Monday, December 22, 2014

Troubled relationship

"Di parin po kami okay." from a woman, early 20's. she's in a relationship and after several days of disagreement, they are still not settled.

i cannot do anything about him (his boyfriend). counseling is a confidential matter; it is far above friendship or any family relationship. counseling is not biased for it is fact oriented. i cannot intervene regarding him unless he seeks for my advice. it is true that the only persons who can really work-out a troubled relationship are the persons who are involved.

i can give you some practical tips to reflect upon to improve yourself for your relationship:

1.prudence is always important for it involved good timing on everything;
2.waiting is irritating but most of the time it is how things work for we don't always find answers right away in the real world;
3.always think twice before uttering any word for the mind and heart would understand them according to the person's mood, expectation about you and his respect for him/herself;
4.to say sorry is always the easy part but to repair the damages caused by imprudent actions would take a long time, even, sometimes, a lifetime because for many, trust is being broken in this situation;
5.give freedom to the person you love, it is giving respect and dignity to who he is. to hold him too tight is a sign of distrust; do not nag, boy's don't like being scolded like a child, it is the more they won't open to you; otherwise, they will start to lie just to please you; men usually talk too little.
6.be honest, do not pretend to be like someone else or do not over value yourself because disappointment is the start of the end of any relationship; sometimes, disappointment is also a measurement of how he really loves you since no relationship is already perfect in the beginning. also, the guy always know if the test is just fabricated so be mindful not to hurt his ego. love is only perfected through time when all the strengths and weaknesses of the person is fully embraced by the other person;
7.in a relationship, you need to change yourself for the better not of yourself but of your relationship;
8.balance your work and relationship, you also have a life of your own. if you have a problem with your love life, do not let your other relationships be affected by it;
9.and do not overeat like the other girls i have known, they just get fat right away. release your life's tensions on a more positive way.
10.lastly, pray that something great would happen. after praying, act accordingly and claim that God is by your side.




Mahirap mag-isip kapag malungkot ang isang tao

"mahirap din po kase mag isip ng matuwid kung nalulungkot ka."


true. kaya nga, we need to be always with Jesus Christ. sabi nga ng kanta, "with Christ in my vessel, I could smile at the storm." yung vessel ay boat, it could be our life; yung storm, pwedeng problem, heart aches, sadness, pains or life's challenges. With Christ in my vessel, I could smile at the storm-- ibig sabihin, dapat laging may hope kahit malungkot ang buhay natin. Hindi naman tayo nalulungkot ng walang dahilan pero hindi naman nangangahulugan na kapag malungkot tayo e susuko na lang tayo basta-basta. mas malungkot tayo, mas lalo dapat tayong kumapit kay Lord. lahat ng mga minahal natin ay maaaring saktan at iwan tayo, pero si Jesus, andyan lang palagi isang prayer lang, connect ka na agad sa kanya. kapag malunkot ka, okay lang umiyak pero mahirap umiyak ng mag-isa, kaya isama mo si Jesus para kasama mo siya na umiyak hanggang sa gumaang uli ang kalooban mo.

ganun lang naman ang buhay, ngayon umiiyak ka... bukas makalawa, tatawanan mo lang ang dahilan ng pagluha mo ngayon... at tsaka sasabihin mo kapag lumipas na ang lahat ng problema sa buhay, "thanks God, hindi mo ako talaga pinabayaan." Good morning.

love

love becomes love only when it can accept lies, cheats, hypocrisy and humiliations. all of us are capable of loving; but not all of us are capable of long-term tolerance. only true lovers (not masochists) can-- for true love always entails sacrifice.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Prayer

perhaps, at some point, we already know our end; and, somehow, we ritualized the process of going there. yung bang feeling na alam naman natin na sasagutin naman ni God yung prayers natin pero yung mag-effort pa na magsisimbang gabi pa tayo para mas maging symbolic yung sincerity natin sa paghingi ng idinadasal natin. siguro, naka-ka-guilty din yung bibigyan lang tayo ng isang bagay na hindi rin natin pinaghihirapan kaya in a way, nire-reciprocate din natin ang ating intentions sa ating actions-- kahit alam natin na walang makakasapat sa grasya na nagmumula sa biyaya ng diyos. ang nakikita kong dilemma dito ay: nangyayari ba ito dahil sa "uso" lang or dahil sa "pagtanaw ng utang na loob" na tipikal na filipino mentality... well, napaisip nyo ako dito, sana dahil sa pagmamahal para kay "BRO Jesus" nag-uugat ang sakripisyo natin ngayong simbang gabi.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tomorrow will ‘Still’ be Christmas.

