Legnica, Poland, Apr 18, 2016 / 02:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A bleeding Host that “has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle” was approved for veneration in Poland over the weekend.The announcement was made by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica on April 17.On Christmas Day 2013, a consecrated Host fell to the floor, the bishop said. It was picked up and placed in a container with water. Soon after, red stains appeared on the host.Then-Bishop of Legnica, Stefan Cichy, created a commission to monitor the host. In February 2014, a small fragment was placed on a corporal and underwent testing by various research institutes.The final medical statement by the Department of Forensic Medicine found: “In the histopathological image, the fragments were found containing the fragmented parts of the cross striated muscle. It is most similar to the heart muscle.” Tests also determined the tissue to be of human origin, and found that it bore signs of distress.Saying that the Host “has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle,” Bishop Kiernikowski explained that in January 2016 he presented the matter to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.In April, in accordance with the Holy See’s recommendations, he asked parish priest Andrzej Ziombrze “to prepare a suitable place for the Relics so that the faithful could venerate it.”Tags: Eucharist, Catholic News, MiracleREAD NEXT »
Via First Things
REAL DEATH, REAL DIGNITY by David Mills
He was a dignified man suffering all the embarrassing ways a hospice deals with the body’s failure as cancer begins shutting down the organs. Dying in a hospice, you lose all rights to modesty as you lose control of your body. Few men could have found the indignities of those last few weeks of life more excruciating than did my father.
The man who was always in control depended entirely on the help of others, most of them strangers, most of them nurses’ aides, cheerful young women the age of his granddaughter. The man who was always doing something constructive could not move from his bed. The man who had always made his words count could not speak. The man who was always reserved could hide nothing, keep nothing to himself.
I did not want to see him there. This was what dying of cancer is like, and my father, being the man he was, took it like a man. It was the hand he’d been dealt, and he was going to play it, as bad as it was.
Though he died five years ago, in bookstores I still find myself starting to buy a book I know he’ll like, and thinking as I start to pull it off the shelf, “No, wait,” or deciding to ask his advice on a matter great or small, and thinking as I reach for my phone, “No, wait.” Every time I feel that sharp burning pain behind the sternum you get when your body panics and floods itself with adrenalin. The world has a hole in it and one that will never be filled in this life.
It is a great blessing to be with your father as he dies, though mercifully a blessing you will enjoy only once. I was sitting in his room at the hospice, my wife and children having run round the corner to get lunch, my mother having lunch with an old friend round another corner, my sister up the road at her job running a thrift store. He had, as far as we knew, as far as the doctors knew, weeks to live.
I had been there for a couple of hours, editing something on my laptop, focused on the work, when suddenly I knew, I don’t know how, other than Grace, that he was breathing his last. He drew in a short, hard breath. I knelt by his head and said, “Goodbye, dad.” He drew in a shorter, shallower breath, almost a half-breath, and then stopped.
I went to get the nurse, waving my hand toward the room because I could not speak. She came in, listened for a heartbeat, and I stood hoping I was wrong, that I’d missed something, that I was going to be embarrassed, till she shook her head at another nurse who had come into the room behind me.
Being there was, as I say, a great blessing. At least, it is a great blessing to be with your father when he dies if he died the way mine did. He did not die with dignity, as those who promote “death with dignity” define it, which means, in essence, to die as if you weren’t dying.
It is not dignified to be undressed and dressed by cheerful young women the age of your granddaughter. It is not dignified to waste away, to lose the ability to speak, to eat, to drink. It is not dignified for your children and grandchildren to see you that way. It is not dignified to die when death takes you and not when you choose.
I can see the appeal of “death with dignity” and programs like those offered in Oregon and the Netherlands, where doctors will help you leave this world at the moment of your choosing, without fuss or bother or pain. I do not want to die and I really, really do not want to die the way my father did. I would find the indignities as excruciating as he did, and I have no confidence I would deal with the pain as bravely as he. I would not want my children to see me so pathetic.
