Respectful Attention to the Real Presence

Last week in this “Corner” I gave a brief description and profile of the Saints that are represented by our new statues. The new crucifix for the Totus Tuus was put in place this past week and, very briefly, this image is representative of the “Agonizing Christ”. I mention this because most crucifixes have the Corpus of the deceased Christ nailed to it. And Christ is depicted with His eyes closed, His head hanging down, and with the gaping wound of the spear in His side. On our Chapel crucifix, you will witness, Christ is depicted with His head still held up and gazing towards His father above. Also, there is no wound on his side. He is still alive and still agonizing in His passion, which He willingly suffered for our redemption. If you have not seen it, and can spare a moment after Mass, make a visit to the chapel, and take in the beautiful workmanship and the life-like glass eyes.

Also, last week in this “Corner”, I gave a reminder of the honor, respect, and prayerful silence we are expected to maintain whenever we are in church, in the presence of Christ in our Tabernacle. This respectful attention to the Real Presence is not something being asked for to please me, the pastor, or for anyone else in particular, but it is meant to show our attentiveness and belief in the fact that He is truly there. This expected respectful attention to God the Son (Our Savior) has been sadly lacking world-wide, to the extent that Our Lady, one hundred years ago, provided us with a very clear message at Fatima, to pray our rosaries daily, in reparation for the gross indifference and disrespect He receives in
the tabernacles throughout the world.

It’s worth mentioning that even if we are silent in the church, but pay no heed, no particular attention, to His Real Presence, we are guilty of the “indifference” about which Our Lady speaks. If that has been the case, due to our busyness, or to having no particular belief in His presence, let us reassess our Faith. Let us recall what it is that we are expected to believe (remembering that His Eucharistic Real Presence is squarely in the center of our Catholic Faith) and make a point, going forward, to start spending some time with Him. Erase that indifferent attitude and show Him your care, honor, belief and respect. Kiss that indifferent mindset good-bye and give serious thought to making a Holy Hour during our 24-hour Adoration opportunities, now three Friday’s a month. Once again, I promise you that you will draw grace and comfort, as you grace the “Hidden Jesus” (as Francisco, the young Fatima seer referred to the Host), with your respectful and attentive presence; with your company.

There is another “Indifference” that we all (as Americans and as Catholics) need to ‘wash out’ of our attitudes and behaviors. And that is our “indifferent attitude” toward the world-wide horror of legalized killing of babies in the womb. Today (Wednesday, my first day back from the Ohio funeral of my sister), I spent time at two abortion mills over near Memorial Hospital. Both of these evil mills were doing brisk business. We had a group of five parishioners standing prayer vigil for two hours. To my surprise, there were two young ladies there as well, who were engaging many of the women (and men) arriving for their appointments. By means of thoughtful questions and phrases, they were able to convince many of those contemplating abortion and arriving for their appointments, to come over to the edge of the
property and hear the comforting message of the many alternatives to taking their child’s life. These two women, in their late 20’s or 30’s, had provided a “Sidewalk Counselling” training session the day before, at Holy Family Church. We had one attendee for our parish, Patricia Antoniello. I dearly wanted to be here for that training, but here I was, witnessing how very effectively their simple technique and words were working.

I mentioned “another indifference” above, and that is the prevailing attitude of Catholics today, regarding abortion. Unfortunately, we are a microcosm here at the parish of that nation-wide attitude of indifference. As Saintly Mother Teresa was heard to say, “All that it takes for evil to thrive, is for good people to do nothing!” The table is set to deal abortion and the ill-conceived evil Roe v. Wade court opinion, a devastating blow and to defund and put out of business, “Planned Parenthood”. Their name alone is an oxymoron, as Franklin Gramm, commented, “exactly what kind of parenthood, is the killing of your baby?” Think about it. Abortion is not a moral dilemma. It’s not a political issue or an ethical discussion. Nor is it a philosophical debate. It is the Evil of our age. It not only destroys bodies…it destroys souls! Abortion is Satan’s greatest masterpiece of evil. We know it’s horrific, yet we simply block it out of our mind, and
embrace an “indifferent” attitude. With the current Government prone to embrace and implement Pro-Life policies, laws and amendments, your voice, letters and e-mails will have that much more efficacy and impact today. Commit to be a part, a factor, in as many pro-life activities and ventures that you can, in addition to your constant prayers. Call Pat Antoniello at the parish office, and ask her how you can help our local effort to save the least of our brothers and sisters from the national scourge of infanticide.

Thanks for your attention and caring,