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"This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me".                       Luke 22:19

'This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me'. Lk 22:19



Winter/Spring 2002



Vol. 17, No. 1

 

NEW FROM APEA: THE ADORER'S COMPANION

Adorers sometimes find it difficult to make their Holy Hour because they go to the chapel unprepared. They go expecting to be inspired. And when they aren't, the hour seems to drag on. This sometimes leads to discouragement and to adorers dropping their Holy Hour. It is important, therefore, for adorers to go to the chapel with a prayer plan so that the Holy Hour may be spiritually refreshing, as indeed it should be.
            To help adorers plan their Holy Hours, APEA is now offering a new pocketsize booklet entitled The Adorer's Companion. The Companion is chock-full of ideas to help an adorer compose a prayer plan. It shows the adorer how to spend his or her Eucharistic Holy Hour. The booklet describes various expressions and kinds of prayer and tells how to handle distractions. An abundance of Scriptural references for reading and reflection are supplied, and some special prayers are included. There are sections discussing interior silence, the virtue of commitment, and the practice of the presence of God. The last section answers frequently asked questions about chapel decor, liturgical regulations and chapel etiquette.
            The Companion can help adorers to make more fruitful and blessed Holy Hours.

 

SOUTH AFRICA MISSION BEARS FRUIT

Fr. Victor Warkulwiz, M.S.S. of APEA spent the month of November 2001 in the Diocese of Johannesburg, South Africa, promoting perpetual adoration. He made appeals to start PEA at St. Peter Claver, Good Shepherd / Bl. Isidore Bakanja and Our Lady of Fatima parishes in Soweto and at Christ the King Cathedral in Johannesburg. The responses were overwhelming. But the nighttime responses weren't as strong as the daytime responses because the people aren't used to going out at night. Good Shepherd started perpetual adoration on January 2. The others are expected to start sometime later.
            Father Victor also gave a number of talks and homilies on Eucharistic adoration and the importance of perpetual adoration, including talks at four regional priests' meetings.
            Soweto is located southwest of Johannesburg. The name Soweto is an acronym for South-Western Townships. It is a conglomeration of townships developed in the 1940s to house black workers for the region's gold mines. Most of the black population of the Johannesburg metropolitan area live in Soweto.
            The devotion of the black Catholics of South Africa is impressive. Sunday Masses last from two to three hours. English and the native languages Zulu and Sothu are used in the liturgies. There is much singing and swaying. The priest even sings the opening Sign of the Cross! The choir sings a cappella, but drums or other percussion instruments sometimes accompany the singers. Often the parts of the Mass are sung in Latin with an African rhythm. The overall effect of the singing is very uplifting and conducive to worship.

 

THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST

There is confusion today, even among orthodox Catholics, about the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Some think that Jesus is physically present in His risen Body in heaven, but that He is not physically present in the Eucharist. It is said that Jesus' presence in the Eucharist is sacramental and not physical, as if His sacramental presence excludes His physical presence. But the Church teaches that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist -- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. What can that mean other than that He is physically present? Pope Paul VI said that in the Eucharist "Christ, whole and entire, in His physical 'reality' is bodily present, although not in the same way that bodies are present in a given place." (Mysterium Fidei, 56)
            So we may safely say that the physical heart of Jesus beats with love for us in the Eucharist. But we cannot see it, hear it, or feel it because it is hidden from our senses. The Fathers of the Church warned the faithful not to trust in their senses but in the words of Christ. Jesus perfectly disguises Himself in the Eucharist. He disguises all His physical properties, including his physical dimensions. . . .
            Jesus disguises Himself in the Eucharist because He wants us to go to Him in faith. The Eucharist is the greatest test of our faith in Christ. That is why it is called 'The Mystery of Faith.' In his hymn Pange Lingua St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the verses: "Faith for all defects supplying, Where the feeble senses fail." If we could see Jesus as He really is, in all His glory and majesty and splendor, we could not help but love Him. It is easy to love someone who's beautiful. But that's not true love. That's only infatuation. Jesus wants us to show our loving trust in Him by believing what He told us about the Eucharist, no matter how mysterious or incredible it may sound. But we look forward to that day when the disguise will be removed. Then, what appears to us now as a wafer of bread will burst forth into the infinitely beautiful figure of Jesus Christ, who will rule over a renewed universe forever.

