Welcome family to our e-Newsletter.
Christmas 2010 Online Issue #7
This Issue - The Eucharist
Bob and Penny Lord
Why Miracles of the Eucharist
Why Miracles of the Eucharist?
It’s altogether fitting that the Lord allows us to come back to where for us, it all started, to the Shrine of the Miracles of the Eucharist in Lanciano, Italy to kind of kick off the Miracles of the Eucharist series that we’re doing right now..
In order to do this, in order to even talk about Miracles of the Eucharist, and why Miracles of the Eucharist, we have to go back to Scripture, John 6:51, because none of it has any meaning unless it’s based on this MOST IMPORTANT scripture passage from John 6:51.
And so we go to John 6:51, to where Jesus gave them what we call the Eucharistic Doctrine. “I Myself, am the living bread, come down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”
At that point, many of His people got up and began to leave. His disciples said “This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?”
So, you see, the controversy began right away, even there, at the very moment when He made the Eucharistic statement, controversy began over the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
And they say that most of his followers left him. Now, you must get into the mentality of these dear people, before you judge them harshly. They were Jews. They lived under the Mosaic Law, and we know that Jesus knew the law, didn’t He! He knew what they were thinking. Under the Law of Moses, the kosher law of Moses, no Jew can drink animal blood. What does that mean in our terms? Rare steak. Any of you like rare steak? Well, if you do, you’re drinking the blood of animals. This is the way the Jews felt. They soak the meat; they salt the meat. No blood.
What now, not possibly the Messiah, not Rabbi, this Nazorean. See the day before, when He multiplied the loaves and fishes, He was the Teacher; He was the prophet; today He’s that Nazorean.
And He’s proposing that they drink human blood. This was repulsive to them. They did not understand. He was also proposing that they eat human flesh. To compound the problem they were having, there were reports of human sacrifices happening in the hills of Judea.
They didn’t understand. It wasn’t until the Last Supper, in the Upper Room, when He showed them how they could eat His Body and drink His blood, in a non-cannibalistic way.
Now, the easiest thing would have been for him to accommodate them. Remember, He came to save them. He didn’t want to separate Himself from them. He loved them! He knew that His time was short. He did not want to lose even one soul. Not one soul. Every soul on earth is precious to Him. Why didn’t He compromise? Why didn’t He accommodate them? Why didn’t He say that which divides us? What the first heretics used to divide us, that this was only a symbol?
Now, my darling is petite, but if we were to say something and all of you began making an exit, she would run up in front of you, block the door with her body, and cry out,
“You misunderstood what we were saying. Let me explain. We meant to say it’s only a symbol.” But He didn’t say it’s a symbol. Why didn’t He say it’s a symbol? Because He is truth, isn’t He? He’s the truth. and to be the truth, He must speak the truth. God cannot lie...
He even turned to the apostles, and said to them, “Will you leave Me also?” But that was the beginning of the Eucharist; that was the beginning of the controversy. It started at that very moment, and has continued down through the centuries, to this very day.
Now, we just want you to realize how important this was to Jesus, how important this is to Jesus. That we understand that we realize what is coming about. He was preparing them for the journey, wasn’t he? What had they been doing? What do we do? We go from conference to conference, from pilgrimage to pilgrimage, very often from seer to seer, from apparition to apparition, and we’re not really listening to what Jesus is saying in every experience.
We used to have a priest, who said to us, “The people in Capharnaum were running from prayer meeting to prayer meeting, and never knew that God was in their midst. You have to understand the reason for the attacks. The Eucharist, which is a part of the Mass, is a recreation of the Sacrifice of the Cross. Satan hates the Cross. Like Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his Seven Last words, in the Church of St. Agnes in New York, just before he died, he said, “Satan said to Him, ‘Come down off that Cross and we’ll believe. We’ll believe in anything, we’ll believe in the pope, only come down off that Cross.” George Bernard Shaw said, “It’s the Cross that bars the way. And Archbishop Sheen said, “Yes, it bars the way to hell!”
Yesterday, when we ascended the steps and stood before the Miracle of the Eucharist of Lanciano, Penny remained there because usually she explains the Miracle of the Eucharist to the pilgrims. She tells us:
“Yesterday was a very unique experience for me personally. And I’m sure if I would ask the pilgrims, they would all say that they had their own unique experience. I found I couldn’t explain it to you, because I didn’t need to explain it to you. You knew; you understood, even beyond the story. This is the message that I have been receiving through you, at every Miracle of the Eucharist. The miracle is beyond the story. The Miracle is in the people. We have never seen the reaction in anybody that has been to the Miracles of the Eucharist as we have with you, with this group that we have here. It’s never been this pronounced. It’s never been as dramatic; it’s never been as personal as it has been these last few days.
