The True Presence of Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist
Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ Jesus,
The greatest blessing we have in the Catholic Church is the True Presence of Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus manifests Himself to us during each Holy Sacri-fice of the Mass and continuously waits for us to visit Him Truly Present in the tabernacle or during our times of adoration offered in our churches.
I sometimes hear the comment: “Mass is boring” or “I do not get anything out of Mass”. I understand these comments come up for many reasons and I admit that I do feel some sadness when I hear them. These comments tell me that the greatest need in our hearts is not being satisfied. The greatest need in every heart is to know and experience God’s personal love.
The next few weeks, I will write about how we can open our-selves to our Lord’s personal love for each of us, especially through the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This openness to the love of God will lead to new inner experiences of God’s merciful love when we are in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. The ideas that I will present are from a wonderful book entitled, How to Get More Out of Holy Communion, by St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868). St. Peter founded two religious orders whose work is to promote devotion to and adoration of the Holy Eucharist. His writings on the Holy Eucharist present our Lord’s Presence in the Eucharist in a beautiful way: the source of all peace, love, joy, strength and courage for all who will seek Him in the Holy Eucharist.
So, what if you are among those who come to Holy Mass, but sometimes or often leave thinking ‘I did not get anything out of Mass today’? Let us look to St. Peter and his book, How to Get More Out of Holy Communion, for his first suggestion to remedy this experience. St. Peter’s first suggestion is to “develop the spirit of Communion” with Jesus.
St. Peter writes: “The love of Jesus Christ reaches its highest perfection and produces the richest harvest of graces in the ineffable union He contracts with the soul in Holy Communion. Therefore, by every desire for goodness, holiness, and perfection that piety, the virtues, and love can inspire in us, we are bound to direct our course toward this union, toward frequent and even daily Com-munion.”
Thus, St. Peter’s first recommendation is to increase the number of times we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. This practice will have the effect of increasing the soul’s love for Jesus through the power of the One who alone can do that: Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus reveals our true self to us. We need frequent interaction with Jesus through the sacraments and prayer in order to know ourselves and our great need for Him.
St. Peter writes that the trap we often fall into is lukewarmness. This trap is one whereby we feel indifference to the True Presence of Jesus. This is spiritually very dangerous. The remedy, St. Peter writes is: “That is (referring to lukewarmness) but one more reason why you should plunge again and again into this burning furnace. Repulsive? Oh, never, to this good Shepherd, this tender Father, fatherly above all fathers, motherly above all mothers! The more weak and ill you are, the more you need His help. Is not bread the sustenance of both the strong and the weak”? St. Peter makes clear for us that Jesus is the only way to healing and peace. Not only that, Jesus strongly desires us to approach Him for the healing and strength we need.
What if the soul is aware of sins on one’s conscience?
Are the sins venial or is there guilt for a mortal sin? If the sins are venial, one should have no fear to approach Jesus. If there is awareness of guilt for a mortal sin, then the soul must approach the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation first, and then approach Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. All the sacraments of the Church are true interactions with Jesus, Himself. Each time we receive a Sacrament our Lord Jesus desire them to be interactions of profound love and mercy! The greatest of all the gifts of God’s love is the Holy Eucharist! St. Peter writes: “This is what gives Communion its highest power: it is a second and perpetual incarnation of Jesus Christ. Between Jesus Christ and man, it forms a union of life and love. In a word, it is a second life for Jesus Christ.”
Through the intercession of St. Michael, St. Paul and St. Peter
Julian Eymard, may God bless you, your families, and our parishes!
In Christ through Mary,