These are the Sacraments
arrow002.gif (3348 bytes)(The Eucharist)

The Mystical Press and Christ in Glory - by Marco dal Pino (Marco da Siena) - from the Vatican Museum . . . . . .
Symbolic of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Depicts the Infinite Supply of Merits and Grace accumulated by the Sufferings of Jesus in order to:

Vivify the Seven Sacraments of the Church, Instituted by Christ;
Pay the Debt of Men's Sins;
Reconcile Men to God and Reopen the Gates of Heaven to Mankind;
Deliver Men from the Power of the Devil; and
Restore the Divine Life and Vision of God to Men.

 

eucharist3.gif (9262 bytes) All my Sermons are Prepared-in the Presence-of the Blessed Sacrament. As Recreation is most Pleasant and Profitable in the Sun, so Homiletic Creativity is best Nourished before the Eucharist. The most Brilliant Ideas come from meeting God Face-to-face. The Holy Spirit that Presided at the Incarnation, is the best Atmosphere for Illumination. Pope John Paul II keeps a small Desk or Writing Pad near him, whenever he is in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament; and I have done this all my life I am sure for the same Reason he does, because a Lover always works better, when the Beloved is with him.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

An Insightful Examination of the Seven Sacraments, by a future Saint

 

These are the Sacraments

as described by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Ph.D., D.D., LL.D., Litt.D.

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III. The Sacrament of the Eucharist

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Body/Inferior Will/
Psychosomatic Powers
Passions/Emotions/
Sensory Appetite/
Memory/Imagination
(Subordinate-Partner)

Soul/Intellect/
Superior Will/
Reason/Grace/
Infused Knowledge/
Heart/Conscience
(Dominant Partner)

Memory and Imagination reside in the Body.
Intellect and Will reside in the Soul of a Person.
Love and Charity are an Act of the Will.
The Heart resides in the Soul of a Person.
Man is made in the Image and Likeness of God.

 

A young Wife, who had been taking Instructions for a Year, told the Writer she could Believe everything in the Faith, except the Eucharist. Upon inquiring-about her Husband, it was learned that he was in the Pacific, on Military Duty. In answer to further questions, she admitted that she Corresponded-with him every Two (2) Days, and that she had his Photograph before her, in the House.

We argued there was nothing Wanting-for Perfect Happiness. What more could she Want, than the Constant-Memory of him, through the Photograph and a Written-communication, in which Heart poured-out-to Heart. But, she Protested that she could never be Truly Happy, except-through Union (1)-with her Husband.

But, it was retorted, if Human Love craves Oneness (1), shall not Divine Love? If Husband and Wife seek-to-be One (1) in the Flesh, shall not the Christian and Christ crave-for that Oneness (1) with One-another? The Memory of the Christ Who lived Twenty (20) Centuries ago, the recalling-of His Mercy and Miracles through Memory, the correspondence-with Him by-reading the Scriptures -- all these are Satisfying, but they do not Satisfy Love. There must-be, on the Level-of Grace, something Unitive (1) with Divine Love. Every Heart seeks a Happiness outside it, and since Perfect Love is God, then the Heart-of Man and the Heart-of Christ must, in some-way, Fuse (1). In Human Friendship, the other-Person is Loved as another-Self, or the other-Half of One's Soul. Divine Friendship must have its 'Mutual-Indwelling': "He who dwells-in Love, dwells-in God, and God in him" (1John 4:17). This Aspiration-of the Soul for its Ecstasy is fulfilled-in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

 

The Eucharist: Sacrifice and Sacrament

Supernatural Order
(Resides in the Essence of the Soul)

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Natural
Order

Supernatural
Order

Natural
Body
(Subordinate-Partner)

Natural
Soul
(Dominant Partner)

Supernatural Grace/Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Man is born a Rational Creature, with Body and Soul, into the Natural Order.
God first elevates Man to the Supernatural Order via the Sacrament of Baptism, which infuses Sanctifying Grace into the Essence of the Soul. The other Six (6) Sacraments can then elevate the Soul even Higher.
The Supernatural Order is the Ensemble of Effects exceeding the Powers of the Created Universe and Gratuitously produced directly by God for the purpose of raising the Rational Creature above its Natural Sphere to a God-like Life and Destiny.
Mortal Sin destroys/kills Man's entire Supernatural Order/Life. Man is no-longer a Temple of God. God is gone & resides no-longer in the Soul.
Only God can raise the Soul back-to-life from the Dead, via the Sacrament of Penance.
It was our Sins that Slew Christ on Calvary, and yet by the Power of God, Risen-from the Dead, and Reigning Gloriously in Heaven, He now becomes our Life, and has Communion with us, and we with Him.