"But that reality that we received through you and your faith and your belief is the reality that Jesus Christ Himself gave to you. You were not, of your own intellect, of your own will, believing. That’s what I saw up there. What I saw up there was you being engulfed by the Lord Himself. It was as if it was in the days of the Old Testament, where the temple was just covered with a cloud. This is what I saw. I saw the Spirit of the Lord upon you, coming from the Miracle. And you did not see a Miracle of the Eucharist. What I saw in your eyes was you saw the crucified Lord, Jesus on the Cross. That’s what we have been given from the Miracles."
We’d like to share a testimony from one of our pilgrims.
“When I thought about the trip and all the places we were going, that (Lanciano) was a place that I didn’t know much about. And I had heard about it, a Eucharistic Miracle, but I’d never seen one. And I remember when I got there, I wasn’t sure what to expect; I didn’t know what was going to happen. We went into the Church and we prayed. Then, they said we could go up and see the Miracle, so we were going up the stairs, and all of a sudden, I just, like right now, I lost my breath, and feeling such a deep love and happiness, and joy and peace. And I felt that few other times in my life, but it was very deep, and I couldn’t keep from crying. And the closer and closer I got to Jesus (in the Miracle) I just wanted to cry my eyes out, because I love Him so much, and I feel that He really touched me. And I don’t know what it means, and I don’t know why it happened. But it was the most beautiful part of my pilgrimage.”
In an amphitheater in Siracusa, Sicily, here in Italy, they would bring the sick to the foot of the stadium, and when they killed the Christians, they would cut out their hearts and throw it to the sick, who would run and eat the flesh of these martyrs, and drink the blood, because they knew that there was power in that. They were convinced that they would be healed. It’s sort of a warped understanding of the power of the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.
We were sitting in that amphitheater in Sicily, just our family, and our daughter, who had been given the gift of speed-reading, was telling Penny about what had happened, with the early Church martyrs, when Penny began to cry. Because of her Sicilian ancestry, she didn’t know if we were the victims, the martyrs, or the murderers. And my daughter said to Penny, “Don’t you understand that the power of the Eucharist is so strong; that truth is so deep, it was there from the beginning of the world?” And these pagans instinctively knew the truth.
They didn’t know why. They only knew that there was Healing Power in the flesh and blood of the Christians. We believe there’s healing power in the flesh and Blood of Our Lord Jesus, as given to us in the Eucharist. And so heresies began to be spread, from the very beginning, denying the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Even the enemies of the Church know the power of the Eucharist. Sometimes, we Catholics have a problem believing in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but those who desecrate the Eucharist, the Cultists, the Satanists, have no problem believing. They believe! We were at a retreat with Fr. Harold Cohen in New Orleans and we touched on this subject. After the talk, a woman came up to us and said “I used to belong to a satanic cult. We knew, we knew the power of Jesus in the Eucharist. We knew Who that was that we were desecrating.” It’s there. They know it. They may not even know why, but they know that the power is there.
So, the hopelessly ill, the pagans, came to the Coliseum. Isn’t that our altar? Isn’t there another sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice? And they knew that if they could eat the heart of a Christian and drink his blood, they would be healed. Why? Why would they be healed? Because they knew in these Christians, that Jesus lived. They knew that they no longer lived, but Jesus lived in them. And how did Jesus live in them? Because they believed and they became one in Him through the Eucharist, through His Body and Blood. That’s why they consumed the flesh and blood of Christians. They wanted some of that. They admired them. They knew they would be healed. You know, we hear about healing services, people with the gift of healing, and no way do we dispute that. These pagans knew that healing came from the heart and the blood of Christians. We know the ultimate truth, don’t we? The healing comes from the Healer Himself, who lived among us, and who is that? Jesus in the Eucharist!
During our Mass, we have a two-fold consecration. We consecrate the bread into the Body of Christ, and we consecrate the wine into the Blood of Christ. This is that re-creation of the Sacrifice of the Cross. And that has been the focal point of Christianity. An historian of the early Church taught that the Church would not have lasted beyond the first hundred years if it had not been for the Eucharist. Never would have lasted. And when we come down through the centuries, they did everything they could to deny the Real Presence of Jesus. Anything to get us away from the Real Presence of the Eucharist and the Cross. All these heresies down through the centuries have done the same thing. It’s been an ongoing battle. Take away the importance of the Eucharist. Confuse the issue. Make it into something else. And so Our Lord does battle with these heretics by giving us Miracles of the Eucharist.
Now, I’ve had priests tell us “I don’t need Miracles of the Eucharist.”
And I have to admit, in my weakness, I do need Miracles of the Eucharist. When I can’t go to two churches and hear the Word taught with the same truth, which is according to the Magisterium of the Church, when I am told that words are being put into the mouth of Jesus, and one tradition that comes down from Jesus Himself, is denied from the pulpit of my Church, I need something to hold onto. And then I remember Miracles of the Eucharist, and I come to the truth of what’s happening on the altar, that at this moment, what appears to be a piece of bread, at the moment of Consecration, turns into my Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. .
