Thursday, February 20, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 28

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel









From Chapter 4 - Confess - Part 4


D M I T T I N G U R E E D
There is often talk about the way “modern” Catholics believe, picking and choosing what they believe and bypassing what they don’t. It has been termed cafeteria Catholicism — what it is in reality is intellectual sin. We accept Christ’s teaching only so far as it agrees with what we already think. When it challenges us, we ignore it.

56

Jesus didn’t accept this from his disciples. When he announced the doctrine of the Eucharist in John 6 many disciples ceased to follow him because they found the teaching too difficult (see John 6:66, notice the numbers). Did Jesus yell out, “Oh, that’s okay — take what you like, ignore the rest”? No, instead he turned to those who had not left him and asked, “Do you want to leave me too?”
Our reluctance to accept the Lord’s teaching,“in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do,” may be our most persistent sin, one that we constantly need to confess openly, as we do at the beginning of every celebration of the Eucharist.

R E LWAY S I N N E R S

One of my favorite prayers is the Jesus Prayer.It is a simple prayer, taken from the Scriptures, one that can be prayed anywhere simply by repeating the words “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, the sinner,” over and over slowly. I often pray it throughout the day, whenever I find myself waiting: in the car at a traffic light, in an airport waiting for a flight, in an office waiting for an appointment or at church waiting for the Eucharist to begin.
As I pray this prayer I often imagine that I am one of the blind men spoken of in the gospel who cried out to Jesus as he was passing by.
The Jesus Prayer is essentially an Eastern Christian prayer. Eastern Christians do not have a problem with acknowledging that they are sinners, but I think that Western Christians do.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Lent Stations of the Cross

Lent begins on February 26. It's time to order parish and school resources.


In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new Bible-based interpretation of the Stations of the Cross. This devotional guide invites readers to prayerfully walk in solidarity with Jesus on his agonizing way of the cross—from his last torturous moments in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial.

Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael O'Brien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 27

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel








From Chapter 4 - Confess - Part 3

LE S S O N S LE A R N ED F RO M A H REE -Y E A R -O L D

When my son admits to disobeying either his mother or me his bottom lip will quiver and he can barely admit to his misdeed. Often as soon as the confession leaves his lips he is on the floor, weeping. It moves us to see how badly it hurts him to have dishonored us.
Isn’t this the same way we should feel when we who confess that we believe in God act as though we do not? It is all about love, and perhaps we do not experience the contrition of a threeyear-old because our love for God has grown cold.Could it be that because we have committed the same sins for so many years, we have come to define ourselves by them?

I ’ O T K AY

I once heard Franciscan Father Richard Rohr say that the pop psychology view of the human person is “I’m okay, you’re okay” but that the gospel message was “I’m not okay but that’s okay with God.” St. Paul said, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say that “it used to be that only Catholics believed in the Immaculate Conception; now everyone believes that he or she is immaculately conceived.” Dr.
55
Karl Menninger penned a famous book with the title, Whatever Became of Sin?
The loss of the sense of personal sin greatly reduces our capacity to feel the necessity of being saved by Christ. We risk having to hit rock bottom before we realize how far we have fallen, if we do not regularly acknowledge our sinfulness and our need to be saved from ourselves.
H E FA L L E N O R L D
Previous generations of Christians had a deeper understanding of the fallen nature from which Christ came to save us. When I recently mentioned the fallen nature of humanity in the course of writing another book, the editor queried me as to whether what I was stating was even “Catholic,” so foreign has the notion become to the modern follower of Christ.
If we want to get the most out of the Eucharist, we have to understand what Jesus, the Bread of Life, came to save us from, and how he can save us from our sins.
ELP FROM THE FATHERS OF THE HURCH
If a precious garment is not put away into a box that is soiled, by what line of reasoning is the Eucharist of Christ received into a soul soiled with the stains of sin?
— S T. AUGUSTINE

