so you share it by grace.

Our Lord compared the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar with the manna given to the Jews, because the Holy Eucharist was intended to be the daily spiritual food of Christians, just as manna had been the daily food of the Israelites in the desert.

Manna is like the eucharistic Bread, the Body and Blood of our Lord, which comes from Heaven to feed our souls during our life on earth, until we arrive at last in Heaven, our eternal home, the land of promise. Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the Bread which comes down from Heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.”
It is in the midst of a meal, under the form of food, that Jesus chose to institute the Eucharist. He gives Himself to you as the nourishment of your soul: “My Flesh is food indeed, and my Blood is drink indeed.” In the Our Father, he taught us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This refers to Holy Communion. Like the manna, the Eucharist is bread come down from Heaven to give life by nourishing grace within your soul. The life of your soul is supported and developed by eating the “Bread of Life,” much in the same way as the life of your body is supported by eating your ordinary meals. Just as it is necessary to supply your body with food every day, so you must nourish and feed your soul, since obviously the soul has no less need of spiritual nourishment than the body has of material nourishment.

Jesus has prepared for you this great feast of the Holy Eucha­rist — the food of the soul. If you receive Communion only seldom, you become a prey to temptation and sin, and, growing weaker spiritually, you may fall into mortal sin. Many Catholics have good health and are blessed with the material goods of this world. They are very much alive physically, but are dead spiritually.
Therefore, Jesus comes not only to visit you in Holy Commu­nion, but to be the food of your soul, that receiving Him you may have life — the life of grace here below, the life of glory hereafter.

This article is adapted from a chapter in Fr. Lovasik’s The Basic Book of the EucharistIt is available as a paperback or ebook from your favorite bookstore and online at Sophia Institute Press.
Photo by Annie Theby on Unsplash

Monday, November 25, 2019


author unknown-

Maybe I’m kickin’ a dead horse here but hey…... I thought it was ok to disagree and share my thoughts.  I just totally disagreed with the analogy.  There was never any malice.  

When I think about ‘the life of the soul’ in Catholicism, I think about grace which comes from God through the Sacraments.  In Confession; in which we admit our sins after an examination of conscience, I think about the graces that I receive from Jesus in the confessional.  I always think of them as an infusion of grace into the soul  in which the graces feed the soul. I believe grace makes me more aware of my sins and more able to avoid them in the future with my cooperation.  It’s as though grace feeds my soul to be well.  

So, this analogy with Confession; where sin is being eliminated by the grace of God, and an oncologist; who eliminates a tumor with surgery, (cutting), radiation, (burning), and chemo (poison), in which the tumor, and worse cancer always comes back, was a true shocker to me.  I thought it was an outdated thought and terribly poor analogy (whoever wrote it) to me considering all the real health education around. It really shocked me.

And ‘Moderation’ is a terrible and deceiving term to use in either case because who wants to be moderately sinful and moderately sick...? 

So if Confession heals the soul with graces and our, ‘now enhanced abilities to cooperate’ that allows us to avoid sin more easily, then plant based food heals the body with live cell food and wards of diseases of the body. Since the body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, I would think that God would want us to have an eating lifestyle to feed the trillion cells of our body.  The world always tries to fool us into sin and bodily disease.  Just look at legalized sin in our country alone.  Just look at all the pharmaceutical companies that feed us ‘poison’ that never heals us; and the food industry feeding us dead food and processed food.  And to think about all the trees destroyed for land to grow grain to feed the animals while humans starve, and all the oxygen gone from the planet because green vegetation gives us oxygen, makes me very sad. 

The life of the soul is grace and the life of the body is live cell food.  And of course, God has His own plan for us no matter what we do.

It is also known (saints, and present health peeps who have discovered God) that there is a higher supernatural height that you go to when you eat live cell food, when you abstain from food or from fasting.   That is simple truth.  Many vegan, plant based people have discovered God in their health food journeys.

So, all I wanted to do, was to say that I was really taken back by that analogy in the newsletter on hell. Even though the topic was not ‘specifically’ related, I felt strongly that it was an untruth and a deceiving analogy.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Fifth Prophecy of Humanae Vitae

The Fifth Prophecy of Humanae Vitae

homeschool mom vitae
In his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI prophesied four serious consequences if contraception became embraced by the culture and the family: infidelity/moral decadence, lost respect for and use of women by their husbands, government’s abuse of power, and man’s absolute dominion. Tragically, all four prophecies have come to fruition, wreaking havoc on the Church and our world, fifty-one years later.

