March 7, 2013

No More Torments

At the mention of the word Guadalupe, many faithful think instantly of Mexico and the place where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego in 1531. The story for today, however, takes place more than a hundred years later, in faraway Guadalupe, Spain. It was not known afterwards for many more years, as will be explained later.

The Prior of Guadalupe was a priest named Peter, now known as Venerable Peter. He had doubts about the Real Presence in the Eucharist and had been feeling torment over them. One Saturday, he bowed down after the consecration, as he normally did. As he raised his eyes back up, he saw a cloud that enveloped the altar and hid the Blessed Sacrament from him.

This startled him so that he stopped himself in celebrating the Mass. He prayed for forgiveness. Hardly had he begun doing so than the cloud was removed.
He returned himself to his duties in performing the Mass, but now encountered a new obstacle. He noticed that the Sacred Host was no longer lying where it had been, on the corporal. He looked at the chalice and saw that it too was different. It was empty. There was no longer any of the Consecrated Wine within it.

Again, he prayed. The Mass had been offered in honor of Mary. Now, needing help, he asked that She intercede for him in beseeching God. His fervent hope was that the Lord would look past his unworthiness to celebrate the His Son’s Mass. Raising his eyes again, he saw a paten, suspended in the air, brilliant and shining, with rays of lights emanating from it. It illuminated the whole church. The paten slowly descended. As it did, he could see that the Sacred Host had returned, lying upon it. It came to stop over the chalice, in an upright position. Drops of blood fell from it until the chalice was again filled to the same level it had been before. The Host then continued its descent until it came to rest on the corporal.

Once more, he could not continue the Mass and paused, reflecting on what had just occurred. Then he heard a low voice say, “Continue the Mass, and keep as a profound secret that which you have seen, for it was for you alone that God granted this vision, that you may no longer doubt the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ under each of the appearances of bread and wine.”

That secret he kept, until the day he died. He recorded this memorable event in an authenticated document from which this story is drawn.

Obviously, this was something that moved him deeply. It was different from other Masses and other times in his life. It occurred as a surprise and stopped him several times from what he had been doing. It no doubt relieved his torments.

This Lent, let us not have any torments either. Let us not doubt. Let us believe as fully as if this had happened to us, as Venerable Peter wished.

(Adapted from an account in Moments Divine Before the Blessed Sacrament by Rev. Frederick A. Reuter, K.C.B.S.)


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