Monday, August 07, 2006
Missionaries of the Eucharist, update newsletter, August 6
** STORY OF THE WEEK **
“Lift high the Cross, The love of Christ proclaim, Till all the world adore His Sacred Name.” Block by block, all eleven of us, marched in song down Washington DC’s Monroe Street, closer and closer to the conclusion of our journey.
It was a blisteringly hot day, but seeing the spire and dome of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception brought the joyful peace of a goal nearly achieved.
Each step renewed the Theology of the Body theme of our summer. The prayer of our souls was joined by the prayer of the actions of our body.
We climbed the Shrine’s stairs in unison. What a sight we must have been, clad in our matching blue shirts (in honor of our Blessed Mother), kneeling in thanksgiving at the top! Our Vatican flag billowed in the breeze. We held our crucifix high. It was a quiet moment. We did it!
How far had we come? What difference had we made? How many people had been a part of our mission with their help along the way? How much had God been doing in our own lives?
“Tantum ergo sacramentum,” we sang, as we had in front of so many church doors. Praise God for His gift of His Body, Soul, Blood, and Divinity – a gift of Himself – in the Eucharist. Here, He has shown us how to give – showing us the meaning of our bodies and the meaning of our summer.
** THANKS TO OUR DONORS **
Three months ago, this journey still seemed improbable. Without God working through your generosity, we never could have made it. But with Him, all things are possible!
Specifically, through your contributions, we’ve been able to recently get:
- 400 Rosaries and How-to-pray-the-Rosary pamphlets (over the summer, we’ve given away thousands to folks that we meet on the streets!)
- Bags of ice to keep donated food from spoiling
- Our van’s flat tire fixed after we ran over a screw
Thanks so much for everything.
** PLEASE PRAY **
Even more than material support, your prayers keep our organization going:
Please join us in praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, which opens with this prayer.
“O blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.”
God’s mercy – explained as “God’s love in the face of our weakness” by Cardinal Rigali – is intended for all of us to embrace. We pray that the sight of us praying in front of abortion clinics may serve as an invitation to moms and dads considering or hurt by abortion to embrace His mercy too.
Moreover, may we never forget the power of Jesus’ blood: “They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11).
** WHERE WE’VE BEEN **
July 23: In between Masses and a youth group visit in Linwood, NJ, we play Frisbee on the beach and take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
July 24: Philadelphia’s Cardinal Justin Rigali is very welcoming and encouraging during our almost hour-long meeting.
July 26: Our swing dancing keeps getting better. We use it to explain the Theology of the Body to the youth group at St. John’s in Westminster, MD.
July 28: Jess, Josh, and Phil talk about the summer walk and Theology of the Body on Philadelphia’s Holy Spirit radio.
July 29: Maryland state senator Andy Harris, his wife Cookie, and their family host us for the weekend.
July 30: Maeve, Lacy, and Pat give the feature presentation at Baltimore's Theology on Tap. Earlier, we chat with the folks after Masses at St. Joseph’s in Cockeysville, MD.
July 31: As temperatures exceed 100 degrees, a family pulls over on their way home from the grocery store to give us the box of popsicles that they’ve just bought.
August 1: Our second day-long meeting with Theology of the Body expert Christopher West affords a good chance for reflection on the summer.
August 2: While treated to a bright sunrise, we cross the Severna River into Annapolis.
August 3: We climb the steps of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, marking the conclusion of our nine-week, eleven-state, 1000-mile walk. We did it! Our spiritual director (and University of Maryland chaplain) Fr. Bill Byrne celebrates Mass for us in the Shrine’s Our Lady of the Missions chapel.
** WHAT’S AHEAD **
- Upcoming plans include a youth group visit in Maryland in September and an overnight youth retreat in Princeton, NJ, in November.
- Upon returning to our families and schools, many of us will likely give presentations to our local parishes.
- Bishops and priests along the way have offered many ideas, ranging from setting up local chapters to founding our own religious order.
- Preparations are already under way for next summer’s walk (or walks).
Please pray that we will be open to the Holy Spirit and His wisdom as we plan for the future.
** CATECHETICAL REFLECTION **
Happy Feast of the Transfiguration! (August 6) For us, this feast marks the official end of the Missionaries of the Eucharist summer project. More importantly, in this feast, Jesus shows us the glory for which we were intended: Body and soul so perfectly united that His glory can be physically seen. “We await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Phil 3:21).
+++ REAL LOVE REJECTS ABORTION +++
Who we are?
Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.
We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.