Monday, February 17, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 26

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel








From Chapter 4 - Confess - Part 2

One area of spirituality that has been under attack for the past forty years is the “emphasis on sinfulness”that seems to have dominated the spirituality of all religions from the beginning of time. Those who have bought into this removal of sinfulness from their spirituality have found that after awhile God has very little to do with it.
Sin essentially is anything that breaks our relationship with God. Remove sin and you are essentially removing God from the picture — because you are admitting that it really doesn’t matter if you are offending God or not. It would be like being in a relationship with your spouse and refusing ever to admit any wrongdoing — one would expect such a relationship to be in grave trouble.
Admitting that we are not living up to our part of the relationship is a healthy part of the struggle to stay in continual communion with God. If we are doing it with “sighs and tears” it means that we are not just doing it out of habit but rather are emotionally feeling what we are saying. St. Ignatius of Loyola would have retreatants pray for the gift of tears when they meditated on their sinfulness, and this is a practice that should be restored.
I remember standing in a confessional line during a Marian pilgrimage that I made in the late 1980s and watching people emerge from the outside confessional stations (the priest sat in a chair, while the penitent knelt beside him, visible to all gathered there) wiping tears away. It was touching, because it gave me the sense that these people weren’t just listing off faults but experiencing a heartfelt conversion from a life without God to a life that

54

the penitent truly wanted to live with the help of God.We should all pray for the gift of tears for our failings.
My great-grandfather would always be wiping tears away when he returned from receiving communion. I found this deeply significant as a child,and it is something I’ve never forgotten.Involving our emotions in our relationship with God is a great grace that we should strive to have in our relationship with him.
Real contrition for our sins involves a firm resolve to involve God in those parts of our lives where we have excluded him in the past. By being aware of God’s presence at all times we likely will amend our lives in the future.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 25

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel








From Chapter 4 - Confess - Part 1

If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
— ROMANS 1 0 : 9

One night when a group of believers had gathered to pray in a country where such a gathering was forbidden by law, a cry went out when two soldiers burst through the doors. They yelled out that they would give anyone in the room a chance to leave before arresting those who refused to do so.A few of the gathered immediately bolted out of the room.

As soon as they left,the soldiers closed the doors and said,“We are believers too, but we couldn’t trust those who were not ready to be arrested for their faith.”Putting down their guns,they joined the others in prayer.
When you and I hear the word confess we are apt to think of it in terms of our sins, but the word also means to acknowledge one’s belief.The two meanings, when it comes to Christianity,are very related. What we consider to be sinful has a lot to do with how much we really believe in God.
People throw their beliefs about God around quite freely these days,usually prefaced by “Oh,I don’t think God cares about that.”
Christians believe that Jesus has revealed God and what God is like to us. Jesus formed a group of disciples around him and told them that God’s spirit would stay with them until the end of time. This group was to hand down his teaching, baptize other followers, forgive sins, and teach all that Jesus, the Son of God, had commanded them to pass on. Peter had a special role in this group.
Jesus revealed the love of God to us by dying for us and leaving us a memorial of his death in the Eucharist.The word memorial had a special meaning for the Jewish people of Jesus’s time. It didn’t mean recalling the past, as it does for us today, but rather it meant making present a past event. Thus, when we come together at the Eucharist, we are present at Calvary and witness once again what God is like through Jesus.
People who die for any cause care a lot. Jesus has revealed to us that God cares a lot! God desires our salvation.
If we want to get the most out of the Eucharist, we need to confess: We must confess belief in God, as we do in the Creed, and confess that we are not always the greatest of followers of Jesus.

53

Saturday, February 15, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 24

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel






From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 11


U R T H E R E L P S

1. Keep Your Focus on Jesus

When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, Our Lord rebuked the devil saying, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall  worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’”(Matthew 4:10).
When you are tempted to worship anything else, no matter how lofty it might seem, call to mind this incident from Our Lord’s life.

