2015-33 Youth

Discovering Jesus’ presence

It happened in the early 1980s. Marie-Aimée, an art student, would often go for walks along the small streets around the famous Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris’s Montmartre.

She enjoyed watching the street artists and would enter the Basilica itself only because she liked its interior decoration very much. Although not an atheist, she was completely ignorant of the articles of faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church, such as the belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Much less did she know the meaning of the monstrance on the altar, in which there was something “small and white”.

Conversion

One day, Marie-Aimée went inside the Sacré-Coeur Basilica and sat on a pew like many other people praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. After a while, she experienced something extraordinary: looking at the white Host, she felt engulfed and pervaded by an omnipotent and yet tender love; in the blink of an eye, she realised that she was in somebody’s presence, somebody who attracted her with a supernatural force and to whom she wished to belong completely. She realised that Jesus Christ was indeed present in the Eucharist. This experience urged her to come to know Jesus better, as well as His teachings and the story of His life on earth, His death and His Resurrection. She started eagerly reading the Holy Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other books recommended to her by a priest. Her daily routine radically changed. From then on, the most important items on her agenda every day were prayer, Bible reading and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. She discovered that the resurrected Jesus was alive, teaching and working in the Catholic Church. She experienced the immensity of Divine Mercy and the joy of having all her sins forgiven in the sacrament of penance.

Marie realised that Jesus Christ was indeed present in the Eucharist

After graduating, Marie-Aimée resolved to leave the big city and teach children somewhere in the country. So she moved to a small town and accepted a position at a school. She had already felt that Christ’s love, which she experienced through his presence in the Blessed Sacrament in the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, gave an impulse to her new calling, which she was not yet able to define. She lived in a town without a priest. In the only localCatholic church, Mass was celebrated only on Sundays, while on weekdays the church was closed. Having no choice, Marie-Aimée would come to adore Christ by kneeling in front of the locked door of the church. When the priest who came there every Sunday learned about this, he agreed that the Blessed Sacrament be kept and adored in Marie-Aimée’s small apartment for a year. For this young woman, this represented an incredible gift, a special time of grace to adore Christ present in a Host. During her daily adorations, Jesus transformed Marie-Aimée by showering her with graces. The young woman grew certain that it was her calling to continue making the daily adorations and to accept the spiritual gifts from Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament and give thanks for them.

Christ in the Eucharist does things which are humanly impossible to do: He liberates people from depression, frees them from suicidal thoughts and bad habits and heals spiritual wounds and inhibitions

A new community

Soon, several of her friends from the old days joined Marie-Aimée, wishing to proceed along the same path of growing to sainthood. In this way, slowly, under the spiritual guidance of a priest and with the blessing of the bishop, the process of building a new religious community commenced under the name of Nouvelle Alliance. For over a decade already, this community of sisters has had its rule approved by the pastor of the local diocese.

The sisters’ chapel is attended every day by people living in the vicinity who come to hear Mass and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. These are mainly people who have not found any help with their confusion and spiritual problems elsewhere. The sisters talk to everyone and offer spiritual advice, encouraging everyone to confess all their sins to Christ in the sacrament of penance first and then to accept him in the Eucharist and remain in his presence in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Intercessory prayer takes place with the tabernacle open, whence the healing power of Christ flows. As soon as someone with strong faith opens their heart to Him, Christ in the Eucharist does things which are humanly impossible to do: He liberates people from depression, frees them from suicidal thoughts and bad habits and heals spiritual wounds and inhibitions. Is it really necessary to suffer agony first in order to discover such an incredible source of love, healing and eternal life? Is it necessary first to suffer breakdowns, loneliness or enslavement by magic, medications, alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc. in order to believe andallow oneself to be raised by the love radiating from the Eucharist?

The sisters know that they alone cannot help anybody; they know that it is only Christ who heals through His presence in the Eucharist and that all cases of healing show the omnipotence of His mercy.People who give up themselves and all their problems to Christ with faith become aware of a spiritual metamorphosis taking place within them, which could just as well take place in their own parish church. Yet where was their faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist before? Where was their desire to attend Mass fully and adore the Blessed Sacrament? The sisters are aware that they only accompany people in their rediscovery of the most powerful source of spiritual rebirth to be found in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. It is resurrected Jesus who heals all those who have complete trust in him and frees them from the captivity of sin and Satan.

The sisters were also entrusted by the bishop with caring for the liturgy in France’s largest centre of prayer for souls suffering in Purgatory. The centre is housed in a basilica built in the early twentieth century in La Chapelle-Montligeon, in northern France. The sisters realised that Jesus had invited them, too, to intercessory prayer for souls suffering in Purgatory. It has turned out that the “cooperation” with them bears magnificent fruit: during Eucharistic adoration, when the dead are remembered and people ask for intercession, people living on earth receive many graces.

Let’s not fool ourselves

It does not take a great knowledge of modern history to see the following: every political system based on atheistic ideology has led to fratricidal struggles and genocide. Not only in the post-communist countries, but also in France or Spain, for example, historians are still discovering the traces of all kinds of atrocities perpetrated in the name of “liberty, equality and fraternity”. Let’s not fool ourselves: no social contract, laws or system of criminal justice will bring true peace among people and teach them mutual tolerance and respect. Unfortunately, without God, purely human justice and love have an inherent weakness: they are incapable of complete selflessness. Out of this weakness, a desire is born to subdue another man, from where it is only a short step to inflicting evil upon one another, to the stronger manipulating and dominating the weaker, to the legalisation of euthanasia and the killing of unborn children by abortions and in vitro (for one child to be born thanks to this method, over a dozen others have to be put to death). Only selfless love does not harm others. Selflessness in doing good can be learned only from God, who loves every person with perfect and pure love. Proof of that love and its inexhaustible source for us is the true God, who in Christ became a true man to save us and who remains with us in the mystery of the Eucharist. It is worth noting that the crisis of selflessness, typical of modern society, accompanied by ubiquitous competition and care only for one’s own benefit, is a consequence of far-reaching and longterm secularisation or living as if God did not exist. How long will a river flow if its tributaries are cut off one after another?