  
Looking at the big fire that devours his little store, Tonny cannot do anything but to cry. He can’t get in… there is a ‘no-entry’ sign, the firemen stopped him to cross the barricading line. He wanted to save, at least, the gifts he prepared for his children. He pleaded but they don’t listen, “Please, let me in… just for my children…” They dragged him away and calmed him there. Afar, he sees everything… his hard labored little store which he cherished for years is now turning into ashes. Helplessly and horrified, he sunk to the ground.


Tomorrow will be Christmas. But now, it seems that his family would not be happy. He has nothing in his pocket--only the key to his little store… but the little store is already no more.

Everything is in his little store. His little store is just a little stall in the market.  In the drawer, the money he hardly saved for the occasion. In one of the makeshift cabinets, there he placed the gifts he carefully wrapped for his three little children.

Before he left their home that morning, he saw his wife preparing already for the Noche Buena. She is starting to cook rice puddies and sweets. When Tonny bid goodbye to his wife, his wife kissed him and told him, “Please come back home for the Noche Buena.” His children came to him, hugged him and teased him, “Papa, don’t forget our Christmas gifts!” and they all laughed. Tonny smiled, he told the kids, “it would be a surprise!”  He blinked to his wife saying that there’s no need to worry for he had already prepared the gifts, all what he needs to do is to bring them home from his little store.

And now, everything he cherished in that little store is on fire. He has no more business other than this. All are burning already. He doesn’t know now how to start all over again. It was a faulty electrical system that he ignored for years because he doesn’t want to compromise on any possible unexpected expenses. All what he know is that he just wanted to save money. He whispered to his own self, “If I just knew that this would have happened… I should have done better.” But now, it’s too late. The light materials of his store together with his merchandize are all being devoured now by the fire. He started to blame himself. But, it’s too late.

By now, through the news on the media, he imagined that his wife would have possibly already have known the accident. But, it is more painful for him to imagine the disappointed face of his three little children. He is saddened of the thought that he would disappoint them… after all, he made a promise that he would surprise them.

It was already night time when the fire was totally extinguished by the firemen. He checked for any remnants but nothing was left.

He walked home so sad. On the road, a passenger from the van has thrown something shouting “get lost you little useless being!” He checked what was it and he discovered a puppy. The puppy was so afraid. It’s trembling and one of its feet was terribly hurt. He get his handkerchief and put a bondage on the little paw of the puppy. “Now you are better. I hope, you would meet your new master soon.” The puppy wagged its tail and barked at him saying thanks. Tonny started to leave the puppy as he head for home, “I know how sad you feel…” he whispered to himself, “me, too, I am lost.” He looked into heavens and asked God, “God, what would I say to my children?”

 

Now, Tonny is in front of their little house. He can hear his three little children talking excitedly about their Papa’s surprise gift. The imagination of sad faces made him shake his head but he composed himself. He knocked at their door, his wife came out and embraced him, “it’s okay honey” she already knew what had happened, “we’ll get through this,” she comforted him.

The children eagerly run toward him… Tonny kneel, he started to uttered slowly, “I want to say to all of you… about the surprise gift…” his voice starts to crack and the glowing faces of his children starts to fall “…that I am very… very sorry… because…” There was silence… He doesn’t know how to say it. “God, help me,” he thought. The children, also silent, are waiting for his next words. Then, out of nowhere a small bark broke their silence.


The gloomy faces of the children started to spark! “A puppy! A puppy for Christmas!” Tonny looked back and saw the little puppy that followed him. The children jumped into joy and they hurriedly picked the puppy up and joyfully cradle it into their arms. They hug and kissed their Papa, “Oh boy! Oh boy, this is the best Christmas present ever! Thank you Papa.” the children cheered. 


