Friday 1st December 2023

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

The Holy Eucharist: “The Power Of His Body”

March 9, 2023 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


As a young Army officer, I learned that military readiness meant ultimate availability. A constant capacity to respond when the mission demanded an ability to pack up and move out at any time was a given. One of the easiest ways to fall short in military life was failing to respond when summoned, wherever or whenever.
There was a lot of “togetherness” back then. Nothing like the military to throw you in together with 500 of your “best friends.” There was plenty of time for shooting the breeze. “Smoking and joking” as we called it. We never thought of fearing lack of human contact. We longed rather more often for solo time at home to rest and recuperate after tank gunnery or deployments. Phone calls often came only to transmit the bare essentials of communication.
I was trained to always answer the phone in those days of home landlines. I never got over the strange impression upon later witnessing people automatically and routinely letting a call go to voicemail. Obnoxious sales calls were only just beginning to prove a nuisance.
Later came voice mail, checked for new messages upon returning each day from work. Later in the Navy there were pagers and more pressure to be on call everywhere. These were just a foretaste of ultimate availability on the go at all times provided by mobile devices. And they came with the benefit and burden of the Internet.
Communication became then something bordering at times on oppression. Expectations of a response loomed every time you hit the “send” button. We had to get used to assuming a text or email was received and read in the absence of a response of any kind.
Information and affirmation are always interconnected, but increasing substitution of technology which can’t replace the full effect provided by human presence threatens to overwhelm the other aspects of relationships.
When there is nothing else of context to provide countering information one is tempted to wonder: “Does silence mean it’s all over?” Because sometimes it does. The young people call this phenomenon “ghosting.” This from the social set that uses texting for any and all communication, shunning voice communications as too risky. But risk of failure and vulnerability are part of all relationships. Avoiding phone calls will not eliminate such.
Self-image, and ultimately relationships and love, are affected for good or ill by the ways in which ever-present technology is used and by the ways in which gestures enabled by it are interpreted.
Texting and social media, counting likes and views, are a poor substitute for relationships “in real life.” Compare the satisfaction of one single friendship to thousands of faceless finger-taps on a screen button. No contest.
Technology gives control to choose where and when to establish spaces in relationships. This is understandable and necessary in all healthy connections. For others, perhaps, the occasional perception of an unacknowledged gesture brings perhaps a sense of dissatisfaction in its train.
All of these forms of communication, affirmation, human loves and friendships will ultimately pass away, however. Important as they may be now in various ways, we cannot ultimately rely on them. Blessings they are, but the kind that come and go.
These finally are only road marks along a path to eternity guided by the hand extended by One in whom all the other gifts and graces, forms of affirmation and companionship, are granted only for a time.
I think of those spending their last days among family and receiving the visits of friends after learning the news of a terminal illness. At every moment they must remember anyone they see or anything they say or do may be for the last time on this Earth. Nothing fills our final moments with profound significance for eternity as does this tangible measured failure of the body in the last months or days of earthly life.
Experience of the finality of death and the physical ending of relationships and the love they bring is, of course, profound also for the survivors. It was the death of his mother when he was nine that led C.S. Lewis, in plumbing the depths of the experience of mourning and loss, away from atheism and to his Christian conversion as an adult. For many the life of faith comes by means of death. Loss of the settled and tranquil dependable contentment made possible by human love can free one to finally seek and find the Love and Presence which is always behind and above all the others.
But it is no less true for the many of us with no inkling in the slightest about the future time and place of our own passing. And so we must all learn the lesson of finding final and constant affirmation in the friendship of the One behind all other friendships and affirmations.
This One has already communicated His love perfectly in a manner infinitely ever so much greater than the big phone call with happy news of a birth or a promotion, or the best Internet post ever with millions of likes or “retweets.” He has done so in His Son, who is one with Him in all things. And in whom is found all His power to love and to give His eternal life.
The challenge of faith is to believe this truth. And then to live it. The “power goes out from Him” continues as grace which immerses us in the ultimate eternal source of love, Love itself. And with it the greatest affirmation and connection, the perfect relationship above and containing and superseding all others. And that thereafter if we are to live this truth, we must encounter everything else, which is less, with detachment and also as blessings from that Source of all gifts, of all that is good.
On the Second Sunday of Lent, we proclaim again in the Mass the story of ultimate affirmation and friendship. The experience of the Transfiguration was a transformational experience for the chosen few who accompanied our Lord to the mountaintop that day.
“At that time, Jesus took Peter, James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves, and was transfigured before them.”
These privileged few exclusively witnessed the Divine power that went out from His Body. A power that fulfills and perfects all that came before Him as mere preparation. This because He is the divine Source of all. “And His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking together with Him.”
What was given to them that day was in fact given equally to all of us as well. The reason why is what we call the “Eucharist.” From that Blessed Sacrament, the same Body, Blood, and Soul transfigured by Divinity, which the privileged few witnessed on the mountaintop, is sent forth to transform us from limited and lonely creatures to loved and affirmed souls longing for eternity where what we have begun now to love and understand will be through, with, and in Him, fulfilled infinitely and forever.
We must take the risk of venturing into the desert of silence. There we all are able find a place of discovery, contentment, and loving assurance which is made possible only by putting away the cell phone and shutting off the noise and digital devices. When we alone and in silence encounter Him, we can receive the divine “power” that goes out from Him and which is accessed only by faith.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Today . . .

Pope reportedly confirms he is taking away Burke’s apartment, denies calling him his ‘enemy

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 29, 2023 / 17:31 pm Pope Francis reportedly has confirmed that he plans to take away Cardinal Raymond Burke’s Vatican apartment and salary but denied that he referred to the American prelate as his “enemy,” according to a web post by papal biographer Austen Ivereigh. The pope reportedly announced at a meeting of Vatican heads on Nov. 20 that he intended to take action against Burke, who has publicly criticized some papal initiatives,…Continue Reading

The Pope: “Away with Cardinal Burke’s house and salary”

Vatican sources close to the Daily Compass: Burke was defined as an “enemy” in an announcement made to the Heads of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia. The cardinal has not yet received a formal notice, but considering precedents, it is unlikely to be just a threat, which nonetheless would be very serious.

Bishop Barron in ‘frank disagreement’ with Synod on Synodality’s report on ‘development of moral teaching’

Bishop Robert Barron has said that he is in “frank disagreement” with the final report of the Synod on Synodality’s claim that advances in the sciences require an evolution in the Church’s moral teaching on human sexuality. In a reflection published this week, the bishop of Winona–Rochester, Minnesota, said it is “troubling” to see how members of the German bishops’ conference are already “using the language of the synod report to justify ma

">Interview with Deacon Fournier – Great Testament to Bishop Strickland

Cardinal Müller on Strickland’s Sacking: “It’s an abuse of the Divine Right of the Episcopate.”

What is being done to Bishop Strickland is terrible, an abuse of the divine right of the episcopate. If I could advise Mgr Strickland, he should absolutely not resign, because then they could wash their hands of his innocence. [Note: Which is why Strickland refused to resign, and was sacked.] According to the commandment of justice, a bishop can only be removed by the Pope if he has been guilty of something evil (heresy, schism,…Continue Reading

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading