|SENTINELS BEFORE THE BREAD OF LIFE|
|Mother M. Angelica
Sentinels In action group themselves around the Blessed Sacrament to pray, adore, praise, intercede and obtain from the Father greater growth in the Christian way of life. Their role is one of reparation for the sins of mankind and intercession for world peace. Personal holiness, through their participation in the Sacraments, is their goal. Communal prayer in the Presence of Jesus—the true source of unity—binds the Sentinels to each other as a source of power to change the world.
Sentinels are of every age and in every walk of life. Every man, woman and child is in need of the Presence of Jesus in their midst. The following suggestions are given so each individual, regardless of age, may participate in the glorious role of waiting upon the Lord, listening to His Words and speaking to His Heart.
I Need You Jesus
Two of man's basic needs are to Love and to Share. Both of these needs are satisfied in greater or lesser degree by friendship. All men need someone outside of family relationships to share their joys, sorrows, complaints, fears, pain, tensions, guilt, regrets, ambitions and all the other every-day anxieties that beset them. Man needs someone who loves him and whom he can love in return.
Where is such a friend? Have I anyone among my acquaintances or friends who will consistently and patiently listen to my tale of woe and personal joys?
Where is the friend I can constantly tell of my pain without hearing some trite statement to indicate he has heard it before? Where is the friend who will be with me in failure, when I am on the receiving end and he the giving?
How many of my friends would continue loving me if they knew my inner thoughts, secret sins and multitudinous weaknesses? How many would forgive me more times than I could count and then continue to love me as if I had never offended them?
Is there anyone willing to give up a sublime existence, live poor and die abandoned for love of me? Is there a friend willing to love me with an exclusive love—a love totally unselfish? Is there an honest friend, one who loves me enough to correct me and gentle enough to understand my rebellion?
Where is the person who understands my problems—understands from my point of view—and then excuses my weaknesses and makes good my mistakes?
If such a friend could be found, would I not desire that friendship? Would I not criticize the person who would refuse that friendship? Yes, I would say that person was a fool.
Is there such a friend and is there anyone who would refuse that friendship? Do I hear You say, dear Jesus, "Have I been with You so long and you do not know Me?" (Jn. 14:9)
My Jesus, I am like Philip for I, too, ask for Your Presence; I, too, see You every day and do not recognize You in human events and in my neighbor. In my small mind Your constant, loving Providence escapes me and I see only myself and people. Your hand guiding human events is a mystery that fills me with confusion for I do not see the good You draw out of the evil in the world.
It all seems so cold and impersonal and my soul is cramped like a pebble on the beach ever seeking for answers, ever looking to see Your Face, ever wondering if You care.
Why is my soul so besieged by doubts, my heart filled with fear and my mind clouded by the anxiety of living in a muddled world?
Is there any escape, dear Lord? Is there any peace, any oasis, any moment of time that has somehow been kissed by Your Serenity—a moment into which I can hide and be refreshed like the deer at running water?
Have I permitted the world, my petty ambitions and annoyances so to take possession of my soul that all the beauty of Your creation passes me by like the lightening of a spring rain?
I cannot believe You would leave me alone with no-one to comfort me—no-one to speak to—no-one in whose presence I can cry without shame and laugh without explanations.
Is there one such friend who loves me as I am and accepts what I want to be though I fail miserably in attaining my goal? Has Your Son been sent only to live among us, die for us and then be snatched away in a glorious Resurrection?
I know Your Spirit is within my heart, living as in a Temple. I know He guides and sanctifies and His Presence is that balm forever soothing to my soul. But I find myself longing to see Jesus and when I feel Your Spirit tugging at my heart and spurring me on to greater things my longing increases. I am in the midst of a pared ox: I possess You and yet my soul reaches out as if it were bereft of Your Presence. The more of Yourself You give me the more empty I feel—the more desirous I am for greater love. My soul is filled with a deep realization of how incapable I am of loving so great a God.
It is then my paradox throws me into a dilemma. Where shall I turn? To whom shall I go?
Do I hear You say, my Lord, that You have solved my dilemma? Do I see You smile and say, "Don't you know or did you forget, I have given You My Son in the Holy Eucharist? His Presence is there as truly as it was in Jerusalem. Why don't you visit Him in His lowly Prison of Love?"
Yes, my Lord, I have forgotten, or maybe I have never really been sure. So many tell me His Presence is only symbolic and I become confused. Your Church proclaims He is there, Your Word in Scripture reveals He is there, and the holiness of men, women and children prove He is there.
I fear, my Lord, that the pride of those who cannot accept mysteries beyond their own intellect and my own lack of Faith are the real cause of my dilemma.
You have not left me alone; it is I who refuse a friend.
You have not left me without sympathy; it is I who refuse a friend.
You have not left me comfortless, it is I who refuse Your consolation.
You have not left me destitute; it is I who refuse help.
You have not left me without courage; it is I who refuse encouragement.