There’s a heresy based on pride. If you remember Genesis 3:15, it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. This New Age heresy that we’ve got today which is so popular, is from the Garden of Eden. "God knows that you will be as intelligent as He. You won’t die if you eat that fruit. He knows that you’re going to be as smart as He is. That’s why He doesn’t want you to eat that fruit. You can be as God. You can be God." That started in Genesis. We condemned that one. It came back again in 18th century, and we came up with this beautiful gift that the Lord gave us, through Our Pope Blessed Pius IX, where he proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary, to fight Pantheism, which started in the Garden of Eden, and now is back again under New Age, and is called Pantheism again. You are God.
We’re watching Oprah Winfrey one time when they were talking about New Age and this guy comes on her show with a book, “I wrote this book,” he says, “Jesus found the God in Him that I found in me.” Gimme a break!
But this is what it is. It’s been going on forever. St. Ignatius talked about the Eucharist in the 2nd century. He wrote “But pray for me that God give me the grace within as well as without, not only to say it but desire it, that I may not only be called, but that I may be found a Christian.”
There’s a saying, if you stood trial for being a Christian, would you be found guilty?
“Suffer me to be the food of wild beasts, through which I may attain unto God.” He was on his way to Rome to be martyred in the Coliseum. He begged his followers not to try to stop him. And when we read this again just recently, we’ve been studying the Mass – the background – the Old Testament.
You know what the Jews did in the Old Testament? They would laden a goat with wood, representing the sins of the people. And they would lead the goat out into the desert, to be devoured by wild animals. St. Alphonsus Ligouri wrote that Our Lord Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb, laden down with the sins of the world and led out into the desert to be destroyed.
This Is the Sacrifice of the Mass!! This is the price that has been paid for our salvation, by that innocent lamb, that perfect lamb. All that happened in the old law, all those sacrifices, had to be done over and over again because they were imperfect. They were not totally pleasing to God.
And so, over the centuries, there have been many ways the Lord has kept this promise, I will be with you always, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against you. We focus on the Eucharist, because for us, that is the most powerful way. And we focus on these miracles of the Eucharist to share with you how in times of crisis, great crises in our Church, the Lord has given us these Miracles of the Eucharist.
When Catholics understand what goes on on that altar, what goes on in this Church, when Catholics understand, there will be such a line up of people going to Mass, it will be like Easter Sunday every day. You’ll have to wait on line for hours to get into the church, and our seminaries will be filled. You can make that happen. You can make that happen because the Lord has given you that gift.
And when you ask, “What can I do? No one will listen to me. You don’t have to speak. I kept saying to you “Ponder this in your heart. Make this a stamp onto your heart. If this is a stamp, if these Miracles of the Eucharist are a stamp onto your heart, as you are preparing, as the Mass progresses, during the Offertory, you are offering yourself up to the Lord totally as the priest, in the person of Jesus is offering up himself, you are offering up yourself, “all that I am Lord, all that I give to you today, and as you hear the words of consecration, you will see Jesus being lifted up on the Cross, and giving up His last breath for you! And when that piece of the Host is dropped into the Chalice, you’ll cry out “Alleluia!” You are risen. I am going to receive the risen Lord, and I will be a new creation. And so when you walk up to receive that Risen Lord, there will be such a light that will shine from you, that you will blind everyone in the Church, and they will want to know, “What is this? Why, as the Jews said on the first night of Passover, why is this day different from all other days?”
We love you.
This excerpt is from Bob and Penny Lord's dvd, "Why Miracles of the Eucharist?"
This is the Year of John Paul II
This must be the Year of the Eucharist
Family, we are very excited about this year. Pope John Paul II, or Pope John Paul the Great, will be beatified on May 1, in St. Peter’s Square. If the predictions hold true that 700,000 Polish pilgrims will descend on the Holy City for that occasion, it will be the greatest and largest event our Church has ever experienced.
We were present for the Beatification of Padre Pio. It was truly a sight to behold. We didn’t dare try to buck the crowds for his Canonization. We have friends who did go, and they couldn’t get within two blocks of St. Peter’s Square. For the viewing and funeral of Pope John Paul, we don’t even want to speculate on how many faithful waited on line for a mini-second glimpse of our fallen leader. We recall videos on Fox News and EWTN of lines of people waiting all day and through the night to say their goodbyes to the Pope. And so we are looking forward to a great celebration on the life and sanctity of our John Paul the Great.
But there’s so much more to it than the spectacular tribute which will be given him. The legacy he left us is being felt all over the country; I’m sure it’s being felt all over the world. In our Ministry, even before the announcement of the Beatification was made official by the Vatican, we began to experience a great resurgence of interest in the Eucharist. We received a great deal of requests for our books and videos on the Eucharist. As far back as last summer, we began getting requests to give talks, days of recollection, conferences and retreats on the Eucharist through this year and into 2012. We would not have thought that unusual ten or fifteen years ago. We were known as the go-to-people for information on the Eucharist, especially Miracles of the Eucharist. We had pioneered interest in the Miracles of the Eucharist since 1976, when we first visited the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano. All through the 70’s and 80’s, we researched Miracles of the Eucharist throughout Europe. We wrote our first book on Miracles of the Eucharist in 1986. We made our first television series for Mother Angelica on the Miracles of the Eucharist in 1987. It was all done in studio at EWTN in Birmingham, Alabama, and ran on that format for many years. But the clamor to actually see the places of the Miracles and make on-site programs gave us the incentive to go overseas to the shrines, and make on-site documentaries of the Miracles of the Eucharist, which are being shown to this day on EWTN.
