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Chapter 27

The Holy Eucharist

 

Jesus is honey in the mouth,
music in the ear,
and a shout of joy in the heart.
—St. Bernard of Clairvaux

 

 

We live the liturgy.  The life of Christ is our life as converted Christians.  The readings and prayers at Mass are more than just past history.  They are present reality.  What you are experiencing right now relates in some way to the sacred liturgy, the Mass readings, prayers or homily.  The Mystical Body of Christ moves with the Mass and through the Holy Eucharist is united in Christ Jesus.  It is the same Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and in your soul, although present in a different way.  The former is external and sacramental.  The latter is internal and spiritual.  Yet in both, it is the real presence of Jesus Christ.  The external sacramental life of the Church was given to us by Christ for the interior spiritual life of the soul.  Holy Communion and Eucharistic Adoration strengthens and increases our union with God which is the whole goal of the spiritual life and of human existence.  The Fire of Love in the Holy Eucharist enkindles and increases the Flame of Love within us.

Here we note that the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist was not instituted by Christ for the forgiveness of sins but for the increase of charity, the supernatural love of God and neighbor, being the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Loving Savior.  Venial sins may be indirectly burned away by an increase in the fire of charity, but Confession—the “Sacrament of Conversion”—is the proper place for the forgiveness of sins and the best preparation for receiving Holy Communion.  Confession empties the soul of sin and its effects to a greater extent, and removes obstacles to the inflow of grace.  Holy Communion fills in that space with grace, with the Life of Christ.  When and where possible, frequent Confession is recommended for on-going deeper conversion. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1458)

We worship the Lord, praise and thank Him, as we become more free of sin and experience His loving presence.  Our life comes more into peace and order when we accept and do God’s will.  Part of this is the sacraments, especially Mass and the Holy Eucharist.  The other part is the rest of the spiritual life and the duty of the present moment.

 

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