 

The Sacrament of the Eucharist has Two (2) Sides: it is both a Sacrifice and a Sacrament. Inasmuch as Biological Life is nothing but a 'Reflection', a 'Dim Echo', and a 'Shadow'-of the Divine Life, One can find Analogies in the Natural Order, for the Beauties of the Divine. Does not Nature itself, have a Double (2) Aspect: a Sacrifice and a Sacrament? The Vegetables which are served at-Table, the Meat which is presented on-the-Platter, are the Natural Sacraments of the Body of Man. By them, he Lives. If they were Endowed-with Speech, they would say: "Unless you have Communion with me, you will not Live".

But if One inquires as-to 'How' the Lower Creation of Chemicals, Vegetables or Meats, came-to-be the 'Sacrament' or the 'Communion' of Man, One is immediately-introduced to the Idea-of Sacrifice. Did not the Vegetables have to be Pulled-up by their Roots from the Earth, Submitted-to the Law-of Death, and then Pass-through the Ordeal-of Fire, before they could become the Sacrament-of Physical Life, or have Communion-with the Body? Was not the Meat on the Platter, once a Living Thing, and was it not Submitted-to the Knife; its Blood, shed-on the Soil-of a Natural Gethsemane and Calvary, before it was Fit, to-be Presented-to Man?

Nature, therefore, suggests that a Sacrifice must Precede a Sacrament; Death is the Prelude-to a Communion. In some way, unless the Thing Dies, it does not Begin-to Live-in a Higher Kingdom. To have, for example, a Communion Service, without a Sacrifice, would be, in the Natural Order, like eating our Vegetables uncooked, and our Meat in the Raw. When we come face-to-face with the Realities-of Life, we see that we Live-by what we Slay. Elevating this, to the Supernatural Order, we still, live-by what we Slay. It was our Sins that Slew Christ on Calvary, and yet by the Power of God, Risen-from the Dead, and Reigning Gloriously in Heaven, He now becomes our Life, and has Communion with us, and we with Him. In the Divine Order, there must be the Sacrifice, or the Consecration-of the Mass, before there can be the Sacrament or the Communion of the Soul and God.

 

Relation of Baptism and the Eucharist

Baptism is the Initiation-to the Christian Life, and corresponds-in the Biological Order, to the Beginning-of Life. But, the Birth-to Divine Life comes only through a Death; that is to say, an Immersion-under Water, which Mystically Symbolizes Dying, and being Buried-with Christ. The Eucharist is a Sacrifice; it also Incorporates us to the Death of Christ. Baptism, however, is a more Passive Representation of that Death, particularly in an Infant, where the Will of the Infant does not submit-to it, except-through the Sponsors. The Eucharist is a much more Active Representation of the Death of Christ, because the Mass is an Unbloody Presentation-of the Sacrificial Death of Christ, outside the Walls of Jerusalem.

The Church, Fashioned by the Will of Christ

Birth of Eve,
the Bride of Adam,
from Adam's side

Birth of the Church,
the Bride of Christ,
from Christ's Side

"Water and Blood Symbolized Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. From these Two (2) Sacraments the Church is Born: from Baptism, the Cleansing Water that gives Rebirth and Renewal from the Holy Spirit, and from the Holy Eucharist. Since the Symbols of Baptism and the Eucharist flowed from His Side, it was from His Side that Christ 'Fashioned' the Church, as He had 'Fashioned' Eve from the side of Adam".

Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church

The Fathers of the Church (Saint John Chrysostom, et al) were constantly struck-by the Relationship between Baptism and the Eucharist; the 'Blood' and the 'Water', which flowed-from the Side of Christ on the Cross, had Deep Significance. 'Water' was the Symbol-of our Regeneration and, therefore, Betokened Baptism; 'Blood', the Price-of our Redemption, was the Sign of the Eucharist.

This brings-up the question, if there is a Relationship-to the Death of Christ in both Sacraments, what is the difference between them? One (1) of the differences, is that in Baptism and the other Sacraments, except the Eucharist, we are United-to Christ, simply-by a, Participation-of His Grace, but in the Eucharist, Christ Exists-Substantially, and is Really and Truly Present -- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. In the Eucharist, Man realizes more-fully, his Incorporation-to the Death and Resurrection of Christ, than in Baptism. In the Physical Order, Birth always gives Resemblance-to Parents; but, when a Mother nourishes her Child, there is a New Bond established between the Child and the Mother. So in Baptism, there is a Resemblance-to the Divine Nature, created, inasmuch as we are made "other Christs"; but, in the Eucharist, we Receive the very Substance-of Christ Himself. Because of the close-Relationship between the Two (2) Sacraments, the Council-of-Mayence, in 1549 directed Pastors to-administer Baptism in the Morning, during the Course-of the Mass, or at least as-soon-after Mass as possible.