But then in the mid-90’s, we began a series on Super Saints, which is also very popular, and which has been running on prime time from that time to this. We keep finding new Saints to share with you, our family. It doesn’t hurt that Pope Benedict XVI is one of our greatest promoters, talking each week at his audiences about Saints, many of them Super Saints we’ve made programs about. And so we became the go-to-people on Saints. If you want to know about a Saint, contact Bob and Penny. If you want someone to talk about the Saints, or a particular Saint, call Bob and Penny. But now, family, as we said, in the last six months, there has been a great regeneration of interest in the Eucharist, and Mother Mary. We know it had to do with Pope John Paul II, and so we looked back to the last years of his life, and the legacy he gave us. We know that his has been a teaching ministry throughout his papacy. He has always been trying to lead us into a direction, towards the Kingdom of Heaven.
But now family, we truly believe Pope John Paul knew he was being called Home by Our Lord Jesus. It’s almost as if he was setting the stage for us for when he would be gone. We recall how blessed we felt the week before his death, when we had the privilege of watching beneath his apartment. When he tried to give us an Easter blessing from the window of his papal apartment, no matter how he tried, he couldn’t get the words out. He clutched his chest, as if trying to summon every ounce of strength he had left, to leave us yet one more word to live by. But to no avail; he was in such pain. He couldn’t get the words out.
But he didn’t have to worry. He had given us a path to Heaven that year and the year before. First, he gave us the Year of the Rosary; then he ended his life giving us the Year of the Eucharist. When he introduced the Year of the Eucharist, right on the heels of the Year of the Rosary, our thoughts went to the vision of St. Don Bosco, and so we have to take a moment here to share it with you. He shared this vision with his boys, on May 30, 1862.
“ Try to picture yourselves with me on the seashore, or better still, on an outlying cliff with no other land in sight. The vast expanse of water is covered with a formidable array of ships in battle formation, prows fitted with sharp, spear like beaks capable of breaking through any defense. All are heavily armed with cannons, incendiary bombs and firearms of all sorts - even books - and are heading toward one stately ship, mightier than them all. As they close in, they try to ram it, set it afire and cripple it as much as possible.
“This stately vessel is shielded by a flotilla escort. Winds and waves are with the enemy. In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky: one surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large inscription reads: Help of Christians; the other, far loftier and sturdier, supports a Host of proportionate size and bears beneath it the inscription Salvation of believers.
“The flagship commander - the Roman Pontiff - seeing the enemy’s fury and his auxiliary ships’ very grave predicament, summons his captains to a conference. However, as they discuss their strategy, a furious storm breaks out and they must return to their ships.
“When the storm abates, the Pope again summons his captains as the flagship keeps on its course. But the storm rages again. Standing at the helm, the Pope strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hang many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains.
“The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. The battle rages ever more furious. Beaked prows ram the flagship again and again, but to no avail, as unscathed and undaunted, it keeps on its course. At times a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole into its hull, but immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.
“Meanwhile, enemy cannons blow up, firearms and beaks fall to pieces, ships crack up and sink to the bottom. In blind fury the enemy takes to hand-to-hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded, He is instantly helped up, but, struck down a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope’s death coincides with that of his successor’s election. The enemy’s self-assurance waned.
“Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers the ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns; first, to the one surmounted by the Host and then to the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point, something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other.
“Some auxiliary ships which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship are the first to tie up at the two columns. Many others, which had fearfully kept far away from the fight, stand still, cautiously waiting until the wrecked enemy ships vanish under the waves. Then, they too head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea.”
This vision of Don Bosco’s so reminds us of the urgency Pope John Paul had to give us these two gifts, the Eucharist and the Rosary before he died. He fully intended to implement the year of the Eucharist, to instill in us the importance of the Eucharist. He had great plans on how the year would be implemented throughout the Church. He talked about how the year would go; he looked forward to the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, which he did not live to see.
We see tremendous parallels with Pope John Paul’s introductory letter to the Year of the Eucharist, and our way of writing about Miracles of the Eucharist. When he introduced the Year of the Eucharist, in October, 2004, he began with Scripture, the Scripture passage regarding the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus. He opened his letter with the phrase, “Stay with us, Lord, for it is almost evening.”
From the very first time we talked about Miracles of the Eucharist, we began with Scripture, John 6: 51. We felt the need to preface any Miracle of the Eucharist with the Scripture passage regarding the Eucharist. When we talk about the importance of the Eucharist to Jesus, we share His urgency to affirm His Real Presence in the Eucharist. We talk about the teaching at Capharnaum, coupled with the actual giving of His Body and Blood at the Last Supper, and then we talk about the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus. We end with them rushing back to Jerusalem after Jesus had made Himself known to them. Their hearts burned as He shared the Scripture passages that affirmed all that Jesus had done, but they recognized Him in the Breaking of the Bread, the Eucharist.