Although not explicitly mentioned in Humanae Vitae, a fifth prophecy has unfolded before our eyes: women abdicating their roles as stay-at-home mothers, especially as it pertains to homeschooling. Repugnance toward homemaking and educating one’s children is a byproduct of contraception, one of her most pernicious fruits. The serpent who tempted Eve in the garden tempts every mother in a similar manner: “You should be like your husband. You don’t need to be tied down by your children.” C.S. Lewis begged to differ when he declared, “Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world.” Yes, mothers have an extraordinary vocation in God’s eyes as co-creators of life and co-formators of supernatural life.

Contraception helped initiate the trend of more mothers entering the workforce, which in turn has played a major factor in the vocations decline. For instance, a 2017 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown found that one out of ten men in the seminary was homeschooled and that homeschooled men are four times more likely to join the seminary compared to those who study in Catholic institutions. Remove the mother from the home, and you remove vocations from the Church.

Despite the above study combined with the flourishing of traditional religious orders and seminaries, especially in dioceses with an orthodox bishop, many in the hierarchy continue to deny reality and truth by staunchly advocating for female priests and deacons. These same cardinals and bishops, who condone contraception, have failed to adequately address one of the most fundamental causes of the vocation’s crisis: contraception and its sinister effect to remove mothers from the home. Instead of being sidetracked by their own agendas, our religious leaders, especially priests, need to encourage and laud mothers for their noble and sacrificial decision to homeschool. Make no mistake: the more mothers reclaim the heart of their homes by educating their children rather than sending them to pagan schools, the more likely vocations will flower and new saints will arise.

Imagine if St. Joseph and Our Lady sent Jesus away to be taught by the Romans so they could devote all her energies to building a lucrative carpentry business. Perhaps they considered sending Jesus to the Temple permanently to be instructed by the greatest scholars of the law because they felt ill equipped for such a daunting task. Clearly, God the Father could have willed that His beloved Son be born into home of the world’s greatest intellectuals, but this was not the case. Instead, God wanted to be raised by the most virtuous parents in the history of the world. The home, the domestic church, is the greatest school of virtue. After all, which is more important: getting our children into Heaven or Harvard?

In his book Christus Vincut: Christ’s Triumph over the Darkness of the Age, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is asked specifically about the rise of homeschooling in United States along with its suppression in other countries like Germany. He declares,
This is a dictatorship. Under Communism in the Soviet Union, education in the family was also forbidden, as it was under the Nazi regime. The prohibition against homeschooling is a dictatorial law. We have a challenge and duty to restore civilization and the reign of Christ in our families, in our society.
Bishop Athanasius further comments, “So, it will always be a battle, a fight.” The battle for our children’s eternal salvation is real. Having attended Catholic schools my entire life and having been instructed by a beautiful teaching order of nuns, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, did not guarantee me a virtuous life. By God’s grace and due to my parents’ and these holy nuns’ witness, I was protected from the debauchery that infiltrated my Catholic high school. Many of my classmates who came from decent homes were not so fortunate. Their parents seemed distracted by their own careers or cared only about their sons’ and daughters’ intellectual prowess. Consequently, my classmates did whatever they wanted, so long as they maintained their GPA, made this varsity team, and got into that prestigious college. Sin was overlooked; secularism and egoism reigned. In effect, these parents entrusted their children to many faith-filled Catholic educators while sadly renouncing their fundamental right to educate their children, especially in the ways of morality.

Reflecting on my past, one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t insist upon being homeschooled because I too fell for the culture’s lie that academic and athletic success is more important than loving God and living a moral life. Having heard about the devastating effects of two families who stopped homeschooling their children years ago, I felt compelled to write this article. At one point, both families lived a simple life, but the opportunity for a more comfortable lifestyle allured the mothers into the workforce. The husbands were on board. Having homeschooled their older children until they became adolescents, the two mothers decided they had had enough. Within a short time, years of solid religious formation vanished as their children were dragged into the culture of death by their godless public high school peers. Drinking, drugs, and sex replaced faith, hope, and love. Today, several of the children have the left the Faith and are living in serious sin. In conversations with their adult children who still practice the Faith, they point to their mothers’ absence from the home as the catalyst for the breakdown of their families. Even though both sets of parents attend Mass every Sunday, frequent confession, pray the rosary, and lead their families in prayer before meals, their decision to stop homeschooling was more costly than they realized.

At the same time, homeschooling cannot always keep our children on the narrow road due to their own free will. And for some parents, solid Catholic primary and secondary schools (which are rare but do exist) are the best fit based on circumstances or a child’s specific needs. Yet homeschooling provides countless opportunities for grace, such as daily Mass; siblings growing together in virtue; spending timeless moments with your children; and, above all, safeguarding our children’s purity and faith from numerous evil forces found in pagan public schools and nominal Catholic schools.