There is somewhat the same Relationship existing between Baptism and the Eucharist, as there is between Faith and Charity or Perfect Love. Baptism is the Sacrament of Faith, because it is the Foundation-of the Spiritual Life. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Charity or Love, because it is the Re-enactment of the Perfect Act of Love of Christ; namely, His Death on the Cross and the Giving-of Himself to us, in Holy Communion.

 

The Old Testament and the Eucharist

Two Old Testament and One New Testament Prefigurements of the Eucharist

rubens_melchizadek.jpg (56052 bytes) last_supper_communion_joos.jpg (71364 bytes) manna.jpg (23884 bytes)

Melchizadek

Last Supper/First Eucharist

Manna from Heaven

It would take Pages to-Reveal the Prefigurement-of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, in the Old Testament. Melchizadek, Offering Bread and Wine, was a Figure-of Christ Himself, Who chose Bread and Wine the Night-of the Last Supper, as the Elements for both the Sacrifice and the Sacrament. The Manna, that fell-in the Desert, was also a Symbol-of the Eucharist, which Our Blessed Lord said was Himself: "I Myself am the Living Bread that has come down from Heaven" (John 5:51). Saint Paul, picking-up the Analogy, said that what the Jews ate in the Desert, was a Figure-of our Spiritual Food: "They all ate the same Prophetic Food . . . . It is we, that were Foreshadowed in these Events" (1Corinthians 10:3, 6).

lamb.jpg (13614 bytes)

Detail of the 'Adoration of the Lamb' from
the Ghent Altarpiece - by Jan van EYCK . . . .
from Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent
 

The Blood of the Paschal Lamb, sprinkled-on Doorposts, to Preserve the Jews from Destruction, was a Sign not yet of a Reality, but a Figure-of the Blood of Christ, sprinkled-on our Souls, which would Save us from Evil. Because the Paschal Lamb was a Figure-of Christ, it was on the Feast-of the Passover, that Our Blessed Lord gave-to His Church, the Eucharist which He had promised over a Year before, at Capharnaum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eucharist as a Sacrifice, or the Mass

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Offertory

Consecration

Communion

The Mass has Three (3) Important Parts: the Offertory, the Consecration, and the Communion. In the Order-of Human Love, these correspond to 'Engagement', the 'Marriage Ceremony', and the 'Consummation-of the Marriage'. When a Man becomes engaged-to a Woman, he generally brings her the Gift-of a Precious Ring; it is not of Tin or Straw, because these represent no Sacrifice. Regardless of how much he might pay-for the Ring, he would still tear-off the Price Tag, in order that his Beloved might never establish any correspondence-between the Price-of the Gift, and his Love. No matter how much he gave her, the Gift to him would seem inadequate. The Ring is Round, in-order-to Express the Eternity of his Love, which has neither Beginning nor End; it is Precious, because it is a Symbol-of the Total Readiness to give his whole Personality to the Beloved.

The Mass, too, has an 'Engagement', which corresponds-to the Offertory of the Mass, in which the Faithful eucharist14.gif (3806 bytes) bring Gifts-of Bread and Wine, or its Equivalent, that which buys Bread and Wine. As the 'Ring' is a Symbol-of the Lover, Offering himself to the Beloved, so too, the 'Bread' and 'Wine' are the Symbols-of a Person, Offering himself to Christ. This is apparent in Several Ways: First (1st), since Bread and Wine have traditionally Nourished Man, and given him Life, in bringing that which was the Substance-of his Life, he is Equivalently-giving himself. Second (2nd), the Readiness-to Sacrifice himself for the Beloved, is Revealed-in the Bread and Wine; no Two (2) Substances have to undergo more to become what they are, than do Wheat and Grapes. One passes-through the Gethsemane-of the 'Mill', the Other, through the Calvary-of the 'Winepress', before they can be presented-to the Beloved, on the Altar. In the Offertory, therefore, under the Appearance-of Bread and Wine, the Faithful are Offering themselves to Christ.

