Living the Eucharist like the Light of the Sun!
We have been exploring how to find unity with Jesus in the Eucharist through the writings of Venerable Concepciόn Cabrera . Her transformation into Jesus was so complete that upon her death her face became radiant and changed to resemble the face of Jesus Crucified. For Concepciόn, finding Jesus with her in the Eucharist, was the most important and central goal of her life. Although we each don’t experience mystical phenomenon, it is given to some so that each of us can come to “know” the true grandeur of the mysteries of God at our finger tips. We want to develop intense lives of holiness that interact with the everyday moments of life so we can live in sync with the Resurrected Jesus. Our Lord described this priority to Concepciόn as becoming a living cross with the living Christ.[i]
How do I prepare myself to receive the Host? I draw near with my soul, from the moment when I wake up. I call out for it with my lips, I attract it with my sighs, I long for it, I love it, and with a thousand acts of discipline, I prepare… for it. My chalice is full to the brim with this lowly blood, drawn and extracted out of love to mingle with his blood on the altar, my Immaculate Lamb, and together they are offered up to God’s throne, asking for grace. Is it not an undeserved happiness and favor to have an altar within and the freedom to be able to do this for my Jesus without anybody knowing? My soul’s blood, its life fluid, is also for Jesus. Power, feelings, and my life, I place them all at the foot of the tabernacle.[ii]
By keeping herself perked in ordinary moments, through thousands of acts of discipline, Concepciόn learned to take on the intimate priorities of the Heart of Jesus, to care about saving souls. She saw that each of us offers Jesus distinct and totally unique praise and human love, which will be missing for all Eternity if we never find and love Him on Earth. When we acknowledge Him with us, we can seek His “two cents” and offer that very moment, no matter what it contains, to the Father with Him for the salvation of others in danger of being lost.
As He told Concepciόn, we become a living cross by, moment by moment, losing ourselves in the mystery of the intimate heart of Jesus: “Your entire life will be reduced to be submerged into this most bitter sea of my Heart and to go up by the internal cross, till you reach the Holy Spirit.”[iii]
By practicing “loving attentiveness”[iv] to God, we learn to glance towards Him, like a sunflower follows the sun. In this light we grow more like Him and receive the guiding light of the Holy Spirit’s inspirations to gather graces for others. Think about yourself. Where do you lose yourself and forget God in the moment. Some depends on our personalities and state in life, and whether we are task or people oriented. Sometimes, I find myself worrying about, instead of praying for, one of my children or engrossed in canning the 5 gallon bucket of garden tomatoes, and I forget that Jesus delights in doing it with me.
We also want to become aware of anything that diminishes the freedom of our impulses towards God. Do you get snagged as a workaholic, in overeating or in gossip? Do you act out of impulses related to your wounds rather than persisting to love, like being hypersensitive to the words and choices of others? Do you look out for Number One and think about others late? Confront your issues so they do not lessen the sensitivity of your soul, prayer life and capacity to receive the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
We want to grow into the way of Concepciόn which she wrote about:
If only I could be a seraphim, to offer him his burning ardor. If only I could be a cloudless sky to receive Him or that I had the innocence of Mary and the feelings of her Immaculate Heart to envelop Him! If only I had all the tenderness of every mother to caress Him! Finally, if only I could be a living Cross, so He could be nailed to me and there remain forever!… When I see the Host exposed, it is as if my soul flies to Him and adheres to Him like the light to the sun. I care for nothing, only that He shines in the depths of my soul dimming everything and playing the divine chord of His love in all my being.[v]
[i] Ruiz, Vazquez, M.Sp.S., Father Luis, Priestly Oblation of Christ and Priestly Dimension of Baptism in Concepción Cabrera de Armida, unpublished English Translation, p. 33.
[ii] Gonzalez Gutierrez M.Sp.S., Father Juan, Irresistibly Drawn to the Eucharist: Conchita Cabrera de Armida’s Most Beautiful Writings on the Eucharist, Society of St. Paul, Staten Island, New York, 2002, p. 12.
[iii]Ruiz, Vazquez, M.Sp.S., Father Luis, Priestly Oblation of Christ and Priestly Dimension of Baptism in Concepción Cabrera de Armida, unpublished English Translation, p.33
[iv] Kaufmann, Mary Gannon, Transformation through Loving Attention, Homiletics and Pastoral Review, April 19, 2012
[v] Gonzalez Gutierrez M.Sp.S., Father Juan, p. 13.
Art: Venerable Concepción Cabrera and Burning Heart of Jesus, used with permission.