“Death with dignity” seems to offer not only an escape from pain and humiliation but a rational and apparently noble way to leave this life. You look death in the eye and show him that you, not he, are in control. All “dying with dignity” requires is that you declare yourself God. Make yourself the lord of life and death, and you can do what you want. All you have to do, as a last, definitive act, is to do what you’ve been doing all your life: Declare yourself, on the matter at hand, the final authority, the last judge, the one vote that counts.
But you are not God, and, the Christian believes, the decision of when to leave this life is not one He has delegated to you. It is not your call. The Father expects you to suffer if you are given suffering and to put up with indignities if you are given indignities. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord. And that, as far as dying goes, is that.
This is not, from a worldly point of view, a comforting or comfortable teaching. It is one much easier for Christians to observe in theory than in practice, and to apply to other people than to themselves. In practice, we will want to die “with dignity.”
My father was an engineer, not a philosopher. I’m not sure if he read a theological book in his life. The questions that interested me bemused him. But he knew who he was and what he was called to do, a condition others would put in a theological language I suspect he thought was unnecessary. He was dying. That was his job, and he would do it as well as he could.
Lying in a hospice bed, in the very last situation he would have chosen for himself, my father taught me that to die with dignity means to accept what God has given you and deal with it till the end. It means to play the hand God has dealt you, no matter how bad a hand it is, without folding. It means actually to live as if the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, and in either case blessed be the name of the Lord.
It’s dignity of a different sort than the corruptingly euphemistic slogan “death with dignity” suggests. There is a great—an eternal—dignity in accepting whatever indignities you have to suffer to remain faithful to God and to do what He has given you to do. A man can be humiliated and yet noble, and the humiliations make the nobility all the more obvious. My father died with dignity, though the advocates of euthanasia and the clean, quick, controlled exit might not think so.
Here my father held a line he probably did not recognize, a line that protects the vulnerable. He would never have said this, and would have thought the idea pretentious. But by living as if his life was not his to give up he also declared in the most practical way possible that the lives of the vulnerable are not for others to take. There are only a few steps from declaring that a man may choose to be killed to choosing death for those who cannot choose for themselves. The vulnerable are protected by those who refuse the choice.
The man who chooses the timing and meaning of his own death has looked death in the eye and shown him that he is in control—but only by giving death what he demands even sooner than he demands it. That, presumably, is a deal death will take. My father, lying in the bed by the window in a hospice he would never leave, offered death no deal at all.
David Mills is deputy editor of First Things.
I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally…
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.
I counted stars today.
As prophets and dreamers,
Glimpsing God through the darkness,
My wonder soared.
I, too, beheld
The promise of eternity,
Stretched across the eons.
Mere points of light
In a midnight sky,
Announcing Truth veiled in mystery,
Of things hidden and unseen,
Of ages long past and yet to be.
Who with me
Knows that there is more,
Lanterns hung in the heavens
Make of me their lampstand,
That Eternal Light
Might shine more brightly,
Giving voice to creation.