Family, we don’t know what we else we can say that will impress on you the importance of the Eucharist, especially in these times. We have to go back to our basics. Pope John Paul II knew the importance of leading us back to the Eucharist and the Rosary. We have strength, brothers and sisters. We need to tap into that strength, which St. John Bosco gave us in 1862, and John Paul gave us in 2004-5, the Eucharist and the Rosary. We need them. Use them. And above all, know that you are not alone.
You are never alone. We love you!
When did I fall in love with Mother Mary and her most precious Son Jesus, in the Eucharist? On our first pilgrimage in 1976! And that gave birth to our seeking out shrines of the Miracles of the Eucharist and of Apparitions of Mother Mary, and of the Saints. Then through Mother Angelica’s faith in our first book, our first TV program on the Miracles of the Eucharist began in 1986.
When we began researching and writing our second book on Miracles of the Eucharist, in 1994, our Journeys of Faith® led us to discover Saints and Lovers of the Eucharist. And we have not run out of shrines and love stories of the Eucharist, Mother Mary and the Saints. Thank You, Jesus.
We are so grateful to Mother Angelica and EWTN for their faithful airing of our series on the Miracles of the Eucharist, beginning in 1986 (till today) and our series Super Saints. Thus our deep affection for our TV series and all who tirelessly work to bring them to you on EWTN began!
Join with us as we send you excerpts from our books on the Miracles of the Eucharist on the internet and on our TV series on EWTN.
Mother Mary - #1 Lover of the Eucharist
“My Soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For He has done great things for me, and Holy is His Name.”
We celebrated the Mass of the Feast of the Assumption, and our priest in his homily, invited all of us to say the prayer of Mary’s Magnificat, because every time we receive the Eucharist, our souls proclaim the greatness of the Lord. He is inside of us. That gave us food for thought. We are like Mary, when we receive the Eucharist. We hold Jesus in our hearts, as she did. We actually carry the Body and Blood of our Savior with us, as His Mother did for those nine months. She gave thanks for the gift she was given of her God within her. We must give thanks also for the gift of our God within us. Mary was a living tabernacle, a living ciborium. When we receive the Eucharist, we are also, like Mary, a living tabernacle, a living ciborium. Naturally, she would be a lover of the Eucharist.
The Gospel of St. Luke tells us that Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem every Passover. Although it doesn’t specify it in Scripture, we believe that Mary followed Jesus and His apostles throughout His entire public Ministry. If Mary did not spend this last Passover with her Son, the Passover before His death, when He instituted the Eucharist, then where did she spend it, and why? We know that Jesus loved Mary more than any other living creature; we know that Mary was with the Apostles in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Why wouldn’t she be there for this last meal with her Son.
Even if she didn’t know it was to be His last meal, it was the Passover Seder, which was very important to Jewish families. The solemn blessing of the lamp was an important rite of the evening meal of Sabbath or festivals. It was the privilege of the mother of the family to light the Sabbath lamps.
And if she was at the Passover meal with Jesus, did she not receive His Body, and drink His Blood? Would she not have been the first to eat His Body, her Body, and drink His Blood, her Blood? Would anyone have had more right than she? I don’t think so.
St. Ambrose, in speaking on the Eucharist and the Virgin Birth, says, “The body which we make (by the Sacramental rite) has a Virgin as Its origin. Why do you seek the laws of nature in the Body of Christ, since it was by an exemption of the natural order that the Lord Jesus Himself was given birth by the Virgin?”
Vatican Council II says of Mother Mary, “Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of Faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the Cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan enduring with her only-begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associated herself with His sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of This Victim which was born of her.”
We are told by the Council of Trent that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a continuation of the Sacrifice of the Cross. We believe that Mary took part in everything that had to do with her Son. There is even a tradition that the Way of the Cross was instituted by Our Lady. She walked the path that Jesus took to Calvary, every day for the rest of her life. She stopped every place where He fell. She wept where she could see the blood from His Crown of Thorns.
During every Mass we believe Mary processes with the altar server who now carries the crucifix, and the celebrant who through his consecrated hands will change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus, her Son. And then, if you look with the eyes of your heart, you will see her kneeling at the foot of the Altar, once again, offering her Son to the Father.
To truly love her Son, our Savior Jesus, you must first love her Son through her heart and sacrifice.
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas is considered one of the foremost defenders of the Eucharist in the History of the Church. He is given the title, “Angelic Doctor” because of his writings on the Angels, and their role in the Church, but he is also very strong on anything that has to do with Our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. He was always a pious person, but after his ordination, his love of the Eucharist took on major proportions. His biographer, William da Tocco wrote “when consecrating (the bread and wine) at Mass, he would be overcome by such intensity of devotion as to be dissolved in tears, utterly absorbed in its mysteries and nourished with its fruits.”