After the 'Engagement', comes the 'Marriage Ceremony', in which the Lover Sacrifices himself for the Beloved, and the Beloved surrenders-devotedly to the Lover. The Groom practically says, "My greatest Freedom is to be your Slave. I give up my Individuality, in order to serve you". The Joining-of-Hands in the Marriage Ceremony, is a Symbol-of the transfer-of Self to another-Self: "I am yours and you are mine. I want to die to myself, in order to live in you, my Beloved. I cannot live unto you, unless I give up myself. So I say to you, 'This is My Body; this is My Blood'".

In the Mass, the Faithful are already-present on the Altar, under the Appearance-of Bread and Wine. At the Moment-of the Consecration of the Mass, when the Priest, as Christ, pronounces the Words "This is My Body" and "This is My Blood", the Substance-of the Bread becomes the Substance-of the Body of Christ, and the Substance-of the Wine becomes the Substance-of the Blood of Christ. At that Moment, the Faithful are saying in a Secondary-sense, with the Priest: "This is my Body; this is my Blood. Take it! I no longer want it for myself. The very Substance of my Being, my Intellect, and my Will -- Change! Transubstantiate! -- so that my Ego is lost in Thee, so that my Intellect is One with Thy Truth, and my Will is One with Thy Desires! I care not if the Species or Appearances of my Life remain; that is to say, my Duties, my Avocation, my Appointments in Time and Space. But what I am Substantially, I give to Thee".

In the Human Order, after the 'Engagement' and the 'Marriage Ceremony', is the 'Consummation-of the Marriage'. All Love craves Unity (1). Correspondence-by Letter, or by Speech, cannot Satisfy that Instinctive Yearning-of Two (2) Hearts, to be Lost-in one-another. There must, therefore, come some Great Ecstatic Moment, in which Love becomes too-deep for words; this is the Communion-of Body and Blood, with Body and Blood, in the Oneness (1) which lasts not-long, but is a Foretaste-of Heaven.

The Marital Act, is nothing but a Fragile and Shadowy Image of Communion, in which, after having Offered ourselves under the Appearance-of Bread and Wine, and having Died-to our Lower-self, we now begin-to enjoy that Ecstatic Union with Christ, in Holy Communion -- a Oneness (1) which is, in the language-of Thompson, "a Passionless Passion, a Wild Tranquility". This is the Moment when the Hungry Heart communes-with the Bread of Life; this is the Rapture in which is fulfilled that "Love we fall just short of, in all Love", and that Rapture that leaves all other Raptures, Pain.

Lords_Prayer.jpg (27942 bytes) The Sacrifice of the Mass may be presented-under another Analogy. Picture a House which had Two (2) Large Windows, on opposite-sides. One Window looks-down-into a Valley, the other to a Towering Mountain. The owner could gaze-on both, and somehow see that they were related: the Valley is the Mountain 'Humbled'; the Mountain is the Valley 'Exalted'.

The Sacrifice of the Mass is something like that. Every Church, in a way, looks-down-on a Valley, but the Valley-of Death and Humiliation, in which we see a Cross. But it also looks-up-to a Mountain, an Eternal Mountain, the Mountain-of Heaven, where Christ Reigns Gloriously. As the Valley and the Mountain are related-as Humiliation and Exaltation, so the Sacrifice of the Mass is related-to Calvary in the Valley, and to Christ in Heaven, and the Eternal Hills.

All Three (3), Calvary, the Mass, and the Glorified Christ in Heaven, are different levels-of the Great Eternal Act of Love. The Christ Who appeared-in Heaven, as the Lamb Slain from the Beginning-of the World, at a certain Moment-in Time, came to this Earth and Offered His Life in Redemption-for the Sins of Men. Then He Ascended-into Heaven where that same Eternal Act of Love continues, as He intercedes-for Humanity, showing the Scars of His Love to His Heavenly Father. True, Agony and Crucifixion are Passing-things, but the Obedience and the Love which inspired them are not. In the Father's Eyes, the Son-made-Man, Loves always unto Death. The Patriot who regretted that he had only One (1) Life to-give-to his Country, would have Loved to have made his Sacrifice Eternal. Being Man, he could not do it. But Christ, being God, and Man, could.

The Mass, therefore, looks 'Backward' and 'Forward'. Because we Live in-Time, and can use only Earthly Symbols, we see Successively, that which is but One (1) Eternal Movement of Love. If a Motion Picture Reel were endowed-with Consciousness, it would See and Understand the Story at-once; but we do not grasp it until we see it Unfolded-upon the Screen. So it is with the Love by which:

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Christ prepared-for His-Coming, in the Old Testament,

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Offered Himself on Calvary, and

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Now 'Re-presents' it in-Sacrifice, in the Mass.