Tonny’s wife is so happy; she embraced Tonny with tears in her eyes.  “Thanks a lot my dear. After all, you made our children really happy.” Tonny looked into heaven, “Thank you God. You make my family happy.”


Merry Christmas. 

Den Mar

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bokasyon


Dati gusto ko nang sumuko...
Sa tuwing binabalikan ko ang lahat
Naririnig ko ang dati kong sarili
Na laging gustong-gustong lumabas
At tumakas sa buhay na pinili para sa akin ng Diyos.

Kahit na ako, hindi ko akalaing dito ako mapapadpad
Pero, dito ako inilagayy ng Diyos
Nananalig ako na kasama ko siya
Kung kaya nagpapaubaya na lamang ako ng buong ganap
At sumusuko sa kagustuhan Niya para sa akin

Hilaw man ang aking pagnanasa noong una
Dahil pikit-matang tumugon ako tawag ng Diyos
Pero sa katagalan ng panahon
Natutunan kong ma-appreciate ang kabutihan ng Diyos
Hanggang sa natutunan kong nang lumaon na ibigin din ang Diyos

Mula noon, pinalad na akong makita ko na Siya
Nakita ko siya sa mga taong kapwa ko kasing-bigo
Nakita ko siya sa mga taong dukha at mahina
Nahawakan ko siya at buhay na buhay na nakausap
Dahil naka-daupang palad ko Siya sa lahat ng kanyang iniibig na nilikha!

den mar

Testing the Vocation

BSVC is the right place to start purifying your intentions. Inspired by one other, you and your fellow discerner-- prays for one another, remind one another and inspires one another.
Like any other youth groups, BSVC also have its own set of rules and regulations. These are not to stop you from being who you are but to make yourself available to discern freely.
BSVC is a one of the portals to understand the other dimension of your personality... your future is glimpsed through this group. But what's inside the BSVC formation is not the totality of your entire vocation. Your stay in the BSVC can be only be fruitful unless you become open to the requisite of vocation discernment which is openness to formation and, at the same time, balancing your current way of life as a student or young professional.
While inside the group, it is very normal for the members to open to one another their current struggles in life that affects their vocation. Just try to listen to one another. In the many occasions that you will gather together, you will have your chance to be heard by other members; so start also recognizing the providence of God in your own vocation. Try starting retelling your vocation story to yourself. Do not be ashamed to admit to your self your humble beginnings since God is always working in the humility of our first few steps towards Him. Start appreciating other's stories as God work in their daily lives.
Normally, single male or single female are the usual member of the BSVC. Those who are in a commitment with their boyfriend or girlfriend are usually advised to nourish their present relationship.
About the intriguing question, about those who are in a relationship: if they are allowed to join in the BSVC? Rev. Fr. Kenny Joe, who was also a former BSVCian, answered, “BSVC is a test of vocation for all of the members. A test which gives them a chance to see beyond their present plans in life. BSVC provides a place where they can talk with God about God’s plan in their life. BSVC is a place where we open ourselves to the possibilities of other vocation other that what we are thinking or planning ahead of us. So, those who are in a relationship who chose to enter BSVC, I advised them to pause for a while and maintain some distance away from one another so that they can reflect more and pray more about the will of God in them. They need to free themselves from any commitments to freely focus themselves to God. I know it is painful, but we cannot serve two masters. But on the lighter side, they would understand that vocation is not all about being a brother-religious, a priest or a sister-nun at all! But, it is also about single-blessedness and married life! Discernment requires us to free ourselves from any commitments so that we freely decide when the right time for us to decide without any biased. That's why we discern carefully, at this stage, so that when we reach the point that we are about to choose what vocation is for us, we will go for it with maturity and with our full responsibility. We will go for it with God at our side. That’s why parents are very supportive because BSVC, as a vocation discernment club, co-journeys with their children.”
If ever someone has decided to enter a seminary, for males; or decided to enter a congregation for a nun, if a female... BSVC is also a venue to discern the charism of the candidate. There are future questions that are usually encountered when someone has already entered the priestly or sisterly formation like: "what charism is really fitted for me?" Charism is the work of the Holy Spirit within the person. Charism is an expression of our love that we can contribute for the growth of the Church.
When Religious are talking about Charism, it is like giving their occupation inside the Church. Some congregations dedicate themselves in teaching, helping the homeless or feeding the poor and the like. Some are dedicated to be Parish Priests under the care of a Bishop. Some became Religious-brothers who do specific task in the Church... and so on and so forth. At the end, the Charism is the specific expression of the love of Jesus Christ, a gift of the Holy Spirit, that animates congregations to serve the Church. Charism is the love of God, given through these different congregations, to the beloved of God.
BSVC has linkages to different seminaries and congregations in the Archdiocese of Cagayan that could help any BSVC member to purify his or her innermost questions. Most of the time, when the member's charism fits more the diocesan seminary or other religious formation, BSVC is recommending the person to go to where he or she most fitted. This is not a matter of sending away the person from the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament but a way of guiding the person to his or her better more suitable place so that the possibility of leaving any formation because of mismatched charism would be lessen.
Of course, the final decision is always given to the person concern. The person is given the ultimate freedom to choose for himself or herself.
The BSVC a gift of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament to the Church so BSVC is more concern on the success rate of its applicant whether inside the Coongregation of the Blessed Sacrament or even to different seminaries and other congregations.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Luke 16:9-15

