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제목 Jesus is Truly in the Holy Eucharist(2015-06-14)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2015-06-18



Jesus is Truly in the Holy Eucharist(14th June 2015)


My Dear Brethren,


 The marvel of the Sacred Heart is the most Blessed Sacrament. There is even a motive Mass in honour of “the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus”. This is unique to the true religion. No pagan religion, neither Islam, nor any Buddhist, Hinduist, nor any other religion has anything similar. Moreover, most heretics – especially Protestants – either have distorted or simply do not believe in the Holy Eucharist. It is something truly unique to the Catholic religion, and is a sign of its Divine institution: God alone could have thought of and designed such a marvel!


 In his Summa (complete treaty of theology), St Thomas Aquinas asks: could God have created a better world. He answers: since God is almighty, and since any created thing is limited, no matter how good a thing God creates, He could do a better one.


 However, St Thomas explains, there are certain thing of which God could not do better, precisely in as much as they are divine. Thus God could not do something better than the Incarnation: because Jesus-Christ is true God and true man, and there is nothing greater than God! There can be no greater union with God than the hypostatic union, i.e. the union of the human nature with the very Word of God Himself. Similarly, there could be no motherhood greater than the “divine motherhood”: mother Mary being the “mother of God”: a mother could not have a greater son than our Lord Jesus Christ. In the same way, there could not be a greater Gift of God for us than the Holy Eucharist: because it is the very “body, blood, soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ”!


 In the Office of Matins of the feast of the Blessed Sacrament, St Thomas quotes Moses in the Old Testament, saying: “Neither is there any other nation so great, that hath gods so nigh them, as our God is present to all our petitions” (Deut. 4:7). If that was already true of the Old Testament, in which God gave them the manna, how much more true is this in the New Testament! One might say: since God is everywhere, how can that be?


 A spirit is where he acts; since God acts everywhere to uphold all things in existence, He is indeed everywhere: nothing can exist unless God had created it and upholds it in existence. Thus God is even in Hell, upholding the existence of the Devil, and submitting them to His inflexible Justice; that general presence of God in all His work is the presence of immensity. But God is more present where He acts more, where His work is greater: thus there is a special presence of God in the souls of those who love Him by Charity; indeed God sanctifies these souls in a marvellous way, making them His children and friends; this sanctifying grace, by which these souls are holy, is a work greater than the whole of creation, as St Thomas explains: thus the Holy Trinity, acting more in these souls, is more present to them: that is the presence of grace. But above that, there is a unique presence of God, of the Word of God, Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, in the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, since it is personally united with God the Son: that hypostatic union is the highest Work of the Holy Trinity, and thus it corresponds to a unique and supreme Presence of God: the hypostatic Presence of the Son of God. This is the Presence we find in the Holy Eucharist!


How do we know such things? Because Jesus said so! It is as simple as that. He said: “this IS My Body… this IS the Chalice of My Blood.” So if after the consecration anyone asks the question: what is it? There is no other true answer than what our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said: “This is His Body, this is His Blood!” The Church has always believed and defended the truth of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Protestants empty the words of Jesus: where Jesus said: “this is My Body”, they say: “it is only a sign of His Body!” This is NOT what our Lord Jesus Christ said! He had already announced it before, in the Synagogue of Capharnaum: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.” (Jn. 6:51-52)


The Protestant reaction sounds very the same as that of the Jews, who “therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” (Jn. 6:53-54) Not only to eat His flesh but also to drink His Blood, that sounds really too much, to the Jews and to the Protestants. Yet Jesus continues and insists: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.” (Jn. 6:55). By these words, Jesus entices us, draws us to accept His offer: there will be a marvellous reward, eternal life, not only for the soul but also for the body. By these words, Jesus truly speaks as God, since God alone could give everlasting life. And He continues: “For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him” (Jn. 6:51-57). All these words of Jesus are very clear: the food He gives us is really “this flesh and blood”, which are inseparable from His soul (it is his living flesh and blood, hence animated by the soul) and inseparable from His Divinity, since “the Word was truly made flesh” (Jn. 1:14).


