Tag Archives: Eucharistic prayer

The Most Common Occurrence

by Howard Hain


Christ lives in the Eucharistic Prayer.

He listens carefully.

The Father listens too.

We listen with Them.

The Holy Spirit speaks.

He speaks a great silence.

He listens to the listeners.

We collectively hear.


Three Persons.

His Entire People.

All Creation.

The Sound of One Breathing.

The Sound of Life.





Morning Thoughts: The Sovereignty of Good

The Lord be with you.

—And with your spirit.

Lift up your hearts.

—We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

—It is right and just.

(The beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, The Order of Mass)


The next right thing.

Sometimes it is just that simple.

In fact, it is always that simple.

But to silly people like us, simple is not good enough.

It’s not complex enough.

Not sophisticated enough.

Not civilized enough.

Not cultured enough.

Not smart enough.

“Simple” lacks “nuance” and “subtlety”.

“Simple” contains nothing of the triune god of highly-refined society: arrogance, ambition, and ambiguity.

“Simple” is simply not good enough for you and me.

But it is for God.

He is simply great.

He is “right and just.”

Let’s simply be like Him.

Believe the next right thing.

Hope the next right thing.

Love the next right thing.

For the next right “thing” is God Himself.

For God is Good.

And He is Love.

Let us love then.

One step at a time.

One breath at a time.

One charitable conception, thought, and decision at a time.

Let us be like God.

Let us be amazingly simple.

Let us be simply amazing.

— “It is right and just.”


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.

(Common Preface I, Eucharistic Prayer, The Order of Mass)


—Howard Hain


Wednesday, 4th Week of Lent

Lent 1
In today’s reading from John’s gospel, the cure of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethsaida sets off criticism of Jesus by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem who accuse him of working on the Sabbath. Jewish leaders before them had questioned an absolute proscription of Sabbath work; after all, God maintained creation on the Sabbath, babies were born, people died, God passed judgment on that day.

But now the leaders’ criticism is based on a greater charge– Jesus claimed to be God’s Son. He said he continued his Father’s work; he had power over life and death; he will judge the living and the dead. These are divine powers.

“Who do you say I am?” is a question Jesus asked then and he asks us now. John’s gospel will give answers to that question in the readings that follow for the remainder of this week and into Holy Week.

“Who do you say I am?” is an important question we must answer when we look at the One who dies on the cross. In our public prayers we say:
“He is the Word of God, through whom you made the universe,
the Savior you sent to redeem us…
For our sake he opened his arms on the cross,
He put an end to death,
And revealed the resurrection…” (Eucharistic Prayer 2)

Our personal prayer too rests on this powerful belief. “ Often turn to our holy faith and let it lead you into the bosom and the arms of God. You’ll be blessed if you faithfully follow my advice. When affliction lays heavy on you, you can go to your room, take the crucifix in your hands and give yourself a sermon from it. What a sermon you will hear! How quickly your heart will be calmed.” (Letter 1464)

Lord Jesus,
I believe you are God’s Son,
true God from true God,
I believe you have come to save us.

The Saints March In

Last week was the feast of Saint Agatha, a early woman martyr from Catania in Sicily. We mentioned her at Mass that day among the women listed in the 1st Eucharistic Prayer, which many believe comes from the hand of St. Gregory the Great. (540-604 AD)

Some say Gregory’s mother or grandmother, I don’t remember who, got him to put Agatha’s name in the prayer because they had roots in Sicily and were devoted to the young martyr. Could be.

Rome was collapsing in Gregory’s day as barbarian invaders swept over the Italian peninsula, plundering, burning and destroying. It was the worst of times, and lots of people, among them the well-to-do residents of the Celian Hill where Gregory lived, were getting out of the troubled city as fast as they could.

But the saints weren’t marching out, they were “marchin in.” Those two lists of saints in the Roman canon were Gregory’s army, his enduring support. Their nearby  shrines were fortresses that sustained him. John and Paul, soldier saints who opposed a mighty army;  Cosmos and Damian, the doctors who cured and didn’t mind not getting paid,   Lawrence, who saw the poor as the treasures of the church. Besides Agatha, there was Cecilia, Agnes–strong Roman women of faith who wouldn’t give in, not matter what. All of them were still there in their churches. Gregory saw them, I think, as friends at his side, when so many others had left, and he wanted to remind others too that they were there.

And so we pray at the Eucharist “in union with the whole church.” The times may be rough, but we draw strength from the whole church, the saints living among us and those in glory who, in turn, get their strength from Jesus Christ.