Bread of Life

 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.


Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


By Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange,OP



Order demands that we study first the depths of our emotional life as illumined by sense cognition and then those of our voluntary life as illumined by our intellect. Progress in acquired virtue and, still more, progress in infused virtue will reveal immense depths and will clarify in particular the growth of charity in the souls of the saints, both in their hours of trial and in the joy of their apostolic triumphs.

Sensibility, the source of passion and emotion, is, like sense knowledge and imagination, common to animals and men. This sensibility we call sense appetite to distinguish it from the will, which is a spiritual faculty, common to man, angel, and God. Passions, emotions, the movements of sense appetite arise when sense knowledge or imagination puts before us a sense object, attractive or repellent. Thus we note that the desire for food appears under a peaceful form in the dove and the lamb, but under a violent form in the wolf, the tiger, and the lion.

The first among all passions, the source of all others, is sense love, the love, for example, of the animal for the food it needs. From this love rises a series of passions: desire, joy, hope, audacity, hate, aversion, sadness, despair, fear, and anger.
Passion is not always, but may become, keen, vehement, dominating. In man the passions are meant to be ruled and disciplined by reason and will. Thus ruled, they are weapons which defend a great cause. On the contrary, if they remain unruly and undisciplined, they become vices: love becomes gluttony and lust, aversion becomes jealousy and envy, audacity becomes foolhardiness, fear becomes faintheartedness and cowardice.
These wide contrasts, both in good and in evil, show how deep and immense is the world of passion. Even in the animal kingdom what heights are scaled by love and hate: in the lion, for example, attacking his prey, in the lioness defending her young!

But this width and depth of passion is still more immense in man, because man's intellect grasps universal good and man's will desires that boundless good which is found in God alone. Hence when man's will does not follow the straight road to God, when man seeks supreme happiness not in God but in creatures, then his concupiscence becomes insatiable, because he has unlimited desires for a good that is limited. Man's will was created to love supreme good and the irradiations of that supreme good. Hence when the will turns aside, its tendency to universal good continues under that deviation, and this tendency of man's highest faculty now becomes foolish, exercises a lamentable influence on man's lower faculties. This truth is a proof, a sad proof indeed, but still a proof, of the spirituality of the soul. The ruins of decay are a souvenir of grandeur.

Passion, says St. Thomas, [2] when it is truly natural, that is, founded on man's nature, cannot be boundless, because it desires only what nature demands, and the sense good which nature demands is limited, in food, for instance, and drink. Unnatural desire, on the contrary, can be unlimited, because it arises from reason gone astray, which sees unlimited good in a good which is in reality limited. Thus a man who desires wealth can desire it in limitless measure, can see in wealth the ultimate purpose of his life.

Natural desire, then, in animal and man is limited. The animal (e.g., wolf, tiger, lion) when it is sated no longer seeks prey. But intelligent man when depraved conceives and pursues ever more wealth and pleasure. Hence quarrels among neighbors and endless wars among nations. The miser is insatiable, likewise the man of pleasure and the man of power. Love when thwarted begets hate, and that hate becomes boundless. Hate, says Baudelaire, is the cask of the pale Danaides. These Danaides, says mythology, slew their husbands on their wedding night, hence were condemned to fill a cask without bottom: endless punishment of boundless depravity.

If passions which man shares with beast be so deep and wide, what must be the depth and breadth of the will which is a spiritual faculty common to man and angels? [3]

2. Ia Iae. q. 30. a.4.

3. This depth of human sensibility is less noticeable in the order of good, because in this order it disposes us to love a spiritual good which is not accessible except to the spiritual will. We have illustration of this in the love of family and of fatherland, if this love is fastened on the common good which is above all a matter of justice and equity.

On the contrary, the sensibility of a depraved person looks for the infinite in sense goods. He asks of them what they cannot give. As a result he falls into disillusion and disgust, since nothing can longer please him.

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