 “After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him. Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God” (Jn. 6:67-70). Our Lord Jesus Christ had proved that by the miracle that had just preceded: the multiplication of loaves; and all his other miracles were there to prove that He had the power to do what He said: “Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed” (Mt. 8:3). Or: “Jesus saith to him: Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole: and he took up his bed, and walked” (Jn. 5:8-9). Or: “Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God” (Lk. 18:42-43). Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Word of God, by which all things were made. He has the power to do what He says. So when He says: “This is My Body,” that which was bread before is transformed into His Body, and when He says: “This is the chalice of My Blood”, that which was wine in the chalice before is transformed into His Blood. And since His Body is living, His Body, Blood are inseparable from His Soul and from His Divinity.


Faced with such great mystery, what should we do? We owe Him first of all to make an act of faith and say with Thomas: “My Lord, and my God” (Jn. 20:28). This was the faith of the early Church, as St Justin wrote less than 100 years after the death of the Apostles: “we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”  That faith led the Church very early to make acts of adoration of the Eucharist; thus St Augustine could write 1600 years ago: “let no one eat this flesh unless he first adored! And not only we do not sin if we adore, but we do sin if we do not adore!”  We owe adoration, worship, to our Lord Jesus Christ, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. And if there is a moment when we ought to adore, it is when we come to receive Him. St Augustine said it very clearly: let no one eat this flesh unless he first adored!


We see here how bad communion in the hand is: at the beginning of the Church there had a great faith in the real presence, and precisely because of that faith, guided by the Holy Ghost, they introduced the custom of communion on the tongue while kneeling down. Later it was the heretics who, because they refused to believe in the Real Presence, took the habit to receive communion in the hand while standing. And in the 1960, six Protestants helped in the commission to prepare the new Mass, and experiments were done introducing communion in the hand – to imitate the protestants!


And through the weakness and complicity of bishops and of Paul VI, this very bad practice extended all over the earth. And there are thousands, hundreds of thousands of faithful who have lost the faith in the real presence because of this bad practice, even priests have lost the faith in the real presence because of that. A good bishop, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, of Astana in Kazakhstan, has written a good book saying that, until this abuse is corrected, there will continue to be a crisis of faith in the Church. Such bad practice is opposed to the spirit of Faith of the early Church, it leads to much disrespect for our Lord Jesus Christ in the very Sacrament of his love, and is an obstacle to grace. Indeed “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (Jac. 4:6). Thus to kneel down reverently in front of our Lord to receive Him opens the soul and the heart to the grace that Jesus will give in great abundance; but to stand up with no marks of reverence closes the soul, diminishes the fervour and little or no grace is received, because of the obstacle to grace by the lack of adoration.


St Thomas Aquinas teaches that the Holy Eucharist is the greatest of all the sacraments, and the summit towards which all other sacraments are oriented. Indeed the other Sacraments give grace, but this one contains the very author of grace, thus one drinks grace at its very source in an inexhaustible manner! Baptism is like the door of the Eucharist, since no one is allowed to receive It unless he is first baptised. Confirmation strengthens the soul to be more apt to receive Him. Penance restores the soul and cleans the soul to be allowed to receive Him. Extreme Unction prepares for holy viaticum, which is like the last Communion. Holy Orders is manifestly for the Holy Eucharist: the priest is the man of the Holy Eucharist; the faithful would not have Jesus in the Holy Eucharist without a priest; hence the duty to pray for many good and holy vocations. And even Marriage is related to the Holy Eucharist.


Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament by performing the miracle of Cana, the first transubstantiation: the changing of the water into wine at the beginning of His public life prefigured the changing of wine into His Most Precious Blood at the end of His public life. And indeed the Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of the Mystical Marriage of Christ and His Church. It is the highest degree of spiritual life according to St Theresa of Avila. The Church teaches that marriage is good, but consecrated life is better: it is precisely better because it aims at a higher marriage, at that mystical marriage with Christ, the sacrament of which is the Holy Eucharist.