Now remember, Thomas Aquinas was given one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known and his most important point of reference was always the Eucharist.
St. Thomas Aquinas was involved in the compelling mandate of the Lord to have a Feast Day instituted in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus dazzled the world of the Thirteenth Century by giving them a miracle of the Eucharist which began in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and ended in Bolsena, Italy, to focus our attention for His need and desire for a Feast Day in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.
When the Pope, Urban IV, could not deny the persuasive message of the Lord, through the pleadings of the followers of a simple Belgian nun, Blessed Juliana of Liege, and the undeniable Miracle of the Eucharist in Bolsena/Orvieto, he issued the Papal Bull, Il Transiturus, in 1264, in which he instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. He immediately called on Thomas Aquinas to write the liturgy for that prestigious Feast. He knew the Lord had put Thomas in this world at this time for just the purpose of glorifying His Blessed Sacrament through the splendid Liturgy he wrote. Among the beautiful hymns in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Thomas wrote the memorable “Tantum Ergo” and “O Salutaris”.
You can see how the Lord works in the lives of His Powerful Men and Women. He doesn’t just use them once, and put them away behind a closet. St. Thomas is a perfect example of this. He became so well-known, especially in his knowledge of the Eucharist, that St. Louis, King of France, called on the Saint, to come to Paris, to speak to the students of the University of Paris. There was a question on which they were totally divided. It had to do with the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and they asked Thomas Aquinas to settle it for them.
We find from this, that Thomas was not only a brilliant man, but a very humble man. As well known as he was, he knew that nothing he could say to these young minds, astute in their own rights, could convince them of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. So he did the most intelligent thing he possibly could have done. He prayed and fasted! Does that sound familiar? We recall that our Lady has been asking us to do that for as far back as we can remember. Well, St. Thomas Aquinas prayed and fasted for three days. During that time, he wrote a treatise, which he laid on the Altar before he presented it to the students. When he finally did present it to them, it was not only accepted unanimously by the University students, but by the entire Church. Thomas gave all credit to Jesus in the Eucharist.
We’re told that it was after this brilliant dissertation on the Blessed Sacrament that he had a vision of Our Lord Jesus in which the Lord said to Thomas, “Thou hast written well of the Sacrament of My Body.” At this point, St. Thomas Aquinas went into ecstasy, and levitated. His entire body floated into the air and hovered over the chapel. All the brothers in the convent came into the chapel where he was praying, and beheld him suspended in the air.
There is a very special conversation St. Thomas Aquinas had with the Lord, which we have used as a motto for our ministry. Towards the end of his life, he had an apparition of Our Lord Jesus. He was told “You have written well of Me, Thomas. What would you desire as a reward?” Thomas broke into tears, as he replied, “Nothing, Lord. I’m doing it all for you.”
This article was taken from:
by Bob and Penny Lord.
Family, there have been attacks on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist from the very beginning of our Church. We’re going to take some excerpts from our book, “Scandal of the Cross and Its Triumphs” which Mother Angelica has said should be in every home. Be aware that the enemy has always been lurking in the shadows, waiting to attack. It is an ongoing battle. We must fight the good fight by being firm in our beliefs. Contrary to what many people say, the Church does not change. It is perfect, because it was founded by Jesus Christ. Only some people in the Church are not perfect, and so we have problems. But keep your eye on the Eucharist, and on the Cross, and you cannot go wrong.
The Albigensians of the Eleventh Century were the revived Manichaean sect of the Third Century. Deadly weeds that had lain dormant but not dead under ground, they now shot up, choking the flowers of the Church. These revolutionaries (or Catharists, as they were also known), had risen once more to pose a threat to the Faith. They were a group of radical dissidents who had entered Europe through Bulgaria. They first settled in Southern France. But, not satisfied to confine their venom to the eldest daughter of the Church, they slithered into Italy and Spain.
This heresy gathered all the heresies of the past and put them into one presentation. Their philosophy or false theology used Paganism as well as Christianity to entice the unsuspecting looking for something new! Those within the Church, who are spreading errors today, are doing the very same thing as the Albigensians before them.
The Albigensians believed in two Gods: one good and the other evil. Some of the heresies of the past that also taught this error were the Marcionites in the Second Century, the Manichaeans in the Third Century, and the Paulicians in the Seventh Century.
They rejected all the Sacraments. A great target was the Sacrament of Matrimony. If you can destroy the tree, the fruit will sicken and die. To attack Marriage, is to attack Family; to attack Family is to destroy the world.
Wanting to appeal to the lower nature of man, which they did, they declared it was sinful to marry; however, sexual permissiveness was not only permitted but promoted and encouraged by the Albigensians.
They most emphatically rejected the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. If we believe, we are truly receiving Jesus in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, then we cannot willingly be a party to sin which separates us from Him. The brand of religion they were advertising was not conducive to holiness; therefore do away with the Eucharist. Tell them there is no such thing. There is no Lord who grieves as you sin; there is no sin.