2. Learn from the Blessed Virgin Mary

When the Blessed Virgin Mary was called “Blessed among women” by her cousin Elisabeth she responded with “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” (Luke 1:46–47). She pointed to God and worshiped only him.
Following Mary’s example, we should seek to “decrease” in order that God may “increase” as we adore him above all.

3. Foster an Attitude of Adoration

St. Paul told the Thessalonians to Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God
49
in Christ Jesus for you”(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).When we foster this attitude our hearts will be focused on adoring God at every moment of our lives.

4. Developing a Eucharistic Spirituality

A concrete way to prefer the love of Christ throughout the day when faced with countless other “loves” is to hear the words Jesus spoke to Peter addressed to yourself: “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15).

5. A Prayer for Today

Recite this prayer of St. Teresa of Ávila often:
Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid.
All things pass away.
God never changes.
Patience obtains everything.
God alone is enough.

Friday, February 14, 2020

St. Valentine's Day

From the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA:
At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way, but at different distances from the city. In William of Malmesbury's time what was known to the ancients as the Flaminian Gate of Rome and is now the Porta del Popolo, was called the Gate of St. Valentine. The name seems to have been taken from a small church dedicated to the saint which was in the immediate neighborhood. Of both these St. Valentines some sort of Acta are preserved but they are of relatively late date and of no historical value. Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing further is known.

Michael Dubruiel's Books 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 23

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel





From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 10

Bless the Lord, fire and heat, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, dews and snows, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, nights and days, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord,light and darkness,sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.Bless the Lord,ice and cold,sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, frosts and snows, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, lightnings and clouds, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Let the
47
earth bless the Lord; let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.”
— DANIEL 3 : 4 4 – 5 2
There has been many a winter morning when I was scraping snow and ice from my car when the words of this prayer have come to my lips, often, I must confess, rather sarcastically.
Too often we forget that God has a plan that doesn’t quite match up to ours. If our plans and possessions dominate us, we can become very ungrateful in life and perhaps even feel cursed. Yet if we die to ourselves and adore God, giving thanks to God in all things, even when we are standing in the flames, or freezing in the ice and snow, we’ll find that God has a reason and purpose for everything. As St.Teresa of Ávila said,“There is no such thing as bad weather. All weather is good because it is God’s.”
H A N K O D H E A D        O F I M E
There is an American friar whose cause for sainthood is currently before Rome. His name is Father Solanus Casey; he was a Capuchin Friar who ministered in Detroit, New York, and Huntington, Indiana. He died over forty years ago. I often walk the grounds of the former friary where he served in Huntington and think about his ministry. Born of Irish immigrants, he was sent to German seminaries where the priests taught him in German how to speak Latin. He didn’t fare too well — who would?
Eventually he was ordained but not allowed to preach doctrinal sermons or hear confessions. In a time when there was more of a caste system in religious life he was given a “brothers’ job” as porter. People sought him out near and far.They found great wisdom in his words, and great miracles of healing were recorded after his prayer and touch. Many were converted.
In many ways, it would seem that he would have had much to be bitter about. He was obviously one of the most gifted friars in the community, but he was treated as one who had little to offer.

48

Yet he was not bitter, and his advice to people who requested prayer and healing is interesting. He told them to “thank God ahead of time”— as an act of faith.He often also had them enroll in a Mass association as a way of giving thanks to God.
This is a beautiful message for us: to thank God in all things, to be thankful for everything that life brings to us even if to all appearances it doesn’t seem there is anything to be thankful for, and to thank God ahead of time,trusting that in God’s time good will come from it all.
The Eucharist is all about “giving thanks,” and how much you and I can do so at any given moment is dependent upon how deeply we are adoring and worshiping God.Offering God our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving will help us to get the most from the Eucharist.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 22

