It’s Day 144!!
PILLAR 2: HOW WE WORSHIP
HOW WE WORSHIP
Bishop Andrew Cozzens joins us!!
This is kind of a longer episode (Lord, beer me strength!! 😉)
We want to get a general overview of this next pillar
Bishop Cozzens taught a class on The Eucharist in Seminary
Students came back from his class being so educated and edified
Not just with more data
But with a heart that loves the Lord more
This year is the Eucharistic Revival kicking off
Bishop Cozzens is the Chair of the National Eucharistic Revival
It is a project of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB)
It is a movement to renew and revive belief, understanding, and practice in the Eucharist
Post-COVID studies show that maybe 15% of practicing Catholics attend Sunday Mass
This means people have not had an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist
THAT ENCOUNTER IS TRANSFORMATIVE!!
It is a national 3-year program that wants to affect every level of the Church
There will be a National Eucharistic Congress in 2024
The goal is to RENEW THE CHURCH by inviting people into this LIVING RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
And THIS is what we are talking about in PILLAR 2: HOW WE WORSHIP
It’s not ADDING something that is NEW
It is RECOVERING something that has been LOST
Fr. Mike encountered Jesus for the first time in Confession when he was a teenager
It really transformed his life
After that, he read about the Eucharist and he fell in love with the Lord
Bishop Cozzens had an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist at a very young age
A parish priest taught him how to genuflect
WE BEND OUR KNEE BEFORE GOD!!
He immediately sensed that he was not in the presence of a RITUAL
He sensed that he was in the presence of a PERSON
That is the HEART of the Eucharist
It is Jesus’ Death and Resurrection and Jesus’ own PERSON that comes to us in the Eucharist
This is what led him to the priesthood
St. John Paul II said, “I was ordained a servant of the Eucharist. Here is the heart of our faith that everything else serves because here is where we worship God perfectly.”
THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
The ritual is not the point
The words and the meaning is not the point
JESUS IS THE POINT!!
As we go through PILLAR 2: HOW WE WORSHIP over the next weeks and months, we will go through the rituals, learn about the rituals
We will learn what we believe about the Sacraments
The END GOAL is a RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD, THAT ENCOUNTER WITH THE LIVING GOD
We are going to talk about LITURGY and SACRAMENTS
This is how The Church PRAYS
It’s more about how The Church continues her life throughout time
The overarching point is that we are invited to LIVE CHRIST’S OWN LIFE through the Liturgy and the Sacraments
Christ wants to live His life IN US
All that we have been talking about so far in what we believe is not something that lives in the past
These are mysteries that we encounter NOW
As we enter into these mysteries THEY TRANSFORM US
We become more and more like Jesus living in the world today
The goal is that we are able to transform the world through our own transformation which happens by living and experiencing and encountering Jesus in His mysteries
The Sacraments and the Liturgy are the PRAYER OF JESUS
What does this mean?
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
It is important that I pray
It is important that YOU pray
That is not all that the Liturgy is
This isn’t just a group of people just gathered in a place
The Liturgy is Jesus’ own SELF GIFT
HIS OWN PERFECT WORSHIP
It is HIS PRAYER that HE made to the Father
It is HIS PRAYER that HE made in His GIFT OF SELF ON THE CROSS
We are invited to participate in that prayer
The Liturgy is INFINITELY MORE IMPORTANT than any other kind of prayer that we can possibly do
Because it’s not just my prayer
We are participating in CHRIST’S PRAYER
We see this throughout all the SIGNS AND SYMBOLS of the Liturgy
It is trying to draw us into Heaven
It is trying to draw us into where Jesus “has gone ahead with His own offering to the Father.” (Hebrews)
We are invited INTO that to PARTICIPATE in that
Just as it is drawing us into THE PASSOVER, which we will see
A lot of people say that they can’t wait until we get to PILLAR 4: HOW WE PRAY
Which is incredibly important for us
What we are highlighting sometimes we can encounter the Sacraments and feel like we did not pray
Or we can go through the Liturgy and rituals and not feel like we prayed
When we encounter Jesus in the Sacraments we are not just praying OUR OWN prayer
WE ARE PRAYING THE PRAYER OF JESUS HIMSELF!!
How is PILLAR 2: HOW WE PRAY structured?
