Holy Eucharist

SAINTS: John Paul II — The Witness Of A Pope, by Greg Friedman

April 13, 2017

From: Lent With The Saints Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-5 On Holy Thursday, 2003, Pope John Paul II issued his final encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, “On the Eucharist and Its Relationship to the Church.”  At the beginning of chapter one, the Pope quoted tonight’s Second Reading from Saint Paul, on the institution of the Eucharist.  The Holy Father wrote: The words of the Apostle Paul bring us back to the dramatic setting in which the Eucharist was born.  The Eucharist is indelibly marked by the event of the Lord’s Passion and death, of which it is not only a reminder but the sacramental re-presentation.  It is the sacrifice of the Cross perpetuated down the [...]

THE ADVENT EUCHARIST: Grace by John Hampsch

December 8, 2016

From The Healing Power of the Eucharist How do we receive grace?  There are three major avenues.  First of all, we can receive grace through some form of prayer: prayer of blessing and adoration, prayer of petition, intercessory prayer, prayer of thanksgiving, or prayer of praise.  Likewise, it can be any expression of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, contemplative prayer, community prayer, liturgical prayer, or psalm prayer. The second major source of that spiritual energy we call grace comes from practicing the virtues, such as faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.  In fact, some 56 virtues have been cataloged over the years.  (Even suffering could be considered a virtue when it is motivated by love, [...]

POETRY: Solar Ice by Paul Mariani

March 9, 2016

The sudden shock of what you really are. Early March. The tentative return of afternoons. Saturday, and Mass again. The four. All about swelling buds on beech & ash & maples. Crocuses & snowdrops trilling. Four months impacted ice at last receding from the north side of the house, and bobbing robins back & soon, soon, red- winged blackbirds strutting on the lawn. Soon too the sweet familiar groundswell of peepers in the marshes. Reasons enough to melt the frozen heart. Father lifted the host above his head & prayed: a small white sun around which everything seemed to coalesce, cohere & choir. But as I raised my head, the thought of some old insult likewise reared its head, and in that instant the arctic hatred [...]

REFLECTION: The Soul Of Sunday, by Benedict XVI

May 10, 2015

From Heart of the Christian Life “Sine dominico non possumus!”  Without the gift of the Lord, without the Lord’s day, we cannot live: That was the answer given in the year 304 by Christians from Abitene in present-day Tunisia, when they were caught celebrating the forbidden Sunday Eucharist and brought before the judge.  They were asked why they were celebrating the Christian Sunday Eucharist, even though they knew it was a capital offense.  “Sine dominico non possumus!”: in the word dominicum/dominico two meanings are inextricably intertwined, and we must once more learn to recognize their unity.  First of all there is the gift of the Lord – this gift is the Lord himself: the Risen one, whom the [...]


April 2, 2015

From The Mystery of Sacrifice For the fully Christian life is a Eucharistic life: that is, a natural life conformed to the pattern of Jesus, given in its wholeness to God, laid on His altar as a sacrifice of love, and consecrated, transformed by His inpouring life, to be used to give life and food to other souls.  It will be, according to its measure and special call, adoring, declaratory, intercessory, and redemptive: but always a vehicle of the supernatural.  The creative spirit of God is a redemptive and cherishing love; and it is as friends and fellow workers with the Spirit, tools of the divine redemptive action that Christians are required to live.  “You are the Body of Christ,” said Saint Augustine to his [...]


March 24, 2015

From Abba The symbolism of food plays a large part in all religions, and especially in Christianity.  As within the mysteries of the created order we must all take food and give food – more, must take life and give life – we are already in touch with the “life-giving and terrible mysteries of Christ,” who indwells that order; for all is the sacramental expression of his all-demanding and all-giving life.  We accept our constant dependence on physical food as a natural and inevitable thing.  Yet it is not necessarily so: there are creatures which are free from it for very long periods of time.  But perhaps because of his border-line status, his embryonic capacity of God, man is kept in constant memory of his own [...]