The Mass, therefore, is not 'Another' Immolation, but a 'New' Presentation-of the Eternal Victim, and its application-to us. To-assist-at Mass is the same-as to-assist-at Calvary. But there are differences.

On the Cross, Our Lord 'Offered' Himself for all Mankind; in the Mass, we make Application-of that Death to-Ourselves, and Unite (1) Our Sacrifice, with His. The Disadvantage of not having lived at the Time-of Christ, is Nullified-by the Mass. On the Cross, He 'Potentially' Redeemed all Humanity; in the Mass, we 'Actualize' that Redemption. Calvary happened-at a Definite Moment in-Time, and on a Particular Hill in-Space. The Mass, 'Temporalizes' and 'Spatializes' that Eternal Act of Love.

The Sacrifice of Calvary was Offered-up in a Bloody-Manner by the Separation-of His Blood from His Body. In the Mass, this Death is 'Mystically' and 'Sacramentally' presented-in an Unbloody-Manner, by the 'Separate' Consecration of Bread and Wine. The Two (2) are not Consecrated-together by such Words-as "This is My Body and My Blood"; rather, following the Words-of Our Lord: "This is My Body" is said over the Bread; then, "This is My Blood" is said over the Wine. The Separate Consecration, is a kind of Mystical Sword, dividing Body and Blood, which is the way Our Lord Died on Calvary.

Suppose there was an Eternal Broadcasting Station that sent-out Eternal Waves-of Wisdom and Enlightenment. People who lived-in Different Ages, would Tune-in to that Wisdom, Assimilate it, and Apply it to themselves. Christ's Eternal Act of Love, is something to which we Tune-in, as we appear in Successive Ages-of History, through the Mass. The Mass, therefore, borrows its Reality and its Efficacy from Calvary, and has no-Meaning, apart-from it. He who assists-at Mass, lifts the Cross-of Christ out-of the Soil-of Calvary, and Plants it in the Center-of his own Heart.

This is the only Perfect Act-of Love, Sacrifice, Thanksgiving, and Obedience, which we can ever Pay-to God; namely, that which is Offered-by His Divine Son Incarnate. Of-and-by ourselves, we cannot Touch the Ceiling, because we are not Tall-enough. Of-and-by ourselves, we cannot Touch God. We need a Mediator, someone Who is both God and Man, Who is Christ. No Human Prayer, no Human Act-of Self-Denial, no Human Sacrifice, is Sufficient-to Pierce Heaven. It is only the Sacrifice-of the Cross that can do so, and this is done in the Mass. As we Offer it, we 'Hang', as-it-were, onto His Robes, we 'Tug'-at His Feet at the Ascension, we 'Cling'-to His Pierced-Hands in Offering Himself to the Heavenly Father. Being Hidden-in Him, our Prayers and Sacrifices have His Value. In the Mass, we are once-more at Calvary, Rubbing Shoulders with Mary Magdalen and John, while Mournfully looking-over our Shoulders at Executioners, who still shake-Dice for the Garments-of the Lord.

mass3.jpg (14803 bytes) The Priest who 'Offers' the Sacrifice, merely Lends-to Christ, his Voice and his Fingers. It is Christ Who is the Priest; it is Christ Who is the Victim. In all Pagan Sacrifices, and in the Jewish Sacrifices, the Victim was always Separate-from the Priest. It might have been a Goat, a Lamb, or a Bullock. But, when Christ came, He the Priest, Offered Himself as the Victim. In the Mass, it is Christ Who still-Offers Himself, and Who is the Victim to Whom we become United (1). The Altar, therefore, is not related-to the Congregation, as the Stage-to an Audience, in the Theatre. The Communion Rail is not the same-as Footlights, which divide the Drama, from the Onlooker. All the Members-of the Church have a kind-of Priesthood, inasmuch-as they Offer-up, with the Eternal Priest, this Eternal Act of Love. The Laity participate-in the Life and Power of Christ, for "Thou hast made us a Royal Race of Priests to serve God" (Apocalypse 5:10).

The expression, sometimes used by Catholics, "to hear Mass", is an indication-of how little is understood-of their Active Participation, not only with Christ, but also with all of the Saints and Members-of the Church, until the End-of Time. This Corporate Action of the Church, is indicated-in certain Prayers of the Mass. For example, immediately before the Consecration, God is asked-to receive the Offering which "we Thy Servants and Thy Whole Household make unto Thee"; and after the Consecration, the Faithful again say, "We Thy Servants, as also Thy Holy People, do Offer unto Thy most Excellent Majesty of Thine own Gifts bestowed on us". All participate, but the closer we are to the Mystery, the more we become One (1) with Christ.

