Seal of Approval
The following books have been awarded the Seal of Approval for the 3rd quarter of 2023:
- Firetender by Erin Lewis
- A Truly Clawful Christmas by Corinna Turner
- Ashes: Visible & Invisible by Catholic Teen Books
- A Pilgrim's Crux by Timothy Neboyskey
- Indian Emily by Jennifer Rengaw
- Little Saint Stories: Juan Diego by Cassie Herrington
- Kiss Me Goodnight by Maurice Prater
- Murder at Penwood Manor by Antony B. Kolenc
- Bonvida's Awakening by Christopher D. Smith
From Our Blog
- Food for the Journey
In the sacrament of the Eucharist, Jesus provides us with the strength and sustenance we need to tread the path of the cross, to make our way through the school of love that is this life. In the Eucharist, Jesus breaks open his Body and pours out his Blood as literal food and drink for us so that we can become more fully incorporated into his Body, more fully united with God in love. But he also breaks open his Body and pours out his Blood for us in order to strengthen and fortify us with the divine life and love, so that we can, in turn, break ourselves open and pour ourselves out in love for others. That is why the Eucharist has sometimes been referred to as “food for the journey.” The Eucharist nourishes and supports us on our own journey toward Love, and the Eucharist also strengthens us to go out and become “food for the journey” for other people.
A couple of years before he died, Pope Saint John Paul II wrote an encyclical in which he encouraged Catholics to rediscover their sense of amazement at the Eucharist.[i] It’s a message that many of us need to hear today, especially at a time when surveys indicate that only 31% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist,[ii] and only 39% of Catholics attend Mass on a weekly basis.[iii] Here are three ways to regain or strengthen your sense of amazement at the Eucharist: 1) Read, and re-read, and meditate upon, the words of Jesus regarding the Eucharist in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. Jesus makes it abundantly clear that the Eucharist is his actual Body and Blood and not merely some “symbol” of his love for us. Jesus also emphasizes the absolute necessity that anyone who claims to be his follower allow himself to be fed by the Eucharist; 2) If you’re not already attending Mass every week, start doing so. Jesus can’t feed you with the Eucharist if you don’t show up at the table. You wouldn’t choose to starve yourself physically; don’t starve yourself spiritually, either. Commune with the heart and mind of Jesus in the Eucharist, and allow him to transform your own heart and mind to be more like his; 3) “Receive what you are; become what you receive.”[iv] This profound exhortation regarding the disposition with which we should receive the Eucharist was first formulated by Saint Augustine. Meditate deeply upon Augustine’s insightful phrase, and strive to adopt this attitude every time you receive the Eucharist.
In the Eucharist, we receive the Body of Christ, incorporating us ever more fully into that Body, the Body to which we were first joined at Baptism. When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus abides in us, and we abide in him (John 6:56). Fortified by that divine food and drink, we are, in turn, to become the Body of Christ in the world. Like Jesus, we are to “break ourselves open and pour ourselves out” in love for our fellow human beings, becoming “food” and “drink” for them as they make their way through their own journey to Love.
Copyright 2023 Rick Clements
* This article is an excerpt from Rick’s latest book, The Book of Love: Brief Meditations
The CWG Prayer
Holy Family, guide our minds, our hearts, our hands, as we write, speak, illustrate – help our words to live in union with the Word.
Teach us discipline and skill to use the talents God gives us.
Give us also insight and courage to convey God's love through our craft, and humility to be open to His divine will, shaping our lives, in loving loyalty to His Church.
In Christ's name,