No dumb marvel,
Rather angelic themes,
To sing high praises
In celestial chants,
For all who turn their gaze
And loosing count,
Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
by Erik Rush
“The press coverage and rhetorical tempest over North Carolina’s HB2 (the new law which prevents individuals who identify as “transgender” from using public restrooms based on their chosen gender identity) and the widespread activism on the part of homosexuals in recent years has a lot of Americans wondering why there is such a high degree of concern on the part of the political left over the so-called rights of an assortment of mouthy sexual deviants in the first place. It’s even more baffling to those unfamiliar with the dynamic behind it all, given that this faction represents less than 4% of our population.The answer is simple: The so-called “struggle for LGBT rights” in America has never been anything more than a pretext for the complete disenfranchisement of Christians. Leftist leaders have always known that a socialist state must be the sole arbiter of morality, and that this cannot come about in a moral society – one in which citizens honor and obey God over the state, which is of course comprised of fundamentally flawed human beings.The scenario that has been framed by the left wherein Christian doctrine is manifestly oppressive to homosexuals, transvestites, and assorted sexual deviants is a ruse, and the said oppression of these people is nonexistent. To be fair, things might have played out differently in a Christian theocracy, but we do not live in a Christian theocracy.Ultimately, the constitutionally-guaranteed religious liberties once enjoyed by Christians will be negated via the courts. Christians will be severely stigmatized, and their position will become untenable. The Church will be all but driven underground, as in Britain and Canada. Once “God is dead,” as it were, the State will be free to impose its own secular doctrine – one that is more conducive to its control and manipulation of the populace in perpetuity.This methodology need not be relegated only to the eradication of religious groups or even a majority faith. The same tactic is in fact being used, for example, to dilute the political power and civil liberties of whites in America (another majority) by characterizing them as bigoted and oppressive toward other ethnic groups. In the secular realm, the political power and civil liberties of heterosexuals and, more importantly parents, are again being supplanted by the counterfeit “rights” of those who advocate aberrant concepts of family, sexual deviants being chief among these.The reason that such a vigorous campaign was marshaled to target Christians is because Christianity was the second greatest impediment to those advancing the socialist state, the first being the Constitution itself, specifically, the Bill of Rights.Anyone who has been exposed to concepts of Natural Law (to which American students no longer are exposed since the study of Civics was abandoned) knows that these were a fundamental basis for the Bill of Rights. Natural Law was revered by our nation’s founders as a basis for the set of liberties they recognized as being granted by God; without these acknowledged and/or codified into the law of the land, individuals remain ill at ease, and society founders. These are the liberties for which so many have fought against their governments through the ages, even if they were ignorant of these concepts as such. Recognition of Natural Law and its incorporation into law, as so many over the years once recognized, was the height of wisdom, and why the United States prospered so conspicuously for so long a time.These concepts of liberty as understood by America’s founders were distilled into what became the law of the land in America from a broad and studious view of history, the zeitgeist of the Enlightenment (which was ongoing at that time), religious texts and doctrines, British Common Law, and yes, even such things as Freemasonry (whose basis in philosophy rests largely in the foregoing).The secular humanist view to which socialists ascribe however, holds that it is our exalted and refined intellect itself that will ensure moral behavior; thus we need not worry that humanity will descend into chaos or tyranny. This of course ignores the fact that in a society which universally adopted this worldview, there would be as many codes of morality as there were people, with many of these being wildly divergent and in inevitable conflict.Inasmuch as that worldview is little more than a profoundly dishonest marketing ploy based upon human conceit and calculated to empower socialist leaders, it is no wonder that socialism has failed to do anything save for exalting socialist leaders, and why it led to the deaths of nearly half a billion human beings during the last century.”
Jihad vs Crusades – Bill Warner, PhD
From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
The eucharist, pledge of our resurrection
If our flesh is not saved, then the Lord has not redeemed us with his blood, the eucharistic chalice does not make us sharers in his blood, and the bread we break does not make us sharers in his body. There can be no blood without veins, flesh and the rest of the human substance, and this the Word of God actually became: it was with his own blood that he redeemed us. As the Apostle says: In him, through his blood, we have been redeemed, our sins have been forgiven.
We are his members and we are nourished by creation, which is his gift to us, for it is he who causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall. He declared that the chalice, which comes from his creation, was his blood, and he makes it the nourishment of our blood. He affirmed that the bread, which comes from his creation, was his body, and he makes it the nourishment of our body. When the chalice we mix and the bread we bake receive the word of God, the eucharistic elements become the body and blood of Christ, by which our bodies live and grow. How then can it be said that flesh belonging to the Lord’s own body and nourished by his body and blood is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life? Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones. He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones. He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is his body.
The slip of a vine planted in the ground bears fruit at the proper time. The grain of wheat falls into the ground and decays only to be raised up again and multiplied by the Spirit of God who sustains all things. The Wisdom of God places these things at the service of man and when they receive God’s word they become the eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ. In the same way our bodies, which have been nourished by the eucharist, will be buried in the earth and will decay, but they will rise again at the appointed time, for the Word of God will raise them up to the glory of God the Father. Then the Father will clothe our mortal nature in immortality and freely endow our corruptible nature with incorruptibility, for God’s power is shown most perfectly in weakness.