They contended that the Eucharist was not transubstantiated into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ if the priest was unworthy to consecrate the Host. The validity of a Sacrament depending on the worthiness or unworthiness of the Priest who was administering the Sacrament, was dispelled by Councils earlier in our Church’s history.
They claimed that the New Testament was solely the work of humans, who had been inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is what is being taught today, in many of our churches; Jesus never said or did the things attributed to Him in the Gospel; words were put into His Mouth by the Gospel writers. These were situations placed in the Gospel [“of course inspired by the Holy Spirit”, they protest] to draw the different societies (Gentile or Jew) to Christ. They will also say that neither Mark nor Matthew nor Luke nor John ever wrote the New Testament; it is a collection of teachings by many.
They rejected Infant Baptism. According to Canon Law, infants should be Baptized as soon as possible (c.770), and, whoever would defer it without reason for more than three weeks to a month, would sin. As we said before, their rigoristic belief encouraged only the few to partake in a very demanding form of initiation, called consolamentum. They rejected Baptism altogether, in favor of the consolamentum.
They preached disobedience; they contended it was a sin to obey the Clergy or support them in any way. They insisted everyone was endowed with the grace to forgive sins. Yet, Jesus felt delegating this Sacrament to his priests, was so important, after He rose from the dead, He visited the Apostles and breathed on them, saying:
“Receive the Holy Spirit.If you forgive men’s sins,they are forgiven them;
if you hold them bound, they are held bound. (John 23:21)”
They denied the existence of the Holy Trinity.
They denied the Incarnation.
They denied we were redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
They claimed it was no use to confess our sins, that Penance was worthless.
This was a truly benevolent society for the Believer, with one arm short and one arm long; the short one (the giving one) - simply to belong to the cult and pledge allegiance to the Albigensians and their life-style; the long one (the receiving one) - they could lead a life of decadence, and salvation was theirs at no personal cost. There was only one rub. There is always a rub! There was no resurrection. Since the body was evil, if you lost the consolamentum, you kept coming back, through reincarnation, until the body was completely destroyed. So there was a price! There is always a price! Was Jesus going to allow these misguided children of His be lost? No, He raised another Saint!
The Church Fights Back!
Well, the Church is in trouble; God raises up a saint - St. Dominic! The Pope turned to St.Dominic and the Bishop of Osma for help in erasing this threat from the Church. St. Dominic and the Bishop went to the Cistercians and appealed to them to live a more heroic life, a life which more exemplified that of the Savior, Whom they were called to imitate. St. Dominic and the Bishop told them that the commonfolk joined the Albigensians more because of the life they saw them leading, than by their preaching. They asked the Cistercians to cease traveling by horse with an entourage, to no longer stay at comfortable inns, with servants to wait upon them. Dominic said that after they had proved to the people that they were truly living the Gospel, then, they should use gentle persuasion and loving dialogue, rather than intimidation and dictatorial pressures to bring the heretics back to the Church.
At the recommendation of Diego, the Bishop of Osma, Dominic and his followers were sent into the area to live, much like Francis and his followers were living in central Italy. There were seventy two of them. They carried no money, no staff, no possessions. They truly lived the austere Gospel life, in an effort to convert by example. And against overwhelming odds, convert they did! The example they set bore fruit, and by the end of ten years, there were a great deal of conversions. But Albigensianism was still very strong and firmly entrenched.
By this time, Dominic was given his order, Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans. He founded a house for Albigensians who wished to leave the sect. Everything was going fine, until the local Count of Toulouse tried to close the house down. The Count had allowed the heretics to operate freely, to serve his own political ends. The sect controlled a considerable voting block, and was very influential. St. Dominic was causing problems for the Count; he couldn’t allow him to continue. A papal legate was sent to resolve the matter quickly. He tried to dissuade the Count from supporting the heretics, to no avail. When the papal legate excommunicated the Count, he had one of his cohorts assassinate the papal legate.
All hell broke loose. A bloody war ensued, which continued for twenty years. The Count of Toulouse finally stopped supporting the heretics. But then a squabble broke out between him and the king of France, and the Count turned to the Albigensianists again for support.
Through all the battles, victories and defeats, the Lord used St. Dominic and his followers to save the southern part of Europe from the spreading Albigensian heresy. The tide turned in 1229 when the University of Toulouse was opened, with the Dominicans as the major teaching influence in the University. It was also at that time, that the Council of Toulouse instituted an Inquisition, unlike the one in Spain, some three hundred years later, which, due to the State’s interference with the Church, became more political than religious. The Dominicans were put in charge, a post they handled with the real spirit of Christianity that St. Dominic projected. The Order of Preachers grew and grew, so that in less than a hundred years, they had close to 400 convents in the area that had been infested by the heretics.
The heresy was finally put down, not so much by the Inquisition, but by the living example of the followers of St. Dominic. If we were to pick one shining light responsible for fighting for the church of that time, and putting down the Albigensian heresy, it would have to be St. Dominic. Our Lord knew who to put in the right place at the right time.
