mondayblogs

Eucharist: A Guest Post from Michael Seagriff

Welcome, Tomato Pie Fans! I’m taking a hiatus from blogging to finish the sequel to DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. Meanwhile, I have a series of guest bloggers taking care of the place. Let’s meet today’s guest, Mr. Michael Seagriff, OP!

What Is Impossible For One Man to Accomplish By Himself Becomes Entirely Possible With Your Help!

ND ChapelYOU HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING VITALLY IMPORTANT!

At the end of this post, I am going to ask you to help get the poignant reflection of Father Mark set forth below into the hands of every Bishop and priest in this country. We can do it!

But first I want to share a few thoughts that have long been embedded in my heart.

That which is most essential for our sanctification and salvation is that which we most frequently ignore  – The Eucharist.

The late Apostle of the Eucharist, Father John Hardon, S.J., realized “that everything, everything, EVERTHING of our faith (indeed the virtue of faith itself) depends on our faith in God being really present with us today in both His human and Divine nature, united in His Divine Person in the Holy Eucharist”.

The time for mincing words is over. Current polls, as well as what we observe with our own eyes, make it clear that a majority (an overwhelming majority of those identifying themselves as Catholic, perhaps as much as 80 percent, including 80 percent of those few Catholics who bother attending Sunday Mass) no longer believe that our Lord is really, truly and substantially present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. The sad but truthful reality is that in far too many of our churches we have lost the sense of the sacred and an appreciation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that are essential for fostering and maintaining a belief in the Real Presence.

“The sanctity of the Christian people,” Pope Pius X wrote, “depends in large measure on the holiness of their priests.”  Neither we nor our priests can ever be holy if we fail to make the Eucharist the center of our daily lives. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen so candidly observed: “The moral rot of the priesthood starts with a want of lively faith in the Divine Presence, and the sanctity of the priesthood starts there too.”

We do not need any more study groups or committees or commissions in the Catholic Church. All lukewarmness toward or outright opposition to the promotion of Eucharistic adoration and spirituality must cease. We need Bishops, priests religious and laypeople to get on their knees before their Eucharistic Lord. It is He, not any of them, Who will gift us with a deep, abiding, life-changing, sanctifying belief in His Real Human and Divine Presence here among us. Everything else we need or think we need individually or as Church will flow from Him.

Any notion that the answer to solving the myriad social and financial ills of our nation and world rests on political activity, social justice programs and governmental largesse must be jettisoned. The long-standing pattern of many Church leaders remaining deafeningly silent while increasing numbers of “self-proclaimed Catholics” publicly misrepresent what it means to be Catholic must change. The hesitancy and fear to clearly inform Catholics that they will lose their eternal souls if they persist in advocating, engaging in, supporting or voting for any one who supports such intrinsic evils as abortion, contraception, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual marriage, has to end.

So what can we simple people do about all of this? Listen to the prophets among us. Among those voices resonating in the Church today is Father Mark whose love for our Eucharistic Lord and his brother priests know no bounds. His blog, Vultus Christi, is a must read for any one who loves God and wants to take His call to personal holiness seriously.

With the good Father’s indulgence, I am setting forth one of his reflections, one that I am asking everyone who may read this column to copy and give to your Bishops and priests – every Bishop and every priest in this country. Impractical and impossible goal, you say? You are right unless God wills it!

The simple man writing this blog entry is convinced that there is nothing of more value that any of us can do today than to pass the following reflection on as requested. Let everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter, Google+1, other social media, and all those who visit your blog know of this request. Add a link to this post to all the other blogs you visit. Let’s see God do the impossible because one humble priest has the courage to speak the truth and we simple people responded. God is counting on you!

Love’s Invisible Radiance

(By Father Mark – September 1, 2012 |

There are so many tabernacles on earth
where I am, for all intents and purposes,
like one buried, hidden, forgotten, and out of sight.
My divine radiance is diminished
because there are so few adorers
to act as the receptors of My radiant Eucharistic love
and to extend My radiance through space
and into the universe of souls.

