Rediscover the Tenacity of Love!

Peter and John Running to the Tomb, Eugene Burnand

God planted an unquenchable desire to know and to love Him within our souls.  St. John of the Cross describes it as a desire to go “where the pure water flows”, where divine truths are clear.  Desire grows.  The more we love, “the more [our soul] longs to enter further into these truths.” So, we dive “deep into the thicket” of God’s mystery to live with Him in His divine life.

Fr. Haggerty calls this constant desire—this perpetual dive into the thicket—the tenacity of love.  And God rewards our tenacity by gradually opening new depths of loving-knowledge.  Grace keeps flowing; the Holy Spirit keeps prompting.  God is tenacious too. 

Tenacity of love at work in the Eucharistic Congress!

Tenacity of love is mental prayer, Mass, Adoration, and Confession.  It’s trusting in God’s love in suffering.  It’s our daily life lived before Jesus in love.  But sometimes, we need a special moment for love’s full expression, a moment that draws us together in the Church’s communion for a singular purpose.

Madison’s Eucharistic Congress—Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023, St. John the Baptist, Waunakee—gives us that moment.  Our desire to be with Jesus in the Eucharist, to know and love Him more deeply in His mystery, is never satiated.  That’s what makes us tenacious; we always desire more of God.  And on that weekend, tenacity of love finds more.

Go to the revival website ( to download the weekend’s schedule, guide, and brochure.  You will find examples of tenacity of love:

  • Pray: 24/7 Adoration, Confession, spiritual direction, intercessory prayer.
  • Learn and share: Speakers, Eucharistic workshops, small group discussions.
  • Worship: Mass Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday afternoon followed by procession.
  • Witness: Testimonials, Eucharistic Procession, Proclaim Your Love! contest winners, Bl. Carlo Acutis’ Eucharistic Miracle Display.

Why do we need a weekend retreat?

The Eucharistic Congress helps to shine Jesus’ love and joy into our hearts.  But it also helps to fight against the temptation of growing lukewarm.  When our tenacity grows weak, we enter into sloth.  It’s an old word, an old vice, meaning spiritual laziness.  Jesus infused joyful love into our hearts.  But sloth deadens it, slowing down our tenacious love of God until we finally stop.  We reached a comfortable point in our relationship with Jesus.  We’ve now grown lukewarm.

Peter Kreeft described sloth as sitting “on the sidelines bored while life and death are at stake.”  He paraphrased Rev. 3:16 when he wrote, it is “better [to] be God’s enemy than a clodBetter either hot or cold than lukewarm”.  Why sit on the sidelines when we could be tenacious in knowing and loving Jesus in the Eucharist?

A picture of tenacity.

The Eugene Burnand painting—Peter and John Running to the Tomb—shows St. John and St. Peter running with an intense, driving anticipation of meeting Jesus.  They bend forward, hair flowing, focusing on the path ahead, and thinking of their Beloved. No lukewarmness; just tenacious love.

Every Sunday, we focus on meeting Jesus too.  We anticipate His Eucharistic union within our soul.  We don’t run up the front steps of the Church like John or Peter in a Bernand painting.  But our hearts hold a palpable anticipation, a real, tenacious love, nonetheless.  Our anticipation might be tempered by sloth or smothered by a hundred different distractions; but it’s there.  It’s like the winning racehorse—full of potential—impatiently waiting at the starting gate.

Realizing what we believe

In a sense, our tenacity waits to be rediscovered.  It needs an encounter to see the profound reality before us.  We believe; but we need help to “realize what we believe”, to be conscious of it:

We shall give ourselves heart and soul to the full possession of Christ if we are thoroughly convinced that in Holy Communion He, the Eternal God, enters into our souls with his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—in other words, if we realize what we believe. (Transforming Your Life Through the Eucharist, Kane)

If we realize the truth of what Jesus said, “This is my Body; this is my Blood”; if we realize that, when the priest consecrates the bread and wine, they really, truly, and substantially become Christ Himself; if we realize Jesus’ promise, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him”, then we will be tenacious in knowledge and in love.  We might even quicken our steps to meet Him as we approach the church.

We need to slake our thirst for God by going to where “the pure water flows,” by diving “deep into the thicket” of divine mysteries.  We need to rediscover our tenacity of love that drives us to be with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

One of tenacity’s fruits is beautifully expressed by Fr. John Kane.  We enjoy it after Communion, when “we are alone with God, blissful solitude, where the soul can rise above the world, and with mute wonder, with breathless adoration, bask in the eloquently solemn silence of the divine presence.”  With tenacity, comes beauty and union.

The Congress will help us realize what we believe.  It is a weekend retreat dedicated to rediscovering and expressing our tenacity of love for Jesus in the Eucharist.  Mark your calendar:

Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023; St. John the Baptist, Waunakee.

Go to for the guide, brochure, schedule, and to pre-register.

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