Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Eucharist: Model of Catholic Life

November 24, 2009

Peace and Good,

This past week I was out in San Diego again at our Mother of Confidence. The retreat was on the Eucharist as the model of Catholic life. Sunday night I spoke about the Eucharist in general. Monday I presented the vertical dimension of the Eucharist (that it really is the body and blood of Christ). Tuesday was the horizontal dimension (that we must form communion with each other). Wednesday, I spoke about the missionary dimension of the Eucharist (that we are called to share the faith with others). The morning sessions were on the Gospel of Luke which we shall use this coming year in the liturgy. The parish was welcoming, as were the two priest there: Msgr Sheahan and a 90 year old priest who lives there, Fr. Hopkins. The latter is incredible for his willingness to help and serve, even if his eyesight is very poor.

I flew home on Thursday and then Friday morning drove out to the Dominican Retreat House in McLean, VA. I gave a workshop on the theme of suffering, drawn from the book I wrote called I Cry to You, O Lord. Then in the evening I started a weekend of recollection on the theme that the retreat house is using this year: Behold, I make all things new. There were two major talks and three homilies. Most of the retreat was silent. The spirit of the group was very peaceful, even as most of them were discerning major moments in their lives.

I am slowly working on the psalms CD's, but it is still going to take quite some time to finish that project.

I finished three books this week. The first was Fields of Battle: the Wars for North America by John Keegan. I had read another book by him a couple of months ago. He is very good, and this particular book is unusual. It is about some of the major turmoils that defined the nation, but it also include many of his own remembrances when he visited those sites. It was a cross between a war book and a travelogue.

I finished Eleanor of Aquitaine by Desmond Seward. What a woman! If you don't know enough about her, she is worth studying. One of her major projects was to fund a monastery for women which became a refuge for "fallen" women and battered women of her time. She plotted, conspired, connived, etc. She was the mother of Richard the Lion Hearted, and the wife of both the King of France and then Henry II, the king of England. (You might remember the film Lion in Winter about her and Henry).

The third book was my spiritual reading: The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey. He is evangelical, so his scholarship about the history of some of the books of the Bible falls short, but his insights into faith and God's intentions and human response is right on. I took one quote from the book from the writings of CS Lewis: There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every split second, every square inch of it is claimed by God and counter claimed by Satan. It speaks of the battle between good and evil that is most often fought in the most mundane of places and situation. Every choice has cosmic consequences.

I have a request for those of you who read this blog. I have been asked to go to Ghana to give a retreat for some diocesan seminarians. Normally, people who invite me must pay for my trip, but this country is much too poor. Furthermore, the province which has paid for many trips in the past just can't afford it this time. Can any of you help out. The plane ticket alone is going to cost over $2,000. If you can, could you mail whatever you can afford to Fr. Jude; 12290 Folly Quarter Road; Ellicott City, MD 21042. Thank you for considering this request.

God bless and have a Good Thanksgiving.


fr. Jude


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