Thursday, January 5, 2012

Memorial of St. John Neumann, bishop

Today’s saint was born in Eastern Europe, in what is now the Czech Republic. He longed to be a missionary and while still a seminarian left for America. The bishop of New York ordained him and sent him to serve the German-speaking immigrants of Buffalo. In 1852 he was made the bishop of Philadelphia where he promoted Eucharistic adoration and Catholic education. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is evident in the following prayer of his. As we join him in prayer, let us ask God to bless our bishops, especially the Bishop of Rome, for whose intentions we offer this prayer.

How much I love you, O my Jesus. I wish to love you with my whole heart; yet I do not love you enough. My lack of devotion and my sloth make me anxious. I have one desire, that of being near you in the Blessed Sacrament. You are the sweet bridegroom of my soul. My Jesus, my love, my all, gladly would I endure hunger, thirst, heat, and cold to remain always with you in the Blessed Sacrament. Would that in your Eucharistic presence I might unceasingly weep over my sins. Take entire possession of me. To you I consecrate all the powers of my soul and body, my whole being. Would that I could infuse into all hearts a burning love for you. What great glory would be given to you here on earth, if every heart were an altar on which every human will were laid in perfect conformity with your will to be consumed by the fire of your love.

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