No Man can ever come to the Real Fullness-of his Personality, by Reflection or Contemplation; he has to Act-it-out. That is why, through all Ages, Man laid his Hand on the Best-of the Herd, and Destroyed it, in-order-to indicate the 'Offering' and 'Surrender' of himself. By laying his Hands on the Animal, he identified himself with it. Then he consumed it, in-order-to gain some Identification-with the One to-whom it was Offered. In the Mass, all the Ancient dim ForeShadowings-of the Supreme Sacrifice, are fulfilled. Man Immolates himself with Christ, bidding Him to take his Body and his Blood. Through this Destruction of the Ego, there is a 'Void' and an 'Emptiness' created, which makes it possible-for Divinity to fill-up the Vacuum, and to make the Offerer Holy. Man Dies-to the Past, in order that he may Live-in the Future. He chooses to be United (1)-with his Divine King in some form-of Death, that he may share-in His Resurrection and Glory. Thus, Dying, he Lives; Chastened, he is not Killed; Sorrowful, he always Rejoices; Giving-up Time, he finds Eternity. 'Nothingness' is exchanged-for 'Everything'. Poverty turns-into Riches, and having 'Nothing', he begins to-Possess all-things.

 

The Eucharist as a Sacrament, or Holy Communion

Running-through the Universe, is the Law that 'nothing Lives, unless it Consumes'. Plant-Life, obedient-to this Law, goes down-to the Earth, Eats and Drinks from-it, its Waters, Phosphates, and Carbonates, and Circulates them through its Organism. The Animal, because endowed-with a Higher-life than that of the Plant, is in still Greater need-of Nourishment. It needs not only the Nourishment-of the Mineral Order, the Air, the Sunlight and the like, but also the Nourishment-of Plant-Life. The Instinct-of the Animal, is to-seek Food. The Animal roaming-in the Field, the Fish swimming-in the Water, the Eagle soaring-in the Air, all are in-search-of Daily Bread, for without knowing it, they Acknowledge:

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) that Life is impossible without Nourishment,
littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) that Life grows only by-Life, and
littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) that the Joy-of Living, comes-from Communion-with another kind-of Life.

Because Men, as-well-as Animals, have Bodies, they are under the Necessity-of Feeding these Bodies. The Food for which they Clamor, is more-Delicate because the Human Body is more-Delicate. The Body is not Content, as the Plant, to take its Food from the Ground, Raw, Uncooked, and Unseasoned. It seeks the Refinement that comes-with a Higher Creature, but in doing so, Acknowledges the Law that 'every Living thing must Nourish itself'.

Supernatural Order/Order of Grace
(Resides in the Essence of the Soul)

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Natural
Order

Supernatural
Order

Natural
Body
(Subordinate-Partner)

Natural
Soul
(Dominant Partner)

Supernatural Grace/Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Supernatural Order is the Ensemble of Effects exceeding the Powers of the Created Universe and Gratuitously produced directly by God for the purpose of raising the Rational Creature above its Natural Sphere to a God-like Life and Destiny.

 

Man has a Soul, as-well-as a Body. The Spiritual part-of him demands a Food which is above the 'Material' and the 'Physical' and the 'Biological'. Some would Call a halt-to the Law, that all Life must Nourish itself, and assert-that the Soul can find its Satisfying Food, here below, without any appeal-to a Higher Life. But the Broken Minds and Tortured Hearts, Testify-to the fact that Nothing can Satisfy the Soul-Hunger of Man, except a Nourishment suited-to his Soul, and its Aspirations-for the Perfect. A Canary does not Consume the same kind-of Food as a Boa Constrictor, because its Nature is different. Man's Soul, being Spiritual, demands a Spiritual Food. In the Order of Grace, this Divine Food is the Eucharist, or the Communion-of Man with Christ, and Christ with Man.

This is not something contrary-to the Natural Law, for if the Chemical could speak, it would say-to the Plant: "Unless you Eat me, you shall not have Life in you". If the Plant could speak, it would say-to the Animal: "Unless you Eat me, you shall not have Life in you". If the Animal, Plant, and Air could speak, they would say to Man: "Unless you Eat me, you shall not have Life in you". With the same Logic, but speaking-from Above, and not Below, because the Soul is Spiritual, Our Blessed Lord actually says-to the Soul: "Except you Eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and Drink His Blood, you shall not have Life in you". The Law-of Transformation works consistently-through Nature and Grace. The Lower, Transforms itself into the Higher, the Plant, Transforms itself into the Animal, when taken-as Food; Man is Transformed-by Grace into Christ, when he takes Christ into his Soul, for it is a Quality-of Love, to Transform itself into the Object that is Loved.