Scripture: Luke 16:9-15

9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations. 10 "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." 14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him. 15 But he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

===

Reflection:

The reading today has a clear-cut message, “we cannot serve both God and mammon.”

‘Mammon’ is a term for wealth which is regarded having evil influence or it could also be a false object of worship and devotion. It was taken by medieval writers as the name of the devil of covetousness, and revived in this sense by John Milton in the classic Paradise Lost.

As religious, we are within a prevailing global economy where the influence of ‘mammon’ occurs. Mammon could be power, money, or influence. It is true that without money, we do not have purchasing power to buy food and other basic goods in order for us to survive and to live. It is true that without power we cannot be free to become who we are. It is true that without influence we cannot practice our authority as a Church. But as religious, the world is also looking upon us on how we manage our material resources.

As I reflect our life as religious, I can say that it is a contradiction against the prevailing current of the world. The more we know God, the more we understand and connect ourselves to Him. Instead of clinging to the material world, we cling only to Jesus who is the creator of the material world.
Jesus has a poor life… but He has faithful friends who generously supported His earthly ministry as a priest, healer and teacher. This poverty has made Jesus rich by serving God without personal attachments or even without political biases.  Jesus has no power, for He Himself was condemned and crucified. What He had was His genuine love to God, the Father and His obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus has no great influence for He let people to be free in choosing to love God and to freely choose to change.

We know that Jesus is a God who chooses to be a slave. He stripped off Himself of His crown of glory and has chosen to live among us. Thus, Jesus becomes a model for us on how to live generously by giving our self for those who we love.
As religious-seminarian, I always reflect on how I should live. It is always with prudence, modesty and simplicity. I admit that it is so painful to leave behind the comforts of the world but at the end, I realized that with God, I become more free.  Gadgets are constantly changing… collecting newer ones were addictive and exciting… but at the end, it is also tiresome-- for the world never gets tired of reinventing itself until we realized that our youthful energy is already burned out by this worldly trends that seems to be unending and has no plan to stop.

As St. Augustine told us, God is never changing yet God always remains new. It could mean that the love of God is always there since from the beginning of time for us; but every day we always discover newer ways of how God remain loving us. Every day is always a revelation of God’s generous love for all of us. Truly, the love of God is inexhaustible.
As a person, I have only one life. The question is how to use this God given life-- Is this life is a life for ‘mammon’ or is this life is a life for God?

Mammon in our times becomes the little gods. Money, power and prestige become godlike where everyone becomes so willing to surrender their freedom in exchange of wealth, influence and fame. To embrace the cross freely, we need to let go of these baggages. Just like Jesus, in order to love God, we need to empty ourselves through ‘kenosis’ so that the Spirit of God could enter and penetrate freely into the deepest part of our heart where we let God to reside permanently in our heart… our life being the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our life being a reflection of God’s image.