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel


How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 22


From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 9


R O B L E M S V E R S U S L E S S I N G S
A prayer that is recited by those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours on every major feast day of the Church is an example of the kind of thanksgiving that should be the prayer of all believers. It is called the Benedicite, after the many times that the word “Bless” is used in it. In this case “Bless” is another way of saying “give thanks and praise.” The setting is found in the book of Daniel,where three young men are placed in a fiery furnace,something I’m sure even the most faithful among us would be tempted
46
to think of as a “big problem.” As they enter the fiery furnace to what would seem like a certain death,one of them,Azariah,prays:
Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our fathers, and worthy of praise; and thy name is glorified for ever. For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true and thy ways right, and all thy judgments are truth.Thou hast executed true judgments in all that thou hast brought upon us and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers, for in truth and justice thou hast brought all this upon us because of our sins. For we have sinfully and lawlessly departed from thee, and have sinned in all things and have not obeyed thy commandments; we have not observed them or done them, as thou hast commanded us that it might go well with us.
— DANIEL 3 : 3 – 7
It is a prayer of thanksgiving, sounding very much like a Eucharistic Prayer that is prayed at the Mass we attend.Those trying to exterminate the three men, hearing the prayer, stoke up the flames, and the three pray a prayer that includes the following:
Bless the Lord, fire and heat, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, dews and snows, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, nights and days, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord,light and darkness,sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.Bless the Lord,ice and cold,sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, frosts and snows, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Bless the Lord, lightnings and clouds, sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. Let the
47
earth bless the Lord; let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.”
— DANIEL 3 : 4 4 – 5 2

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 21

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel







From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 8


ADORING GOD WITH PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
One of my favorite quotes is from the journals of Father Alexander Schmemann: “God, when creating the world, did not solve problems or pose them.He created what He could call ‘very good.’ God created the world, but the devil transformed the world and man and life into a ‘problem.’ ”10 If we want to adore God with praise and thanksgiving we are going to have to learn to stop seeing everything as a “problem” or “interruption” and begin to be open to seeing God’s goodness and interventions even in the most unlikely of places.
Many of the most horrific sins ever committed by human beings happen because people see problems where they should see blessings. If we do not adore God above all, we risk doing horrible things as we serve whatever else we have put in God’s place.
ELP FROM THE FATHERS OF THE HURCH
Human beings are created for the purpose of praising God.The Lord demands nothing else in the same manner that he requires praise and thanksgiving of us.For that reason he made rational beings and distinguished us from animals by our power of speech so that we might praise and glorify him continually.
— S T. J OHN HRYSOSTOM

Monday, February 10, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 20

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel






From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 7


E I N G O V E D  B Y E S U S

In Mark 10:21 in the account of the rich young man, Mark tells us that Jesus,“looking upon him loved him, and said to him,‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ ”
Notice that because Christ loves the rich young man,he points out what the young man lacks. It is out of love that Jesus tells him to get rid of all his possessions.
Christ’s love will reveal similar deficiencies in us. Our Lord looks upon us and recognizes what we really need. However, we often come to him with our own ideas about what we need. If we prefer our own ideas to the love of Christ, we too will join the rich young man who walks away sad, “for his possessions were many.” We may possess the world, but without Christ it is nothing!

O V I N G E S U S

In John 8:42, Jesus is engaged in a heated argument with those who oppose him. He says to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.” We know, therefore, that Jesus is God, and we should prefer nothing to God and his love, which Jesus has revealed to us perfectly.
How do we know if we truly love Our Lord? He addresses this in John 14:23-24: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” We love Our Lord by doing what he commands us to do.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 19

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel







From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 6

“ T R U S T I N G  I N O D    I N LL I R C U M S TA N C E S 
When Our Lord spoke about his Second Coming, an event that every celebration of the Eucharist looks forward to and prays for in a joyful manner,he laid out the signs that will precede that coming, and indeed they are all rather horrible — that is, if all your hope is invested in your 401K.Yet notice the contrast between the unbeliever and the believer:
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

— LUKE 2 1 : 2 5 – 2 8 ( EMPHASIS ADDED )

While one crowd is dying of fear because everything seems to be crumbling around them the other crowd, the believers, stand up and look to the heavens. Why?
If we truly place our faith in God,we will trust in him no matter what happens. In fact, the way that we see will be completely different. Jesus referred to unbelievers as blind and believers as those who truly see. Seeing that God is the “one thing needful” keeps us from putting our trust in anything else.