 

APEA ACTIVITY IN 2001

From January 1 to December 31, 2001 the priests of the Apostolate for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration visited 78 host and support parishes to help start and maintain perpetual Eucharistic adoration. The efforts of APEA resulted in the opening of 31 new, mostly perpetual, adoration chapels. Also, ten Eucharistic parish missions were given.

 

THE COMPLEAT EUCHARIST

A review of The Basic Book of the Eucharist by Lawrence G. Lovasik (Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH, 1-800-888-9344), 211pp. PB $15.95.

The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love. It is Jesus' greatest expression of His love for us.  Jesus expresses His love for us in the Eucharist in three ways. First, by sacrificing Himself for us: Jesus re-presents His Sacrifice of the Cross every time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered.  Second, by uniting His life with ours: Every time we worthily receive Holy Communion, Jesus unites us with Himself in a very intimate way. The union is so intimate that we "come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity." And in Him we are united with each other. Third, by giving us the gift of His continual presence: Jesus stays with us in the Blessed Sacrament day and night literally fulfilling His promise: "Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world." (Mt 28:20)     
            This threefold expression of Christ's love for us in the Eucharist means that the Eucharist is a threefold sacrament. In the encyclical letter Redemptor Hominis Pope John Paul II says of the Eucharist: "It is at one and the same time a Sacrifice-Sacrament, a Communion-Sacrament, and a Presence-Sacrament." Thus the Eucharist conveys Jesus' grace to us in three ways.
            Jesus wishes a threefold response to His threefold expression of love. He wants us first, to offer our prayers and sacrifices along with His as we reverently and attentively participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Second, He wants us to unite our lives with His in frequent and worthy reception of Holy Communion.  And third, He wants each of us to give Him the gift of our presence by going to Him in the tabernacle or monstrance to spend time with Him in prayer. None of these opportunities to receive His grace should be downplayed or neglected. Our communal response at Mass must go together with our personal response in Eucharistic adoration in order that our response to His love for us in the Eucharist may be complete.
            Fr. Lovasik divides his book into three parts according to the above three ways. The first part is entitled "Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist." Although Presence-Sacrament is the third sacramental aspect mentioned by Pope John Paul, it is the first in logical order, because the sacrifice and communion aspects follow from the Real Presence. In this part Fr. Lovasik teaches us to recognize Christ's presence in the Eucharist, to adore Him in the Eucharist, to visit Him in the Eucharist, and to allow the Eucharist to lead us to devotion to His Sacred Heart.
            In the second part, Fr. Lovasik discusses the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He explains why the Mass is a sacrifice and how to participate in and receive the benefits of the Mass.
            In the third part Fr. Lovasik discusses Holy Communion. He explains that the Eucharist nourishes one's supernatural life, that it unites us with God, and that it transforms us into Jesus. He goes on to tell how the Eucharist increases our love for others, how it protects us from sin, and how it increases the power of our prayers. He tells of the joy and consolation that Holy Communion brings and of how it prepares us for heaven. He urges us to receive Communion worthily and frequently, and he shows us how to increase the benefits of our Communions. Mary is presented as a model of Eucharistic devotion. Fr. Lovasik closes his delightful book encouraging us to offer praise and thanksgiving for God's great gift of the Eucharist.
            The Basic Book of the Eucharist is a veritable handbook of the compleat Eucharist.

 

APPEAL FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT

APEA runs a frugal operation. The lay workers receive no monetary compensation and compensation for the priests is less than that, for example, of religious serving full-time in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Most of the priests' compensation comes directly from stipends freely offered by the pastors of the parishes they serve. Only the remainder comes from APEA funds.
            During 2001 APEA incurred unusually large printing and mailing expenses, And because of special projects we are working on, we expect our printing and mailing expenses to be extraordinarily large again in 2002. Therefore, we are asking you to help us maintain a positive cash flow by either making a one-time donation or a pledge of a monthly or quarterly contribution. Enclosed for your convenience is a self-addressed envelope with a pledge form attached. Your contributions are tax-deductible.
            Please be generous so that APEA may continue to serve our Lord by leading people to Him in the Blessed Sacrament.


Missionary Priests of the Blessed Sacrament
P.O. Box 1428 • Bensalem, Pa 19020
Tel: 215.244.9211 • Fax: 215.244.9211
Email: apea@webtv.net