As a person, I have only one life and I want to give it only to my one true God. A Trinitarian God who loves me back… who inspires me and give me strength when I am low… a God who never abandoned me when I have almost nothing… a God who silently suffers with me in everyday trials and persecutions.

As our founder is always telling us, “You already have the Eucharist, what else would you ask for?”

With these great words of our founder, I realized that, yes, I have only one life… and my constant prayer is that I always want to give it back to God who first loved me before I knew how to love Him back.


Amen.

Creative Adoration

1.Prayer of Adoration. Br. Jon
2-3 minutes only

A.Read this introduction:

You are my God and my all
You alone, I adore
In Your works is a mighty presence
Of Your Holiness I see...

My heart sings your joy to Your name
Proclaiming Your great majesty
You're the living Christ who dwells in me
The Saving Lord, Jesus, I've known...

B.Compose a personal prayer Adoring God.

2.Prayer of Contrition. Br. Joseph
2-3 minutes only

A.Read this introduction:

I come to You my Lord
As a broken soul
I lift to You all my shame and my fears
Make me whole once more.

In Your hands, I lift to You my past
That burdens me all my life
Forgive my sinful heart my Lord
Heal me with Your love.

Teach my heart Your ways, O Lord
Purify my withered soul
Use my hands to serve You once more
Use my life and my all...

B.Compose a prayer of sorry to God in behalf of the scandals of the Church, of the misgivings of the community and of the omissions of ordinary seminarians. Ask for inspiration to change and be renewed.

3.Prayer of Thanks. Br. Tonny
2-3 minutes only

A.Read the introduction.

O God of silence, I heard your voice
Deep within my darkness you called my name
You touched my heart, as You blessed me with your light
You fill my longing spirit with Your love.

Thank You, O God of silence, because I heard your call
You gently whisper through my weary soul
You purify my intention with Your divine compassion
And now I will take my response.

B.Compose a personal prayer of Thanksgiving to God—saying the thanksgiving of the Church, thanksgiving for the graces received by the community and thanksgiving for the graces received by you as seminarian.

4.Prayer of Supplication. Br. Dang.
2-3 minutes only

A.Read this introduction
On my journey with God
I am letting Him lead
I let things go
And let my God
To do His will in me
I trust Him with all my heart
On my journey
I know that He is near.

I lift to Him all my fears
I rest my struggling soul to Him
All my life's desires
And loneliness of my heart
Are lifted up to God
The source of joy of my heart. 


B.Compose a personal prayer asking God for daily needs of the Church, of the community and of the seminarians.

===
***you can use this as your pattern in your creative adoration.
see also:

Br. Den Mar

The Praying Church

Under the Roman Empire, Christianity has begun as a persecuted religion. Jesus Christ who was crucified and died on the cross has inspired new believers through His apostles and disciples. The witnessing of the early Christians, amidst persecution, has resulted to more converts who were inspired by their faith. Under the emperor Nero, persecutions worsen.

Only after almost three hundred years of persecution, only under Constantine, who had a vision of the cross and who fought under its protection and later has won the battle of Milvian Bridge, that the edict of Milan finally paved way for them as it gave freedom to Christians to worship Jesus as Lord.

"Through the mother of Constantine, the mother queen Helena, gave palaces to become churches and one of this is the Lateran Palace which was built in the time of Constantine and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. The Lateran Church is also known as the the Basilica of St. John Lateran and is the cathedral of Rome. This is not St. Peter's basilica, but it is the Pope's cathedral. Also called the Church of Holy Savior or the Church of St. John Baptist, it was the baptism church of ancient Rome. This feast became a universal celebration in honor of the basilica called "the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world" (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput) as a sign of love for and union with the See of Peter.
The Lateran Cathedral, as it is known today is considered the mother of all Churches. It is considered as the earliest parish church. We celebrate this magnificent Church as we celebrate also the freedom of Christianity.
Later in our Church history, Theodosius I, the son of Constantine, would make Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire."

http://www.rome.info/basilicas/st-john-lateran/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archbasilica_of_St._John_Lateran
===
After 2000 years, it is true that Jesus really remained faithful to His Church. Until now, we celebrate Jesus in the Eucharist.  The power of the Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ present in our midst.