It begins with THE TRINITY and how THE LITURGY is inviting us into this life of the Trinity
We talked about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in PILLAR 1: WHAT WE BELIEVE
Now we are going to see how our life of prayer in The Liturgy allows us to enter into the Trinity itself
We pray THROUGH the Holy Spirit IN the Son
What that makes present is TRUE WORSHIP through the Trinity
Then it will talk about what the Liturgy is and all the different aspects of the Liturgy
WHO prays the Liturgy?
WHEN do we pray the Liturgy?
WHY do we pray the Liturgy?
WHY is the Liturgy SO IMPORTANT?
Then it will go into THE SACRAMENTS
We will go through each of the SEVEN SACRAMENTS and see how those Sacraments affect us in various moments of our lives
So what does LITURGY mean?
The LITURGY is the OFFICIAL PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
First and foremost is the Eucharist which is the CENTER of all Liturgies and the CENTER of our whole Liturgical Life
Then we have LITURGY OF THE HOURS which priests and laypeople pray every day
Then we have the SACRAMENTAL LITURGIES which are the rituals that are the official public prayer of the Church
LITURGY is a way that the individual members of the Church can enter into the overall prayer of the Church
The beauty of the Church is that THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS PRAYING
EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY the Mass is being offered SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD
EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY people are praying the Liturgy of the Hours
Those Liturgical prayers are the RESPONSE of the Son to the Father in the Holy Spirit
The Son being US, the BODY OF CHRIST, constantly praying to the Father
THAT is the Liturgy that we are invited into
It is ALL an offering to the Father
When we are in the Mass, we are talking to OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
This is why Jesus taught us the OUR FATHER!!
We can ONLY pray that in Jesus
When we pray it in Jesus, it means something RADICALLY NEW for who we are as human beings and what our eternal destiny is
THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
The whole point of the Mass is not necessarily just to get the Eucharist, although they are GIFTS of the Mass
To GIVE to the Father the WORSHIP OF JESUS
So the first section is on THE LITURGY
The second section is on THE SACRAMENTS
What are some obstacles we may encounter?
To understand The Liturgy, we need to have a BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
Because the Church has a BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
And we LIVE in this BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
This is one of the beautiful things about THE BIBLE IN A YEAR (And you can find the study guide for this at www.thebibleinayearstudyguide.com !! 😀)
Who am I in light of what the Bible tells me who I am?
The Biblical Worldview is also what we might call a SACRAMENTAL WORLDVIEW
It is really important to understand this in order to understand the Catechism
The word SACRAMENT means SIGN
A Sacrament is something that we can physically, tangibly SEE that makes present something that is INVISIBLE, that we CAN’T SEE
A Biblical Worldview says that THE WHOLE WORLD IS A SACRAMENT 🤯 🤯
THE WORLD IS TELLING THE GLORY OF GOD
The sunrise this morning is INCREDIBLE and it tells me that God loves me today
All the stars
Everything in nature
Everything that exists points to the REASON THAT IT EXISTS 🤯 🤯 🤯
Do you remember what some sources of revelation are?
The natural world and reason
We look at this world and it REVEALS something to us that we CANNOT SEE in nature
We can see it MADE PRESENT to us by the REALITY OF NATURE
Today we have a different worldview
We can call it a SCIENTIFIC WORLDVIEW
We believe in science and science is a GOOD THING
We know that science tells us about REALITY
When we have this worldview where we say the ONLY things that are REAL are the things that I can SEE or TOUCH or FEEL WITH MY SENSES
The only things that are TRUE are things that I can prove from a scientific experiment
THIS IS A RIDICULOUS STATEMENT!!
THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT ARE TRUE!!
2+2 = 4
YES!! We can prove that too!!
My mother loves me and YOUR mother loves you
How can we prove that?
We can give examples
How do we know my dad wasn’t paying my mom on the side to love me?
So we can’t PROVE it
EVERYTHING proves it and there is NO PART OF ME that DOUBTS IT
I KNOW it is TRUE because it ADDS UP TO REALITY
THIS IS THE SAME THING ABOUT GOD!!
