“Essential? Or non-essential?” The Covid-19 pandemic has birthed two popular words into our vocabulary for 2020! We have found ourselves being told what is essential and what is not in our daily lives. Government leaders dictate what we can live with and what we can live without. Interesting isn’t it?
Essential is defined as “absolutely necessary” and “extremely important.” Synonyms of essential are crucial, necessary, key, vital and indispensable.
The definition for non-essential is pretty short and pretty clear! It is defined as “not absolutely necessary!”
We found ourselves in the early months of the virus, making our ways to “Home Depot” and “Liquor Stores!”
Hmmmmm. . . .
Somehow, our politicians felt we needed to survive on do it yourself projects for the time we were sent into isolation and also in that “aloneness” period we were invited to participate in a “happy hour.” Yes, keep everyone busy and stupefied. . .
Gaze of Love
I am a lover of Instagram pictures. I use them frequently for this blog and for daily emails that I send out each morning and evening. The other day, my eye caught a video of a woman waiting patiently to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during this time of pandemic and mask wearing. Clearly I was seeing a Gaze of Love, on this woman’s face as she gently held Jesus in the cradle of her hands.
Wow! I was blown away by this woman’s face and emotions. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words and how true this was of what I was beholding in this instagram video.
So much so that I had to write this blog centered around this woman and the Eucharist.
When you ponder the words, “essential” and “non-essential” you cannot help but think of scripture and St. Paul’s words to us in Philippians 3:8-10 –
8 – Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ – 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
Yes, clearly this woman after receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament knows the surpassing worth of “knowing Jesus Christ” and considers everything else as rubbish. She knows what is “essential,” for her life at this horrific time of history that we are living through. She is found in Him isn’t she?
Found in Him
“He,” Jesus Christ, is our “Essential” with a capital “E!”
In a time that we needed Him most, we were denied access to our Churches, our places of Worship and Community where we not only gain strength and power from the Body and Blood of Christ, but love and support from fellow worshipers.
In a time of “pandemic” we were lost and needed to be found in Him! He tells us clearly in scripture that He is the path to take to “live” and not to “die” from the “non-essentials” like Home Depot and liquor stores.
The Bread of Life
He gives us “super strength” and we fall to our knees before Him present in the Monstrance. We receive Him body and blood and we worship Him even in hallways of hospitals where His power is so very much needed.
Jesus Christ tells us in Scripture:
“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. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of the bread, he will for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
Powerful words aren’t they? Yes, Jesus tells us that He is “Essential” and without Him we will have no life in us. Let us mark those words well.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church comments on the above scripture from John as:
Bread which I shall give: The use of the future tense by Christ points to the Redemption of the Cross and the Institution of the Eucharist.
For the life of the world: Christ, through His Passion, Death and Resurrection offers redemption for all of humanity.
Moreover, the holiness affected by the Eucharist brings life to the world.
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,“ a reference not only to our temporal needs but more specifically to the Eucharist itself. (CCC 728, 1355, 1406-1407, 2837)
“The Life that the Eucharist imparts pertains to supernatural life, which binds us ever closer to Christ and prepares us for eternity in Heaven.” (CCC 1509)
Life to the World
Some churches are now reopened with strong restrictions held in place. Masses are being offered outside in many places throughout the United States.
Below is an image of Fr. Joseph Illo celebrating Mass in San Francisco on July 4th with parishioners seated safely apart from each other.
Recently Fr. Illo quoted one of his parishioners in his blog as sharing with him the following. It was in regard to them standing in the rain after a deluge fell from the sky. They had stood in the rain with smiles on their faces. One of them told Fr. Illo the next day:
Father, that was the best Mass I’ve attended! The Eucharist has become so real, now that we, too, are making sacrifices to attend Christ’s sacrifice. A bit of a sacrifice, to sing alleluias in the rain, but after all, we aren’t made of sugar. We melted only a little bit in the deluge; our frozen hearts melted a little to see our priests and fellow Christians getting wet in order to stand with Christ as He offered Himself for the world. As one of our young adults beamed, “this is so exciting!”
Yes, clearly Jesus gives “Life to the World” when we come together as a community of worshippers and receive Him in His Body and Blood! How could we not? He promised us, didn’t He?
St. Faustina Invites You
St. Faustina is known best for being the Saint of Divine Mercy and the The Divine Mercy Chaplet. She is one of the greatest mystics of the 20th Century and in her diary she recorded all of her supernatural experiences.
In a passage dated January 4, 1935, St. Faustina was led into an intense prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist. As the clock struck midnight that evening, she broke out into a Litany of Praise to the Blessed Host.
After recording the prayer in her diary, she finished the entry for that date with the following:
“I do not understand how it is possible not to trust in Him who can do all things. With Him you can do everything; without Him, nothing. He is Lord. He will not allow those who have placed all their trust in Him to be put to shame.”
Now More Than Ever
Come Back to Mass!
Do Not Be Afraid!
Come and Receive. . .
The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!
Be Filled With Him Who PROMISES
Power and Strength!
Who Gives You
Litany to the Blessed Host
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the testament of God’s mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus as proof of infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained life eternal and of infinite mercy, dispensed in abundance to us and especially to poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the mercy of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit toward us, and especially toward poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the infinite price of mercy which will compensate for all our debts, and especially those of poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fountain of living water which springs from infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fire of purest love which blazes forth from the bosom of the Eternal Father, as from an abyss of infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the medicine for all our infirmities, flowing from infinite mercy, as from a fount, for us and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the union between God and us through His infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom are contained all the sentiments of the most sweet Heart of Jesus toward us, and especially poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in all the sufferings and adversities of life.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of darkness and of storms within and without.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in life and at the hour of our death.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of adversities and floods of despair.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of falsehood and treason.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of the darkness and godlessness which inundate the earth.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the longing and pain in which no one will understand us.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the toil and monotony of everyday life.
O Blessed Host, our only hope amid the ruin of our hopes and endeavors.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of the ravages of the enemy and the efforts of hell.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when the burdens are beyond my strength and I find my efforts are fruitless.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when storms toss my heart about and my fearful spirit tends to despair.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my heart is about to tremble and mortal sweat moistens my brow.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when everything conspires against me and black despair creeps into my soul.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my eyes will begin to grow dim to all temporal things and, for the first time, my spirit will behold the unknown worlds.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my tasks will be beyond my strength and adversity will become my daily lot.
O Blessed Host I trust in You when the practice of virtue will appear difficult for me and my nature will grow rebellious.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when hostile blows will be aimed against me.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my toils and efforts will be misjudged by others.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when Your judgments will resound over me; it is then that I will trust in the sea of Your mercy.
+Most Holy Trinity, I trust in Your infinite mercy.
God is my Father and so I, His child, have every claim to His divine Heart; and the greater the darkness, the more complete our trust should be.
©2020 Anita Guariglia
Featured Image – Pexels
Other Images – Instagram & Pinterest
John 6: 48-51 Scripture – The Didache Bible
Diary of St. Faustina – #358 – Notebook 1
Passage & Photo taken from Fr. Joseph Illo blog – posted August 18th