Jesus Christ, who suffered, died and who has risen continuously inspires us as we gather together as His faithful Church. Jesus Christ is the temple who was destroyed by power of evil through the hands of men has been restored by the power and the will of the God, the Father. Obedience, through his passion, death and resurrection has become more meaningful for all of us… and perhaps, this inspires the early Christians to persevere for their Christian faith even to the point also of death… a painful death under martyrdom.

===
As a Church, prayer has been our connection to God and Jesus Himself taught us to pray to God the Father.
Our founder, St. Peter Julian Eymard, has taught us to pray. Perhaps, St. Peter Julian Eymard, being an apostle of the Eucharist has also discovered the driving force that motivated the spirituality of the Early Christian communities who were also described in the Acts of the Apostles—who pray together, break the bread together, who listen to the word of God together and who share their resources together.

St. Peter Julian Eymard, gave us a pattern on how to pray most especially during our adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps, St. Peter Julian Eymard patterned the prayer in the Lord’s prayer-- he advised us to start first our prayer in praising God as we adore Him in all His magnificence and greatness, second he advised us to prepare ourselves by doing a simple contrition… to say sorry for all those what we missed to do and for the minor sins we have committed. Third, as a child of God he encouraged us to say our thanksgiving to God… to say ‘thank you for all the blessings we received.’ Lastly is the supplication part, like Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard understood us, that as humans, we also have needs so he advised us to say to God what we need but he also reminded us to be always open to the ‘will of God unto us.’
===
Jesus is the head of the Church and we are His body and through our faithful prayer, we are always connected to Jesus Christ who is our Lord and our God.


Den Mar





Thursday, October 30, 2014

Babang Luksa

Palayain mo ang iyong sarili
Umiyak ka lang
Hayaan mong tumulo ang iyong luha
Ibulalas mo ang iyong kinikimkim na mga kataga at salita
Upang tuluyan ka nang lumaya
Mula sa pagkakabilanggo sa kalungkutan

Kailangan mo na ngayong magpalaya
Sa iyong pinakamamahal sa buhay
Upang ganap na pumayapa na rin sila
Sa lugar na kanilang kinalalagyan

Ang kamatayan nila ay hindi hangganan ng iyong buhay
Sapagkat ang kamatayan nila ay ang simula ng iyong bagong buhay
Kung kaya mabuhay ka para sa kanila na sa iyo ay nagmahal
At tumayo kang muli at manindigan para sa kanilang mga minamahal

Tandaan mo sana... na hindi lang ikaw ang nasaktan
Marami rin kami na namatayan at parang namatay na rin ng paulit-ulit
Subalit... sinikap naming magbago
Sinimulan namin ito sa pagpapalaya ng aming sarili

Oo, mahirap at masakit
Pero ito ang aming pinili.

den mar


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lost Child of God

"In the end, our peace-offering to God 
is our broken and wounded heart..." den mar




I am a child of God
Even at times, I am lost
Even at times, I am broken into pieces
But still, I'm a wonderful child of God

Sometimes, I admit
I am begging for love
I look for the scraps
And own them as Your heart

But in the end, I am always hurt
For my heart is not loved back
I am 'used' and 'abused'
But, still, hoping to be loved

Until I found You, my Lord
When I gaze heavenward
With the stars I see Your face
Gazing on me from the start

You never leave me alone
It's only me who always ignore You
You never love me less
You never give-up on me

I lift to You my life
I offer to You my final strength
And with my same burning desire
I finally give to you my love

I am Your child my God
Make me whole, accept my heart
Even now I am broken and shattered
I finally found You... who I desire from the start. den mar

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sacramentum Caritatis



Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation—SacramentumCaritatis of the Holy Father Benedict XVI

To have a holistic understanding of the document SacramentumCaritatis of the Holy Father Benedict XVI it is good to tour its three parts: the first part consists of the Eucharist as a mystery to be believed; the second part, the Eucharist as a mystery to be celebrated and the last part, the Eucharist to be lived.

