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ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST
becomes present in the Sacrament of the Altar by the transformation of the
whole substance of the bread into His Body and of the whole substance of
the wine into His Blood. (Council
of Trent – DS #1641; Catechism of the Catholic Church #1376)
present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in
each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not
(Council of Trent – DS #1642; Catechism of the Catholic Church #1377)
Body and the Blood of Christ together with His Soul and His Divinity and
therefore the Whole Christ are truly present in the Eucharist.
of Trent – DS #1651; Catechism of the Catholic Church #1374)
Worship of Adoration (latria) must be given to Christ present in
the Eucharist. (Council
of Trent – DS #1656; Catechism of the Catholic Church #1378)
chief fruit of the Eucharist is an intrinsic union of the recipient with
of Florence – DS #1320; Catechism of the Catholic Church #1391)
worthy reception of the Eucharist the state of grace as well as the proper
and pious disposition are necessary.
(Council of Trent – DS #1667; Catechism of the Catholic Church #1385)
Also, Canon Law
#919 (1): One who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain from
any food or drink, with the exception only of water and medicine, for at
least the period of one hour before Holy Communion.
Stefano M. Manelli, FFI
On the Holy
The Purity of
Soul Necessary for Holy Communion
the Sacred Banquet," said St. John Baptist de La Salle, "with
the same dispositions that you would desire to have in order to enter
Heaven. One should not have less respect in receiving Jesus than in being
received by Him."
Padre Pio of
Pietrelcina used to repeat with trepidation to his brethren, "God
sees stains even in the angels. What must He see in me!" For this
reason he was very diligent in making his sacramental Confessions. So too
St. Teresa of Jesus, when she was aware of having committed the least
venial sin, would never receive Holy Communion without first going to
Confession. . .
St. Anthony Mary
Claret illustrates this fact very well: "When we go to Holy
Communion, all of us receive the same Lord Jesus, but not all receive the
same grace nor are the same effects produced in all. This comes from our
greater or lesser disposition. . . For this reason St. Francis de Sales
taught his spiritual children, "Go to Confession with humility and
devotion. . . if it is possible, every time you feel in your conscience
any remorse of mortal sin."
must be received only when one is in the grace of God. Therefore, when one
has committed a mortal sin, even if one has repented of it and has a great
desire to receive Holy Communion, it is necessary and indispensable to go
to Confession first before receiving Holy Communion. Otherwise one commits
a most grave sin of sacrilege, for which Jesus said to St. Bridget,
"there does not exist on earth a penalty great enough to punish it
With the hands of
had uncompromising faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in even the
smallest visible fragment of a Host. It suffices merely to have seen Padre
Pio to realize with what conscientious care he purified the paten and the
sacred vessels at the altar. Adoration could be read on his face!
Once when St.
Thérèse of Lisieux saw a small Particle of a Host on the paten after
Holy Mass, she called the novices, and then carried the paten in
procession into the sacristy with a gracious and adoring comportment that
was truly angelic. When St. Teresa Margaret found a fragment of a Host on
the floor near the altar, she broke into tears because she realized what
irreverence might be shown to Jesus; and she knelt in adoration before the
Particle until a priest came to take It and put It in the tabernacle. . .
What shall we say
of St. Francis Xavier who at times when distributing Holy Communion felt
so carried away by a sense of adoration toward Our Lord who was in his
hands, that he got on his knees and in that position continued giving Holy
Communion? Did that not present a spectacle of faith and love worthy of
more beautiful has been the thoughtful care of the Saints, who were
priests, in handling the Blessed Sacrament. Oh, how they would have liked
to have the same virginal hands as the Immaculate! The index fingers and
thumbs of St. Conrad of Constance used to shine at night on account of the
faith and the love which inspired the use of those fingers to hold the
most Sacred Body of Jesus. . . At times Padre Pio of Pietrelcina quite
plainly experienced great difficulty in placing the Sacred Host between
his fingers, judging himself unworthy to allow his hands, which bore the
stigmata, to have contact with the Host. . .
We know that
in the Eucharist, together with the Divinity, are the entire Body and
Blood of Jesus taken from the body and blood of the Blessed Virgin.
Therefore, at every Holy Communion we receive, it would be quite correct,
and a very beautiful thing, to take notice of our holy Mother’s sweet
and mysterious presence, inseparably and totally united with Jesus in the
Host. Jesus is ever her adored Son. He is Flesh of her flesh and Blood of
her blood. If Adam could call Eve when she had been formed from his rib, "bone
of my bone and flesh of my flesh" (Gen. 2:23), cannot the holy
Virgin Mary even more rightly call Jesus "Flesh of my flesh and Blood
of my blood"? Taken from the "intact Virgin" as says St.
