The following reflection was taken from the book The Holy Eucharist, by Jose Guadalupe Trevino:
"Did you ever consider well, dear Christian soul, that, when the Sacred Host is publicly exposed, Jesus is not on His Eucharistic throne to receive the adorations of the angels and to enjoy the company of the blessed? These He finds in heaven. But He is on His Eucharistic throne to receive your adorations, to listen to your confidences, and to console and alleviate your sorrows and trials.
Come, then, and adore that Holy Host. When Jesus is offended everywhere, when His royal dignity is mocked and His sovereignty denied, it behooves noble souls to come and acknowledge publicly that He is our beloved Sovereign and divine King, and that to Him all praise, honor, and glory are due.
Come and adore that Host of mercy and peace. Show Him your wounds, tell Him your faults, expose to Him your miseries. You do not insult Him who shed His blood for all the sins of the world, when you tell Him your sins to obtain forgiveness. Whatever their number and grievousness, in proportion to His infinite mercy they are less than a grain of sand lost in the immensity of an ocean.
Come close to that loving Host and pour out your heart's bitterness into His heart. Let your tears flow freely in His presence as if you were upon His breast. The sorrows of your exile, the faithlessness of your friends, the loneliness of your heart, and the disillusions of your life, all find an echo in that heart, which has known from experience what it means to suffer.
There you will find peace in your worries, light in your difficulties, and firmness in the execution of your good resolutions. There your thirst for affection will be satisfied. You will learn the science of hidden sacrifice, of constant abnegation, of tireless meekness, and of perfect joy.
Do not say that you have no time. Rather, acknowledge that you do not love Him enough. If you did, you would leave everything, in order to visit Him.
Do not say that you do not know what to tell Him. Rather, admit that you do not love Him. If you loved Him, your lips would speak out of His heart's abundance; and, if your lips stayed silent, it would be because hearts that understand each other need not words: silence is enough.
Do not look for other excuses. Try it, and find out by your own experience. Do not wait until tomorrow. Today, go and spend a few moments with Jesus, whether He is within the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance. Let your weary and wounded heart be penetrated by the peaceful atmosphere of the sanctuary and your soul be bathed in the light streaming forth from the Eucharistic Sun. And, tomorrow, I am sure, you will return."
The following reflection is from the writings of Dorothy Day:
"And if you and I love our faulty fellow-human beings, how much more must God love us all? If we as human parents, can forgive our children any neglect, any crime, and work and pray patiently to make them better, how much more does God love us?
You may say perhaps: "How do we know He does, if there is a He!" And I can only answer that we know it because He is here present with us today in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar, that He never has left us, and that by daily going to Him for the gift of Himself as daily bread, I am convinced of that love. I have the Faith that feeding at that table has nourished my soul so that there is life in it, and a lively realization that there is such a thing as the love of Christ for us.
It took me a long time as a convert to realize the presence of Christ as Man in the Sacrament. He is the same Jesus Who walked on earth, Who slept in the boat as the tempest arose, Who hungered in the desert, Who prayed in the garden, Who conversed with the woman by the well, Who rested at the house of Martha and Mary, Who wandered through the cornfields, picking the ears of corn to eat.
Jesus is there as Man. He is there, Flesh and Blood, Soul and Divinity. He is our leader Who is always with us. Do you wonder that Catholics are exultant in this knowledge, that their Leader is with them? "I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.""
"That same Jesus is with us in our churches who at His birth was laid on straw and adored by the Magi, who fled into Egypt, who was sought for by the Blessed Virgin and found in the Temple, who changed water into wine, who restored sight to the blind, made deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. Beloved Christian, you esteem Simeon happy in having been permitted to take the Infant Jesus in his arms; and were you to receive a grace like him, no doubt you would exclaim: 'Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant in peace: because my eyes have seen Thy salvation.'
"You consider Zacheus happy because Our Lord vouchsafed to enter his house and eat with him; you deem St. John happy because he rested on the breast of our Saviour at the Last Supper; and, above all, you regard St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary so very happy because they nourished and supported Our Dear Lord. But are you not as happy as they? Are you not even happier? You do not hold Our Lord in your arms as Simeon did, but you receive Him into your heart in Holy Communion; you do not rest on the bosom of St. John, but the Saviour rests in your heart after Holy Communion; you do not nurse and support Our Lord like St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin, but you have a still greater happiness, for the Saviour Himself nourishes you and gives Himself to you as your food. O Love! O Love! O who can understand the love of God for men!"
