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Saints Speak on the Eucharist

Fr. James Kroeger

Living Mission
‘Year of Eucharist and Family’ Reflections

 

SAINT Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868), known as the “Apostle of the Eucharist,” is the founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers (SSS) who promote devotion to the Blessed Sacrament; they are dedicated to perpetual adoration.

Father Eymard advocated frequent reception of Holy Communion at a time when this was a rare practice.  He asserts: “In one day the Eucharist will make you produce more for the glory of God than a whole lifetime without it.”  “To be possessed by Jesus and to possess Him—that is the perfect reign of Love.”  “Until we have a passionate love for our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament we shall accomplish nothing.”

“The Eucharist is the link that binds the Christian family together; take away the Eucharist and you have no brotherliness left.”  “Corpus Christi is the most lovable of feast days.  Let this feast therefore be one of joy, and let us expect from it the most abundant blessings.”

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), commonly known as the “Little Flower,” wrote in her autobiography (The Story of a Soul): “How I loved the feasts! … I especially loved the processions in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.  What a joy it was for me to throw flowers beneath the feet of God! … I was never so happy as when I saw my roses touch the sacred Monstrance.”

“By our little acts of charity practiced in the shade we convert souls far away, we help missionaries, we win for them abundant alms, and by that means build actual dwellings spiritual and material for our Eucharistic Lord.”

“Heaven for me is hidden in a little Host where Jesus, my Spouse, is veiled for love.  I go to that Divine Furnace to draw out life, and there my Sweet Savior listens to me night and day.”  “Holiness is a disposition of the heart that makes us humble and little in the arms of God.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), a Dominican priest and Doctor of the Church, wrote much profound theology; he also wrote beautiful hymns of Eucharistic Adoration.  His well-known hymns are: Panis Angelicus (Bread of Angels), Adore te Devote (Humbly I Adore Thee), O Salutaris Hostia (O Saving Victim), Pange Lingua Gloriosi (Tell, my Tongue, the Mystery), and Tantum Ergo (Down in Adoration Falling).

Thomas eloquently explained many dimensions of the Eucharist.  “Material food first changes into the one who eats it, and then, as a consequence, restores to him lost strength and increases his vitality.  Spiritual food, on the other hand, changes the person who eats it into itself.”

“Thus, the effect proper to this Sacrament is the conversion of the person into Christ, so that he may no longer live, but Christ lives in him.  Consequently, it has the double effect of restoring the spiritual strength he had lost by his sins and defects, and of increasing the strength of his virtues.”

Regarding Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, Thomas wrote: “It is absolutely necessary to confess according to Catholic faith that the entire Christ is in this sacrament.”

Profound Wisdom.  Indeed, the above short quotes from three well-known saints reflect great insight into the beauties of the Eucharistic faith of Catholics!

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