Bread of Life

BREAD OF LIFE
 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.

THE REAL PRESENCE

Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PRAYING FOR ABORTED BABIES

One of the most common questions I receive is, "What happens to aborted babies? Do they go to heaven? Should we pray for them?"

Pope John Paul II, in The Gospel of Life, speaks directly to those who have had abortions, and tells them, "To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child" (n. 99).

The child, in other words, continues to live, and the mother continues to care for that child by "entrusting" him or her to the Father. God takes care of the children He has created, including those who have been killed. Therefore, we entrust these children to Him "with sure hope."

This "hope" means that we acknowledge that God wants everyone to be saved. He saves different people in different ways. The ordinary way of salvation is through the sacrament of Baptism, which gives us the new life that is necessary for reaching heaven.

If a person, however, is prevented, through no fault of his own, from receiving the sacrament, that does not mean that God cannot give them that new life by different means. How, precisely, He does this, we do not know. He has not given us the answer to every question. But He has assured us — and in fact He commands us — that we are to trust in His mercy, and entrust each other, including aborted children, to His mercy.

The International Theological Commission, which is an advisory panel to the Vatican, issued a document in April of 2007 entitled "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized," and Pope Benedict XVI authorized its publication. This document emphasized the "grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision."

The document recalled Christ's special love for "the little ones," and acknowledged that the question of what happens to unbaptized infants is intensified in an age when so many die from abortion.

In fact, the document pointed out the solidarity with Christ among infant victims of violence, born and unborn, who like the holy innocents killed by King Herod are endangered by the "fear or selfishness of others."

Having made these points, however, the document adds, "We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge."

So then, we should hope and pray.

The month of November, dedicated to all the faithful departed, is an excellent time to intensify our prayers for all children who have been aborted. In fact, just as we request a Mass to be offered for a deceased relative by name, we can likewise request a Mass to be offered when that deceased relative is a child killed by abortion. Many of these children have been given names, and their names can be given when the Mass is requested, without having to say that they died from abortion.

"Lord, give eternal rest to all aborted children, and grant that they may run and play in the playgrounds of heaven." (This update courtesy of the Priests for Life newsletter. You may contact Priests for Life at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; call 1-888-PFL-3448 or 718-980-4400; fax 718-980-6515; mail@priestsforlife.org; www.priestsforlife.org.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

chasingpurity said...

Opening this page just made me tear up. Seeing the abortion counter was even worse. I'm a Muslim, & I hope that people of all faiths could come together to pray for these innocent souls who never got the chance to live. But the Lord is merciful, & these chidren are in Heaven. Let's fight for the rights of the unborn together. Ameen.

Michael said...

The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.

Mother Teresa