Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marsaia Kaster writes on St. Francis’ love for the crib and the cross as part of our emphasis on Rebuilding Christ’s Church and growth as a joyful follower of Jesus. Sister Marsaia is a chaplain for the St. Joseph fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order.
We Franciscans are all aware of St. Francis’ radical, extremely vibrant love for Christ. In truth, Francis lived this prayer: “Jesus, You Are My Very Life!” That is why Francis loved the Word and the Eucharist so much. That is why Francis loved the crib and the Cross so much!
We, in the Catholic Church have the unique invitation to receive our God, Jesus the Lord, in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity daily; and to unite our own whole self, our body and blood, our whole person to Jesus – to His whole divine and human Self.
Many Catholics have lost track of, or have never heard deeply of, the reality of that self-gift of Jesus to us and of the radical self-gift that each of us can give to Him when we “meet” Him in Holy Communion.
During the holy sacrifice of the Mass, directly before we are invited to pray the Our Father, the priest sums up, “culminates and concludes” the Eucharistic Prayer in which the sacrifice of Jesus has been renewed – the priest cries out these words:
“Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever
Then, and only then, when we have recommitted ourselves totally to accepting and “living by” the Eucharist that we will soon receive -We are finally invited to pray (live, become son or daughter enough; lover of one another enough) to pray:
Our Father, Who art in heaven…
The Catholic Bishops of the United States are presently, right now, beginning a three-year Eucharistic Revival for/with all Catholics who want to join them in becoming renewed in our love and knowledge of Jesus so that our personal relationship with Him may truly become what animates our every breath, thought and desire.
For those who are able, please access the website of this revival. See link: https://www.eucharisticrevival.org/learn-resources