When a mother chooses her career over her children for any other reason than absolute necessity, she exposes her innocent children to a world of vice. A quick read of St. Teresa of Avila’s autobiography reveals how wicked relatives and friends were leading her to Hell had she not repented.

The Devil knows that we have only a short time to form our children — eighteen years is brief, likely not even one fourth of their lives. Therefore, he relentlessly tempts us to squander this precious window by spending more time on social media and watching television than being with our children, by allowing other adults and our children’s peers to have more influence on our children than we do, and by allowing our careers to take precedence over our children’s eternal salvation. On our deathbeds, will we regret that we didn’t spend enough time with our children and do enough to keep them from Satan’s grip? I pray not!
The time is now for mothers to be that heroic and unheralded heart of their homes. The time is now for fathers to support their wives, so their children receive the finest religious and intellectual formation, even if it means working two jobs. If we fathers want to know how to raise a saint, we must look no farther than St. Padre Pio’s father, Grazio, who traveled twice to the United States for work so that his son could become a priest. Despite the distance, Grazio closely monitored Pio’s education. In fact, Grazio once convinced his wife to have Pio transfer schools because the one was run by an ex-priest and lacked sound formation. The time is now for parents to raise great saints like Padre Pio.
Even though the fifth prophecy of Humanae Vitae has been fulfilled, maybe it’s not too late to reverse it since nothing is impossible for God. However, in order for us to  “restore civilization and the reign of Christ in our families, in our society,” it must start with one family at a time — specifically, one mother at a time, who courageously says “yes” like the Blessed Mother to the glories and sufferings of home life.

Image: David D via Flickr.

G.K. Chesterton’s Radical Vision for Conservatives

G.K. Chesterton’s Radical Vision for Conservatives

Chesterton first shows how true conservatism is a radically inclusive vision. In looking to the past for guidance for today and tomorrow, conservatives are not promoting a static position but one that is truly dynamic and democratic. He writes, “I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition. It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time. It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record.”[1] In looking back to what our forefathers thought and said about our country, we are acknowledging the voices of the past that continue to have a say in our lives today. These men and women shaped where we are today and so we cannot really understand our own time unless we understand them.

Chesterton next shows us how true conservatism is radically active. Rather than being a vision that idolizes one point in the past—some might call it “the good old’ days”—instead true conservatism is a constant re-evaluation process driven by a standard which we are seeking to align with more and more. The current re-evaluation that conservatives are conducting is actually something that conservatives must always do. Chesterton writes, “But all conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution.”[2] The world is always changing. People grow old and things fall apart. True conservatives must be vigilant and active because there is a standard which we are aiming for and we cannot reach that standard trying to maintain the status quo.

This leads to Chesterton’s third point: in being for permanent truths, the conservative position is not a static position. Rather, the truly permanent things are the ones that are most alive. Chesterton looks at the sun as a great example of this truth: “Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life.”[3] This is like the child sitting in a swing going back and forth over and over again. Adults get tired of that kind of action but a child will do it all day. Why is this? Because the young and youthful do not get tired like the old and aged. We tire easily. In this way we see that the sun is a wonderful picture of the conservative vision. It never tires of rising and setting. It does the same thing day after day, not because it is bored, but rather because it has never gotten tired. It is full of a robust life that we old humans must once again grasp anew.

[1] G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1908, 84.
[2] Ibid, 212.
[3] Ibid, 108.
[4] Ibid, 109.
The featured image is a photograph of G.K. Chesterton taken by Hector Murchison (1864-1934) and courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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Leftism Isn’t a Religion, It’s Something Worse

Leftism Isn’t a Religion, It’s Something Worse

Like Christians of old confronting the idol-worship of the pagans, we must not attempt to parse through the dense tangles of Leftist culture’s false beliefs and mythology and make corrections; instead we must create greater counter-movements based on truth and authentic experience.

The featured image is courtesy of Pixabay.
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Sir Gawain on Maturity

Sir Gawain on Maturity

The mature man is the one who not only honors vows and oaths, but who, when he breaks them, confesses his crime, feels shame for his failure, and seeks to make right what he has violated. Shrugging off one’s moral failings, acting as if they don’t matter, is not a sign of maturity but an abdication of it.
Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages had been given the gift, not only to peer into the twenty-first century, but to correspond with us who live in that most confusing and rudderless of centuries. Had it been in their power to do both of those things, what might they say to us? How would they advise us to live our lives? What wisdom from their experience and from their timeless poems might they choose to pass down to us?

Sir Gawain: On Maturity




The featured image is “The Vigil” by John Pettie, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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