April 2018 E-Newsletter
Letter from the Executive Director
LIS Seeks New Executive Director
Hearts on Fire 2018
What Makes Eucharist a Sacrament?
by Fr. Eddie Samaniego, S.J.
Praying with Pope Francis
Table of Contents
March has whizzed on by. Lent has fled, and we are gasping for joy. EASTER! I am “sorta” ready—always grateful for the tangible hope and joy celebrated in the liturgies for the Resurrection—as well as the warmth of spring and leafy greenness shyly sprouting wings.
But all this speedy passage of time accentuates the claim that Thomas Friedman makes in his book Thank You for Being Late that we are in an Age of Acceleration. Friedman says that it all picked up big time from 2007 onward where the rate of technological improvements, climate change, and globalization has been doubling every two years. He laments that we don’t have time for contemplation or reflection time to ponder how all the elements of our lives come together. So when someone shows up late for an appointment and he’s had time to think and reflect for 20 minutes or so, he says, “Thank you for being late!”
He says that the surge of breakthroughs in robotic surgery, gene editing, self-driving cars, cloning, or artificial intelligence has far outstripped the capacity for any one individual to grasp it all. With shorter and shorter innovation cycles, human learning and constructed systems for handling the flood can no longer keep up. We’re left bewildered, confused, and sometimes paralyzed.
It reminds me of a movie called “Stop the World, I want to Get Off.” When I saw it several years ago in Rome, the surreal, Fellini-esque bizarreness of the city accentuated the theme of wanting to escape.
But God’s peace. God’s shalom has broken through time and space. Eternity has cast a wedge in the flux of time. To contradict the madness of our lives Wendell Berry urges us in his poem Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front: “Do something every day that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it … Ask questions that have no answers … Plant sequoias … Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts … Practice Resurrection.”
Resurrection reminds us that we do what we can and that’s enough. Live in the way that Jesus calls us to live—not naively, but simply.
With Easter blessings,
Fr. Patrick Howell, S.J.
Executive Director, ad interim
What happened to the Rosita Diaz Love in Action Award?
You may have noticed that the Rosita Diaz “Love in Action Award is absent from the Hearts on Fire Event on May 6. After lengthy discussions, the staff decided to give this award its own prominence by including it at a first-ever, end-of-the-year appreciation and reunion event.
Inspired by the life and service of Rosita Diaz of the Delhi Community in Santa Ana, the Love in Action award was presented annually to an exceptional Latino(a) for outstanding service to the Hispanic community of Orange County. It was first given by the Loyola Institute in 2001, even prior to the creation of the annual Hearts of Fire dinner and award ceremony, where it was included from 2006 onward.
At this stage in the history of Loyola Institute, our base and our participants have expanded beyond the original vision. We plan to continue to give the "Love in Action" award, with mention of Rosita, but we want to include the whole population of thosewho serve with us.
We will host a brunch on Saturday morning June 2 to thank our volunteers, Associates, collaborators, and those who work closely with LIS to fulfill our mission of Bringing Spirituality to Life. The Love in Action award will be presented to an individual who collaborates with LIS in serving the community with exceptional spirit and generosity and exemplifies the “magis” St. Ignatius of Loyola invites us to in the Spiritual Exercises.
Save the Date: Saturday morning, June 2, 2018. More details and invitations will follow.
Ignatian Morning: Encountering the Risen Christ
As Christians, we are called to be people of the Resurrection and are invited to meet the world with the joy and hope of Easter. We invite you for a half-day of prayer, stimulating presentations, quiet reflection time, and faith sharing in small groups to examine the various ways we encounter the Risen Christ in our every day lives.
Date: Sunday, April 15, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm followed by Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel
Presented by: LIS Staff and ISFP Third-Year Students
Cost: No charge; but donations will be gratefully accepted
Location: Founders' Hall, Spirituality Building, St. Joseph Center
SP1-05 Ignatian Discerment
This course explores the subject of discernment and its impacts on the spiritual life and daily living. The introductory treatment of Ignatian discernment entails examinig the concepts of consolation and desolation, spiritual movements and counter-movements, discerning our interior experiences. The major principles of Ignatian discernment will be explored.
This is the fifth class of our ISFP Program, but may be taken independently.
Dates: Thursdays, April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 2018
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Instructor: Sr. Jeanne Fallon, CSJ
For more information or to register, please contact Br. Charlie Jackson, S.J., at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our 2018 Hearts on Fire Gala promises to be a memorable evening full of fun and surprises.
Our celebration will be infused with the flavors, colors, sights, sounds, and festive atmosphere associated with Cinco de Mayo.
Margaritas, Mariachi, and More!
