Tag: Jesus in the Eucharist

What The Early Fathers Say About The True Presence Of Jesus In The Eucharist

What The Early Fathers Say About The True Presence Of Jesus In The Eucharist

From the Early Church:

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” – Ignatius of Antioch (letter to the Smyrnaeans about A.D. 110) Disciple of the Apostle John

“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” –Justin Martyr (A.D. 151)

“God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [minor prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: ‘I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles . . . [Mal. 1:10–11]. He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us [Christians] who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist”-Justin Martyr ([A.D. 155).

“I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence”.- Origen (A.D. 244)

“[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed [in baptism], in order that the soul may be cleansed . . . the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands [in confirmation], that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds [in the Eucharist] on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may be filled with God”-Tertullian (A.D. 210).

“Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ” – Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D. 350)

“Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands” –Augustine (A.D. 405).

“For when he says in another book, which is called Ecclesiastes, ‘There is no good for a man except that he should eat and drink’ [Eccles. 2:24], what can he be more credibly understood to say [prophetically] than what belongs to the participation of this table which the Mediator of the New Testament himself, the priest after the order of Melchizedek, furnishes with his own body and blood? For that sacrifice has succeeded all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, which were slain as a shadow of what was to come. . . . Because, instead of all these sacrifices and oblations, his body is offered and is served up to the partakers of it” – Augustine (The City of God A.D. 419).

“We will necessarily add this also. Proclaiming the death, according to the flesh, of the only-begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, confessing his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, we offer the unbloody sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving” –Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431).

“What then? Do we not offer daily? Yes, we offer, but making remembrance of his death; and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one and not many? Because this sacrifice is offered once, like that in the Holy of Holies. This sacrifice is a type of that, and this remembrance a type of that. We offer always the same, not one sheep now and another tomorrow, but the same thing always. Thus there is one sacrifice. By this reasoning, since the sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one body. And just as he is one body and not many though offered everywhere, so too is there one sacrifice”. – John Chrysostom (A.D. 403)

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

READINGS: 1 Kings 19:4–8/ Eph. 4:30–5:2/ John 6:41–51
Theme: The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the first reading, an angel fed the prophet Elijah to enable him journey to Mount Horeb, the mountain of the Lord (1 Kings 19). We are also making a journey, not to a physical mountain of the Lord, but into the highest heaven – into the very eternal blissful presence of the Lord. And to enable us make this journey, we are fed, not by a mere angel, but by the very King of angels, Jesus Christ himself. And Jesus feeds us not with a mere physical food – for we are making not a physical journey but a spiritual one – but with the Eucharist, the Sacrament of his precious body and blood. Today’s gospel reading (a continuation of those of last two Sundays) affords us the opportunity to once again meditate with deep faith what we receive in the Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion.

In the Holy Eucharist, the bread becomes truly the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ. However, years after our FIRST Holy Communion, for some of us familiarity seems to be breeding contempt for the body and blood of Christ. Some of the Jews were so familiar with Jesus that many of them did not believe him when he said that he had come down from heaven; they retorted: do we not know his father, Joseph [the carpenter], and the mother as well; how can he claim he has come down from heaven? (John 6:35-42). Like those unbelieving Jews, we have been affected by the disease I call, ACQUIRED FAMILIARITY DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AFDS). That is, some of us have become so familiar with the Holy Communion that our faith in what (the body and blood of Christ) we are receiving has become deficient. Or, to put it another way: has your reception of Holy communion become so routine that, though you say ‘Amen’ to the priest’s invitation of ‘the body of Christ’, you do not consciously receive the Lord with genuine faith and due reverence? In this case we may refer to the disease affecting you as the ACQUIRED ROUTINE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (ARDS). Probably such familiarity and routine account for our inadequate preparations for the worthy reception of Holy Communion.

As we heard last Sunday, the day after the multiplication of loaves to feed the 5,000 men, Jesus told the crowd that they should look not for the food that perishes but for that which gives eternal life. Then when the people requested for this bread of life, Jesus told them that he is the bread of life that has come down from heaven. They then started grumbling. But Jesus’ further statements were to shock the people the more: ‘If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. The bread that I will give him is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live. This started an angry argument among them. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves. . . For my flesh is real food and blood is real drink”’ (John 6:51-55). Consequently many of his followers left him.

Now if Jesus did not mean what he was saying (that he will give us his flesh and blood), or if he was using a mere figure of speech, he would have called the deserting followers back to clarify his teaching. Rather, he turned to the twelve apostles and asked them if they also wished to leave him. Peter, then, responded: ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God’ (John 6:68-69).

However, it was not until the Last Supper that Jesus gave us the sacrament of his body and blood. At the Last Supper, Jesus did not say: ‘Take and eat, this is LIKE my body’; neither did he say: ‘. . . this REPRESENTS my body’; nor did he say: ‘. . . this is a SYMBOL of my body.’ He simply said: ‘. . . this IS my body.’ Likewise, with the cup of wine, he did not use the words LIKE/REPRESENTS/SYMBOL; rather, he simply said: ‘This IS my blood . . .’ We, therefore, believe that in the Eucharist, the bread becomes the true body of Christ and the wine the true blood of Christ.