- from The Blessed Eucharist, by Fr. Michael Muller, C.S.S.R.
"This [Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration] truly is a work of grace. By means of perpetual Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, families, parishes and neighborhoods will grow in love of God and one another and will help to bring peace on earth," Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
"The Eucharistic Sacrament, venerable brothers, is the sign and the cause of the unity of the Mystical Body, and it inspires an active 'ecclesial' spirit in those who venerate it with greater fervor. Therefore, never cease to persuade those committed to your care that they should learn to make their own the cause of the Church, in approaching the eucharistic mystery to pray to God without interruption to offer themselves to God as a pleasing sacrifice for the peace and unity of the Church, so that all the children of the Church be united and think the same, that there be no divisions among them, but rather unity of mind and purpose, as the Apostle [St. Paul] insists,"
- from the encyclical letter Mysterium Fidei, the Mystery of Faith, by Pope Paul VI
One day a rather worldly friend asked him [St. Francis of Assisi]: "Father what do you do during those long hours before the Blessed Sacrament?" "My son in return I ask you what does the poor man do at the rich man's door, the sick man in presence of his physician, the thirsty man at a limpid stream? What they do, I do before the Eucharistic God. I pray. I adore. I love,"
- from Nesta de Robeck's The Life of St. Francis of Assisi
"God is everywhere, in the very air I breathe, yes everywhere, but in His Sacrament of the Altar He is as present actually and really as my soul within my body; in His Sacrifice daily offered as really as once offered on the Cross,"
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
"By a beautiful paradox of Divine love, God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life. We have slain Him; we have nailed Him there and crucified Him; but the Love in His eternal heart could not be extinguished. He willed to give us the very life we slew; to give us the very Food we destroyed; to nourish us with the very Bread we buried, and the very Blood we poured forth. He made our very crime into a happy fault; He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption; a Consecration into a Communion; a death into Life Everlasting,"
- from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen's This is the Mass
"Every time I hear anyone speak of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or of the Blessed Sacrament I feel an indescribable joy. It is as if a wave of precious memories, sweet affections and joyful hopes swept over my poor person, making me tremble with happiness and filling my soul with tenderness. These are loving appeals from Jesus who wants me wholeheartedly there, at the source of all goodness, his Sacred Heart, throbbing mysteriously behind the Eucharistic veils... I love to repeat today 'Sweet Heart of my Jesus, make me love You more and more.'"
- Pope John XXIII, Journal of a Soul
At the Feet of Christ in the Eucharist
from the Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament
O Jesus, Divine Prisoner of Love, when I consider Your love and how You emptied Yourself for me, my sense deaden. You hide Your inconceivable majesty and lower Yourself to miserable me. O king of Glory, though You hide Your beauty, yet the eye of my soul rends the veil. I see the angelic choirs giving You honor without cease, and all the heavenly Powers praising You without cease, and without cease they are saying: Holy, Holy, Holy.
Oh, who will comprehend Your love and Your unfathomable mercy toward us! O Prisoner of Love, I love up my poor heart in this tabernacle that it may adore You without cease night and day. I know of no obstacle in this adoration: and even though I be physically distant, my heart is always with You. Nothing can put a stop to my love for You. No obstacles exist for me...
O Holy Trinity, One and Indivisible God, may You be blessed for this great gift and testament of mercy. Amen.
I adore You, Lord and Creator, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I adore You for all the works of Your hands, that reveal to me so much wisdom, goodness and mercy, O Lord. You have spread so much beauty over the earth and it tells me about Your beauty, even though these beautiful things are but a faint reflection of You, incomprehensible Beauty. And although You have hidden Yourself and concealed your beauty, my eye, enlightened by faith, reaches You and my souls recognizes its Creator, its Highest Good, and my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration.
My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here Your light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of grace flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life. O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts. give Your own self to me and unite Yourself intimately with Your miserable creature.
O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved and Your praise and glory proclaimed, especially the honor of Your mercy. O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy to the last moment of my life, with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart. Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You. When I find myself on my deathbed, may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn glorifying Your unfathomable mercy. Amen.
