Living the Eucharist

To find the riches of the Eucharist, one should exercise the will.  One must do this by bringing the divine lessons of the Eucharist into his life. What good would it be to discover the infinite worth of the Eucharist as we ponder It and seek to love It at Communion time, if we do not proceed to live It?

The Eucharist teaches a love that goes beyond telling.  It teaches total self-sacrifice, and an unequalled lesson in humility and self-effacement.  It teaches patience and unrestricted dedication.  But what do we draw from all this?  We surely ought to achieve something, if we but reflect how Jesus has loved us and still loves us with such great generosity “even to the end?”  (Jn. 13:1)

If we feel frail, we need to turn to Him, to speak to Him and not tarry about asking His help and support, for He is the very One who said, “Without Me you can do nothing”  (Jn. 15:5), while with the Eucharist not only are we capable of everything, but we also obtain what should amaze and move us, that is, our identification with Jesus, as St. Augustine tells us:  “It is not a case of us transforming Christ into ourselves, as we commonly do with food; but it is Jesus who transforms us into Himself.”

First of all, let us go before Him:  “Come to Me…and I will refresh you” (Mt. 11:28).  Let us often visit Him, entering a Church every time we can and pausing a little while before the tabernacle, and put both our heart and body before Him!  The saints were constantly eager to make visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to make Holy Hours of adoration, spiritual Communions, ejaculatory prayers and earnest acts of love that come from the heart. How much profit they gained from this and how much good they passed on!

One day in Turin a friend, who was his companion from the university, asked Bl. Peter George Frassati, “Let us go and take an appetizer.”  Peter George took advantage of the occasion and replied, indicating to his friend the nearby Church of St. Dominic, “Of course. Let us go and take it in that cafe.”  Entering the Church, they prayed for a little while near the tabernacle; when they approached the offering box, Peter George said, “Here is the appetizer.” And from the pockets of the two youths came alms for the poor!

Thinking of the Eucharist during his sermon, St. John Chrysostom once asked, “How can we make of our bodies a host?”  and gave this answer:  “Let your eyes look at nothing evil, and you have offered a sacrifice; let not your tongue speak unbecoming words, and you have made an offering; let not your hand commit a sin, and you have offered a holocaust.”

Just recall the eyes of St. Colette, which were always lowered and recollected in sweet modesty.  Why?  She once gave the answer:  “I have filled my eyes with Jesus, upon whom I have gazed at the elevation of the Host at Holy Mass, and I do not wish to replace Him with another image.”

Let us think of the edifying reserve of the saints in speaking, controlling well the tongue which had been consecrated by contact with the Body of Jesus.

Recall the good works which souls, filled with a love imparted by the Eucharist, have accomplished because Jesus communicated to them His own sentiments of love for all of our fellow men, especially those most in need.  Thus St. Francis de Sales exhorted every soul to approach the Eucharist as much as possible, because “by adoring and partaking of His beauty, His goodness and His purity in this Divine Sacrament, you will become all beautiful, good and pure.”

Can we not also exercise our wills thus?  Let us learn from the saints and start imitating their good works.

From the Jesus Our Eucharistic Love by Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI

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