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Seeking The Face of Christ

“Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:6 – RSV)

There are a number of different devotions we might focus on as we enter this most Holy Week of the Church calendar, but it might be good for us to reverently reconsider the very image our Savior chose to leave us, that of His own Beautiful Face yet Sorrowful Face.

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It is good for us to recall the sacrifice of great Love that our Lord made for us.  It has been said that too much familiarity with this Holy Season can tend to diminish our appreciation of the measure of Christ’s love reflected in own His Holy Countenance.  It is good for us to recall that it was at the beginning of His passion that our Lord experienced one of the more painful events He would endure; it ,was not simply the betrayal of one of His own disciples, but that fact that Judas Iscariot chose to betray our Lord by placing a kiss on His cheek.

The Church has a long history of devotion to the Holy Face going all the way back to Veronica’s singular act of courage and compassion, when she wiped the bloodied face of Jesus, forever preserving for us the painful image of His sacrifice and love.  What similar act of compassion and even courage might we offer to our Eucharistic Lord, an act that can help to console our Lord in our own time, when we still witness so much blasphemy and so many offenses against His Church, His Mystical Body, and by consequence, His Holy Face.

In his Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, (The Eucharist) Saint John Paul II drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. 

“To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize him wherever he manifests himself, in His many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of his Body and Blood. The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by Him she is fed and by Him she is enlightened. The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a “mystery of light.” Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Lk 24:31). . . . I cannot let this Holy Thursday (2003) pass without halting before the “Eucharistic face” of Christ and pointing out with new force to the Church the centrality of the Eucharist.

Perhaps we could make our own act of courage and compassion this week and find an hour to visit our Church and just spend some time contemplating the Face of Christ in the Eucharist.  This is also a wonderful time to begin, if you have not already, to develop a continual devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus Christ.  For information please visit: www.holyface.com

Mark Danis
Host of Carmelite Conversations
Mondays  7 pm eastern / 6 pm central

August 23, 2012 – Vinny Flynn of Mercy Song Ministries of Healing

Kathleen Beckman interviews Vinny Flynn, best selling author of “7 Seven Secrets of the Eucharist” and “21 Ways to Worship” on developing the art of worship before the Blessed Sacrament. They will discuss how the Adoration chapel is a “classroom of silence” where we find answers, peace, and divine friendship. They will review article #25 of Blessed John Paul II’s “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” on the worship of the Eucharist outside of Mass.

August 16, 2012 – Bishop Cirilo Flores

Kathleen Beckman interviews San Diego Diocese Coadjutor Bishop Cirilo Flores on how the Church is built up by the Eucharist (article 26 of JPII’s Ecclesia de Eucharistia). They will discuss the connection between the Eucharistic life of the Church and the upcoming “Year of Faith”; the “new evangelization” and the universal call to holiness. The bishop shares his personal experiences of Eucharistic devotion.

August 2, 2012 – The Life and Times of Blessed John John Paul II

Kathleen’s Guest: Fr. Stephen Doktorczyk, JCL, Official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Title: The Life and Times of Blessed John John Paul II, model of Eucharistic Sacrificial Love

Description: Kathleen interviews Fr. Stephen Doktorczyk on his personal Roman experiences during the “Year of the Eucharist”; how his priesthood was influenced by Blessed John Paul II; and how the encyclical “Eccelsia de Eucharistia” has depth of meaning for the Church in this “hour”, the dawn of the Year of Faith and for the New Evangelization.

Living Eucharist with Kathleen Beckman

Living Eucharist is a series on Radio Maria that will explore the many facets of Eucharistic life toward healing and holiness. Taking from Blessed Pope John Paul II’s “Ecclesia de Eucharistia”, Kathleen will emphasize the transformative power of the Sacrament of Divine Love to “rekindle Eucharistic amazement”.

Tune in on Mondays at 6pm Eastern, 5pm Central journey deeper into a life centered on the Eucharist.