Moreover, in the Blessed Sacrament Our Lord Himself is the light which manifests Him as our model and reveals His beauties to us. He is Himself His light, His means of being known, just as the sun is itself its own proof. To make Himself known, He has only to show Himself. Recognition of Him need not come from its being reasoned out. A child does not have to discourse with himself to recognize his parents. Our Lord reveals Himself through His presence, just as parents do. But as we grow to know His voice better and as our hearts become more sympathetic to Him in emptying themselves of what is not him, our Lord manifests Himself in a clearer and more intimate manner, which only those know who love Him. He gives the soul a divine conviction which overshadows the light of human reason. Look at Magdalen,: one word from Jesus and she recognizes Him. He acts the same way in the Blessed Sacrament: He says one word only, but it rings in our very hearts: "It is I!...." We sense His Presence; we believe in it more firmly than if we were to see Him with bodily eyes."
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
"Godhead here in hiding, whom I adore
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art,"
- from Adoro te devote, by St. Thomas Aquinas; tr. Gerard Manley Hopkins
"Beneath the Sacred Host, Christ is contained, the Redeemer of the world,"
- from Redeemer of Man, Pope John Paul II
"God dwells in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar"
- St. Maximilan Kolbe
..."Here, in the Sacrament of the Altar, You are wholly present, my God, the Man Christ Jesus; here we freely partake the fruit of eternal salvation... No levity, curiosity, or sentimentality must draw us, but firm faith, devout hope and sincere love.
"O God, invisible Creator of the world, how wonderful are Your dealings with us! How sweetly and graciously You welcome Your chosen, to whom You give Yourself in this Sacrament! It passes all understanding, it kindles the love and draws the hearts of the faithful to Yourself. For Your faithful ones, who strive to amend their whole lives, receive in this most exalted Sacrament the grace of devotion and the love of virtue,"
- Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
"Remember that in ascending to the Father
You could not leave us orphans;
And in making yourself a prisoner on earth
You knew to veil all your divine rays.
But the shadow of your veil is luminous and pure.
Living Bread of faith, Celestial Food,
O mystery of love!
My daily Bread,
Jesus, is You!...
Jesus, it is you who, despite the blasphemies
Of the enemies of the Sacrament of love,
It is you who want to show how much you love me,
Since you make your dwelling in my heart.
O Bread of the exiled! Holy and Divine Host,
It is no longer I who live, but I live on your life,"
- from the poem Jesus, My Beloved, Remember!, St. Therese of Lisieux
"The unique glory of the sanctuary of Lourdes resides in this fact, that people are attracted there from everywhere by Mary for the adoration of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, so that this sanctuary at once the center of Marian devotion and the throne of the Eucharistic Mystery surpasses in glory, it seems, all others in the Catholic world,"
- St. Pius X
"At Lourdes...each afternoon, in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament, the bishop or priest, carrying the monstrance, walks among the sick, blessing them. It is then that the cures and the miracles of grace usually take place. Mary brings her children to her divine Son and it is he who works the miracles, just as he did at Cana,"
- Fr. Paul Hinnebusch, OP.
From the writings of Fr. Rene Voillaume on the Blessed Sacrament and Charles de Foucauld:
"You will always be right in imitating the attitude of soul which is so simple, so logical, so full of love of Frere Charles of Jesus towards the Blessed Sacrament. Our devotion to the Eucharist must be profound, honest, totally embraced as essential. When one has acquired the disposition of receiving this gift of God with the soul of a child, one is upset by the reasoning of certain people... who dispute the devotion towards the Eucharist and sometimes question its legitimacy on liturgical or historical grounds... Why not, in the simple logic of faith, love the Eucharist with all the love with which we love Jesus himself? That is what filled Father de Foucauld with the spontaneity of a child."
Prayer of Charles de Foucauld:
"Oh Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament in our churches, You give us solace and refuge; You give us faith, hope, love and hospitality. You build for us an inner retreat, an ardent repose. Help us to seek You and find You..."
"One cannot love without suffering. He [Jesus] showed us this very clearly upon the cross, where He was consumed for love of us. And it is still the same every day in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar... Since love makes lovers one in likeness, if we love, let us model our lives on His."
"Love keeps Him there [in the Blessed Sacrament] as a victim completely and perpetually delivered over to sacrifice for the glory of the Father and for our salvation. Unite yourself with Him, then, in all that you do. Refer everything to His glory. Set up your abode in this loving Heart of Jesus and you will there find lasting peace and the strength both to bring to fruition all the good desires He inspires in you, and to avoid every deliberate fault. Place in this Heart all your sufferings and difficulties. Everything that comes from the Sacred Heart is sweet. He changes everything into love."
- from the letters of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"Mary lived in the divine Eucharist, the center of her love. All her thoughts, words, and actions sprang from It like the rays from the sun. The Eucharist was the oracle which she consulted, the grace which she followed.