Thomas Aquinas, the Flesh of Jesus is of the maternal flesh of Mary, the
Blood of Jesus is of the maternal blood of Mary. Therefore, it will never
be possible to separate Jesus from Mary. For this reason at every Holy
Mass celebrated, the Blessed Mother can in truth say to Jesus in the Host
and in the Chalice, "You are my Son, today I have begotten
You" (cf. Ps. 2:7). And St. Augustine correctly teaches us that
in the Eucharist "Mary extends and perpetuates her divine
Soubirous replied very beautifully to someone who put this tricky question
to her: "What would please you more, to receive Holy Communion, or to
see Our Lady in the grotto?" The little Saint thought for a minute
and then answered, "What a strange question! The two cannot be
separated. Jesus and Mary always go together."
Our Eucharistic Love by Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, F.F.I. published
by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, 1996)
Blessed Mother’s essential role
for our salvation
title: Co-Redemptrix, which has been current since the fifteenth century,
and which also appears in some official Church documents under St. Pius X
and Pius XI, must not be conceived in the sense of an equation of the
efficacy of Mary with the redemptive activity of Christ, the sole Redeemer
of humanity. As she herself required redemption and in fact was redeemed
by Christ, she could not of herself merit the grace of the redemption of
humanity in accordance with the principle: The author of an act of
merit cannot be a recipient of the same act of merit. Her co-operation
in the objective redemption derives from the fact that she voluntarily
devoted her whole life to the service of the Redeemer, and, under the
Cross, suffered and sacrificed with Him. As Pope Pius XII says in the
Encyclical "Mystici Corporis" (1943), she "offered
Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her
maternal rights and her motherly love like a new Eve for all children of
Adam." As "The New Eve" she is, as the same Pope declares,
in the Apostolic Constitution "Munificentissimus Deus"
(1950) "the sublime associate of our Redeemer."
. . In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by
her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her Divine Son for men, made
atonement for the sins of men, and merited the application of the
redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she co-operates in the
redemption of mankind.
Mediatrix of All Graces and Our Advocate
. . Since her assumption into Heaven, Mary co-operates in the application
of the grace of Redemption to man. She participates in the distribution of
grace by her maternal intercession. According to the view of many
theologians, Mary’s intercessory co-operation extends to all graces,
which are conferred on mankind, so that no grace accrues to men, without
the intercession of Mary. The implication of this is not that we are
obliged to beg for all graces through Mary, nor that Mary’s intercession
is intrinsically necessary for the application of the grace, but that,
according to God’s positive ordinance, the redemptive grace of Christ is
conferred on nobody without the actual intercessory co-operation of Mary.
on Fundamentals of
Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott published by Tan Books &
Dietrich von Hildebrand:
When one reads
the luminous encyclical Ecclesiam Suam of Pope Paul VI or the
magnificent "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" of the Fathers
of the Council, one cannot but realize the greatness of the Second Vatican
But when one
turns to so many contemporary writings — some by very famous
theologians, some by minor ones, some by laymen offering us their
dilettante theological concoctions — one can only be deeply saddened and
even filled with grave apprehension. For it would be difficult to conceive
a greater contrast than that between the official documents of Vatican II
and the superficial, insipid pronouncements of various theologians and
laymen that have broken out everywhere like an infectious disease.
On the one side,
we find the true spirit of Christ, the authentic voice of the Church; we
find texts that in both form and content breathe a glorious supernatural
atmosphere. On the other hand, we find a depressing secularization, a
complete loss of the sensus supernaturalis, a morass of confusion.
The distortion of
the authentic nature of the Council produced by this epidemic of
theological dilettantism expresses itself chiefly in the false
alternatives between which we are all commanded to choose: either to
accept the secularization of Christianity or to deny the authority of the
Council. . .
The teachings of the false
. . . He is a
false prophet who denies original sin and mankind’s need of redemption
and thereby undermines the meaning of Christ’s death on the Cross. He is
not a true Christian who no longer sees that redemption of the world
through Christ is the source of true happiness and that nothing can be
compared to this one glorious fact.
He is a false
prophet who no longer accepts the absolute primacy of the first
commandment of Christ — to love God above all things — and who claims
that our love of God can manifest itself exclusively in our love of
neighbor. He is a false prophet who no longer understand that to long for
the I-Thou union with Christ and for transformation in Christ is
the very meaning of our life. He is a false prophet who claims that
morality reveals itself not primarily in man’s relationship with God,
but in those things that concern human welfare. And he has fallen prey to
the teaching of false prophets who only sees in the wrong done our
neighbor our injury to him and remains blind to the offense against God
that this wrong implies. He who no longer sees the radical difference that
exists between charity and humanitarian benevolence has become deaf to the
message of Christ.
