Friday, December 9, 2016

Personal Relationship vs. Intimacy

Posted by Bruce Williams

Fr. Schmitz presents a passionate and humorous case for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

I encourage everyone of all faiths, especially Catholics, to watch this video. 

Christ is the center of our Faith and in the Eucharist He has given His Body to us in an "intimate" way for all to receive.


  1. Thanks for posting this,Bruce. If every priest preaches like this on Sundays (putting the intimacy we should have with Jesus in the Eucharist in such a humanistic analogy), we would all be saints! Wow! What charisma Fr Schmitz has. I'm just sorry he didn't develop the 3rd group's (the Apostles') response to Jesus when he turned to them and said, "And you: will you also go away?" And they answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go; You have the words of eternal life."

    I think you should forward this to every priest, Bruce; and let them absorb the message, and impart it to his congregation.

    Keep up the good work of research of this kind, Bruce. We ALL need this! What a whiff of fresh air from other posts I read in JW. I give you the gold medal! (jrsa: 12/9/16)

  2. Rose de los Reyes (Seattle, WA)December 10, 2016 at 5:23 AM

    I love this video! This is fantastic! Thank you, Bruce. As Catholics, our belief in the Real Presence is a game changer between us and other Christian faiths. I don’t mean that statement to imply that Catholics are superior to other Christians, not at all. It is meant to highlight a key difference in our belief when it comes to “the bread” and “the wine” that all Christians consume at their mass or service. Fr. Schmitz drills down on the “why” of our Catholic belief in the “Real Presence” (see John 6:35-66).

    As Catholics we grew up with scripture through the Liturgy of the Word in our mass then, usually, expounded upon in the homily. The homilies don’t always put the scripture readings in the context of its time in order to give us the depth of its meaning. I understand, there is no time at mass to go in-depthly in a homily about the scripture. Case in point, it took Fr. Schmitz about 46 minutes to put John 6:35-66 in its proper context --- that period of time could be the entirety of daily mass! In the homilies, context gives way to the focus of the readings on how scripture is applicable to our present life. With a goal to give us a lesson, an insight about God’s teachings so that we can take that lesson home with us after mass, mull over it, put it into practice until we come again to the next mass.

    The principles of our faith are very well studied and always, always, always rooted in the scriptures AND this part is important: placed within the context of the culture and the language of its time to give it the meaning that God has intended it to mean. The meaning is never outdated even when “the story” took place over thousands of years ago. This is where and why continued faith formation (yes, even and especially for adults!) is necessary. You need time (as in “class time”) and a teacher/facilitator for the in-depth study of scriptures. The words will come alive the way Fr. Schmitz made John 6 and the “Real Presence” come alive in this video.

    The premise of Fr. Schmitz’s talk is that, whether we realize it or not, we have a natural propensity to crave --- not just a relationship --- but intimacy with God. One of the challenges for the local Church, especially after 30 years of neglect on addressing spiritual growth and development, is to establish an adult faith formation program that will help fill this natural craving, perhaps even starting with scripture studies in parishes. This could be one way to ward off pseudo-faith deepening programs such as the NCW. One --- if not, the main --- selling point of the NCW is that its program will help you deepen your faith. Like every sales product, it establishes a niche by finding its targeted sales demographics on whom to make their pitch. If we are all created to crave intimacy with God and our Church doesn’t provide us with the tools to help us fulfill that craving, it’s no wonder why the NCW caught on in the island (and in other parts of the world).

    As Catholics we have a history of learning our faith through our devotions, traditions, and practices. We were/are not raised on scripture and there are several reasons in the history that our Church didn’t form us primarily through the scripture. One of the reasons is that if we studied or read scriptures on our own, without the lead of a theologian, we would put scriptures out of context and misinterpret its true meaning; we would take it literally. The Church was guarding against that. In its history, the scriptures were then left to theologians to study, majority of who were the clergy. In the past 20-25 years our Church began to snap out of that mode. Many Catholic theologians of today are not clergy. The Church now encourages the laity to understand scripture because, as Pope Francis, Abp Byrnes and Fr. Schmitz have shown, the more you know the scriptures, the more you will feel Jesus’ deep love. That love, that intimacy, in turn, moves you to your greatness and your goodness. Hence, you develop a natural zeal about our Catholic faith and you become infectious!

