Monday, June 29, 2015

Could You Say a Prayer for a Little Baby Named, Ned?

During the summer months, our daily Mass at BU is fairly small. Just a handful of us gather each evening.  Tonight, however, as I began Mass, there were several visitors with us. Then, after the Mass began, a large crowd of people arrived.  There were older folks, a lot of young adults, and several small children. 

After Mass, this very happy and clearly faithful group introduced themselves to me. They are a family from Texas and about 50 (!) of them travelled up to Boston this week because Ned, a beautiful one year old baby who was with them at Mass, will be undergoing serious surgery tomorrow morning at Children's Hospital.  I was really moved by the fact that fifty family members made the trip to support one another and that they came to Mass together.  How beautiful!

Could I ask you to stop and say a prayer for Ned right now? Please pray that his surgery is successful and that his family is given whatever they need to live through this moment. Let's pray together:

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to Thy protection, implored Thy help, or sought Thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto Thee O Virgin of Virgins our Mother. To Thee do we come, before Thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Thy clemency hear and answer them. Amen.

Thanks everyone.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Adoring God Together

There are so many aspects of the Eucharist that deserve our meditation on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. This year what is on my heart is how our worship of the Eucharist makes clear our nearness not only to God, but to one another. When we direct our gaze upon God, we discover just how close we all are to each other.

Whether it is in a beautiful church filled with one thousand people all kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, or if it is just two or three of us gathered in the small chapel at the BU Catholic Center for a spontaneous Holy Hour; whether it is the Pope and Cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica or an elderly lay woman stopping in for a visit to an adoration chapel; when we kneel before Him, we recognize that we are in this together. We see our life as it really is. We are all His creatures. We serve Him alone. We all look to Him to find the true meaning and value of our life. We all depend entirely upon Him. 

There is something comforting in this. Before His Majestic Love, we come to truly know ourselves. In front of this great mystery of love, it is impossible for us to despise our neighbor or to hate our enemy. When we adore the Eucharist, we are astounded by the immensity of His Love. We see that He looks upon us with mercy. And then, we realize that it is with this same gaze of mercy that He looks upon our friends and our enemies.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is something so profoundly and beautifully Catholic. We all kneel before Him in our weakness. There is no distinction. There is no reserved section for VIP's and another for common folk. No, in His Presence, we are all worshippers and He is the Lamb who is owed worship. As we kneel there together, we feel our own smallness and we feel the greatness of His love. We are moved with gratitude for His love. 

Worshipping the Blessed Sacrament together unites us. In that moment of humble adoration, I see MY sins and weaknesses. I do not think about the sins or weaknesses of my neighbor. Or, better put, I look with total compassion and with eyes of mercy upon the sins and weaknesses of my neighbor. And, he looks with mercy and compassion upon my sins and weaknesses. As we gaze together at the One who gazes upon us with mercy, we cannot help but to look upon each other with this same tender gaze. 

In Eucharistic Adoration, each one of us is reminded that there is a God and none of us is Him! Even the saints in Heaven--especially the saints in Heaven--cast down their crowns before Him. Sometimes, the weight of our own sinfulness and the weakness that we carry about in ourselves can tempt us toward discouragement.  But then, we turn and see our brother or sister kneeling there beside us and we recognize that all of us are in this together. We are the sheep of his pasture. We are strengthened by the communion of the Church. We kneel together, Popes and bishops, priests and deacons, religious men and women, married and single, young and old, saints and sinners. He looks upon us with mercy and He loves us.