“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
SATURDAY, April 24th Jn. 6: 60-69 “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.’”
- Having meditated upon Fr. John Hardon’s presentation of The Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us meditate on our reception of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist at Mass. Are we fully, actively, and fervently participating in every Mass and Holy Communion? Can we improve in our participation in this Greatest Miracle?
OUR SPIRITUAL GOLDMINE: JESUS IN OUR HEARTS! By Fr. Ed. Broom, OMV
Prime time of the greatest importance in our life, without doubt, is when we have the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus in our hearts. The Real Presence could not be a better descriptive term! Upon receiving the Eucharist, that is to say, Holy Communion, we truly have the Real Presence of Jesus in the depths of our heart, mind, and soul. Really and truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, the Eternal Son of God the Father, permeates, imbues and penetrates our whole being with His Real Presence.
Entering into the 35th year of my Priesthood, I am keenly aware of the sad fact that many people, after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion into their soul, often do not know what to do. Fumbling with their hands, picking at their fingernails, looking at their phone, staring at me, contemplating their watch, and the like, are the attitudes of many right after receiving Jesus in His Real Presence in Holy Communion.
Such flippant, distracted, bored bodily postures betray clearly the fact that all too many practicing Catholics have lost belief and faith in the Real Presence of the Eucharistic Lord. Due to a diluted, overly sentimental catechesis, many perhaps have never learned what the Eucharist truly is! Another way we can describe this is a full-blown Catholic identity crisis! As Catholics, if we do not know or believe in the Eucharist as the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, then Catholics we are not!
The essential thrust and purpose of this essay is to help us believe firmly in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Mass, in the Eucharist, in Holy Communion. Then consequently to strive with all of the fiber of our being to receive Jesus with more faith, devotion and love. By far, there is no greater action beneath the sun that we can do than to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. However, we must receive Him with increasing faith, confidence, purity of heart, devotion, hunger and love. One Holy Communion well-received could transform us into great saints!
DISPOSITIVE GRACE. The lack of fruit in the reception of Holy Communion is not due to the Sacrament we receive, but due to the lack of proper disposition in receiving the Lord of Lord’s and King of King’s! The better the disposition of our heart, the more abounding and copious will the graces be!
The following points consist of what we can do and how we should act upon receiving the most Holy Eucharist, the Real Presence— The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Eucharistic Lord. Every Holy Communion that we receive should be received as if it were our first, our last, and even our only Holy Communion!
1. PRAISE THE LORD! The Eucharistic Jesus is truly God. Therefore, the highest form of prayer that we can offer to God is that of praise. Unite your whole being with the angels and saints in Heaven and praise the Lord with all of your heart. As a primer, you might even recite the Divine Praises: “Blessed be God, Blessed be His Holy Name, Blessed be Jesus Christ true God and true man, Blessed be the Name of Jesus, Blessed be His most Sacred Heart, Blessed be His most Precious Blood, Blessed be Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar….” Beg the angels and saints to help you in your prayer of Eucharistic praise!
2. THANK THE LORD. Eucharist actually means Thanksgiving. What do we have that we have not received from our Divine Benefactor, God Himself? All the good that we have in our person is a generous and bountiful manifestation of God’s love for us. The only thing that God did not give us is our sins; we chose those! May the prayer of the Psalmist resound in the depths of your heart after Holy Communion: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.” (Ps. 136.1)
3. BEG PARDON OF THE LORD. How true Sacred Scripture: “The just man falls seven times a day.” (Prov. 24:16) Due to our many sins, we have fallen short of the glory of God many times, in many places and circumstances. With David, who committed adultery and the murder of the innocent man, with heartfelt compunction beg for mercy for yourself and for the whole world, praying part of Psalm 51: “Lord have mercy on me, have mercy on me. My sin is always before my eyes. A humble and contrite heart you will not spurn.” And Psalm 104:30: “Send forth your spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.”
4. BECOME BARTIMEUS THE BEGGAR. The great Saint Augustine asserted: “We are all beggars before the Lord.” Imitate Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, and implore the Lord to help you in your desperate need. Holy Communion is truly Jesus, the Light of the world; beg Jesus to take the scales from your eyes so that you can contemplate His Face with ever greater clarity.
5. BEG FOR OTHERS, THE GRACES THEY NEED. Our reception of Holy Communion should be Catholic—meaning universal! Saint Paul states: “The love of God compels us.” (2 Cor. 5:14) This love should be universal, all-embracing such that you beg and pray for the many graces that so many people stand in desperate need of! Now that the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus beats in your heart, heed the words of Jesus Himself: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.” (Mt. 7:7)
6. INTERCEDE FOR DEATH-BED SINNERS. A category of persons who often stand in desperate need of prayers are those individuals who are in their last moments, in their last and ultimate agony. By far the most important moment in our life is the moment of our death for that will determine our eternal destiny—either Heaven or Hell and forever and ever and ever! In your thanksgiving after receiving the Eucharistic Lord Jesus, who said from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34), beg for the conversion and salvation of deathbed sinners. Who knows how many souls will be saved by your fervent Eucharistic prayers after receiving our Eucharistic and merciful Savior?
7. REST ON THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS. Jesus said: “Come to me, all of you who find life burdensome and you will find rest for your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28, 30) After receiving Holy Communion, Jesus invites you to imitate His best friend, Saint John the Evangelist, and simply rest your head lovingly and peacefully on His Sacred Heart—the best resting place!
8. CAST YOUR CARES UPON THE LORD… Saint Peter expresses a very important human sentiment and situation that we all experience during the course of our lives, every week and perhaps even every day—problems, worries, anxieties and confusion. Saint Peter’s Letter expresses this state of soul in a short but clear concept: “Cast your cares upon the Lord, because He cares for you.” (1Pt. 5:7) As the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus beats in your heart, He will alleviate you of your worries possibly by removing them, or at least by helping you carry your crosses! Jesus is your Best Friend, the one who will never fail you!
9. BEG FOR A HEART-TRANSPLANT! Your heart, mind, and soul can be compared to a Garden. Amidst the roses, tulips, and daffodils flourish the ugly and all too-prevalent weeds! If the weeds are given room to grow, to flourish and spread, in a short time they will suffocate the beautiful flowers! The Garden analogy applies to your virtues and sins. The flowers are your virtues; the weeds, your sins. If not uprooted, the vices will dominate and sin will reign in your life! Upon your reception of Holy Communion, beg the Lord Jesus to uproot and exterminate the weeds, so that the flowers of virtue can flourish and blossom in your soul. May the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus transplant your heart and make you a saint!
10. OUR LADY OF THE EUCHARIST AND THANKSGIVING. Finally, beg the Immaculate Heart of Mary to commend you to the Heart of Jesus, and to praise Him, love Him, and worship Him with you! Saint Louis de Montfort suggests praying Mary’s canticle of praise, the Magnificat, in thanksgiving for the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus beating in the depths of your soul. May Mary’s words echo in your heart after you receive Jesus in Holy Communion: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior….” (Lk. 1:46-55)
In conclusion, the most important gesture and moment in our lives is when we receive the Eucharistic Jesus in the depths of our heart and our soul in Holy Communion. Thus the minutes after Holy Communion must be the most precious moments in your whole human existence! Strive with all the fiber of your being to prepare properly to receive the Eucharist, but also strive to improve your THANSKGIVINGS after the reception of Holy Communion. Your sanctification, your growth in grace, your growth in virtue and overcoming vice, and your final perseverance can truly depend on the manner in which you treat the Lord Jesus after receiving Him in Holy Communion! May Our Lady of the Eucharist, the angels and saints come to your help!