Why should we be surprised that He gives Himself to us, as Food? After all, if He furnishes Food, for the Birds and the Beasts in the Natural Order, why should He not furnish it for Man, in the Supernatural Order? If the Plant nourishes its Seed, before it is Ripe, and if the Bird brings Food to its Young, before they can Fly, shall we deny-to Him, that which we allow-to a Creature? To every Infant at the Breast, the Mother virtually-says: "Take, Eat and Drink; this is my Body and Blood". The Mother would be untrue-to Nature, if she said, "This represents my Body", knowing that it is her Body. So too, the Lord would be untrue-to Fact, if He said: "This is not My Body and Blood. It is only a Representation or a Symbol of it". The Analogy-with the Mother, however, breaks completely-down, because here, a Nourishment is on the same-level, that of the Human, with the Human. But, in the Eucharist, the Nourishment is on Two (2) different Levels: The Divine and the Human.

 

Union with the Life of Christ

If Christianity were only the Memory-of someone who lived over Nineteen Hundred (1,900) Years ago, it would not be-worth Preserving. If He Who came-to this Earth is not God, as-well-as Man, then we are dealing merely with the Fallible and the Human. But, even granting that He is God, in the Flesh, how do we contact Him? Certainly, not by-reading Books about Him, although they are Edifying and Instructive; obviously not by singing Hymns, though these do-help us Emotionally. The Human Heart Craves contact-with the Beloved. If we can have contact-with Nature, through the Food we Eat; if Lower Creation winds-up somehow, inside-of my Body, why should not Means-be-provided, in-order-that there might be Communion-of the Soul? This is One of the First Effects of Holy Communion: we Receive-from Christ, what we gave-to Him. We gave-to Him our Human Nature -- when, in the name-of all Humanity, Mary gave Him Manhood, like unto us in all-things save Sin. He Divinized that Human Nature, because it was made Substantially One (1), with His Divine Person. In Communion, He gives it back-to us, Purified, Regenerated, Ennobled, a Promise and a Pledge-of what our Nature is-to-be, on the Last Day in the Resurrection of the Just. Our Blessed Lord made it so-clear, it is almost difficult to-understand, how One Misses it:

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) "As I Live because of the Father, the Living Father Who has sent Me, so he who eats Me will Live, in his turn, because of Me" (John 6:58).

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) ". . . That they may all be One; that they too may be One in Us, as Thou Father, art in Me, and I in Thee; so that the World may come to Believe that it is Thou Who has sent Me. And I have given them the Privilege which Thou gavest to Me, that they should all be One as We are One" (John 17:21, 22).

In the Natural Order, a Living Thing assimilates its Food, and Incorporates it into its own Substance. In the Eucharist, the Roles are 'Reversed'. The Eucharist is Food-for our Soul, but, the Power-of-Assimilation here, belongs-to Christ, and it is He Who, Feeding us, Unites (1) us and Incorporates us with His Life. It is not Christ Who is changed-into us, as is the Food we-eat; it is we who are Incorporated-in Him. With John the Baptist we say: "He must become more-and-more; I must become less-and-less".

The Moment-of Communion is that Special Intimacy reserved-to Real Lovers. There are Three (3) Intimacies in Life: Hearing, Seeing, and Touching. Our First (1st) Contact, with anyone who Loves us, is to Hear his Voice; our Second (2nd) is to See him; the Third (3rd) -- and this is Reserved only for Intimates -- is the Privilege-of Touch. We Hear of Christ in the Scriptures; we See Him by the Eyes-of Faith; but we Touch Him in the Eucharist. He only asks that we should Purge our Consciences of Sin and come-to Him, ready to Receive what He wants to give us, for He knows that we Need Him.

 

Second Effect: Union with the Death of Christ

Holy Communion is Incorporation, not only to the Life of Christ, but also to His Death. This Second (2nd) Aspect, is sometimes Forgotten. Saint Paul mentions it: "So it is the Lord's Death that you are Heralding, whenever you Eat this Bread and Drink this Cup, until He Comes" (1Corinthians 11:26). In another place, Saint Paul tells us that we are to fill-up in our own Body, that which is 'Wanting' to the Passion of Christ. To Save our Souls, the Life-of Christ must be Duplicated-in our Own Life. What He did in His Birth, at Calvary, in His Resurrection, and Ascension, we must do. But, we cannot enter into those Heavenly Blessings, except through the Touch-of the Cross, namely, through Penance, Mortification, and Self-denial, and a Death to our Egotism.