It is resurrected Jesus who heals all those who have complete trust in him and frees them from the captivity of sin and Satan

These are the effects of this meth- odical process of secularisation: in “modern” society, giving expression to one’s belief in God is regarded as backwardness, while belief in horoscopes, magic, divination, etc. is seen as progress. At the same time, a record amount of anti-depressants of various kinds are being sold in Europe. The absence of any relationship with God is eroding relationships among people. This can be clearly seen in countries where the slogans of fraternity and solidarity are ever present on politicians’ lips. As St John Paul II warned, “We will not achieve happiness or ordinary stability if we do not take divine law into account”. Let’s allow Christ to free us from the captivity of sin and evil spirits, to heal all the wounds of our hearts, to restore God’s order in our families, communities and countries. For our part, we must motivate everyone to pray every day on the rosary, read the Bible and adore the Blessed Sacrament. St John Paul II called on every parish to introduce the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In a letter on the mystery and cult of the Eucharist (Dominicae cenae), he wrote: “The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world by our [unceasing adoration].”

The metamorphosis of man and the world

The work of God, who shapes it in our hearts, is a friendly reality, good for every person. Yet we must be open to his action in the silence of steadfast daily prayer and in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. In the radiant love of Christ, who is present in the Eucharist, the human world is transformed and saved.

The most important role in the world is played by not the headlinemaking celebrities. The true heroes are those who pray, listen carefully to what God says and do his will in respect to today’s world.

In Ireland, for instance, about 60,000 people from 78 parishes have undertaken to adore the Blessed Sacrament for one hour every week. In this way, the adoration continues uninterrupted day and night. In Los Angeles, the residents of one of the most crime-ridden neighbourhoods resolved to devote one hour a week to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. After several years, the crime rate in that neighbourhood fell to “below average”. Having noticed this unusual development, the residents of adjacent parishes also organised an uninterrupted chain of adoration. Since St John Paul II gave his blessing to this initiative, in 1986, the movement of lay adorers of the Blessed Sacrament has spread beyond the US border to the countries of Central America.

In the radiant love of Christ, who is present in the Eucharist, the human world is transformed and saved

In Poland, in the Praga diocese of Warsaw, on the initiative of Archbishop Henryk Hoser, a so-called Rosary Jericho has been going on for a year. This is a continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament combined with praying on the rosary. All parishes, religious houses, nursing homes and hospitals, as well as various organisations, have joined in the prayer. The effects were quick to follow. The rosary and continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament open people’s hearts to Christ’s love, and their lives undergo a tremendous spiritual transformation. Thanks to this prayer, Jesus has acted in an incredible way in the Praga diocese over the last year. Many married couples at odds with each other and close to breakdown have made up, withdrawn their petitions for divorce and started to pray daily together on the rosary. Some childless married couples have been granted the gift of parenthood. Many other people have broken with sin after many years and made amends with God in the sacrament of penance. Besides spiritual healing, cases of physical healing have taken place there as well.

In another important development, our readers have contacted us about their wish to join in the continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. If in every parish, or every larger parish, a chain of people prayed on the rosary and spent part of their time in front of Jesus in a Host, a spectacular miracle of the spiritual metamorphosis of ourselves, our families and our country would take place! Those people would draw on the inexhaustible Source of Love, which is absolutely necessary for the salvation of us and of other people. This initiative would also be a perfect response to the times we live in. On the one hand there is a lot of evil going on in the world, but on the other we have hard evidence of God’s omnipotence at work in the lives of people who believe and pray.

A recipe for ultimate victory and happiness

At a time of aggressive efforts to atheise society through its demoralisation and opposition to the Christian system of values, we will prevail only by the power of Christ’s love present in the Eucharist.

So there is an urgent need to pray on the rosary and revive the Eucharistic cult, especially in communities which have moved away from the greatest treasure – the Eucharist – as a result of a long and profound process of secularisation. A return to daily prayer on the rosary and the practice of exposing the Blessed Sacrament in the heart of our cities, in the centres of our civilisation, has materialised. It is enough to count the places of all-day adoration that have sprung up in recent years. But they are still too few. What we need is a levee en masse to vigorously fend off evil by the power of Christ’s love, present in the Eucharist. For this purpose, we need to open ourselves to Christ, accept his love and pass it to others. To be able to do so, you must first break with everything sinful once and for all or “abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess 5:22). You must take care to always be in the state of sanctifying grace, and if you happen to commit a grave sin, you must go to confession at once. You must plan your day by giving high priority to prayer over work and rest. You must entrust yourself daily to Jesusthrough the Virgin Mary, maintain your self-discipline and neverlet yourself be discouraged. You must give up all your suffering, joy and problems to Jesus, give thanks for everythingand find time for the rosary, Bible reading, the Eucharist and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. You should also discover for yourself the benefit of fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. Only in this way will we let Jesus love us, heal and transform us with his love. Then we will “shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:15) and be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt 5:13–16). This is the recipe for indestructible happiness, eternal life and ultimate victory over evil.