February 27, 2013

The Purpose of the Blessed Sacrament

This series of stories, taken from distant persons centuries ago and from ordinary people living today, is meant to demonstrate the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. But what of it? If we come to see Him really there, do we understand what it means? Do we center of the wonder of God being physically present before us and try to contemplate that alone, without understanding the real purpose of the Blessed Sacrament?

In the Catholic Church, there is an approved devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We must understand it to understand the purpose of the Blessed Sacrament. To do that, we turn to Christ Himself.

On June 16, 1675, during the octave of the feast of the Blessed Sacrament, Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque was praying in the Chapel of the Visitation in Paray-le-Monial, France. She was on her knees, offering homage to Her Lord in the tabernacle. The Lord appeared to her. This was the last of three revelations for which she is remembered, the first having occurred almost two years before.

In this visit, the Lord spoke about the ingratitude and irreverence of mankind. He spoke about the “coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love.” The sacrament of love to which He was referring was the sacrament in the tabernacle before which she had started her praying, the Blessed Sacrament.

He also spoke about His Sacred Heart, “which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to satisfy its love.”

To understand the Blessed Sacrament is to understand it is Love.

It is the same Love that showed itself on the Cross. It is the same Love that is celebrated at each Mass, where the sacrifice of the Cross is honored and revered. It is the same Love that gave birth to the Blessed Sacrament at the Last Supper, so that we would remember Him after He died His human death.

He created us out of Love. He came to be among us out of Love. He now stays with us out of Love.

To understand the Blessed Sacrament is to understand it is Love.

Incidentally, Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque became St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Her fervent wish, before she died, was that all her writings would be burned, so that no trace could be left of her, so that no one would remember her. That wish was not granted and we do remember her. We remember her for her understanding that she was nothing, her knowing that He was everything and her desire to be so united with Him that nothing would be left of her.

Tomorrow, another little story will appear, tied to these events in 1673-75 but occurring many years later, telling another manifestation of His Love.


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