mass3.jpg (14803 bytes) Hence, the Church insists that we be in the State of Grace, in-order-to Receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. As a 'Corpse', cannot receive 'Nourishment'; so neither may One without the Divine Life in his Soul, Receive the Divine Nourishment. In addition to this, the Church demands a certain amount-of Fasting, before Communion. This is to Remind us, that the Eucharist is not only a Sacrament of Life, but also, the Sacrament of Mortification. Only when we are Stamped-with the Sign-of the Cross, will we be Stamped-with the Glory of His Resurrection. From the Moment-of His Death on Calvary, until the End-of-Time, when He comes-in Glory, the Dying Christ is continually-at-work, 'Representing' His Death on the Altar, and Urging us to 'Represent' it in our Detachment-from the Seven (7) Pallbearers-of the Soul -- the Seven (7) Capital Sins.

We are the 'Wax' and He is the 'Seal'. He wants to-see something-of His Victimhood in us; and it is up to every Christian, therefore, to lead a Dying Life: to be more Humble, when we are Thwarted, more Patient, when things go Wrong, Dying a little-to the World, and to our Selfishness, being ever-Happy to "Herald His Death in our Body, until He comes".

 

Third Effect: Communion with the Mystical Body of Christ

No one was ever so Wrong, as the Professor who said: "Religion is what a Man does with his Solitariness". If Man is Solitary, he is like a Cell that is Isolated-from the Body. The Body can Live, without an Individual Cell, but the Cell cannot Live-without the Body. No Man can Live the Divine Life, without some Incorporation, either in-Fact, or in-Desire, with the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church. But, the Mystical Body of Christ, can Live-without an Individual Member. Our Blessed Lord, described our Union (1) with Himself, the Night He gave the Eucharist, as that of the "Vine and the Branches". Saint Paul speaks-of us, too, as being Many, and yet One (1), because we all Eat the One (1) Bread. There is no Autonomic Individualism, in the Scriptures, or in Humanity. The whole Historical Existence is Transformed; that is to say, both Humanity and the Visible Creation. The First (1st) was Transformed-through the Incarnation; the Second (2nd), through the Sacraments and its Symbols, which animate Personality.

As there is a Lymph, which passes-through the Human Body, each Cell, drinking-of that Life; so too, the Eucharist is the Divine Lymph of the Mystical Body of Christ on which every Member feeds. The Members of the Church are not, Little Spiritual Islands, each Cherishing its own Isolation. What Blood Plasma is to the Physical Body, the Eucharist is to the Mystical Body -- the Bond-of its Unity (1): "The One Bread makes us One Body, though we are Many in Number" (1Corinthians 10:17).

 

The Tabernacle

eucharist_heem_300.jpg (14094 bytes) The Blessed Sacrament is present-in the Tabernacle, Day and Night. There, Christ dwells, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, under the Sacramental appearances-of Bread. How do we know it? Because Christ told us so! Is there any other Fundamental Evidence? None other than that; but, is there any other Reason in the World, as-strong-as the Word of God Himself? Hence, the Eucharist is above all other Sacraments -- it is the Sacrament of Faith.

The Faithful believe that Christ is as Really and Truly present, Sacramentally-in the Tabernacle, as you are present, while you read this Book. It is this, that makes the Church, different from any other Building. Not a Pulpit, not an Organ, not a Choir, but Christ is the 'Center'. As the Tabernacle was the Center-of Worship in the Old Testament, so the Tabernacle and the Altar are the Center-of Worship in the New Testament. Visitors to the Church say they "Feel the Difference", though they know nothing about the Eucharist, as they might feel Heat and know not the Nature of Fire. But, to the Faithful Members-of Christ's Mystical Body, here is Christ! Before His Eucharistic Presence, the Downcast-eyes of Sin, find Wealth-of Purging Tears; here the Heart, Wounded by Betraying Loves, breaks its Silence, to the Invitation-of the Living Savior: "Child, give Me thy Heart". Here the Knee is Humbled-in Genuflection, and the Heart Exalted-in Adoration; here, Priests make their "Holy Hour", in-answer-to the Invitation-of their Lord in the Garden. Here, is the Trysting Place of Love, for this is the "Bread which is come down from Heaven" (John 6:41-2) and will remain with us "Unto the Consummation of the World" (Matthew 28:20). Here Emmaus lives again, as His Disciples recognize Him in the Breaking-of the Bread.

 

Father Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., President of Gonzaga University, amplifies the subject of the Holy Eucharist, in the following Audio Clips.

 

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