Intense Longing

Thursday, July 01, 2021 03:21am

Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ! How fitting in this 10th anniversary year of celebration that June marked the greatest growth of more groups for more priests (3-5 per day average!) in the Apostolate’s history.  Together let us be grateful and heartened in God’s Will, Way, and Work!

St Peter Julian Eymard (pronounced A-mard) had a yearning to be near our Eucharistic Lord. At age five, young Peter wandered from home. His family, frantically searching, finally located him in the church, peacefully perched atop a tall stool near the high altar tabernacle. In response to their flurry of questioning, he whispered, “I am here listening to Jesus.”

During the pandemic days, many Seven Sisters have expressed a shared intense longing to be in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord for their Holy Hours.  Special graces abound in the reach of His holy rays.   We acquiesce to a matchless quietness.  The company of innumerable angels adoring our Lord as Jesu Hostia welcome us.  The heart has its reasons – as does the Lord…

 In July 2019, the Apostolate hosted a pilgrimage traversing beautiful France and visiting her holy sites. A stop was made at the Blessed Sacrament Congregation’s Corpus Christi Chapel in Paris where the remains of St Peter Julian Eymard rest.  We pilgrims offered a Holy Hour.  My heart was stirred during that Hour to sense an almost-tangible encouragement for the Apostolate toward heightened Eucharistic fervor through St Peter Julian, friend and contemporary of St John Vianney.  Months later, the pandemic.  Chapels closed.  Despite, Eucharistic love has intensified.  As Chapels now open, this “Apostle of the Eucharist”, has every encouragement for us – to return to the Chapels!

Despite persistent health challenges, Fr Eymard was energetic and zealous, and especially enlivened and effective in preaching Eucharistic devotions. On Corpus Christi, 25 May 1845, while carrying the Blessed Sacrament in procession in Lyons (France), he felt a deeply compelling attraction to Christ in the Eucharist and resolved to “bring all the world to the knowledge and love of our Lord; to preach nothing but Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Eucharistic.”  Time spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament guided this new mission. “The Object of Eucharistic adoration is the divine Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, present in the Blessed Sacrament. There is nothing greater or holier we can do on earth than this adoration. Eucharistic adoration is the greatest of actions. … The Eucharist is everything, because from the Eucharist, everything is.”  He emboldened others to make the sacrifices to be before the Eucharistic Lord because it held gifts beyond measure: “The Holy Eucharist is like a divine Storehouse filled with every virtue; God has placed It in the world so that everyone may draw from It.” … “Have a great love for Jesus in His divine Sacrament of Love. It is the divine oasis of the desert. It is the heavenly manna of the traveler. It is the Holy Ark. It is the life and Paradise of love on earth.”

Fr Eymard’s time with our Eucharistic Lord fueled his clear and passionate preaching which also came to be recognized as prophetic in nature.  “Today solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is the grace and need of our time. Society will be restored and renewed when all its members group themselves around our Emmanuel. …Society will again someday become Christian won to Jesus Christ by the apostolate of Eucharistic Prayer.” He resolutely connected the most important aspect of fruitful Christian living with the Blessed Sacrament: “Love cannot triumph unless it becomes the one passion of our life. Without such passion we may produce isolated acts of love; but our life is not really won over or consecrated to an ideal. Until we have a passionate love for our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we shall accomplish nothing.”

 Three years prior to death, Fr Eymard made a lengthy retreat in Rome.  He was powerfully struck by the strength of Christ’s love within him – a love he felt taking over his whole person.  He attributed this to his visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Love Himself.  Many Seven Sisters write of a sure and growing transformative strength of love within themselves and also for the priests for whom they pray.  It is collectively described as linked to their time in Adoration.  The current aching to return to the Chapels is heart-led and heart-felt – and now may it be heart-satisfied!  Every sacrifice to return to the Chapels will be met with reward.

 St Peter Julian Eymard flourished in sanctity and love.  His profound love for Mary was cultivated by Eucharistic Love – and vice versa.  And so, it will follow for we as Seven Sisters. Listen: “Not everybody can preach Jesus Christ by word of mouth, but every adorer has the mission of Mary at the feet of Jesus: the apostolic mission of prayer, of Eucharistic prayer at the foot of the throne of grace and mercy. Eucharistic prayer has an excellence all its own; it goes straight to the Heart of God like a flaming dart; the adorer prays through Jesus Christ and unites himself to our Lord’s role as Intercessor with the Father and divine Advocate for His redeemed brethren. …Pray for Jesus’ Kingdom of holiness in His faithful, His religious, His priests. Pray for the Sovereign Pontiff. …Thus, adorers at the foot of the Most Blessed Sacrament carry on a universal and perpetual mission of prayer, and thus render to God the most perfect homage He can receive from a creature.” St Peter Julian Eymard (Feast Day – Aug 2), pray for us, as we render the most perfect homage to God for your brother priests!  Increase our Eucharistic love and love for Mary!

United in prayer and mission…that our prayers may find the heart of every bishop and priest…

… eternal gratitude continues as you each remember to offer a wee Hail Mary for me every day….  “One Ave Maria makes hell tremble” (St John Vianney). Pray that I will not ‘spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted…’  (St Teresa of Calcutta)

… your kind emails and notes and phone calls and generous support always arrive to my heart door at the right moment! Your financial sacrifices are for 100% furtherance of Apostolate.  THANK YOU!  The letters of testimony are so beautiful and edifying! What glory is given to God through your writing!

Eternal gratitude is mine for YOU! Be assured of my continued daily prayers for you at the altar.

Janette (Howe)

10th Anniversary Year of our Founding Graces (03/24/11 – 03/24/21)
In celebration:  Prepare a simple card for the bishop or priest for whom you pray –
in remembrance of the Feast of St John Vianney (August 4), patron of all priests.
Express your gratitude and love.  Share a quote or two from this exemplary shepherd!