MEDITATION: The Eucharist — The Mystery Of Our Christ, by Karl Rahner

March 2, 2014

What happens when we celebrate the Eucharist?  The simple answer is: The Lord’s Supper which he celebrated at the beginning of his passion becomes present among us and for us.  If we are to understand this central element of our faith we must reflect on what happened at the Lord’s Supper, and we must ponder what it means when it is said that this meal becomes present among us and for us. What did the Lord do when he celebrated the supper with his apostles?  Perhaps the easiest way to place the unfathomable plenitude and impenetrability of this happening before us is to say that in that hour Jesus accepted his death as the giving of himself to God for the redemption of the world.   He gave himself to God as the one to be put to [...]

SATURDAY READING: The Healing Power Of The Eucharist, by Briege McKenna, O.S.C.

March 1, 2014

From Miracles Do Happen In Luke 8:40-48, we find a little woman in a crowd looking at Jesus with great hope.  For years, she had been desperate for a healing.  No one had been able to heal her.  She had heard of Jesus. She believed.  She said to herself, “If I could just touch Jesus, I know I’ll be healed.” The little woman went up in the midst of this crowd and she reached out and touched him.  Many people were pressing against Jesus, according to the scripture, all wanting to see him, to touch him.  But this little woman had one thing in mind.  She believed that if she touched him, she would be healed. She touched him, and in one of the gospel accounts, Jesus turned around quickly and said, “Who touched me?” The [...]

HOLY COMMUNION: Earthing The Eucharist by Ken Newell

February 27, 2014

From Treasures of Irish Christianity, Salvador Ryan and Brendan Leahy, editors I felt churned up inside with anger and despair when I got the news.  On Wednesday afternoon, 5 February 1992, two UFF gunmen walked into Sean Graham’s Bookmakers on Belfast’s Ormeau Road and shot dead five innocent Catholics, four men and a fifteen-year-old boy.  My church was close by. The next evening I visited the five families with some of our church elders and prayed with them.  We were welcomed with extraordinary warmth.  As Sunday approached I found it difficult to concentrate on preparing the liturgy for the Lord’s Supper.  I kept asking myself, “What is the link between the sacrament and the murders?”  Slowly it [...]

POETRY: The Eucharistic Hymns Of Thomas Aquinas

February 26, 2014

Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium Tell, tongue, the mystery of the glorious Body and of the precious Blood, which, for the price of the world, the fruit of a noble Womb, the King of the Nations poured forth. Given to us, born for us, from the untouched Virgin, and dwelt in the world after the seed of the Word had been scattered. His inhabiting ended the delays with wonderful order. On the night of the Last Supper, reclining with His brethren, once the Law had been fully observed with the prescribed foods, as food to the crowd of Twelve He gives Himself with His hands. The Word as Flesh makes true bread into flesh by a word and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. And if sense is deficient to strengthen a sincere heart Faith alone [...]

PRAYER: Prayers For Healing In The Eucharist, by Jim McManus

February 24, 2014

From The Healing Power of the Sacraments The church always prayed for the healing of the whole person just before communion.  One prayer used in the private preparation of the priest is: Lord Jesus Christ, with faith in your love and mercy I eat your body and drink your blood.  Let it not bring me condemnation but health of mind and body. As he purifies the sacred vessels the priest prays, Lord, may I receive these gifts in purity of heart.  May they bring me healing and strength now and forever. What are these prayers for health of mind and body asking for?  Our expectations must correspond to our words.  If the sentiments in our hearts are not in accord with the words on our lips, we are not really praying at all. Just after the [...]

HOLY COMMUNION: Blessed Bees, by Evie Monaghan

June 25, 2013

From Treasures of Irish Christianity: People and Places, Images and Texts, Salvador Ryan and Brendan Leakey, editors During the medieval period, a large corpus of Eucharistic miracle stories was established and promoted widely in Europe. These stories were designed to encourage devotion and belief in the Real Presence and were often transposed into specific local contexts for greater effect. One such story, or exemplum, is found in the fifteenth-century text known as Liber Flavus Fergusiorum, held in the library of the Royal Irish Academy. The story recounts how a priest travelling to visit a sick man, presumably to give him the viaticum, encounters a swarm of bees on his way. He captures the swarm and continues his journey but leaves [...]

