Dad and I have received a prompt answer to our prayers of discernment— we will be moving forward with Sweetie’s preparation for First Holy Communion. We will start with the foundation, Eucharistic Adoration–devotion to Jesus.
The Eucharist is the sacrament which really, truly and substantially contains the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of Bread and wine. It is the great sacrament of God’s love in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge is given to us of future glory.
Eucharistic adoration is a pious devotional exercise consisting of mental and vocal prayer, honoring this special presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
A Holy Hour draws its inspiration from Christ’s words to the Apostles in Gethsemane: "Can you not watch one hour with me?" It was taught by the Savior to St. Margaret Mary (1647-90) as one of the special practices of the Sacred Heart devotion.
Sweetie will officially enter our family’s Eucharistic Adoration schedule. We pray that her formation will help her grow as an Apostle of the Eucharist.
Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we believe You are with us in the Blessed Sacrament. We believe You are inviting us to become apostles of the Eucharist through the young people you place into our lives.
You told us, “Allow the little children to come unto me, and do not prevent them from doing so.” In saying this, You were telling us to nourish the Eucharistic faith of the young. It is by believing in You that they come to you. It is by growing in their understanding of this faith that they will grow in their love for You.
Here on earth, they cannot see You with their bodily eyes. But they can see You with the eyes of their soul—provided we nurture their faith by our own deep belief in You our Eucharistic Lord and nourish their hearts by our own selfless affection for you our Eucharistic Love. Amen.
~ Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Guidelines for the Eucharistic Formation of the Young
An apostle of the Eucharist is one who has certain Eucharistic qualities, eight to be exact.
- An apostle of the Eucharist is one who is personally very devoted to the Holy Eucharist
- as Real Presence
- as the Sacrifice of the Mass and
- as Holy Communion
- An apostle of the Eucharist is one who realizes that there is no solution to the problems of the world or the problems of the Church, except through the Holy Eucharist.
- An apostle of the Eucharist is one who does everything in his power, by word and example, to promote a deeper faith in the Eucharist as Presence-Sacrament, as Sacrifice-Sacrament, and as Communion-Sacrament. All these are seen as the main sources of divine grace for the whole human race.
- An apostle of the Eucharist prays for a deeper understanding of the Blessed Sacrament, by himself and by others—especially by bishops and priests.
- An apostle of the Eucharist lives a life of reparation for those who neglect the Holy Eucharist or desert the Holy Eucharist, or distort and desecrate the Holy Eucharist.
- An apostle of the Eucharist is zealous to convert or re-convert people to a life of grace and the fullness of the Christian faith, which believes that Jesus Christ is, now, present on earth, offering Himself in the Mass by giving us the graces He won for us on Calvary, and giving Himself to us and coming bodily into our body, His soul into our soul, as the pledge of eternal destiny.
- An apostle of the Eucharist is a martyr for the Eucharist. No matter what price has to be paid, an apostle of the Eucharist is ready to pay it as a witness to his faith that Jesus Christ is living in our midst today.
- An apostle of the Eucharist simply expects the Eucharistic Christ to work whatever miracle needs to be performed in our day, especially:
- Miracles of courage in conquering the demon of human respect by confessing Jesus Christ twenty-four hours a day.
- Miracles of conversion in changing sinners, even today’s murderers in high places, to be humble followers of Christ.
But an apostle of the Eucharist has no illusions. There will be opposition. “Have confidence,” Jesus tells us, “I have overcome the world.”
“I am first of all saying that except for the Eucharist, no one can remain totally faithful to Jesus Christ and the moral demands He makes on His followers. I am further saying that, except for the Eucharist, God will not convert the multitude of souls estranged from His love.“
~ Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
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