"But Jesus Christ in His Sacrament lives the same life of love which consumed Him in His mortal days. In His sacramental state He continues to adore His Father by His depthless self-abasement. He is still the Mediator and Interceder with divine goodness for the salvation of men,"
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
"It is called the real presence, not in an exclusive sense, as though other forms of presence were not real, but by reason of its excellence. It is the substantial presence by which Christ is made present without doubt, whole and entire, God and man."
- Pope Paul VI, quoted by the Bishops' conference of England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland, in describing the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
"O Holy angels, make me see God on the altar as you see Him in heaven,"
- Blessed Brother Andre
"The thought of the presence of God and the spirit of worship will in all my actions have as their immediate object Jesus, God and man, really present in the most holy Eucharist. The spirit of sacrifice, of humiliation, of scorn for self in the eyes of men, will be illuminated, supported and strengthened by the constant thought of Jesus, humiliated and despised in the Blessed Sacrament,"
- Pope John XXIII
"Eucharistic worship is not so much worship of the inaccessible transcendence as worship of the divine condescension, and it is also the merciful and redeeming transformation of the world in the human heart,"
- John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae
In order that our exile might be more endurable, that we might enjoy already on earth the inebriating perfume of the purity of paradise, that we might begin even in this place of trial to taste the happiness to be found in the possession of God, to satisfy His love and be our consolation, He created an earthly heaven: the Eucharist.
It is a veiled heaven, because we still are walking in the obscurities of faith; a transient heaven, like a flash of lightning in the night, or like the echo of a far off harmony; yet even so, a true heaven. There, hidden beneath the white appearances of the Sacred Host, Jesus is truly and personally present, the lovely Child of Bethlehem, the humble Carpenter of Nazareth, the gentle Wonder-Worker of Galilee, the Victim of Calvary. There is Jesus, the Man-God, in whom is the fullness of the Godhead, because He is the Word of God, and with the Word are always the Father and the Holy Spirit. What more shall we possess in heaven? The manner of the possession will be different, but its object is essentially the same. The Eucharist is the essence of heaven on earth.
- from The Holy Eucharist, by Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is proof that his love for us has no sunset. He is the Desired of the everlasting hills, and he puts into our hearts the desire to live close to him. The stresses and hurts and partings of life often bear down on us, and we may tend to feel alone as when the sun has gone down. The words of St. Augustine can lift us "He neither rises nor sets because he abides always." So our lives do not have to go down into the shadows. It was at evening time that the risen Lord restored the desolate spirits of two disciples by revealing his presence to them "in the breaking of the bread." They pleaded with him "Stay with us, for it is towards evening." (Lk 24,29). We too can plead with him, "Lord, be with us, both at sunrise and at sunset...
In the Holy Eucharist the only Son of God, Jesus Christ, fulfills his promise to be with us always. What consolation, how could we be lonely?
From all the sunsets to all the sunrises "He neither rises nor sets because he abides always." (St. Augustine).
- from the writings of Msgr. John Moloney, P.P. Dublin, Ireland
The Lord will prepare a banquet for all peoples (cf. Is 25:6).
The Lenten journey prepares us for the celebration of Christ's Passover, the mystery of our salvation. Anticipating this mystery, there is the banquet which the Lord celebrates with his disciples on Holy Thursday, offering himself under the signs of bread and wine. In the Eucharistic celebration, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, "the Risen Lord becomes really, substantially and enduringly present. . . and the Bread of Life is offered as a pledge of future glory" (No. 39).
The banquet is a sign of joy, because in it we see the intense communion of all who take part. The Eucharist is therefore the realization of the banquet for all the peoples foretold by the Prophet Isaiah (cf. Is 25:6), and we cannot fail to see in it an eschatological meaning. Through faith, we know that the Paschal Mystery has already been accomplished in Christ; but it has still to be accomplished fully in each of us. In his Death and Resurrection, the Son of God has bestowed upon us the gift of eternal life, which begins in the Paschal Mystery but will have its definitive fulfillment in the eternal Easter of heaven. Many of our brothers and sisters can bear their situation of misery, discomfort and sickness only because they are certain that one day they will be called to the eternal banquet of heaven. Lent therefore directs our gaze beyond the present time, beyond history, beyond the horizon of this world, towards perfect and eternal communion with the Most Holy Trinity.