SERMON: The Faith In Four Days by Martin Thornton

March 28, 2013

From A Joyful Heart: Meditations for Lent There are many ways of observing Holy Week, ancient and modern, traditional and experimental, all concluding with the tremendous impact of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Day.  An obvious and exciting thing about these four days is their distinction in message and devotional emphasis.  What is frequently brought out less clearly is the essential interrelation between them; to live through these four days is to cover the calendar, virtually to live through the creed. Maundy Thursday is basically the day of the eucharistic celebration, which word has its particular theological relevance.  For significantly, the sacraments are administered; only the Eucharist, in normal [...]

LENT: Third Sunday in Lent, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

March 3, 2013

From Show Me The Way Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again; but no one who drinks the water that I shall give him will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up for eternal life. —John 4:14 In the midst of Lent I am made aware that Easter is coming again: the days are becoming longer, the snow is withdrawing, the sun is bringing new warmth, and a bird is singing.  Yesterday, during the night prayers, a cat was crying!  Indeed, spring announces itself.  And tonight, O Lord, I heard you speak to the Samaritan woman.  You said: “Anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again; the water that I shall give will  turn into a spring [...]

LENT: Second Sunday in Lent, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

February 24, 2013

From Show Me The Way He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and suddenly from the cloud there came a voice which said, “This is my son, the beloved; he enjoys my favor.  Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5) When we break bread together, we reveal to each other the real story of Christ’s life and our lives in him.  Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his friends.  He did so when he saw a hungry crowd and felt compassion for them (Matthew 14:19; 15:36); he did it on the evening before his death when he wanted to say farewell (Matthew 26:26); he did so when he made himself known to the two disciples whom he met on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:30).  And ever since his [...]

POETRY: Missa Cantata And Continuous Voice by Evelyn Underhill

January 23, 2013

Missa Cantata Once in an abbey-church, the while we prayed, All silent at the lifting of the Host, A little bird through some high window strayed, And to and fro Like a wee angel lost That on a sudden finds its heaven below, It went the morning long And made our Eucharist more glad with song. It sang, it sang! And as the quiet priest Far off about the lighted altar moved, The awful substance of the mystic feast All hushed before It like a thing that loved, Yet loved in liberty, would plunge and soar Beneath the vault in play And thence toss down the oblation of its lay. The walls that went our sanctuary around Did as of old, to that sweet summons yield. New scents and sounds within our gates were found, The cry of kine, The fragrance of [...]

SERMON: To The Newly Baptized — On The Eucharist by Augustine of Hippo

January 13, 2013

What you see here on the Lord’s table, my dear brethren, is bread and wine.  But once the word is pronounced over them, this bread and this wine become the body and the blood of the divine word.  He is the very Lord who “in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” (John 1:1)  Owing to his mercy, the Lord did not disdain the nature created by him in his own image, but, as you know, “the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  (John 1:14)  The same word assumed human nature; in other words, he took a human soul and body, became man, yet ever remained God.  And since the word suffered on our behalf, he left us his body and blood in this sacrament, in which he also included us.  For we, [...]

MORNING DEW: Anima Christi, modern translation

January 11, 2013

By David Fleming Jesus, may all that is you flow into me. May your body and blood be my food and drink. May your passion and death be my strength and life. Jesus, with you by my side, enough has been given. May the shelter I seek be the shadow your cross. Let me not run from the love which you offer, But hold me safe from the forces of evil. On each my dyings shed your light and your love. Keep calling to me until that day comes, when, with your saints, I may praise you forever. [...]

POETRY: Early Mass, by Thomas Merton

November 16, 2012

(Saint Joseph Infirmary — Louisville) There is a Bread which You and I propose. It is Your truth. And more: it is ourselves. There is a wickedness whose end is blessing. Come, people, to the Cross and Wedding! His are the mysteries which I expound And mine the children whom His stars befriend. Our Christ has cleanly built His sacred town. What do the windows of His city say? His innocence is written on your sky! Because we think His Latin we are part of one another, Together when I am away. Come to the ark and stone Come to the Holies where His work is done, Dear hasty doves, transparent in His sun! Gather us God in honeycombs, My Israel, in the Ohio valley! For brightness falls upon our dark. Death owns a wasted kingdom. Bless and [...]