Father in Heaven, why am I so stubborn, proud and faithless. Have I relegated the Eucharistic Presence to the place of a mere devotion? Has my heart been so cold and my faith so spiritless that I put Him on a par with novenas? Why do I treat a Person as if He were a thing—a mere vehicle by which I reach You, Lord Father?
His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity are all wrapped up in a tiny Host so His Glory will not annihilate me, His Beauty enrapture me, His Divinity lessen my Faith. He hides Himself behind what seems to be bread so I can gain the merit of acknowledging His Presence, adoring Him as Lord and praising Him for His Goodness.
Jesus, I'm sorry for my coldness and lack of appreciation for this great Gift. My lukewarmness has made me hard-hearted and independent. Forgive me, Jesus. You will not want for companionship again. You will not be longing to see my face and be disappointed day after day.
You and I, dear Jesus, will be friends and I will come to visit You often, share my life with You and bring my neighbor to this place of refuge. We shall no longer be strangers to each other. Spirit of God, help me to put my trust in the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, my faith in this Gift of gifts and my love in His Eucharistic Heart.
What joy fills my heart when I realize I have Jesus always with me during my earthly pilgrimage and that one day, when the Father
calls me home, the same Jesus will drop the veil of Faith and I shall see Him in all His Glory. No fear will fill my soul for the meeting of two old friends is a joy beyond description.
Sentinels In Action
(For Groups desiring holiness and service) Weekly or monthly
The Sentinel In Action tills the basket of his soul with the Bread of Life and like the Apostles, who distributed the five loaves and few fishes, he goes out and shares the love of Jesus and the Word of God with His neighbor. The Body and Blood of Christ Is the Sentinel's source of strength, power and zeal. Like Jesus, who gives Himself so completely, the Sentinel watches with His Master, drinks deeply of the Fountain of Living Water, prays for the world and spreads the Good News.
I have come, Lord Jesus, to adore you in the Most Blessed Sacrament. My soul is parched and laden with the burdens of the journey home. I wish to feed my soul with the Living Bread of Life, to adore Your Presence in a small Host, to stand in awe at the wonder of Your love for me. Fill my soul with the gifts and fruits of Your Spirit that I may change and be born again.
Spontaneous Prayer—Praise—Scripture Teaching—Song—
I adore You, Lord Jesus, in this Holy Sacrament. I dedicate every moment of the coming week to Your service. Give me the zeal to spread the Good News of Your love by word and deed. Let my life be a living example of the fruits of Your Spirit in our midst. Quiet the doubts that so often assail me and the fears that enfold me in their icy grip. Let the words You spoke to the Apostles ever ring in my heart "Peace, it is I, fear not."
Shut-In Sentinels Waiting On The Lord
(30 Min. or more)
If possible, Shut-In Sentinel lights candle before Crucifix or picture of Sacred Heart.)
Lord Father, I place the pain and suffering Your Love has placed upon me as a sacrifice of praise before the lonely Jesus in so many Tabernacles around the world. I acknowledge His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist and I ask pardon for the neglect and lukewarmness of my brethren. Since there is no distance between Your Presence and my heart, I place my heart near Your tabernacle in every Church and render You adoration and love. Have mercy on poor sinners, save their souls from the deceits of the Enemy, enlighten their minds and give them strength to overcome their weakness.
If able, Shut-In reads the Gospel or says Rosary, reads spiritual book or novena prayers.
Jesus, my Lord, forgive the negligence of so many. They do not know You as they should. I offer Your Precious Blood in Reparation for the sins of the world. Enlighten our minds and send Your Spirit into our Hearts.
Sentinels On Guard
Sentinel genuflects on both knees In front of tabernacle and remains kneeling for the following:
I kneel before You, Lord Jesus, to comfort You in Your sorrow, to praise Your humility in this Host and to magnify Your Holy Name.
Stand erect before Jesus, confess your faults, ask to be like Him, express all the desires of your heart. Keep nothing from Him, however small and insignificant. Sentinel may desire to sing a song or play an instrument before the Lord.
Scripture Reading for 5 minutes.
My Jesus, I have fed my soul with Your Presence and Your Word. Let your grace keep me ever on guard against the Enemy. Guide me in Your ways, mold me to Your image and let me be You to my neighbor. Have mercy on sinners and bless my family, friends and nation. Praise Your Holy Name.
Young Sentinel stands before the tabernacle, bows profoundly, then stands erect while reciting the following.
St. Michael, warrior of God, be with me as I stand before the Presence of Jesus. Let the love of Jesus fill me with wonder and give me the courage to stand up for His cause before the world.
For at least 5 minutes the Sentinel silently talks with Jesus about studies, friends, family, games and any other subject of Interest to the Sentinel.
I praise You, Jesus and I thank You for Your Presence in the Eucharist. You are my dearest friend and I confide to Your care my life, my family and the whole world. You are a wonderful God, full of love and joy and I want to be like You. Make me kind and let me be full of joy so I can change the world and make it a better place to live in. I love You, Jesus.
Sentinel bows profoundly again, turns and leaves.
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