To the Eucharist, then, we should go. To Jesus we should turn— to Jesus, who wishes to make Himself ours in order to make us His by rendering us “Godlike.”
“O Jesus, Food of strong souls,” St. Gemma Galgani used to say, “strengthen me, purify me, make me godlike.”
Let us receive the Eucharist with a pure and ardent heart. That is what the saints have done. It should never be too much trouble for us to grow familiar with this unspeakable Mystery.
Meditation, study and reflection on the Eucharist should have an important place each day on our timetable. It will be the time of our day richest in blessings. It will do good to our soul and body.
One reads in the life of St. Pius X that one day, when he was the parish priest of Salzano, he went on a visit to a sick altar boy. At that very moment the doctor also arrived and asked the sick boy how he was.
The boy answered that on that day he was feeling better because he had been able to give a little instruction on the Eucharist to a few other boys.
At this response the doctor exclaimed with overtones of ridicule, “Oh! That’s nice. During my medical studies I never heard that a little Christian teaching could have such effects.”
At this sour remark, the priest immediately intervened in defense of the youth and said to the doctor, “Oh, we see very well the effects of your science, doctor, and even a nearsighted person would see them well, too, because the cemetery is full of them…. But Christian doctrine fills up a place which only those who are intellectually shortsighted would not be able to see: Heaven!”
The Eucharist is the heavenly “leaven” (Mt. 13: 33) which is capable of fermenting, in the human nature of every person, all spiritual and temporal goods.
It is so great a good Itself that one cannot desire anything else greater. What, in fact, could one desire more, when within himself he has Jesus, living and real, the God-made-man, the Word made flesh and blood for our salvation and happiness?
On his deathbed St. Peter Julian Eymard gave this excellent reply to a religious who requested a final point for reflection: “I have nothing more to tell you. You already have the Eucharist. What more do you want?”
Knowing, Loving, Living The Eucharist
St. Peter Julian Eymard rightly said that “when a spark of the Eucharist is placed in a soul, a divine germ of life and of all the virtues is cast into that heart. This germ is sufficient of itself, so to say [to do much].”
In order to explore at least some of the immense riches stored up in the Mystery of the Eucharist, let us engage in a constant, unified exercise employing mind, heart and will.
An Exercise of the Mind
First, with the mind one meditates in an attentive, orderly way on the Eucharist. This may be done with books which lead us to personally uncover and deeply ponder this Mystery of Love.
A simple little work rich in content is St. Alphonsus M. de’ Liguori’s Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In addition, there are the two precious little works by St. Peter Julian Eymard entitled, The Real Presence and Holy Communion.
We should, above all, turn to the school of St. Peter Julian Eymard, who was unequalled as an Apostle of the Eucharist. His vocation and mission was to lead all Christians to the Eucharist, to such an extent that people finally called him “the Priest of the Blessed Sacrament!”
When he founded the Congregation of Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, he offered his life for the Eucharistic reign of Jesus. At that time he wrote these ardent words: “Here, dear Jesus, is my life. Behold me ready to eat stones and to die abandoned, just so that I may succeed in erecting a throne for Thee and giving Thee a family of friends, a nation of adorers.”
If we but knew the gift of a God who is Love and who gives Himself to us as a Gift full of Love!
“The Eucharist,” said St. Bernard, “is that Love which surpasses all loves in Heaven and on earth.”
And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love: It signifies Love, It produces love.”
A concrete instance which rivets our attention on this Love is the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano (in the province of Abruzzi, Italy). There one venerates a consecrated Host which was transformed into living Flesh and which has been preserved in this state for more than a thousand years.
The most recent chemical analyses of a particle of this Host verified the fact: it is indeed a piece of flesh which is still living and which is a part of a human heart.
The Eucharist is indeed all one Heart!
One day an Arabian prince, Abd-ed-Kader, while passing through a street of Marseille with a French official, saw a priest who was carrying Holy Viaticum to a dying man. The French official stopped, uncovered his head, and knelt.
His friend asked him the reason for this gesture. “I adore my God, whom the priest is carrying to a sick person,” replied the good official.
“How is it possible,” the prince said, “for you to believe that God who is so great, makes Himself so little and lets Himself go even to the homes of the poor? We Mohammedans have a much higher idea of God.”
The official answered, “It is because you have only an idea of the greatness of God; but you do not know His Love.”
That is the answer. In confirmation of this, St. Peter Eymard declares: “The Eucharist is the supreme proof of the love of Jesus. After this, there is nothing more but Heaven itself.”
Yet, how many of us Christians do not know the vast extent of the love contained in the Eucharist!
“Simplicity of soul is one of the prerequisites of sanctity, and it’s one of the things our children already possess. We must be very careful not to contribute to the great cluttering up. Our obligation as parents is heavy: we must raise children who are in love with God.” -Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children http://amzn.to/2t1mabR (afflink)
If you have trouble reading saint books and find the story lines boring, you need to try these!
We love these books and have had them on our book shelves for years! They are very well-written and make the saints come alive!
Louis de Wohl has the amazing capacity to take historic Catholic figures and breathe life into them by creating a novel around what their life might have been like.
They are meant for high school and adult level. Some of the books could have a bit of adult content, for instance, St. Augustine’s life before conversion.You can look for his books here and read more reviews:
The Quiet Light: A Novel About Saint Thomas Aquinas
The Joyful Beggar: St. Francis of Assisi
Lay Siege to Heaven
The Spear: A Novel of the Crucifixion
Citadel of God: A Novel About Saint Benedict
The Living Wood: Saint Helena and the Emperor Constantine
Louis de Wohl’s books are all spellbinding and captivating! He creates real-life, everyday events that could very well have happened in the lives of the actual historical figures he portrays. You get a biography that is painted in everyday, real-life events rather than just a chronology of facts, making the story all that easier to relate to for the reader.
Here is a peek into the author’s life. Louis de Wohl