44

St. Benedict, in his Rule, counsels those who want to follow Christ “to prefer nothing to the love of Christ.”This means that we must love Christ above everything else, and that being loved by Christ must be our first priority in life.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 18

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel







From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 5

LE S S O N S LE A R N ED F RO M A H REE -Y E A R -O L D
My son Joseph walked into the room while I was putting together the material for this chapter. When he walked in I was having a difficult time coming up with a good illustration for what “living in thanksgiving” means in the concrete and I wasn’t thankful that he was bothering me. Then it struck me that the point of living in thanksgiving is simply that what I might otherwise perceive as an interruption becomes an intervention, once I adore God above all things.
God had sent Joseph into my room. This hit me when I sent him away and he said “Thank you,” as he went off. For a period of his young life he had the habit of saying “thank you,” not after he had been given something that he was appreciative of but rather

42

when he had been told to do something, I think he thought that “thank you”meant “okay.”Yet this is exactly what living in thanksgiving is, saying “thank you” to whatever God presents to us in the daily events of our lives.

“ L I V I N G I N H A N K S G I V I N G 

Living in thanksgiving literally means always having gratitude on your lips.
The late great Orthodox liturgist Alexander Schmemann felt that the meaning of “thanksgiving”— the literal translation of the Greek word Eucharist — had been lost on modern people. We tend to limit giving thanks to only those things that we receive that we perceive as good.Yet Schmemann argues that for the early church “giving thanks” was something the Christian did because the Kingdom of God had been restored in Jesus Christ.
Our very inclusion in Christ is reason enough to give thanks; the fact that God has spoken to us in the Word is another reason to give thanks; the fact that Christ has saved us and shares his Body and Blood with us is another reason to give thanks; and the fact that Christ has given us a mission is yet another reason to give him thanks! In fact,you will recognize that at the point in the celebration of the Eucharist that each of these things is mentioned, we express our thanks, either as a congregation, when we say, “Thanks be to God,” or through the presider, when he says to God, “We give you thanks.”
Because of what Christ has done for us we now have a vantage point in life that those who do not know Christ do not have.The liturgy is a mystery of light, and we are on the mountaintop of the Transfiguration and know that Jesus rises from the dead — that he is victorious over our enemies. Therefore, as St. Paul tells the Thessalonians, we can “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
43
LIVING THE UCHARIST
Practice giving thanks to God at all times. Make it a habit to step back when you judge something negatively and to ask God to help you to see it in his will.

Friday, February 07, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 17

From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel







From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 4

E T T I N G      T H E O S T U T       O F          T H E U C H A R I S T    B Y D O R I N G O D

From a positive standpoint, then, what can we do to adore God in the Eucharist?
First we must foster a sense of reverence for God.The actions in the Mass of kneeling, bowing, and beating our breasts all have meaning. They cause us to consciously call to mind that God is present and to focus all of our attention on what God wants of us at the present moment.
Second, we need to worship the Eucharist outside of Mass in order to foster a deeper communion with our Eucharistic Lord when we receive his awesome gift at Mass. When we actively worship Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament we grow in awareness of what it means to receive him at Communion. Pope John Paul II has written about this as a necessary element
41
to restoring an awe of the precious gift of the Eucharist. A Franciscan friend recently told me that when preaching about the Eucharist to young people, he begins by telling them to “Be amazed,” paraphrasing the Holy Father’s injunction.
Coming aside to reverence Christ in the Eucharist, realizing that he is before us, has the same power to change us as he did to those who came into his earthly presence.
LIVING THE UCHARIST
Try to find time to make a visit to a chapel or church to adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Give Christ whatever time you have, whether a little or a lot. Make acts of worship in his presence.
Consciously call to mind God’s presence throughout the day, no matter where you are.

