In the invitation: “Manete in me” and God’s promise: “et ego in vobis” (John 15, 4) is found the main spirituality of the founder of the Congregation of PIJ (Pauperis Infantis Jesu, Poor Child of Jesus or known in Indonesia as Sister of the East), Clara Fey. The founder of PIJ, who was born in Aachen on April 11, 1815 and died on May 8, 1894, realized “the indwelling of God” in her as the main source of the strength of her vocation and recommended it to PIJ sisters and all the believers as the basis for the spirituality of the Christian life: Abide in God, who by His love has become flesh and dwelt among us. Living with Him, we too will experience newness and He lives with us.
Manete in me, this invitation from God, to abide in Him, was responded by Clara Fey in her great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Clara Fey agrees that after the sacraments, the devotion to Jesus who is present in the Blessed Sacrament is the main piety of all spiritual practices. In his letter to Father Sartorius at Nov 23, 1849 Clara Fey promised: “I want, in every beat of time that is heard in my ears, to think that God reminds me, to look inside and greet Him, because He is very faithful to accompany me every time of my life.”
Greeting him all the time is shown by Clara Fey during his visit to the Blessed Sacrament. In this Blessed Sacrament the Founding Mother found three divine virtues: faith, trust, love. The founding Mother was never tired of reminding everyone about these three main virtues.
“Divine virtue requires faith,” Clara Fey said. “O what full of power the Word of Jesus is! See, the Bread that is in the hands of priest, he speaks in the name of Jesus: “This is My Body, and immediately it is no longer the ordinary bread, and what the priest holds in his hand is Jesus Himself, Jesus, our savior, our lives. He is the same, who is weeping in the stable of Bethlehem for us, and He also died on the holy cross to save us.”
Clara Fey saw the presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament as “an unspoken miracle”. How happy each of us are, because every day we are invited to “abide in Me”, we are invited to see Him, experience the touch of His love and trust in Him, to Him who dwells in the Tabernacle, He who reigns on the holy altar.
Sometimes, however, we feel cold in our daily lives. Maybe so often we are in His Most Holy Place, and because of that frequency we lose “respect, fear” of Him who dwells in the Tabernacle. Our respect for the Blessed Sacrament becomes slack and blurred because of our daily activities, our attitude shows even greater appreciation when we visit human homes than when we are before the Blessed Sacrament.
Clara Fey demands faith from each of us. When we are in front of the Blessed Sacrament, we, according to Clara Fey, face the same question, as when Jesus asked Martha: “Do you believe this?” Martha said her credo: “O Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world” (John 11:26).
Like Martha we are also asked to give our credo to God, especially our faith in God’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament. This faith has convinced the Founding Mother about God’s miracles that continue to work in every moment of our lives. Just as He raised Lazarus, so He continues to work in each of us, raising up our “death” and pouring out on us the wonder of His grace.
Clara Fey said: “If our faith in the Blessed Sacrament is truly alive, then we will in all respects be assisted by it.” “The same God with the same love” is now present in the Blessed Sacrament. God, who is in this Blessed Sacrament, loves us with the same love as when He was still alive.
Clara Fey, therefore, invites each of us: “Let us be encouraged, possessed by this faith.” Because faith transcends reason, faith is a mystery, “mysterium fidei”. Faith in God transcends reason and is stronger than the five senses. Clara Fey said: “Eyes can deceive, but the Word of God is eternal truth.”
Faith inspires hope, trust in someone. Before the holy Church, the bride of our Lord Jesus Christ, showed the Blessed Sacrament to be eaten as spiritual nutrition by those who believed, the Church showed Him to the faithful, His bride, saying: “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
Through this invitation, the Church invites every believer to truly believe and dare to come before the Lamb of God, who has the power to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). His blood, which He shed on the Mount of Calvary, is given us in every celebration of Holy Mass every day. All people are invited by the bride of Christ to come to Jesus, who is the mediator of the New Testament, who with His Blood cleanses our sins and with His Body enlivens each of us.