EVERYTHING proves God’s existence when you start to see rightly
EVERYTHING points to God
What we begin to see is that God made Creation SO THAT IT WOULD POINT TO HIM
In Creation He sanctified certain actions ON HIS OWN
He made those actions CARRY HIS OWN DIVINE PRESENCE 🤯 🤯 🤯
This is what the SACRAMENTS are
SIGN with a Capital S
SACRAMENT with a Capital S
They don’t just SIGNIFY God’s presence
They actually make God’s presence REAL, HERE AND NOW FOR US IN A VERY VERY POWERFUL WAY
Here is an example…
Some years ago Bishop Cozzens visited Belarus in a place where the Faith was attempted to be stomped out by Joseph Stalin’s government on the border of Belarus and Russia
Stalin had come in with his troops and destroyed the Church and killed a priest
He left this small village of Catholics without a priest for 60 YEARS
Every Sunday they gathered and took the Roman Missal in Latin and passed it around and read parts of it
When they got to the Words of Consecration, they could not say those words because they were not priests
So they sat in silence and LONGED for Jesus in the Eucharist
When things really got bad and felt the weight of their sins, they went to the grave of their priest and spoke their sins out loud begging God to forgive them over that grave
What if you went to those people and said, “You can go right to God! You don’t need the Sacraments!”
They would say, “We know that! But God would come so much closer if we could have Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist or if we could actually hear the words of Jesus saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’”
They were LONGING for that ENCOUNTER with Him
Some years later, a priest came and got to hear their Confessions and celebrated Mass with them
Jesus can come SO MUCH CLOSER through the Sacraments
While saying that you can just go right to God and pray wherever is TRUE, it is also a MINIMALIST type of truth
That is the MINIMUM of what we can do
We can do that if that is ALL WE HAVE
ALL OF CREATION REVEALS GOD!!
So yes you can pray in the woods
You can drive down on 21st Street in Duluth, Minnesota where Lake Superior is and when the sun rises, it looks like diamonds on the water
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
That reveals the Glory of God
There are these times and places where God doesn’t just REVEAL Himself but He COMES TO US IN A VERY PARTICULAR WAY
He comes to us GIVING US HIS LIFE IN A PARTICULAR WAY
He comes to us GIVING US HIS HEALING IN A PARTICULAR WAY
He comes to us GIVING US HIS FORGIVENESS IN A PARTICULAR WAY
The Sacraments are ROOTED in the Incarnation
In Jesus, God became FLESH
God took on our HUMAN MATTER
When people ENCOUNTERED JESUS, they ENCOUNTERED A SACRAMENT
They ENCOUNTERED a physical body
They could not SEE God
They could TOUCH God
Because when they touched JESUS they touched GOD
And when Jesus touched THEM God touched THEM
The Sacraments continue that INCARNATIONAL PRINCIPLE
St. Thomas Aquinas, when talking about the Sacraments said, “It is actually charity to speak to people in a way that they can understand.”
So through the Sacraments God speaks to us through MATERIAL THINGS
God comes to us through MATERIAL THINGS
So that we can RECEIVE Him and UNDERSTAND Him and ENCOUNTER Him
St. Leo the Great said, “What began in the Incarnation of God’s presence in our midst is continued in the Sacraments in the life of the Church so that we can still encounter the living Jesus today.”
God, being ALL POWERFUL, could have just DECLARED the world SAVED
The God who created the world REDEEMS the world with the WORD (I’m a bit confused at what Fr. Mike is saying here so this is my best educated guess… 😕)
How does He do it?
He takes on a BODY
In that BODY, God lives and suffers and dies and rises from the dead and ascends to Heaven
That is how He wanted to mediate Salvation to us
Tertullian says, “The flesh is the hinge of Salvation.”
When Jesus touched them, God touched them
When He healed them, God healed them
St. Ambrose says, “I have seen your face, O Lord. I see your face in the Sacraments. You come to me in the flesh in the Sacraments.”
Sacramental WORLDVIEW vs Scientific WORLDVIEW is one of our obstacles
The other obstacle is to try to understand how the Bible understands history
The key to understanding Divine Revelation in the Bible is that GOD BREAKS INTO HISTORY
God saves us through these SALVIFIC EVENTS
In the Old Testament we have the SALVIFIC EVENT of the Exodus that actually CREATES the People of Israel and SAVES them throughout all of time
Because the Jews have a Biblical understanding of history, what do they do?