The blessing which we receive in Christ breaks down for us the wall of time and opens to us the door which leads us to a full share in the life of God. "Blessed are those invited to the wedding-banquet of the Lamb" (Rev 19:9): we cannot forget that in this banquet anticipated in the Sacrament of the Eucharist our life finds its final goal. Christ has gained for us not only new dignity in our life on earth, but above all the new dignity of the children of God, called to share eternal life with him. Lent invites us to overcome the temptation of seeing the realities of this world as definitive and to recognize that "our homeland is in heaven" (Phil 3:20).
- from Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II's, Message for Lent 1999
"...The Blessed Sacrament is a memorial of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, and (that) by means of it men share in its fruits and work out their salvation."
"...The Holy Rosary, recited with the meditation on the sacred mysteries, is a sacrifice of praise to God for the great gift of our redemption and a holy reminder of the sufferings, death and glory of Jesus Christ,"
- St. Louis de Montfort
"Our Lord did not want to remain on earth only through His grace, His truth or His words; He remains in person. We possess the same Lord Jesus Christ Who lived in Judea, although under a different form of life. He has put on a sacramental garment, but He does not cease being Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Mary."
"The glory of His Father which our Lord sought above all else on earth is still the object of all His desires in the Blessed Sacrament. It is safe to say that Jesus Christ has clothed Himself with the sacramental state in order to continue honoring and glorifying His Father."
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
O Jesus! on this day, you have fulfilled all my desires.
From now on, near the Eucharist, I shall be able
To sacrifice myself in silence, to wait for Heaven in peace.
Keeping myself open to the rays of the Divine Host,
In this furnace of love, I shall be consumed,
And like a seraphim, Lord, I shall love you.
- from the poem "Canticle of a Soul Having Found the Place of Its Rest!...", by St. Therese of Lisieux
"When our whole life is one faith, hope, love, prayer and silence, a consecrated life always bound up in the Eucharist, then the urge towards God springs...
"And so, like Moses (cf Ex 3, 5), in spirit we remove the shoes from our feet, on the threshold of the inner sanctuary that each of us must become as we meet the Lord."
- Pope John Paul II, Sign of Contradiction
"Who is Jesus to me? Jesus is the Word made Flesh. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the cross. Jesus is the sacrifice offered at holy Mass for the sins of the world and for mine. Jesus is the Word - to be spoken. Jesus is the Truth - to be told. Jesus is the Way - to be walked. Jesus is the Light - to be lit. Jesus is the Life - to be lived. Jesus is the Love - to be loved,"
- Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament....There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, that every man's heart desires,"
- J.R.R. Tolkien
"Being born he have himself as our Companion,
Eating with us he gave himself as Food,
Dying He became our Ransom,
Reigning he gives himself as our Reward"
- St. Thomas Aquinas, Verbum Supernum
"The Wisdom of God creates poets. How evidently this is so can be seen by considering Mary of Nazareth. When she had given to the Lord of Hosts the Flesh that would become our Bread, Wisdom caused her to break into a poem of praise, a song repeated by more people than probably any other ever composed. The Presence within stirred her to exult and proclaim the One 'who has filled the hungry with good things'. And the praise owed to the Presence of embodied Wisdom among us has never ceased in the Church from that day until this,"
- James T. O'Connor, The Hidden Manna
"What is the mark of a Christian? That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for 'he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.' What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ? That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again."
- "The Morals", St. Basil the Great, Ch. 22
"Now consider which is more excellent, the bread of angels [i.e., the manna} or the Flesh of Christ which is indeed the Body of life. That manna was from heaven; this is from above the heavens. The former was from heaven, the latter from the Lord of the heavens; the former was subject to corruption if it was preserved for a second day, the latter foreign to all corruption so that whoever shall have piously tasted it will not be able to experience corruption. For the people of Israel water flowed from the rock; for you Blood flows from Christ. The water satisfied them for a while; Blood washes you for eternity,"
- St. Ambrose, Epistola
"In the Eucharistic Sacrifice the Church venerates the memory of Mary the ever Virgin Mother of God and the memory of Saint Joseph, because he fed Him whom the faithful must eat as the Bread of Life,"
- Pope John Paul II, Guardian of the Redeemer, no. 16
"Saint Joseph believed unhesitatingly in the mystery of the Incarnation, in the fruitful virginity and in the divine maternity of Mary. He believed without seeing the miracles that were to fill Judea with his glory and renown of his holy name. We too should recognize Jesus in the frail Host that is offered to us at the altar. Here he is even smaller than at Bethlehem, more hidden than in Saint Joseph's workshop. Still it is he, 'I believe all the Son of God has spoken, than Truth's own word there is no truer token,'"
- Bishop Pichenot
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