Where there is faith in My real presence,
there will be adoration;
and where there is adoration,
there will also be an efficacious radiance of My presence
drawing souls to My Eucharistic Heart
and surrounding them, even at a distance,
with the healing influence of My Eucharistic Face.

In those places where I am exposed upon the altar
to receive the adoration, the reparation,
and the companionship of My friends
— and, first of all, of My priests —
My radiance is powerful and strong.
Faith, adoration, and love act as receptors;
thus is My power drawn out and made effective,
invisibly but really, in space and in time.
It was the same with My Sacred Humanity during My life on earth;
the faith and love of My friends
drew out the virtue of My Divinity,
and an invisible radiance acted in souls, and upon them,
bringing healing, holiness,
and many graces of conversion.

When I am adored in a place,
My hidden action upon souls is wonderfully increased.
The place where I am adored becomes a radiant centre
from which love, and life, and light
are diffused in a world in the grip of hatred,
and darkness, and death.

Chapels of adoration are not mere refuges for the devout.
They are the radiant, pulsating centres
of an intense divine activity
that goes beyond the walls of the place where I am adored
to penetrate homes, and schools, and hospitals;
to reach even those dark and cold places
wherein souls are enslaved to Satan;
to penetrate hearts, heal the infirm,
and call home those who have wandered far from Me.

For these reasons, the work of perpetual adoration,
or even of prolonged daily adoration,
is intensely apostolic and supernaturally efficacious.
Would that My bishops understood this!
But, alas, they put their trust in human schemes,
in plans devised by the worldly-wise,
and in programs drawn-up along shortsighted human principles.
And so they go, and they will continue to go
from failure to failure, and from disillusionment to disillusionment.

I have not set bishops over My flock
to govern, and to teach, and to sanctify, out of their personal abilities
and by making use of the wisdom of this passing world.
I have set them as lights upon a lampstand
to shine in every dark place,
and I have equipped them with supernatural gifts and divine power
to accomplish that for which I chose them
and set them over My Church.

Woe to those bishops
who trust in purely human solutions
to the problems that beset My Church.
They will be grievously disappointed,
and many souls will fall away
because they have neglected to take up
the supernatural weapons I have prepared for them
in this time of spiritual combat.

My presence in the Blessed Sacrament
preached, and confessed,
and surrounded by adoration, love, and heartfelt reparation
is the single greatest remedy for the evils that afflict My Church
and for the sorrows that weigh so heavily upon My priests.

My ways are not your ways,
nor do I act according to the principles of worldly success.
I act in the silent, humble, hidden reality of My Eucharistic presence.
Adore Me, and the radiance of My Eucharistic Face
will begin to change the face of the earth,
even as it heals My priests, calls sinners home to My Heart,
and enlivens the hearts of those grown weary and sad
(like the disciples on the road to Emmaus)
with a spark of divine vitality and with the fire of My Eucharistic love.

I speak to you in this way not only for you,
beloved friend of My Heart,
but also for those who will receive these words, ponder them,
and out of them draw the inspiration
to love Me more generously, more fruitfully, and more joyfully.
I speak to you for the sake of My priests.
You will be astonished at the reception given to these words of Mine.
Many souls of priests will be quickened and consoled by them.
Many priests will be moved to spend time
in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face,
and to abide close to My pierced Heart.
This is My desire for them.
I want to draw all My priests into the radiance of My Face
and, then, into the sanctuary of My open Heart.