They gather and remember that event every year on the anniversary of the Exodus
They don’t think of memory the way we think of memory
What is memory?
I recall this thing that happened in the past and make it present in my mind
The Jewish People actually believed in the Hebrew word ZIKARON, this idea of memory that MAKES THE EVENT PRESENT
So when Jesus celebrated Passover with His Apostles, He believed the event of passing through the Red Sea was BECOMING PRESENT NOW
They were being SAVED through this celebration HERE AND NOW by the event that was happening IN THE PAST because they were CONNECTED TO THAT EVENT IN TIME
They were taking that PAST EVENT and making it PRESENT
The Catechism calls this word ANAMNESIS
It is the Greek word for MEMORY
This is SO IMPORTANT because this is why Jesus’ last command to His Church is, “DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.”
He doesn’t just mean make a RITUAL remembering this because it’s a nice thing to think about the Last Supper and how Jesus died on the Cross
He means that when we make MEMORY of this, that event which happened once in time BECOMES PRESENT HERE AND NOW 🤯 🤯 🤯
Not just that event but it’s FULFILLMENT IN HEAVEN becomes PRESENT HERE AND NOW
This is where we come to understand the Liturgy exists IN GOD’S ETERNITY
When we celebrate the Liturgy, especially Holy Mass, we ENTER INTO GOD’S HOLY TIME
We experience it as if it is PRESENT NOW so that we can be TRANSFORMED BY IT and LIVE BY IT
In a Sacramental Worldview vs Scientific Worldview all there is is just stuff and what you see
BUT THERE IS MORE!!
What you see reveals something else and communicates something even more important
A linear view of time vs Biblical view of time
The Salvific Events that happen in time are NOT COMPLETELY IN THE PAST 🤯 🤯 🤯
BECAUSE THEY PARTICIPATE IN GOD’S ETERNITY!!
In the Mass on the Altar time and Eternity MEET
Heaven and Earth KISS
This event that happened at one moment in time is now EXPANDED throughout ALL OF ETERNITY
We get to participate in it in a unique way through the Sacraments
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is God’s MERCY breaking through in a particular way
Eternity breaks into time in EVERY ONE OF THE SACRAMENTS
The Sacrament of Marriage has an INVISIBLE BOND that will last until death
It is UNBREAKABLE
NOTHING can break it
It is actually God’s LOVE for the Church BREAKING INTO TIME and uniting this couple so that THEY BECOME ONE
This is not abstract theology
This is very much concrete and present
This is how God has broken into our lives and made His Grace, His Presence, and His Reality REAL
This is the POWER of the Sacraments
They are meant to HELP US at each of those moments in our life
At the beginning of our Christian life we need BAPTISM and it gives us ALL THE GRACE THAT WE NEED TO BECOME SAINTS
As we grow we need to be STRENGTHENED BY CONFIRMATION and that allows us to become strong enough to STAND in the world and TESTIFY in the world
There is also the DAILY GROWING IN UNION WITH HIM through the Eucharist
Each of the Sacraments give us a PARTICULAR GRACE for a PARTICULAR PART OF OUR LIFE
It is NOT just a one and done situation
In these 7 unique ways, God BREAKS INTO OUR LIVES in a very particular and intentional way
Starting tomorrow we will read about THE LITURGY
We will begin with The Trinity
Jesus says WORSHIP AND SPIRIT AND TRUTH from John Ch 4
When we read that we begin to see what Jesus is doing
Jesus cleanses the Temple and people are scandalized
They say, “By what authority do you do this?”
Jesus answers, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
St. John wrote (He was speaking of the Temple of His Body)
In the very next Chapter Jesus goes to Samaria where He goes to Jacob’s well and meets the Samaritan woman
She says, “You Jews say we should worship at the Temple. We worship here.”
Jesus replies, “Actually the hour is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. And the Father seeks such people to worship Him.”
That hour of Jesus, which began at Cana, is continued here
He speaks about it all throughout The Gospel of John
Until John Ch 12 when Jesus says, “This is the HOUR for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
That HOUR is really the TRUE WORSHIP that Jesus offers
It BEGINS at Cana because Jesus says to Mary, “What has this to do with me, Woman? My hour has not yet come.”
Then it is FULFILLED in “Now the HOUR has come. Father, be glorified.”
