Sunday, February 04, 2007

Blasts from the past

From a post I made about a year and a half ago:
"The Gaze"

by Pat Gohn

In formal settings, when a Catholic church sets up a weekly or daily schedule of Adoration or Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, volunteers (like me) sign up to pray during a designated hour. The Blessed Sacrament, meaning the large consecrated Host that a priest elevates during Mass, is exposed or revealed in a monstrance usually an ornate vessel that displays the Host on an altar. Catholics believe in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. When we sit, stand or kneel before the Blessed Host consecrated at Mass we are doing so before Jesus Himself. Jesus is there completely in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread ...

... A friend invited me to the weekly parish prayer group. Hours before the prayer group met, the church was open for silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. One night, I knelt down in the pew, settled my attention on the monstrance, and I saw His face. Not literally, but in my mind's eye. Maybe I should say I knew in a powerful way that Jesus there, focused on me. I saw Jesus looking at me with deep, deep love that reached into the hidden places in my soul. His gaze took my breath away. And I realized that my heart rate was quickening, not in a disturbing way, but in a Song-of-Songs-here-is-the-lover-of-my-soul kind of way.

The Gaze needed no words. I was known. By Him. I didn't have to explain, petition, or make excuses. I could just be. And I gave Him my gaze. And there we were, exchanging gaze for gaze. Like lovers.

Later on, I was struck by another reality. I had seen this Gaze before: in the eyes of my husband, in the face of my baby at the breast, in the countenance of a dear friend. The Gaze had been present to me in and through the beloved ones in my life. But now, before this altar, Jesus had me all to Himself. He was the lover and I was the beloved.
Full piece.

And I can't resist adding this, from Eucharistic Whisperings by Winfrid Herbst,SDS, The Society of the Divine Saviour, 1929.
Oh, I am even happier than were the three Apostles on Mount Tabor! I may remain here with Jesus just as long as I like. Here I am not dazzled by the splendor of His glory; no, but I am set aglow and warmed to the soul's very depths by the gentle fire of His love.

It is true; I do not hear the voices of Moses and Elias, but I do hear - O so plainly! - the voice of His love. I do not hear the Father say, "This is My beloved Son;" but I do hear Jesus telling me that I am His beloved child. Oh, it is good to be here, with Jesus!

Many things oppress me in life and weigh me down - things that I may not impart to others, because they would not understand. Verily, sometimes my heart would break if I could not tell my Jesus all.

I also tell Him the whole sad story of my sins, but He does not punish me with contempt. No; He even encourages me to wash those stains away from my soul by tears of true repentance - tears to which He graciously adds some few drops of His Precious Blood. Oh, how good it feels to weep in the arms of Jesus, Who forgives me everything!

. . . .

And then, when I raise my eyes to the Sacred Host, I see Jesus before me; and He seems to look down upon me with those very eyes of goodness and love which He so tenderly cast upon the penitent Magdalen.

Ah! One only hour in the tabernacle’s shadow is truly worth infinitely more than a hundred years spent upon a throne!
Lifted from Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

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