(From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest)

About Our Guest

MikeSeagriffHeadshotMichael Seagriff practiced law for 30 years, as a general practitioner,  prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and Administrative Law Judge. His vocation as a Lay Dominican created an insatiable desire to learn, study, live and share his Faith. He has authored  five books: Forgotten Truths To Set Faith Afire! – Words to Challenge, Inspire and Instruct, I Thirst For Your Love, Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime, Pondering Tidbits of Truth (Volume 1) and Pondering Tidbits of Truth (Vol. 2). When not writing, pursing a newly discovered interest in photography, or spending time before the Blessed Sacrament, he enjoys experiencing the pleasures of this earthly life with his loving wife Lonnie, their three children, their spouses and four grandchildren.

He blogs at Harvesting the Fruits of Contemplation.

The Homeschooling Writer: A Guest Post by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Welcome, Tomato Pie Fans! I’m taking a hiatus from blogging to finish the sequel to DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. Meanwhile, I have a series of guest bloggers taking care of the place. Let’s hear from today’s guest, Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur.

Finding Time to Write as a Homeschooling Mom

I am the mother of three children, two boys ages 14 and 12, and a 4 ½ year old daughter. I started writing on a professional basis over ten years ago, when my boys were both very small. I had a Masters Degree in Applied Theology and through the process of working with a spiritual director discerned that God was calling me to write. Eventually, God called me to be not only a work-at-home writing mom, but also a homeschooling mom.

I will soon be starting my eighth year of homeschooling. My oldest is starting high school this year. I feel almost as scared about homeschooling high school as I did when I first took the plunge and began homeschooling my second and first grader so many years ago. If you feel so inclined, please say a prayer for me. I can definitely use the help.

So, that being said, how do I find time to write, given that so much of my life is spent taking care of my children? Here are some tips that work for me:

1) Start every day with prayer

There are people in this world who can wake up before their children and spend quality time in prayer before their day kicks into high gear. I’ve been blessed with children who are light sleepers and have supersonic hearing. If mom’s up, they are up as well. (Note: this is no longer true of my teenagers whom I frequently have to drag out of bed.) I know that I need that twenty minute prayer time in the morning. If I don’t get it, the day will go downhill quickly. I’m not above allowing my daughter some screen time first thing in the morning so that I can have some relatively uninterrupted time. Once I’ve prayed, I’m ready to be a better mom and to deal with whatever they day is going to hand me. One of those prayers is that I do the work I should each day. I’m not always satisfied with the amount I accomplish each day, but I have to trust that I’ve done what God wanted me to.

2) Take advantage of every available minute

Over the years, I have worked in many unusual places while waiting for my children at an activity. I have written in the car, in the hallway of a social center, sitting on a stairwell, by the side of a soccer field, and in a gymnastics gym. I write many book reviews, so I always have a book close by in case I get a few minutes to read. I carry one in my purse. I have one on the kitchen counter. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read utilizing five and ten minute windows of time. I do the bulk of my computer work after my daughter goes to bed at night. The teens entertain themselves. I work for a couple hours and then go to bed around 10 p.m. It probably goes without saying that I don’t watch television. I also don’t spend a lot of time on social media.

3) Keep a to-do list

I have one notebook on my kitchen counter for my household to-do list. I have another for work-related items. If I get an idea for an article, I write it down. If there is a deadline to meet, or an on-going project, it goes on the list. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to cross items off that list. Every Sunday night, I start fresh with a new page of the notebook, carrying over items that still need to be completed. This keeps me organized and on task.

4) Keep a Sabbath rest

This probably seems to disagree with taking advantage of every available minute, but I have found it to be a great blessing in my life. From 5 pm on Saturday to 5 pm on Sunday, I don’t do any work-related activities. I don’t check my email or Facebook. I watch a movie with my husband and teenagers on Saturday night while I work on quilting or scrapbooking. We go to Mass on Sunday morning. I might read during the day, but I read purely for pleasure. This day of rest gives me a much needed mental break. God made it a commandment for a reason. Yes, we moms never truly get a day off from our mom duties, but we can try to take it at least a little easier on Sundays. I have found that God allows me to accomplish more in my other six days since I began this practice a few years ago.