The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of unity: “The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread” (1 Cor. 10:16-17). Being united in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are incorporated into His Body, the Church. St Augustine says: do not think that you transform the Eucharist into your body: He transforms you into His Body! He assimilates us and conforms us more and more unto Himself; He strengthens the bond, i.e. “charity, which is the bond of perfection:” (Col. 3:14). Hence St Thomas Aquinas teaches that the one who receives Holy Communion outside the Catholic Church (e.g. in a schismatic Orthodox church) puts a lie in the Sacrament, receiving the sacrament of unity and yet refusing that unity of the Church. The same applies to all those who refuse to communicate with the sovereign pontiff. We must love the Church, and pray for the healing of so many souls in the Church who do not live worthily of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Indeed, my dear brethren, there is a law of the Holy Eucharist. It is very simple: our Lord Jesus Christ gives Himself entirely to us; we must in return give ourselves entirely to Him! We are already bound to tend towards holiness because of our baptism. But how much more are we bound to be holy because of Holy Communion! We must no longer live for ourselves, “but unto him who died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15). Or rather He must live in us, as He lived in St Paul: “I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20). We are not allowed to live as the pagans of the modern world! We are not allowed to go along the immoralities of our times; we are not allowed to follow the bad examples, even those from church members or clerics. We are bound to holiness: “be holy because I am holy” (Lev 11:44). “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). “Glorify and bear God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).


In particular, there is a special bond between the Holy Eucharist and the virtue of purity. Indeed it is called “the bread of angels” (Ps. 77:25), “the corn of the elect, and wine springing forth virgins” (Zach. 9:17). On one hand, there is a purity required in order to be allowed to receive it: one must be in the state of grace, and clean from any mortal sin; on the other hand, the Holy Eucharist, both as Sacrifice and as Communion, detaches our affections from earthly pleasures by giving us a foretaste of the joys of Heaven: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him” (Jn. 6:57). What will Heaven be if not an eternal communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, being transformed into the perfect image of God: “we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18)? It is in the Holy Eucharist, received with proper disposition, that one obtains the graces to live a life of purity, especially to live a life of consecrated virginity.


On the opposite, if one receives the Holy Eucharist without being in the state of grace, St Paul warned us: “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment [that is, condemnation] to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:29). So it is very grievous when some clerics, even cardinals, suggest that people living with grievous sins such as sodomy, or adultery, may be admitted to receive the Holy Eucharist: this is a real scandal. These poor sinners should be invited first to quit their sins and to do penance, leaving their situation of sin, in order to be able to receive absolution and only after this, to receive our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord says in the Holy Gospel: “Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine” (Mt. 7:6). What is holier than the Holy Eucharist? What is our greatest pearl if not the Holy Eucharist? And in the Scripture sodomites are sometimes compared to dogs (Apoc. 22:15), and unclean people to swine (2 Pet. 2:22). It is a very grievous sin of sacrilege, to receive our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament while in the state of mortal sin. If one has committed mortal sins, penance is necessary before going to Communion: “Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?” (Rom. 2:4). Yes, God is merciful for sinners, but His mercy does not bypass penance: on the contrary, it empowers them to do penance, and only after it to receive the Holy Eucharist.


The most eminent example of the relation between the Holy Eucharist and purity is the Blessed Virgin Mary: it was in her most pure womb that the Word was made flesh, and she enjoyed the presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ in her for such an intimate union for nine month; and the spiritual bond did not loosen after the birth, on the contrary: it only went stronger and deeper! And it is that same flesh and blood that we receive that she carried in her most pure womb! Thus we should “glorify and bear God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20) like she did. We should always be thankful to her, who gave Jesus that flesh and blood which we receive in the Holy Eucharist.


Every time she attended the Mass of St John, with what memory of the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross did she attend this re-enactment of that Sacrifice, the offering of the “sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ” as St Cyprian calls the Mass! With what devotion did she receive again the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion! Let us ask her to help us at each communion to receive our blessed Lord with that same devotion, and to offer ourselves with Him as she offered herself with Him at the foot of the Cross, so that, by fervent communions we may attain to that eternal communion, eternal life of which the Holy Eucharist is such a beautiful token! Amen.


Fr. F. Laisney (sspxasia)