There are two times in The Gospel of John where Jesus calls Mary WOMAN
John Ch 2 at Cana
When Jesus is on the Cross and He says, “Woman, behold your son.”
In that moment, Jesus is giving birth to the Church as He gives His life
It is very important to understand the Cross is AN ACT OF WORSHIP
It is the ONE TRUE ACT OF WORSHIP that ever happened in the WHOLE HISTORY OF THE WORLD
What is worship?
Worship is giving back of ourselves to God from whom we came
It is what we OWE Him
He gave us our lives
We have to give ourselves BACK
We have failed in sin in so many ways
To make up for that, what did they do in the Old Testament?
They gave REPLACEMENT sacrifices like bulls and goats and doves as God commanded them to
When Jesus comes He actually ENDS TEMPLE WORSHIP
When Jesus dies on the Cross it is recorded in the Gospel that, “The Temple curtain was torn in two.”
THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED!!
BECAUSE THE NEW TEMPLE HAS COME!!
The place where the ONE TRUE ACT OF WORSHIP will happen
Because Jesus is BOTH God and man is the ONLY ONE who can offer PERFECT WORSHIP TO THE FATHER
He makes that SELF-GIFT on our behalf to SAVE US FROM OUR SINS and in order to RESTORE US to become CHILDREN OF GOD so now WE can offer TRUE WORSHIP
True worship is not the beautiful prayer we offer even if we sing with all our hearts
It is really important to sing with all our hearts
The TRUE WORSHIP is the WORSHIP OF JESUS which is why He says, “Do this in memory of me.”
He wants that ONE ACT OF TRUE WORSHIP to be PRESENT THROUGHOUT ALL OF TIME in the Mass so that you and I can PARTICIPATE IN IT
This is what makes the Mass more than anything else WE CAN POSSIBLY DO
What are we supposed to do at Mass?
We bring our lives, our particular sacrifices, struggles, weaknesses, everything that is us
We place that on the Altar at the offertory when the priest offers the bread and wine
That very imperfect sacrifice of ours, with all our particular weaknesses and frustrations, is JOINED TO JESUS’ SACRIFICE and is OFFERED TO THE FATHER
IT BECOMES PLEASING TO THE FATHER IN JESUS
Because we are ALL sons and daughters IN THE ONE SON
THIS is what it means to worship IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
It is the ONE TRUE WORSHIP that Jesus offered on the Cross that we are ALL united in the Holy Spirit offering and it is actually PLEASING TO THE FATHER
IT TRANSFORMS US!!
When we give this to the Father, what does He do?
HE GIVES US BACK THE RESURRECTED LIFE OF JESUS IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT!! 🤯 🤯 🤯
This RESURRECTED LIFE OF JESUS comes to live in US so that we can now continue to LIVE THIS LIFE IN THE WORLD
THIS IS LIFE CHANGING!!
If you can underline something in your brain, Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross which is a culmination of everything that began with the Incarnation is the ONE TRUE ACT OF WORSHIP
So at the Mass, it is Jesus saying “Do this in memory of me.”
That is the ONCE FOR ALL self-sacrifice of the Son to the Father
Every time we worship God in the Mass we are UNITING OURSELVES to the ONE TRUE ACT OF WORSHIP that has been given
St. Paul says, “Offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and beloved.”
We are uniting OUR HOPES
We are uniting them IN THE MASS and they become ACCEPTABLE and they become PART OF THIS TRUE WORSHIP
Part of why we are doing Catechism in a Year is NOT just facts
This is the stuff we didn’t even realize we are doing
We just go to Mass in our parish and we don’t realize this is happening
The Catechism talks about the PASCHAL MYSTERY
THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IS THE EVENT THAT SAVED US
It is the LAST SUPPER where Jesus gathers to celebrate the Passover with no Passover Lamb
HE becomes the Passover Lamb
He says, “This is my Body which will be given up for you.”
He says, “This is my Blood, poured out for you.”
He points to what He is going to do on the Cross
You CAN’T understand the Last Supper without understanding the Cross
What He does on the Cross is this GIFT OF SELF to the Father FOR OUR SALVATION
You CAN’T understand the Cross without the Resurrection and Ascension
His death on the Cross would be EMPTY without the Resurrection
When we talk about the Paschal Mystery we are talking about the Last Supper, His Death on the Cross, His Resurrection, and His Ascension ALL PRESENT IN THIS ONE MYSTERY
THAT IS WHAT WE ENTER INTO AT MASS!!
