Miracles by Joan
THE REMEDY FOR FRIGHTENING TIMES IS FOUND IN HIGH CHURCH SACRAMENTS
By Michael H. Brown
Christians of all stripes have been heading for the fundamentals of their faith and this is especially true of Catholics. Books on traditions of the Church are hot items, and so are stories of conversions.
This is encouraging because the Catholic faith has the most powerful weapon against evil in the form of the Eucharist -- and there has never been a better time to use it. When we pray during Consecration, when we lift our hearts up as the priest lifts the Host, and when he lifts the cup filled with the Precious Blood, there is the potential for all the power in the universe.
We can break evil. We can lift our families out of a mire. We can pray for America.
It is all the more potent when coupled with a good Confession.
Those who doubt the Real presence need only know the history of eucharistic miracles. During the eighth century in Lanciano, Italy, a Communion Host suddenly changed into actual flesh while a doubting priest -- no longer sure it was the Real Presence -- was celebrating Mass. He was suddenly very certain.
During 1280 in Slavonice, Czechoslovakia, a herdsman spotted mysterious flames on a cluster of bushes. When he got there he saw a Communion Host in the middle of the fire. It was later identified as a Host that had been stolen from a local church and discarded in the area. The heat had not so much as scorched it.
In Dubna, Poland, during 1867, the devout saw soft rays glowing from a monstrance. Some claimed the manifestation was immediately followed by an image of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This continued during the whole of a Forty Hour Devotion, witnessed both by believing Catholics and by schismatics who had stopped by out of curiosity.
In 1970, a red spot of blood developed on a Host in Stich, Germany. It wasn't quite as dramatic as the flesh at Lanciano, but once again it showed the Real Presence. And it was followed by dozens of similar Eucharistic miracles. In Betania, Venezuela, a priest encountered blood after he broke the large Host during Mass and the Bishop ordered it kept for special veneration.
In America -- the Midwest -- a priest claimed that during the course of several weeks in 1996 a Host kept for ablution turned, as at Lanciano, into something resembling flesh and blood. The emotion nearly overcame him.
In Upstate New York, at a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, a medical doctor reported the sudden materialization of a Communion wafer in a chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
These are only some of the recently claimed occurrences. Many are still in need of study but already we know that, transcending boundaries, the Holy Spirit seems to be saying the same thing everywhere: I have given you signs and wonders. I have given you apparitions and healings. Now, I am showing you the True Presence.
The time has come to take the lessons we have learned from many phenomena and employ them for personal protection. The time has come to join Christ's army in a more profound manner. The time has come to revisit the very cornerstones of the Catholic faith and better appreciate their power. The time has come to focus on our eternal destinations -- and make sure that ours is the destination of Jesus, which means heaven.
This is the message that comes both from Eucharistic miracles, charismatic gifts, and the revelations from places such as Medjugorje.
One great fruit of Our Blessed Mother is Eucharistic Adoration. She is Our Lady of the Eucharist. She was the one who gave her own flesh and blood to Jesus. She's a part of the Eucharist. We should remember that at Fatima, Portugal, the apparitions began with the appearance of an angel who held a chalice with a Host mysteriously suspended above it.
The angel prostrated himself as blood fell into the cup. "Most Holy Trinity," he said, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore You profoundly and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world..."
At the conclusion of those famous apparitions thousands saw the sun act very strangely and what looked like a "shield" or Communion Host move in front of the solar orb, so that they could stare at it.
The miracle of the sun -- looking as it did like a radiant Host on October 13, 1917 -- was another sign telling us to get back to the Eucharist.
In all the legitimate apparitions since, the common theme has been: return to the basics of the Church. Revisit the historical gifts. Understand better the sacraments. Form union with Christ not so much through the spectacular as through deeper devotion.
For years I've written about apparitions of Our Blessed Mother. I've written about spiritual warfare. I've written of the evil in our era. I've written of prophecy. I've written of angels and current wonders. I can't think of more relevant topics for our special time. We're in a serious historical moment, and Mary is among us.
But when Our Blessed Mother arrives, it's always on behalf of her Son. It's always for Christ. She is the messenger of Jesus. She always points to Him. She says it's through the Eucharist and a Christian approach to life that we best come to terms with what the future has to offer. It's through the Eucharist that we understand the times in which we live. It's through Mass that we make sense of apparitions and other gifts of the Holy Spirit.
And it's through the Eucharist -- through the Light of Jesus -- that we dispel the current darkness. When Christ is present, evil can not remain. When Jesus is with us, so is the Trinity. When the Trinity is with us, our very Creator is at hand. And God is infinitely more powerful than Lucifer and all the fallen angels combined!
Only if we pray and honor the sacraments will we be able to fully lessen events that otherwise loom in the future.
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