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A Christian in a state of grace is intimately united with the Triune God. By Baptism, all sin is washed away from the soul, the person is made a member of the Church; Baptism brings the life of God to shine within the soul through the presence there of the Blessed Trinity: called the Divine Indwelling. No longer need people go to a special Temple in order to pray - though we have churches for our public worship as the Body of Christ: consecrated places where Christ is Really Present, in the tabernacle, in the Blessed Sacrament.
The person who is Baptised is able to receive Confirmation too, and the Holy Eucharist; and so, being fully initiated into the Church, and remaining in a state of grace - it is to be hoped - that person is on a sure road to Heaven as he or she fulfils everyday duties and tries to discern God's plan for his or her life.
The Church recommends to her children many devotions, three special ones having been practiced by Saints through the ages; we honour Jesus in His Sacred Passion; we adore Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament; and we honour His Holy Virgin Mother Mary, at whose consent Jesus was made flesh in our world.
St. Therese of Liseux was overjoyed that her relics had inspired people to have greater devotion to God; yet the gaze of the faithful should eventually turn from relics to the Church's greatest treasure: Jesus Christ Himself, sacramentally Present in the Blessed Sacrament, in the tabernacle, as here, in Westminster Cathedral.
A priest's life is often difficult; yet every priest can benefit if he arranges Adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Prolonged prayer, before the One whose place a priest takes at the altar, helps a priest in his prayer, and in his care for the lost and the afflicted.
The Real Presence is not a myth or a fairytale, but a work of God. Christ wants everyone to know the meaning of 'Real Presence'. It means that, in what appears to be bread and wine, after the Consecration, Jesus Christ is truly Present: our Risen Lord, bodily Present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, glorious, loving, sharing His love for us. The same is true of Christ, Present in the tabernacle.
Priests must be determined to grow in holiness. Men are called by Christ so that the faithful can have a Christ amongst them where they live, and Christ made Really Present in the Blessed Sacrament because of the priest who celebrates the Mass. Amongst pure priests, God sees, here and there, however, a gloomy figure: like an empty space, symbolising a lack of charity, when a priest is in serious sin.
We should follow the example of the holy Angels. When Christ comes to us in Holy Communion, or when we know He is Present in the tabernacle or on the altar, our attitude should be like that of the Angels, who adore Him profoundly, in His Divinity. He is worthy of their adoration, and ours. They never leave Him alone; and we, for our part, should always show Him reverence and love.
Some Catholics foolishly ignore the evidence; that the evil one has been especially active in the Church for four decades, determined to strike at Christ and Catholics by striking at the Mass. The evil one uses all sorts of people and methods to increase ignorance of the Real Presence, to confuse the laity, to discourage priests, to bring about a distorted or truncated presentation of the Faith in catechesis. It's as if he is lurking beneath a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, planning how to lessen our love for Christ and to diminish our fervour.
In every age, since the time of the Apostles, priests have faced opposition and persecution as they have gone about their work. It is important that they are faithful to preaching the truth - the Faith in its entirety - and faithful to the Mass. That is his task: to teach the faithful how to lead good lives and prepare for Heaven, and to feed the faithful with Jesus Christ's Sacred Body and Blood: to transform them.
Christ is explaining to all who are called to be celibate priests that in their celibate state they can imitate Him, by His grace, not treating celibacy as a burden but a help to total self-donation to God, in the Church. They can be confident of receiving the necessary graces; and seminarians have the inestimable privilege of having Jesus Christ Really Present amongst them in the Blessed Sacrament of the tabernacle and altar.
If we are willing to be united with Christ in bearing unavoidable sufferings with patience and trust, and praying for the Church and the world, we become like Him, we join in His redemptive work of the Cross. It's as though we are with Him, beside the Cross, busy applying His Precious Blood as a healing remedy to the wounded souls for whom we pray.
All the Saints love to intercede for us; and all of the Saints have loved Christ; but if we wish to seek special help for the Church we are wise to ask for the help of those Saints who have had a special love for Christ in His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament - such as Saint Thomas Aquinas, or Saint Francis of Assisi who loved to prostrate himself in adoration before his Divine Saviour, in the monstrance.
We know that Christ was made incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and it is Christ Who is now made bodily Present, in a sacramental manner, in the Most Holy Eucharist; yet He is never separated from the Father and the Holy Spirit. When we are close to Christ we are also close to the Father and the Holy Spirit: to the one God, the Blessed Trinity.
We know that Christ took flesh from the Blessed Virgin, and is both God and man. We also know that He is bodily Present with us, in a sacramental manner, in the Holy Eucharist. Yet He is never separated from the Father and the Holy Spirit: in the unity of the Blessed Trinity.
Christ is truly Present in the Blessed Sacrament; and the Virgin Mary prays beside Him
How to know Jesus Christ
Finding Christ, Finding Life: a talk by Elizabeth Wang, given at the French Church, Leicester Square, London, 2006. INTRODUCTION. You probably know that I’m an artist. The project I’m busy with, now...
Holiness, by Elizabeth Wang
This text is the complete version of the pamphlet entitled 'SPEAK ABOUT HOLINESS'. It is based on a talk given by Elizabeth Wang. Preface. This little book contains the full version of the text I wrot...
What is Mary Like? by Elizabeth Wang
This text is the complete version of the pamphlet WHAT IS MARY LIKE? “Now having met together; they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘...
The Purpose of the Priesthood, by Elizabeth Wang
‘The Purpose of the Priesthood contains encouragement and advice for Catholic priests. It reminds them about the central meaning of the Priesthood, and about the need to teach the Catholic Faith in it...
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