FR. MICHAEL WRITES:-
Thank God I made another mistake last week so I can now look forward to the grace of recovery. I had put in the Bidding Prayers that Pope Francis had canonised five new saints but when I had a proper look at them this week, found that he had canonised seven. Seven saints! How fabulous for the saints’ local and national Churches as well as for us all in the Church universal. I returned to them as I knew vaguely (rather too vaguely as it turned out) that they would encourage us towards the immense benefits in the opportunitiesour parish now offers again, at least for the time being, for joining the Lord in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. From tomorrow, Monday 24th Oct., the Feast of St Anthony Mary Claret (another splendid saint and accordingly a day when it is practically a religious duty to share a bottle of the eponymous Claret) we will have at least one hour of Adoration, a Holy Hour, each weekday from 3.00pm to 4.00pm as well as the Holy Hour on Saturdays from 5.00pm to 6.00pm, during which Confessions are also heard. The new Carmelite saint, St Elizabeth of the Trinity (died, aged 26, in 1906) learned even as she entered her convent that her name, Elizabeth, comes from the Hebrew, ‘House of God’, and the recognition of the divine indwelling in each of us of the Father, Son and Spirit, was her principal grace for the Church. Her motivation for her own Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was “to return some of His great love to the Beloved of the Eucharist”. As she lay dying, she comforted a sister, “I think that in Heaven my mission will be to draw souls by helping them go out of themselves to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement and to keep them in this great silence within, that will allow God to communicate Himself to them and transform them in Himself”. The immensely rich interior life of the soul is of course the calling for each of us whatever our circumstances and, irrespective of the difficulties we face on earth, is more certainly still our destiny in heaven. Her allusion to our going out of ourselves, however, highlights the other great dimension brought about by Adoration. Bishop Gonzalez Garcia of Malaga (died 1940) was another of those canonized by Pope Francis last Sunday. Whilst rejoicing in the nickname ‘Bishop of Abandoned Tabernacles’ his love of the Eucharistic Lord is clear. But among the richest fruits of his prayer before the Lord was what it moved him to do, which is to say his founding of the Eucharistic Missionaries of Nazareth, a religious order interiorly nourished by the Eucharist, as are we all, but then setting out on the most rigorous missionary endeavours. Obviously our Adoration can only be attended by those who are available but its fruits will be many for the whole parish, the Church and the world. The Lord awaits us. If we pop in or remain with Him, let us do so.