Monday, May 4, 2009

St. Jose Maria Rubio, S.J.

St. Jose Maria Rubio is not in the universal calendar of the Church but today my community, the Society of Jesus, honor his memory. He's known as the "Apostle of Madrid" and the "Father of the Poor," and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2003. After serving for nineteen years as a diocesan priest he entered the Jesuits and, after his formation, spent the rest of his life in Madrid where he preached, gave spiritual direction, heard confessions, and exhibited a special love for the poor and abandoned of that city. He died in 1929.

One of the great signs of the Holy Spirit in our day is how popular Eucharistic Adoration and Perpetual Adoration Chapels have become. Yet many people wonder what to do when they go before the Blessed Sacrament for an extended period of time. There, in the Holy Eucharist, we meet the Sacred Heart of Jesus and can have a heart to Heart talk with Him. We can adore Him and listen to Him in the silence of our hearts. If we have nothing to say and if we sense the Lord saying nothing to us, it is enough to simply be in the presence of the Beloved. Here is something from St. Jose Maria Rubio that may be helpful:

Are you truly making an effort to adore God? In this Sacred Host lies the whole of His omnipotence, all His wisdom, the perfect goodness of Jesus Christ, since therein rests His living heart as it is also in heaven. When we adore in this way, we adore in spirit and in truth.

But after we have adored, the heart must be open to the other sentiments; for you well know that we are taught a diversity of forms of adoration in the Gospels; and we express them sometimes by profound acts of bodily reverence, sometimes by silence of the mind. From time to time, we also link with this type of adoration, tears, groans, and sighs; or words, expressions of interior feelings, prayers accompany the same. All these forms of adoration before Jesus hidden in the sacrament are so powerful that there are times when the spirit can do nothing better than bow low in Jesus' presence.

Someone asks me: "What am I to do if I can think of nothing to say?" It is enough if you show reverence and hope. "But I am unable to say anything." I ask you not to be sad on that account; the very silence suffices. However great your experience of a heart which is dried up and empty, and for all that you may be very aware of its trials and confusion, fear not; continue your act of adoration; for that is enough, and it is to be considered a splendid deed in God's eyes. If subsequently, however, a thankful feeling of the soul towards God is aroused, if you desire to endure some greater sacrifices for His sake, foster those sentiments which the Holy Spirit is arousing in you, and offer them as a bouquet in Jesus presence. And would that this were the chief and daily form of our prayer.

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