We are putting together a great Silent Auction
that includes tickets to sporting events,
gourmet dinners, a cruise on a yacht, premium wine bottles, jewelry, art, and much more!
Tickets are $200 per person.
Tables of ten are available for $2,000.
For sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, Gala Dinner Program ads, table sponsorship information, and Silent Auction donations, please contact Raymond Uribe at
What Constitutes Eucharist as a Sacrament?
by Fr. Eddie Samaniego, S.J.
Catholicism has never hesitated to affirm how all reality: the cosmos, nature, history, events, persons, objects, rituals, words, is “mysterious.” Everything, in principle, can embody and communicate the divine. In other words, God is embodied in everything including us, and everything is embodied in God, especially us, for we are made in the image and likeness of God, are we not?
God is at once everywhere and all powerful, and there’s nothing in this world God cannot put to use. On the human side, we humans, have nothing else apart from our world to express our response to God’s self-communication. Just as God reaches us through the finite, so we reach God through the finite. The point at which this “divine interchange” occurs is the point of the sacramental encounter.
The word “sacramental,” in general, applies to “any finite reality through which God is perceived to be present and communicated, and through which our human response to God assumes some measure of shape, form, and structure.” In its most specific sense, a sacrament is “a finite reality through which God is communicated to the Church and through which the Church responds to God.” An old formula definition that was in my Baltimore catechism growing up is: “A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” So, if we understand grace to mean God’s own communication of God’s own self, then we receive God’s life through the exercise of the sacraments as offered by the Church. The formal sacraments are seven, but anything that communicates God’s presence is a “sacramental.”
The Church is considered the fundamental sacrament of God’s promise and deliverance of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. “The sacraments,” those seven specific actions which the Church has defined to be sacraments are: Eucharist, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. They are acts of God, acts of Christ, and acts of the Church. Most people don’t understand that sacraments, in the Catholic sense, relate the individual to the Church. For example: Penance’s fundamental purpose isn’t reconciliation with God, which can be/is done in private with a perfect act of contrition. It’s an action that recognizes the breach by a person of the mission of the Church to be a holy people. So, making amends with the Church is at the heart of the sacrament of Penance.
If you read Catholic treatises on the sacraments, you will find much talk about “sign” and “cause.” The priority of Sign-over-Cause existed throughout the history of the Church until the scholastic revival of the 12th Century. Cause took over from Trent in the 1540’s until Vatican II. It was the clear teaching of the Council of Trent (Decree on the Sacraments, Session VII, 1547) and before that of Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica III, qq. 60-65) that “sacraments cause grace as they signify it.” Before Aquinas, the emphasis had been on the sign. He was the 1st to define sign of grace as “a visible sign of invisible grace.” (See Catholicism, Richard Mc Brien, Harper & Row, 1970, pg. 735-6)
In general Aquinas said sacraments are signs that do 4 things. 1st, signs should instruct. In using a sign we express our faith in the unseen reality hidden underneath the sign. 2nd, the sign must express worship in ritual actions. 3rd, these actions express the unity of the Church. And 4th, they express Christ’s presence and the presence of God.
The Council of Trent tried to safeguard the basic truth that the grace of the sacraments is caused not by human forces but by God acting in and through Christ and the Church. “It is not the personal merit of the recipient that causes the grace received.” On the other hand, God does not force the human will. God freely offers access to his life in grace. It is up to us to receive it and let it flow through us, or not. Much has been written about the “right disposition” of the recipient. And so, much has been confused and abused throughout the centuries. But we can say that a sacrament is a public acknowledgement of a grace that is already there.
Since the Council of Trent, the Eucharist has been seen as the pre-eminent among the seven Catholic sacraments because Christ is present in the Eucharist even before the sacrament is used. Christ is present in the Assembly, gathering in Christ’s name. Christ is also present in the person of the priest, in the Word of God, in the consecrated bread and wine, and, when performed well, in the music. So Christ’s “real presence” is manifest in 5 ways in the Eucharist. So, in a real sense, we come to Mass as disciples of the Word. We learn (discipleship) in order to apply what we learn (Apostleship) in the world. We are fed during the Mass in order to feed when we leave. It is in doing that we are fed.
So, to really be in Communion with Jesus, the Christ, means that we become what we receive and take that to the world. We become a sacramental by our life, which takes on the mission of Jesus. Just as Jesus told his apostles that his food is “to do the will of the one who sent me and complete his work,” so our food is to “do the will of the one who sends us (Jesus), and complete his work,” as well. We receive in order to give, we are fed in order to feed. One without the other is not Communion. Christ’s mission is expressed in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. This is what we are really to do in the memory of Christ. Amen.
Praying with Pope Francis
Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for April 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.