From the archives:
We Feel Joy and Peace When We Follow That Formula Given At the Last Supper
By Michael H. Brown
[adapted from Secrets of the Eucharist]
The formula of salvation was given at the Last Supper. Pray. Have faith. Love as Jesus loved. Be as humble as Christ was when He washed the feet of His disciples.
This, it is indicated, will lead to a pleasant afterlife. This is the safest way. The narrow gate.
Serve others. Serve God. Praise God. Love your Creator with all your heart.
Love the Trinity. Love the Holy Spirit. Love Christ.
If you do nothing else in life, love well. Love and suffer well. Love as Jesus loved on the Cross.
Praise Him every day. Praise the Lord. When we praise and adore God, when we glorify Jesus, when our love is proven by how we endure our trials, we are invoking God in the most powerful fashion and can feel the peace of His love.
That's the essential message of the Gospels, and it comes to life during the Eucharist. It comes to life when we adore God by starting Mass with a responsorial psalm. I don't think there are many prayers superior to the praises in Psalms. "Praise the Lord in His sanctuary," say the final ones. "Praise Him in the firmament of His strength. Praise Him for His mighty deeds, praise Him for His sovereign majesty. Praise Him with the blast of the trumpet, praise Him with lyre and harp, praise Him with timbrel and dance, praise Him with strings and pipe. Praise Him with sounding cymbals, praise Him with clanging cymbals, let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"
I remember when I returned to an active Catholic faith how powerful it was to thank and praise God. God is worthy of all praise and thanks. He is so good! He is so merciful! Suffering is nothing compared to eternal joy. How can we thank Him enough for the afterlife? How can we thank Him enough for eternity? With Christ, joy is always the end result. Calvary is the door to Resurrection. When there is attack and oppression, when there are concerns and obsessions, when there is anxiety, a litany of praise -- whether read from the Psalms or in spontaneous prayer -- is immediately comforting. Such prayers take on all the more force when said before the Blessed Sacrament. Many were the saints who spent hours at a time -- literally ten or twenty hours -- in front of the Blessed Sacrament, enraptured with heaven, adoring God. They didn't notice anything in the chapel but the Blessed Sacrament. You could have taken the stoles from their shoulders or raised a din and they would not have taken much notice. They were in the reality of Adoration. And that's why they were so free of evil. Just as he can't remain in the presence of love and humility, neither can the devil remain within earshot of praises to God.
The rays from the Eucharist are arrows against the wiles of Satan.
During prayer and Mass we should thank God not just for the small favors of life, not just for the new job, or the answered prayer of a family member, or for help during illness, or for those thousands of other things we ask for, but for life itself. Mass should be one huge display of gratitude for the very fact of existence. It should be a feast of thanks. It should be an acknowledgement. No matter how trying life can become (it's meant as a test), we should always remember that it's followed by eternity. How can we ever thank God enough for creating us in the first place? How could there ever be sufficient gratitude? Nowhere does God show His love so heartily as through the very fact that He created us and allows us to share His Kingdom.
Think about this. Think about this when small troubles hound you. Think of the fact that out of nothing God created your spirit and through the soul manifested it into an earthly body. After earthly life, it will ascend for all time to the spiritual. "You may be sure," the Lord told St. Gertrude, "that regarding one who devoutly assists at Holy Mass, I will send him as many of my saints to comfort him and protect him during the last moments of his life as there will have been Masses which he has heard well."
How can we even comprehend such generosity? If you started to praise God from the very moment of conception and praised Him every waking second for the rest of your life, you would still be praising Him but a little.
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