Berengarianism was a highly destructive heresy against the Church. It spread its poison throughout Europe for over three hundred years. The founder of Berengarianism was a member of the Clergy named Berengarius (or Berengar). He was born in Tours, France around 999 A.D. As with so many gifted people who go off course, Berengarius had a great start in the Faith. He studied in Chartres, under St. Fulbert. Much was expected of him. How did Berengarius succumb to heresy? He didn’t get it from his teacher. St. Fulbert fought the very philosophy, that of naturalism, which Berengarius would use to deny the true presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Berengarius wrote a dissertation opposing the Church’s teaching on the Holy Eucharist and sent it to Rome in care of someone named Lanfranc. Lanfranc brought it to the Pope’s attention, and that’s when the Popes, one after the other, got involved. Leo IX was the first pope to hear of it in 1050. He called a synod, in 1054, in which he condemned the teaching of Berengarianism which stated that while the bread and wine in the Eucharist become Christ’s Body and Blood, they do so figuratively, remaining substantially or physically what they are. Is this not what our separated brothers and sisters in Christ believe, since the time of Luther, that the Eucharist is only symbolically the Lord?
Two popes during their Pontificates, called synods, to deal with this heresy. Finally, Pope Gregory VII called two councils in Rome, one in 1078 and then another in 1079. Berengarius was sent for by the first council that convened in Rome, in 1078. They called him in to answer questions about his doctrine. Although he had supposedly relented twenty years before and had sworn to defer to the Church’s findings, there were doctrinal errors being taught, which smacked suspiciously of his former errors. As with some of our modern theologians who are censored for a time and then return, we judge repentant, but then continue to spread heresies of all kinds, it seemed Berengarius had made an oath with his head and not his heart. The issue of the true presence of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament was still being argued. The Church deemed it prudent to call Berengarius in. After careful deliberation, they required him to make a profession of faith and he complied!
As with many of our brothers and sisters who ascertain they live by the Word alone, Berengarius interpreted the Bible using human reasoning, rather than relying on, and obeying, the Magisterium, the interpretation of the Word by the Church which has survived the test of time. As with some of our theologians today, he was trying to explain a Mystery with the world’s realism. This has become known as a heresy of rationalism.
As is often very deviously presented to us today, in masked terminology, what he said was that since the bread and wine, used for the consecration, remained bread and wine in appearance, They could not be the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Berengarius claimed that since bread and wine remained what they were, bread and wine, the Body of Christ remained in Heaven, and was not truly present in the Holy Eucharist.
It was common knowledge that Berengarius was not in agreement with the oath he had taken, in 1078, so the following year, the Council required he make an even more explicit pledge of loyalty and obedience to the Church and her teachings. Again, he agreed. And again, with this profession of faith, although he fully knew what he was signing, he later reneged.
The Council of Rome, in 1079, played an essential role in defining Eucharistic Doctrine through this profession of faith:
“I, Berengarius, believe interiorly and profess publicly that the bread and wine, which are placed on the altar, through the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of our Redeemer are substantially changed into the true, proper, and life-giving flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. After the consecration it is the true body of Christ, which was born of the Virgin, and which hung on the cross as an offering for the salvation of the world, and which sits at the right hand of the Father. And it is the true blood of Christ which was poured forth from His side. And Christ is present not merely by virtue of the sign and the power of the sacrament but in his proper nature and true substance as is set down in this summary and as I read it and you understand it. This I believe and I will not teach any more against this faith. So help me God and this holy Gospel of God!”
We will, once more, see God making a positive out of a negative. Because of Berengarius’ heresy, against the true presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, the Church defined the doctrine of transubstantiation, affirming what the Church has believed and taught from the very beginning.
In 1562 at the Council of Trent, Mother Church defended the Holy Eucharist, one more time, against new heresies, drummed up by new heretics calling themselves reformers. It made this declaration on Transubstantiation:
Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly His Body that He was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church, and this holy council now again declares that, by the Consecration of the bread and wine a change takes place in which the whole substance of bread changes into the substance of the Body of Christ our Lord, and the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His Blood. This change the Catholic Church fittingly and properly names Transubstantiation.
In other words, the entire host which appears to be bread is changed into the Body of Christ; and the wine although it appears to be wine, is changed into the real Blood of Christ. They are no longer bread and wine; they only appear to be. It is by this Transubstantiation that the Body and Blood of Christ are present in the Holy Eucharist
Had Berengarius walked too far down the wrong path, he couldn’t find his way home? Compassionate mother that she is, Mother Church took him back. He died at peace with the Church; She had forgiven him one more time.
Did we not see our own dear Pope, Pope John Paul II, censuring Theologians and bishops, and then taking them back? And what is the thanks he and Mother Church received? These dissenters continue, like Berengarius, to attack the Faith.
We love you!
Taken from "Scandal of the Cross and Its Triumph, Heresies Throughout the History of the Church." by Bob and Penny Lord.