Let me illustrate the above point with a BBC news item I heard yesterday: four members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have been detained in Libya for illegally possessing, among other things, a camera in the form of a pen and a recorder in the form of a wrist watch. Would they have been detained for possessing an ordinary pen and wrist watch? No! They have been detained because they possessed a camera (though in the form of pen) and a recorder (though in the form of a wrist watch). Similarly, in the Eucharist, though the form is bread it is truly the body of Christ; though the form is wine, it is truly the blood of Christ! That is why St. Paul asks those whose appreciation of the Eucharist is limited by the forms of bread and wine: ‘Is the bread we break not a communion in the body of Christ? Is the cup we drink not a communion in the blood?’ (1 Cor. 10:16). Subsequently, he states categorically: ‘It follows that if anyone eats the Lord’s bread or drinks from this cup in a way unworthy of him, he is guilty of sin against the Lord’s body and blood’ (1 Cor. 11:27). It is clear that St. Paul does not say the person sins against the blessed bread and blessed wine, nor simply against the bread and wine.

Beloved, as a living person’s body and blood are not separated but they are together with his mind and soul, so in the Eucharist we have altogether the body, blood, soul and divinity of our living Lord Jesus Christ. This is what we call the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. That is why we should receive the Eucharist with true faith and due reverence; and that is why we can adore Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Beloved, before concluding, I want us to pick a lesson from the fact that the prophet Elijah was fed not only once but twice, with the angel giving the reason that ‘the journey is long’; and strengthened by the food, the prophet journeyed for forty days and forty nights (1 Kings 19). Our journey to heaven is longer and so we need to receive Holy Communion as often as possible, while we guard against the deficiencies of familiarity and routine.

Finally, beloved, I pray that we will always genuinely believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist; that we will always prepare well to receive Holy Communion in a worthy manner; and that anytime we so receive the Lord, he will secure our sound journey to heaven! Amen!

This article was written By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis of frlouis.com

Secrets Of The Saints: 5 Powerful Prayers To Jesus In The Eucharist

Secrets Of The Saints: 5 Powerful Prayers To Jesus In The Eucharist

Powerful Prayers To Jesus In The Eucharist

The saints are unanimous in centering their lives on Jesus in the Eucharist. From their deep interior devotion, some of them composed prayers, left as examples for the rest of us. The five prayers below are words for us when don’t know what we ought to say.

Maybe try praying one of them today!

1) St. Ignatius of Loyola – Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.

From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee.
That with Thy saints I may praise Thee.
Forever and ever. Amen.

2) St. Catherine of Siena – A Prayer to Jesus in the Eucharist

O boundless charity!
Just as you gave us yourself,
wholly God and wholly man,
so you left us all of yourself as food
so that while we are pilgrims in this life
we might not collapse in our weariness
but be strengthened by you, heavenly food.

O mercenary people!
And what has your God left you?
He has left you himself,
wholly God and wholly man,
hidden under the whiteness of this bread.

O fire of love!
Was it not enough to gift us
with creation in your image and likeness,
and to create us anew to grace in your Son’s blood,
without giving us yourself as food,
the whole of divine being,
the whole of God?

What drove you?
Nothing but your charity,
mad with love as you are!

3) St. Bonaventure – Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee

Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, mine inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, with true, serene, and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with love and longing for Thee, that it may yearn for Thee and faint for Thy courts, and long to be dissolved and to be with Thee.

Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the bread of angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delight of taste.

Let my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, whom the angels desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor.

May it ever thirst after Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the richness of the house of God.

May it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, attain to Thee, meditate upon Thee, speak of Thee, and do all things to the praise and glory of Thy Holy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with readiness and affection, and with perseverance unto the end.

Be Thou alone ever my hope and my whole confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure and my joy; my rest and tranquility; my peace, my sweetness and my fragrance; my sweet savor, my food and refreshment; my refuge and my help; my wisdom, my portion, my possession and my treasure, in whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm, and rooted immovably. Amen.

4) St. Padre Pio – Prayer After Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.

Amen.

5) St. Alphonsus Liguori – To Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

My Lord Jesus Christ, Who, through the love which You bear toward men, does remain with them day and night in this Sacrament, full of mercy and love, awaiting, inviting and receiving all who come to visit You, I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar.

From the abyss of my nothingness, I adore You. I thank You for all the graces which You have bestowed upon me, particularly for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given my Your most holy Mother Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit You in this church.

I pay my homage to Your most loving Heart for these three ends: first in thanksgiving for this great Gift; second to make amends to You for all the outrages which You do receive in this Sacrament from all Your enemies; third I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are present in this Sacrament and in which You are the least honored and the most abandoned.

My Jesus, I love You with my whole heart. I am sorry for having offended Your infinite goodness so many times. I purpose, with the help of Your grace, never more to offend You; and, at this moment, mniserable as I am, I consecrate my whole being to You.

I give You my entire will, all my affections and desires and all that I have. From this day forward, do what You will with me and with everything that belongs to me.

I ask and desire only Your holy love, the gift of final perseverance and the perfect fulfillment of Your will. I commend to You the souls in Purgatory, particularly those who were most devoted to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary; and I also commend to You all poor sinners.

Finally, my dear Savior, I unite all my affections with the affections of Your most loving Heart; and thus united, I offer them to Your Eternal Father, and I entreat Him, in Your Name and for Your sake, to accept and answer them.

Amen.

Do you know another great prayer to Jesus in the Eucharist? Share it in the comments!