  3. Rose de los Reyes (Seattle, WA)December 10, 2016 at 5:24 AM

    To the topic on scriptures, I will add my thoughts on the use of the term “evangelization” that we have heard more often lately, especially in the context of Abp Byrnes having had focus in his ministry toward evangelization. “Evangelization” in this present day context doesn’t exclusively carry the old meaning of “converting” people to Catholicism the way --- what comes to my mind as I write this --- how we grew up with Maryknoll Missionaries who went to the wide ends of the earth “converting” people to Catholicism. “Evangelization” today also means “deepening” our already existing Catholic faith. The thinking is that from a deepened faith, we would be propelled with zeal (the way the apostles were after Pentecost) to bring Jesus to others. Guam, as we know, doesn’t require the attention for the old meaning of “evangelization” since its population is 80-85% Catholic and has been Catholic for about 400 years. Because of this, in a wayAbp Byrnes' job is a bit more easy in that evangelization on Guam is focused on one aspect instead of two --- deepening, instead of conversion AND deepening. Guam can very much be evangelized in the meaning of deepening its knowledge about Jesus through scripture studies and, in turn, have those studies help develop that intimacy with Him.

  4. Excellent video! Thanks for posting this, Bruce.

    There is an important point that needs to be emphasized: Jesus did not change his message when the crowds left. He didn't run after them and beg them to return. He spoke the truth and "let the chips fall where they may." Thousands left. Many disciples left. Jesus didn't change the truth to appeal to the crowd and win them back.

    What happens today? Church leaders freak out when attendance drops. What is the solution? Water down the message. Appeal to the crowds. "God loves you just as you are." No need to do the difficult things. Dance, clap, bang that tambourine! Hey, this is fun!!!

  5. Thank you, Bruce. This priest has a gift which I thought was specific for young people, in age and formation. Then at 37:12, the tears came. We don't hear enough about our brothers and sisters in China who remain faithful.

  6. Made and located by GOD-the Marianas Island isolated and far away from other countries. We're not jelous of the famous and popular places. It is they, the famous that contaminates those living in simplicity. Made by GOD-the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church practiced since and passed down then from generation to generations. If, you priest (you know who you are) stop all you're BS trying desperately to come up with better ways to change our Church practices for self satisfaction we wouldn't be divided, and after all, making changes to the Church practices ain't yours to begin with. GOD matters, not your brilliant ideas that ends up being just someone's opinion and brings chao's into the Church. This video proves it. All we need is Jesus. If this video would be shown to the congregation at every Holy Mass said throughout the Churches on Guam (let it replace the priest' homily) how could it not touch souls. Jesus, forgive us for we do not know what we are doing!
    Thank you, Bruce!

  7. The most intimate time that we as a family express our love for each other, is when we come together to partake of the meal that mom prepares for us, for in the meal we obtain nourishment for our bodies, and in the gathering we nurture the bonds of what keeps us as a family together in loving relation.

    Perhaps our family tradition follows from that of our Lord Jesus who institutes in the meal the most intimate expression of what a loving family practices in order to manifest in an outward manner what the language of the heart, Love cannot contain.

    In the Holy Eucharist, not only do we gather as the family of God, we become more in communion as a church with our Lord in this Holy meal for the soul. As we come to partake of this meal, our Lord gives us no less than himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, so that when we approach the altar, we receive him in the most intimate manner. We do not assimilate our Lord in the way we assimilate food, but if received in a state of grace, we enter into that common union with him, We become changed to be more Christ-like in our person the more we receive him worthily in this Greatest of Sacraments.

    It is true that the fullness of Faith is found in the Catholic Church simply because Christ founded the church, and endows it with supernatural gifts in the Sacraments. It is also in the Catholic Church that we are given the greatest of God’s Gift in the Holy Eucharist – Christ himself.

    Why many of our Bishops and Priests are luke warm in teaching the multitude of this Great Gift is a mystery, for is it not Christ Himself? The fruit of the tree of Everlasting Life, that is also the medicine of all the world’s ills? The source of un-tapped blessings, free for the asking, and had the multitudes been catechized of this great mystery, would not our churches be filled to the brim?

    Perhaps this is what our Lord eluded to in his last supper discourse when he said “For this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins”(Matt. 26:28) That not all will believe, in his truth.

    But with this gift of the Holy Eucharist in the Church, we become more accountable to God, as to our response for these gifts of God, and what we are doing with it.

  8. A small ray of hope perhaps?
    Father Kidd and Father Paul have reintroduced kneelers.
    I hear several other priests are considering it as well

    1. Seemed people were getting impatient since it slows down the Communion line at the Cathedral.

  9. I remembered attending the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. George at the Friary. The seminarians of the RMS led the Communion line and I followed behind them. As I got closer to receive I heard a distraction coming from in front. The seminarian next to receive was holding the Host, returning it back to Fr. telling him "Fr., this fell on the floor". I pitied this seminarian. If only I could be at his reach I would have told him it was Okay, and why was it Okay. This could happen to somebody else too. Whoever is in charge of these poor seminarians please educate them on this matter!