That is what we are offering WITH JESUS to the Father and RECEIVING HIS LIFE BACK IN THE EUCHARIST!!
This is not just what we are teaching
It is what we are LIVING
The next section after The Liturgy is THE SACRAMENTS
What should we pay attention to in the 7 Sacraments?
What is a Sacrament?
A Sacrament is an EFFICACIOUS SIGN
This means the Sign CAUSES what it SIGNIFIES
We have simple signs like stop signs
The STOP SIGN does not actually cause you to stop, as many people can testify to
There are complex signs in nature that make present what they signify
Smoke is a sign of fire
When you see smoke you know there is a fire
The body is the sign of the SOUL
When you see a living body you know there is a soul there
BECAUSE IT LOOKS VERY DIFFERENT FROM A DEAD BODY (As a pathologist who has done many autopsies, I can attest that this is very true. I have seen the soul leave the body when someone dies. The light in the person’s eyes extinguish like a candle and it is quite a thing to see)
You can’t SEE the soul
You can see the SIGN or EFFECT of the soul
The Sacraments are like this but in a SUPERNATURAL WAY
The Sacraments CAUSE what they SIGNIFY
When the priest says, “This is my body” over the bread and “This is my blood” over the wine
IT IS NOT JUST A SYMBOL!!
IT BECOMES THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST!!
So much so that we say there is NO MORE BREAD THERE and there is NO MORE WINE THERE
What is there?
JESUS’ BODY AND BLOOD
And wherever Jesus’ Body and Blood are, His SOUL is there
Wherever Jesus’ Body and Blood are, His DIVINITY is there
ALL THAT JESUS IS BECOMES PRESENT!!
When the priest pours water over the baby’s head it actually causes the WIPING AWAY OF SIN AND FILLS HIM/HER WITH NEW LIFE
If we understand these FACTS then it helps us see that these are NOT just simple signs
An EFFICACIOUS SIGN is a sign that does what it is a sign of
Baptism is a sign of WASHING so it washes away Original Sin
Baptism is a sign of NEW BIRTH and it actually makes us into SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD
When the priest says, “This is my Body.” it actually BECOMES His Body and Blood and Soul and Divinity
Or even Reconciliation is a sign of GOD’S MERCY and it actually DOES impart God’s Mercy to us
This is the beauty of the Sacraments
They are not just based on our feelings
Sometimes we feel more sorry or less sorry when we go to Confession
The fact is that GOD WORKS
We want to be more sorry for our sins and the more sorry we are the better
God forgives our sins if we are contrite
The Sacraments are OBJECTIVE WAYS that God begins to transform us that we gradually surrender ourselves to
Fr. Mike is telling a story about a Catholic who left the Faith and went to Confession
He would listen to sad worship songs to feel sad
He would ask for God’s forgiveness and then turn on songs that were about forgiveness so that he would feel forgiven
He went to Confession and didn’t feel anything
He KNEW that he was forgiven
Because it is an OBJECTIVE REALITY
What happens when people don’t feel anything when they go to Mass or Confession?
How can they get MORE from the Sacraments?
The Sacraments are effective BASED ON OUR FAITH
Remember the story of the hemorrhaging woman in the Gospels?
Jesus is walking along and this woman has this sense, “If I could just touch Him, I will be healed.”
So even though she is not supposed to touch Him, she does touch Him and she is healed
Jesus feels power flow out of Him and says, “Who touched me?”
The Apostles are like, “What do you mean? You are surrounded. Everybody is touching you.”
ONE PERSON TOUCHED WITH FAITH!!
THIS IS THE POWER OF THE SACRAMENTS!!
If I have FAITH when I receive the Sacraments, THEY WILL TRANSFORM ME
It is NOT based on FEELING
It is based on FAITH
This is why when many people receive the Sacraments they are NOT TRANSFORMED
Because they have not exercised FAITH
They may receive the Sacraments casually
They might not think about what they are doing
They might not even believe what they are doing
Faith allows the Sacraments to be EFFECTIVE IN ME
If I don’t have FAITH I still receive Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity when I go to Holy Communion
He will only transform me to the degree that I am disposed to being transformed
Everyone is receiving Jesus in the Eucharist
It’s not if you THINK so or BELIEVE so
IT IS TRUE!!