The first part, the Eucharist as a mystery discussed the Church’s Eucharistic faith which is rooted in the Blessed Trinity. The Eucharist who is Jesus Himself is given by the Father and made present by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Eucharist, that came from God, the Father in heaven and this Eucharist who is Jesus as the true sacrificial lamb is a free gift from the Trinity. “The Church receives, celebrates and adores this gift in faithful obedience. The "mystery of faith" is thus a mystery of Trinitarian love, a mystery in which we are called by grace to participate. We too should therefore exclaim with Saint Augustine: ‘If you see love, you see the Trinity.’”

Further, Jesus had spoken of the "new and eternal covenant" in the shedding of his blood. Jesus being recognized by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29).Where it is very noticeable that this same statement, “Lamb” is always mentioned in the context of the Mass. This leads us to reflect on the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper and the great act of the Holy Spirit to make the Supper of the Lord always present in our celebration of the Mass.

The first part also elaborated the Eucharist being the source of other sacraments. The second part, the Eucharist as a mystery to be celebrated.The second part dwells on the active appreciation in the beautiful liturgy. This discusses the structure of the Eucharistic celebration, its celebrants and the people of God. It also emphasizes the importance of the adoration to the Blessed Sacrament.

The third part, the Eucharist, a mystery to be lived encourages us to live a Christian life faithful in meeting our Lord Jesus Christ every Sunday in the Mass. From the Church where we meet Jesus Christ, we are encouraged to proclaim what we have encountered—the words of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ whom we have received in the Eucharist.

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The Eucharistic and Eschatological Part of the Document:

The document SacramentumCaritatis (no. 30-31) specifically mentions the ‘Eucharist and Eschatology.’  The document states that the Eucharist is a gift to men and women, being pilgrims, on their journey. The document tells us that in our journey, we need to move towards the right direction which is going to Jesus Christ Himself as being our goal. The Lord makes himself present to us in a special way in the Eucharistic celebration. According to the document, “Even though we remain "aliens and exiles" in this world (1 Pet 2:11), through faith we already share in the fullness of risen life.” Further, “the Eucharistic banquet, by disclosing its powerful eschatological dimension, comes to the aid of our freedom as we continue our journey.”

The document reflects on the Eschatological banquet where by Jesus’ self-gift, he objectively inaugurated the eschatological age. One of the signs, as I understood, is the gathering of the scattered people of God. This is clearly manifested in his intention to gather together the community of the covenant, in order to bring to fulfillment the promises made by God to the fathers of old. This started in his earthly ministry, in the calling of the Twelve, which is to be understood in relation to the twelve tribes of Israel, and in the command he gave them at the Last Supper. “To celebrate his memorial, Jesus showed that he wished to transfer to the entire community which he had founded the task of being, within history, the sign and instrument of the eschatological gathering that had its origin in Him.”

The document affirms that every Eucharistic celebration sacramentally accomplishes the eschatological gathering of the People of God. The Eucharistic banquet is a real foretaste of the final banquet foretold by the prophets and described in the New Testament as "the marriage-feast of the Lamb" which is referred in Revelation 19:7-9, to be celebrated in the joy of the communion of saints.

The document also mentioned our dead brethren who went ahead of us. The Eucharistic celebration, in which we proclaim that Christ has died and risen, and will come again, is a pledge of the future glory in which our bodies too will be glorified. In the celebration of the memorial of our salvation our hope in the resurrection of the body and in the possibility of meeting once again, face to face, those who have gone before us marked with the sign of strengthen faith. Pope Benedict XVI stressed the importance of prayers for the dead, especially the offering of Mass for them, “so that, once purified, they can come to the beatific vision of God.” This is a rediscovery of the eschatological dimension inherent in the Eucharist, celebrated and adored, that will help sustain us on our journey and comfort us in the hope of glory.

Following the section that deals the eschatological dimension of the Eucharist is the treatment with Mary being the innagurator of Church’s participation in the sacrifice of the redeemer. According to the document, “She is the Immaculata, who receives God's gift unconditionally and is thus associated with his work of salvation. Mary of Nazareth, icon of the nascent Church, is the model for each of us, called to receive the gift that Jesus makes of himself in the Eucharist.”