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  • Aug
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EWTN priest speaks about Blessed Mother

Posted By August 22, 2013 | 12:03 pm | Lead Story #3

By Tanya Connor

NORTHBOROUGH – The body of Christ conceived in Mary’s womb is the same body Catholics receive in the Eucharist.
Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa, EWTN TV and radio host, made that point in his talk, “Mary, Mother of the Eucharist,” at St. Bernadette Parish Saturday.
He urged future priests to love the Church as their bride, not view her as their employee, and to have a Marian component to their prayer.
He urged others not to bother priests at prayer.
The Eternal Word Television Network host addressed several topics in his homily at Mass and talk afterward and when taking questions.
“I’m beside myself that Father Mitch turned me on to a new aspect of the Blessed Mother … when he said we were entrusted to her, but also that she was entrusted to us,” said Ron Adair, who attends Mass at St. Benedict’s Center in Harvard. “What does that mean to me? Don’t just use the Blessed Mother to solve my problems, but use myself to solve some of her problems.”
“It was magical, the depth of what he was saying,” said Joshua Rahn, an eighth-grader at St. Bernadette School.
A seminarian asked for Father Pacwa’s guidance, asking about a priest’s role, in light of the talk.
Vatican Council II speaks of priests acting in persona Christi, in the person of Christ, Father Pacwa said.
Christ is the Church’s bridegroom and the priests must love her as their bride, he said. Seeing themselves as professionals and the Church as an institution is the wrong model. He said some loved their ideas more than they loved Christ or the people.
Father Pacwa called for priests to have a maternal relationship with Mary, pray the rosary daily, celebrate Marian Masses on Saturdays and prepare well for Marian feasts. He recommended Father Brian McMaster’s book, “Totus Tuus: A Consecration to Jesus through Mary with Blessed John Paul.”
Mary is important for understanding virtues, especially chastity, he said.
“You’re Mom and Dad 24-7,” he told parents, and spoke of priests being fathers, not performing a job, though they need time off and must pray.
“When Father is in the chapel saying his prayers, leave him alone,” he told listeners. “If priests are not let alone, they won’t go to the Blessed Sacrament and pray.”
A listener asked whether people of other faiths taking Catholics away from the Catholic Church are doing God’s or the devil’s work.
Father Pacwa said he wanted to trust that they were following their conscience, but that there is a pattern. Ex-Catholics are much more likely to call the Church “The Whore of Babylon,” he said. He said he suspected they might have had a crisis of faith as Catholics, but that the devil also tricks them.
He told of a couple who asked for statues to give to poor people, then smashed the statues.
“This was not from God; this was something based on deceit,” he said.
Many people also leave Protestantism for Catholicism, and he has never heard them call their former denomination “The Whore of Babylon” or known them to smash its sacred items, he said. They love the good they received there, but see that Catholicism completes it. Listeners applauded.
“The Jewish converts I know love Judaism more when they become Catholics,” because now they know it’s the truth, not just culture, Father Pacwa continued.
Converts to the Catholic Church have a peace that contrasts with attitudes of some former Catholics, he said.
In his homily Father Pacwa had talked about the day’s Gospel (Lk 12:49-53) in which Jesus said he had come to set fire to the earth, and to establish division rather than peace.
Contrary to some people’s claims, religion is not the major cause of war; nationalism and atheism have killed millions more, he said.
He spoke of Jesus talking about the fire of the Holy Spirit, who comes down upon the apostles. They did not cause war, but were martyred, as Christians still are.
Father Pacwa said six to eight million Muslims a year become Christians in sub-Sahara Africa. One Muslim said of Christianity, “there’s no revenge,” felt a shackle removed from him and caught Christ’s fire.
Father Pacwa asked the congregation if they want Christ to transform them, if they’ll let him set them on fire to bring him to the culture. Converted Muslims risk their lives to evangelize, he said.
He spoke of forces in society today trying to stop expression of faith in public and of Christians having an effect by employing honesty instead of corruption.
The body conceived in Mary’s womb is what one receives in the Eucharist, which is important today, as many non-Catholics don’t hear sermons on John 6, Father Pacwa said. In that Scripture, Christ says unless people eat his flesh and drink his blood, they have no life. Many can’t accept that, and leave him.
“Mary followed … all the way to Calvary, and we are called to do the same,” he said.
Churches that deny that the Mass is a sacrifice also deny the real presence and exclude Mary, Father Pacwa said.
“At the cross Jesus says to her, ‘Mother, behold your son’ and ‘Son, behold your mother,” and Jesus is entrusting Mary to everyone, he said.
“What you want to do is please God like Mary at the cross,” Father Pacwa said, and spoke of being a source of transformation not only for the Church, but the culture.