The Sacraments put in RIGHT ORDER our relationship with God
How do the Sacraments help us GROW in that relationship?
St. Thomas Aquinas talks about the Sacraments with a natural analogy
We have these Sacraments which accompany us at every moment of our lives especially those most important moments
At birth we have Baptism
As we grow we have Confirmation
As we get strengthened we have the Eucharist
When a man and woman are joined together in marriage
When a man becomes a priest so that he can serve the mystery of Redemption in the world
When we need healing or reconciliation we have Confession and the Anointing of the Sick
Each of those moments the Sacraments are there to HELP US GROW
As you live a SACRAMENTAL LIFE you will find that it AFFECTS YOU and it GETS IN YOUR BONES
Something gets in us that begins to make us more and more like Jesus
This is why REGULAR USE OF THE SACRAMENTS is SO IMPORTANT
This is why REGULARLY ATTENDING MASS even during the week can be REALLY TRANSFORMATIVE
This is why REGULAR CONFESSION can be REALLY TRANSFORMATIVE
Because it makes us more and more like Jesus as we GROW IN HIM
We are brought into relationship with the Trinity to share in that Divine life so that we can be more and more like the Son whose will is conformed to the Father’s
How have the Sacraments been impactful in Bishop Cozzens’ life?
When he was getting ready to be ordained as a priest, he always believe in Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist
A month or two before he was ordained, he wondered if he would really believe that the Eucharist was really Jesus when He would be at Mass and saying the words
The Faith of the Church becomes so clear
When he celebrated his first Mass and said the words, “This is my Body, given up for you.”
He raised up the Host, set it down on the patent, and genuflected
He had NO DOUBT that he was genuflecting before the LORD OF THE UNIVERSE
HIS WHOLE LIFE EXISTS FOR JESUS!!
The Sacraments became that way for him so that he can encounter Jesus really, truly living today
He can’t imagine living without that
When we keep the Lord to the Bible and keep the Sacraments distant what happens when He gets so close?
When it comes to the Bible in some ways it can be easier for some people to accept than the Catechism
The Bible is really old and it gives us teachings for way back when but are also applicable to now
The Catechism is what we are called to believe, live, and worship now
They kind of invade our lives in some ways and impose themselves not really God really proposes He doesn’t impose Himself (I’m just writing down Fr. Mike’s stream of consciousness at this point because I’m exhausted. This episode has taken me 5 hours to transcribe haha 🤣)
The Sacraments are a way in which God refuses to remain distant
Just like the Incarnation
Just like Pentecost
The Sacraments provide this direct encounter with God that is NOT POSSIBLE ANYWHERE ELSE
Keep that in mind the most
It is all about an ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
Jesus and then through Jesus through the Trinity in the Holy Spirit
The whole purpose of the Liturgy and all the mysteries that we celebrate is that we can come into this RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
EVERYTHING EXISTS FOR THAT RELATIONSHIP!!
The more we allow ourselves to ENCOUNTER Him, then the more that we are going to be TRANSFORMED by Him
God gives us the Sacraments to TRANSFORM US in order that we can then TRANSFORM THE WORLD
Also so that we can live in UNION with Him and be PLEASING to Him
So keep this in mind as we move forward
BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS!!
Some of these sections are intense
SEEK JESUS IN THE MYSTERIES OF THE LITURGY AND THE SACRAMENTS!!
YOU ARE GOING TO FIND HIM THERE IN A WAY THAT YOU HAVE NEVER FOUND HIM OR ENCOUNTERED HIM BEFORE IF YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO ENTER INTO THESE MYSTERIES!!
THAT IS SO GOOD!!
There are some people who will be intimidated by the teachings or rituals
But these are merely the vehicle to get to the heart
WHICH IS HIM!!
God, in a plan of SHEER GOODNESS, reveals Himself to us so that we can share in His own Divine Life
THANK YOU BISHOP COZZENS!!
PRAY FOR THE EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL!!
PRAY THAT THIS WILL DO A LITTLE PIECE TO REVIVE A LOVE FOR JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST IN THE HEARTS OF EVERY PERSON AROUND THE WORLD!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!