He who is more
impressed and thrilled by "cosmic processes,"
"evolution," and the speculations of science than by the
reflection of Christ’s Sacred Humanity in a Saint and by the victory
over the world that the very existence of a Saint embodies, is no longer
filled with Christian spirit. He who cares more for the earthly welfare of
humanity than for its sanctification has lost the Christian view of the
True renewal calls us to
transformation in Christ
. . . This third
choice is based on unshakable faith in Christ and in the infallible
magisterium of His Holy Church. It takes it for granted that there is no
room for change in the divinely revealed doctrine of the Church. It admits
no possibility of change except that development of which Cardinal Newman
speaks: the explicit formulation of what was implicit in the faith of the
Apostles or of what necessarily follows from it.
holds that the Christian morality of holiness, the morality revealed in
the Sacred Humanity of Christ and His commandments and exemplified in all
the saints, remains forever the same. It holds that being transformed in
Christ, becoming a new creature in Him, is the goal of our existence. In
the words of St. Paul, "This is the will of God, your
sanctification" (1 Thess. 4:3).
maintains that there is a radical difference between the kingdom of Christ
and the saeculum (world); it takes into account the struggle
between the spirit of Christ and the spirit of Satan through all the
centuries past and to come, until the end of the world. It believes that
Christ’s words are as valid today as in any former time: "Had you
been of the world, the world would love its own; but as you are not of the
world, as I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you"
Renewal restores the
supernatural vitality of the Church
The process of
renewal is a shedding of secularizing influences which, because of human
frailty and the trends and tendencies of an era, have slipped into the
practice of the Church and the religious life of the faithful.
As such, it is
the very opposite of an evolution or progression. Rather, it is a
returning to the essential and authentic spirit of the Church, a process
of purification and restoration. It is a dramatic manifestation of the war
between the spirit of the world (in the meaning of the Gospels) and the
Spirit of Christ — which St. Augustine described as the battle of the
two cities. In this process all views and practices that are
incompatible with Christ are continually eliminated. Such was the reform
of St. Gregory VII; such were the reforms of numerous Councils, especially
the Council of Trent.
. . . But the
Church also has a human, natural aspect. Insofar as it is a human
institution composed of frail men, it, too, is exposed to the influence of
this alternating rhythm of history. Therefore the Church has the continual
mission of rejecting all such influences and presenting anew to humanity
the untarnished plentitutde of divine truth and authentic Christian life
— that is, the real message of Christ to all men.
Horse in the City of God by Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand
published by Sophia Institute Press, 1993)
MASS OF LEO XIII
was once admitted to assist at the Mass of Pope Leo XIII," a
venerable priest told us, "and no book that I ever read on the Mass,
no sermon I ever heard produced on me such a profound impression.
"It is not
fifty years since that happy day, and never since have I forgotten that
Mass of the Holy Father. Never have I celebrated Mass myself that I have
not tried to imitate the devotion he manifested at his Mass.
was then eighty-five years of age, and seemed to me feeble and
considerably bent as he entered the chapel. When, however, he proceeded to
the altar, he was filled with a new life, a new energy.
the Holy Sacrifice absorbed in devotion. All his gestures, all his
movements, his slow, distinct utterance of the words showed clearly that
he felt that he was in the very presence of God. At the moment of
Consecration, his face lit up with a beautiful light, his great eyes shone
and his whole expression was as of one looking at, conversing with the
"He took the
Host in his hands with the utmost reverence and pronounced the solemn
words of Consecration, manifestly with a full comprehension of the
tremendous act he was performing.
bent his knee as if before the throne of God in Heaven, he raised the Host
aloft and gazed at it in rapture, slowly returning it to the corporal.
manifested the same unction and living faith at the Consecration of the
most Precious Blood.
to the Communion, his fervor was visible at every moment.
Agnus Dei he seemed to be speaking face to face with God.
"I do not
venture to describe with what love he consumed the Sacred Host and drank
the Precious Blood of Jesus.
"And yet the
Mass was not very long, the whole ceremony was simple, but so impressive
that, as I have said, it has been ever before my eyes for fifty long
Wonders of the Mass by
Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. published by Tan Books & Publishers, 1993)
The Second Vatican Council:
the Last Supper, the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus initiated the
Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood, in order to continue the
Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until His Return. (Sacrosanctum
Concilium, n. 47)
The Mass is a
compendium of all God’s love, of all His benefits to men, and each Mass
bestows on the world a benefit not less than what was conferred on it by
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and Signs ] [ In Defense of the Truth ] [ Saints
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