The Council of Trent invites us to “come daily to the Blessed Sacrament.” Every day our sins and mistakes are cleansed by Him and we may receive mercy from Him, if we with faith, trust, hope, and love celebrate the Eucharist.” (Council of Trent, Cap. 2).
How do we train or deepen the spirituality of trust, hope? Clara Fey invites us: “Find God in the Blessed Sacrament and submit all your requests to His presence. If we are sick, He is a miracle healer. If we starve, He gives us the bread of life. If we are exhausted, in Him who is always in seclusion from the noise of the world, we find calm. If we experience difficulties, we find Him who gives us solutions and strengths. If we are filled with the burden of life, we find Him who has borne every burden of our suffering, so that we are facilitated to walk the way of the cross of this life.”
If we surrender everything to the Lord, who is in the Blessed Sacrament, we will experience the mercy of His love. Yes, the Lord in this Great Sacrament will work on a soul that believes in Him. Because, “he who eats my body will live” (John 6:58). As long as we begin to live in God, we will be able to carry the cross of our lives, because He will turn it into a way of salvation.
This Blessed Sacrament is our only love, the only one that answers our longings, because in Him lies all our hopes. He is our life, our resurrection (John 11:25); through His power, we are strengthened through the wilderness of our lives to reach the mountain of God (3 Kgs. 19: 8).
“Faith and hope get the crown of fullness in love,” Clara Fey said. Love is always blossoming, as a sign of complete surrender before God. Clara Fey understands this love as an art of holiness and acknowledges that in the Blessed Sacrament we first know and feel God who is love. How wonderful to find God’s love in His Son: the Word, through which all things were made of all things made (John 1:3), the Word made flesh and took on the form of a poor human being, the Word that invites us to live in Him .
We are truly fascinated by God’s love, especially when we see how the Word that became human because of His love for us sinful humans, turned bread into His glorious Body and wine into His purest Blood.
This love of God should be responded with the same love. Clara Fey invites each of us to inspect ourselves: “Have I ever asked my soul, why I welcome His Body and Blood, why am I sitting at a banquet table with Him?”
Are we also answering because of love? Or is it possible to admit honestly: my soul often freezes, I love too little, I feel lethargic and am worthy of receiving a loving heart?
If that is the case, Clara Fey invites us to find ourselves by joining the Lord’s table. From there we begin to learn about love and let our souls be burned by the fire of love of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, so that each of us deserves to be the mediator of love, the messenger of love from the Love.
All reflections about God’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament may invite questions from each of us: “How is God present in this secret of faith and love? Yes, the Lord is truly, in fact and very basic and at the same time full of mystery, full of divine holiness in the Blessed Sacrament. God is there, like our souls that live in our whole body, but he is still a spirit. That is the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
That is the great mystery of this Sacrament, which has shaped Clara Fey’s spirituality in her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. The presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament invites Clara Fey’s soul to visit the Tabernacle at all times, day and night. There Clara Fey worshiped, drew strength from Him and in silence, she prayed for her spiritual “children”, offered them to the Father in Heaven and hoped that they would continue to grow in love for Him.
Blessed Sacrament: A Loving Heart
Clara Fey assured all the faithful that the Blessed Sacrament is the source of love because He has a heart that always loves. We are all invited by Clara Fey to specifically honor His Holy Heart, the heart of the Word that is truly God and truly human.
God gives us in His Holy Blood Communion. Blood shed from His Heart, first from His Heart on Calvary and then from His spiritual Heart during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
His mind and concern for all humanity, especially His love, is the love of the Savior of the World who always invites people to eternal salvation. His blood, even a drop, may cleanse every sin and lead us to holiness, Clara Fey said.
Don’t turn your face away from the presence of the Most Holy God, and let your mind, your heart, your soul experience and be renewed by His love.