Third,we need to understand what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “the implications of faith in one God.” It means:
    “Living in thanksgiving” (CCC 224).
    “Trusting God in every circumstance” (CCC 227).

Thursday, February 06, 2020

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - part 16



From How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel






From Chapter 3 - Adore. Part 3


A C O M M A N D M E N T

In 1989 something happened to me that I still think a lot about. I had come into our parish church in order to obtain the Blessed Sacrament to bring to the sick in the local hospital. As I approached the sanctuary of the church, I knelt down to spend a few minutes of prayer before setting out. It was then that something compelled me to prostrate myself on that spot on the carpeted floor. This was something I had seldom done before. So there I knelt with my hands and head pressed to the floor.
I felt something rough pressing into my forehead. Raising my head from the floor and feeling my forehead,I found pieces of the Eucharist (this parish used homemade unleavened bread at their Sunday Masses, a type of bread that crumbled quite easily). Feeling around the floor, I found more pieces of the Eucharist there. I picked them up and placed them into the pyx that I was carrying with me and took them to the pastor of the parish. The pastor immediately put a stop to the parish using the homemade bread until they could find a way to keep this “abuse” of the Blessed Sacrament from occurring.
This incident is noteworthy to me because of the “impulse” that came over me to adore those unseen pieces of the Blessed Sacrament on the floor.
In Scripture this impulse to adore happens whenever someone comes into contact with a messenger of God, with an event that reminds them of God, or with God himself in the person of Jesus.Abraham does this in Genesis 18:2,Balaam does it in Numbers 22:31, Joshua does it in Joshua 5:14, the blind man does it
39
to Jesus in John 9:38, and the disciples do it to Jesus in Matthew 28:9. Those tempted to adore God’s works, however, are condemned in Scripture.
When John falls down to worship an angel in the Book of Revelation, the angel scolds him, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God” (Revelation 19:10). Likewise, when Cornelius bows down to worship Peter, he is told by the apostle, “Stand up; I too am a man” (Acts 10:26), and when Paul and Barnabas are the recipients of unwanted worship they tear their garments and beg the people to recognize that God alone is to be worshipped (see Acts 14).
The point is that God alone is to be adored. If you want to get the most out of the Eucharist you need to worship the Lord! The first three commandments given to Moses emphasized the necessity of worshiping God alone.
1.  I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Godsbefore me.
2.  You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3.  Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
This means that we must not worship false Gods. What are some of the false gods that can present themselves as “goods” at the Eucharist? They are the same today as they would have been for those who experienced Christ in the flesh:

1. Ideology: Liberal or Conservative

In Jesus’s time the Sadducees and the Pharisees held rival ideologies of how best to be a worshipper of God.Yet when God showed up in their midst in the person of Jesus,neither group could accept him — Jesus didn’t fit their image of God.
In our own time good and well-meaning people fall into the same temptation, one that masks itself as a good but is really a sin of pride. There are people who accept what the Holy Father

40

teaches on some issues but reject what he says on others based not on whether it matches the truth of the gospels but rather on whether it matches their ideology or what they wish God was like.
When it comes to the worship of God, we must insure that it is God that we adore and not our own idea of who God is or should be.

2. Looking for a Human Savior

Jesus is our savior. If we are looking for a priest, a parish community, the perfect worship space, or excellent music — though all of these are good things — we risk making an idol out of these things and missing God, who is omnipresent. The effectiveness of the Eucharistic liturgy depends upon God, not us. Reverencing Jesus — no matter how bad the preaching, music, church building, or anything else that might be our personal pet peeve — puts our focus where it belongs. Those who tried to worship the apostles were scolded that this was not where their focus should be, but rather on God. Ministers both clerical and lay need to remember this: none of us is the savior; only Jesus holds that title.