How do you balance homeschooling and whatever outside work you may do? Please share. I’d be happy to hear your tips.

MacArthur PhotoPatrice Fagnant-MacArthur is a homeschooling mom of three. The editor of todayscatholichomeschooling.com, she blogs at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com. She has been a longtime columnist for Catholicmom.com and is the author of “The Catholic Baby Name Book.”

Words that Harm or Heal: A Guest Post from Jeannie Ewing

Welcome, Tomato Pie Fans! I’m taking a hiatus from blogging to finish the sequel to DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. Meanwhile, I have a series of guest bloggers taking care of the place. Let’s hear from today’s guest, Jeannie Ewing.

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SENSITIVITY IN LANGUAGE: WORDS THAT HARM OR HEAL?

Although most people don’t know it, my oldest daughter, Felicity, was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at eighteen months of age.  She appears to be “normal,” so to speak, but her levels of sensitivity to environmental stimuli of all sorts truly varies from day to day.  Because SPD is neurological in its origin, there’s no way (short of having an MRI) to know how or why – or even what – triggers her sensory aversions.

I have to say that this has made me acutely aware of the need for sensitivity in my writing.  Some may say that people are too afraid of offending others when we live in a society that perhaps needs a forthright message.  And this is very true.  But I am definitely more candid by nature, often to the point of abrasion, so learning to be sensitive in the written language has been helpful as an author/blogger.  It’s interesting how something like a child’s diagnosis can translate into a generalization, but in my case, it’s true.

Because Felicity is so easily overwhelmed, I’ve learned to pick up her nonverbal cues of discomfort and anxiety.  Pausing for a few seconds, stepping outside of myself and placing myself in her little brain helps me as a mom to discern how best to respond to her needs.  Sometimes she has inappropriate outbursts when explosive laughter erupts during a dinner conversation, and that is promptly (and privately) addressed with her.  But other times I see the build-up of tension in her face as she places her hands over her ears, and in those situations, I am able to avert a potential meltdown from her simply by whispering in her ear and pulling her aside to give her options for dealing with the anxiety (e.g., deep breathing, calming down in a quiet place, etc.).

This unique aspect of my parenting has transferred into my gift of writing.  I usually write uncensored, because I believe it’s critical to be authentic when expressing myself and my heart.  I still believe that very much.  But instead of instantaneously publishing what I write, I allow it to sit for about twenty-four hours and revisit what I wrote.  Then I can see it with fresh eyes and insight, usually considering my word selection.  There have been times when particular sentences or words I choose could be blatantly offensive to some people, particularly if it refers to one’s cognitive ability or aptitude.  But if I take the time to pray beforehand to the Holy Spirit, He graces me with humility to see how my language may inadvertently hurt someone.

I’m not saying that we always have to be careful of every small word or sentence we say.  There is such a thing as false humility, in which a person is so deliberate and timorous in sharing anything at all with someone or expressing a personal opinion.  We should speak and write both clearly and confidently while keeping in mind the importance of truth in charity.  Praying before we write or speak, then pausing for a few moments truly makes a significant impact in the delivery of our message.  Then our words can heal, inspire, and encourage rather than harm or shame others.

ONE-MINUTE THOUGHT:  How do my words hurt or heal others?  What can I change about how I speak, write, and relate to others today?

Text Copyright 2015 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.
Image Copyright 2015 “Grasshopper” by FeeLoona on Pixabay and edited in Canva by Jeannie Ewing.

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Jeannie Ewing is a writer, speaker, and grief recovery coach.  She is the co-author of Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for CaregiversJeannie was featured on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition and Tony Agnesi’s radio show Finding God’s GraceShe offers her insight from a counselor’s perspective into a variety of topics, including grief, spirituality, and parenting children with special needs.  Jeannie resides in northern Indiana with her husband and two daughters, both of whom have special needs.  For more information on her professional services, please visit her websites lovealonecreates.com or fromgrief2grace.com.

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