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Eucharistic Devotion of the Saints May 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From Eucharistic Miracles by Joan Carroll Cruz, some thoughts by great Saints on the nature and benefits of the Eucharist.  More specifically, this excerpt and the quotes contain therein highlight once again the enormous, wholly unearned and amazingly generous Gift Christ makes of the Eucharist.  What really struck me is how careful we should be in receiving the Blessed Sacrament.  Not in a Jansenist sense where an 18th century French Jansenist priest bragged there were zero sacrilegious communions at his parish that Christmas because there were NO communions at his parish!  But we’re in the opposite extreme in the Church now, where it is metaphysical certitude that people persisting in a manifest state of mortal sin are receiving Communion – literally re-crucifying Christ in a mystical way.  And not just a few people, but millions, likely tens or even hundreds of millions every day.

So if you fall into a sin make sure you make a good Confession before receiving!   There is a union there we cannot really even comprehend in this life, but we will in the next, God willing.  It is so sublime and generous on God’s part we can only dimly perceive its outer edges.  But it is not something we should ever trifle with, take advantage of, or assume we have “earned” or is our due.  It is always the most incomprehensible Gift imaginable and we should do all we can to be as little unworthy – as inoffensive, as our own “worthiness” will never happen –  as possible:

Devotion to the Holy Eucharist has been expressed in one way or another by all the Saints of the Church.  This is a statement that cannot be contradicted.  Since Our Lord instituted this holy Sacrament to unite Himself with us, to nourish our souls, and as a means of retaining His presence among us in tabernacles throughout the world, the saints have embraced this treasure with faith and love…….

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the Blessed Sacrament in this way:

Our most loving Redeemer, on the last night of His Life, knowing that the much-longed-for time had arrived on which He should die for the love of man, had not the heart to leave us alone in this valley of tears; but in order that He might not be separated form us even by death, He would leave us His whole self as food in the Sacrament of the Altar; giving us to understand by this that, having given us this gift of infinite worth, He could give us nothing further to prove to us his infinite love. 

This same thought is also expressed by St. Peter of Alcantara, who wrote in one of his meditations:

No tongue is able to express the greatness of the love which Jesus bears to every soul.  Hence that His absence might not be an occasion of forgetting Him, He left to His spouse the Church, before His departure from this world, this most holy Sacrament in which He Himself remained, wishing that between them there should be no other pledge than Himself to keep alive the remembrance of Him.

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi expresses her faith and love for the Sacrament by praying:

O Lord, You are as truly present under the sacramental species as You are in Heaven at the right hand of the Father.  Because I have and possess this great wonder, I do not long for, want, or desire any other. 

St. Teresa of Avila had the following consideration:

I cannot doubt at all at Your Real Presence in the Eucharist.  You have given me such a lively faith that when I hear others say they wish they had been living when You were on earth, I laugh to myself, for I know that I possess You as truly in the Blessed Sacrament as people did then, and I wonder what more anyone could possibly want.

St. Teresa of Avila gives us cause to consider the great wisdom and kindness of Our Savior in veiling Himself under the appearance of bread.  She prays:

How could I, a poor sinner, who have so often offended You, dare to approach You, O Lord, if I beheld You in all Your majesty?  Under the appearance of bread, however, it is easy to approach You, for if a king disguises himself, it seems as if we do not have to talk to him with so much circumspection and ceremony.  If You were not hidden, O Lord, who would dare to approach You with such coldness, so unworthily, and with so many imperfections?

Saint Bernard calls the Sacrament of the Altar “The Love of loves,” while St. Thomas Aquinas said that the Holy Eucharist is “a Sacrament of love and a to ken of the greatest love that a God could give us.”

Saint Lawrence Justinian tell us, “We have seen the All-Wise made foolish by an excess of love” – to which the Cure of Ars, St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, adds, “I tis the destiny of every consecrated Host to melt with love in a human heart.”

It is said of St. Francis of Assisi that “every fiber of his heart was kindled into love for the Sacrament of Christ’s Body,” and he constantly urged his brothers to bring others to know and love Christ living in the Blessed Sacrament.  From this love sprang  St. Francis deep reverence for priests.  He declared that if confronted  with an angel and  an unworthy priest, he would kiss the hand that had touched the Body of Christ before saluting the angel.  One day someone pointed out a priest living in notorious sin. Francis instantly knelt before him, kissing his hands and saying, “These hands have touched my Lord, and out of love for Him I honor His vicar.  For himself he may be bad; but for me he is good.”  Even before his conversion, St. Francis honored Our Lord in the Eucharist by sending costly and beautiful gifts to adorn poor churches.  He felt nothing was good enough for the dwelling place of Christ. [Contrast that with  the brutalist bathhouse design of most parishes today and of the past 70 years]

Our Lord’s words, “Take ye and eat, this is My Body……” inspired St. John Chrysostom to remark, “It is as if He had said, ‘Eat me, that the highest union may take place.’” The Saint further remarked, “To that Lord on whom the angels even dare not fix their eyes, to Him we unite ourselves, and we are made one body, one flesh.” Of this union St. Cyril of Alexandria observed that “as two pieces of melted wax unite together, so a soul that communicates is so thoroughly united to Jesus that Jesus remains in it, and it in Jesus.”

St. Francis de Sales concludes:

In no action does our Savior show Himself more loving or more tender than in this one, in which, as it were, He annihilates Himself and reduces Himself to food in order to penetrate our souls and unite Himself to the hearts of His faithful ones.

———End Quote———-

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