Bread of Life

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.

THE REAL PRESENCE

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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 QUOTES THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU ATTEND HOLY MASS

by Dr Taylor Marshall

Saint Gertrude the Great once reported that for each and every Mass that we hear with devotion during our lives, Christ sends a saint to comfort us in death. I was deeply moved the first time I read this.

Intellectually, I know that great value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - it is the solemn re-presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. It’s the source and summit of the Christian life. However, it is often difficult to remember this amazing truth in the midst of our common distractions during Holy Mass.

Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that with the Holy Eucharist, the five senses fail. Only faith can lift the veil and perceive the reality of Christ’s presence and sacrifice.

I recently came across 10 quotes from the saints about the importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. These quotes remind me of the hidden mystery of the Holy Mass. I plan to review them before Mass during Lent. I’d encourage you to do the same if you also struggle with distractions. I may print them out on a card and put them in my missal:

1.When the Eucharist is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the divine victim immolated on the altar. ~ St. John Chrysostom

2.The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass. ~ St. Augustine

3.If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy. ~ Saint Jean Vianney

4.The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas

5.Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God’s Goodness and asked Our Lord “How can I thank you?” Our Lord replied, “ATTEND ONE MASS.”

6.“My Son so loves those who assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that, if it were necessary He would die for them as many times as they’ve heard Masses.” Our Lady to Blessed Alan.

7.When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary – a joy, a fragrance, a well-being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt. ~ Saint Jean Vianney

8.There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us. ~ Saint Jean Vianney

9.When we have been to Holy Communion, the balm of love envelops the soul as the flower envelops the bee. ~ Saint Jean Vianney

10.It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass. ~ St. Pio of Pietrelcina

That last quote from Saint Pio is profound. The entire cosmos is sustained by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass…

Question: How to we restore a sense of the awe and sanctity to the liturgy? How do we remind ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ that the sanctuary is “filled with countless angels” during the consecration? It’s an inspiring reality. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts or any other inspiring quotes about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

1 comment:

michael gormley said...

Prayer When Unable to Assist at Daily Mass

Go, my Angel Guardian dear,
To church for me------the Mass to hear.
Go, kneel devoutly at my place
And treasure for me every grace.
At the Offertory time
Please offer me to God Divine.
All I have and all I am,
Present it with the Precious Lamb.
Adore for me the great Oblation.
Pray for all I hold most dear
Be they far or be they near.
Remember, too, my own dear dead
For whom Christ's Precious Blood was shed.
At Communion bring spiritually to me
Christ's flesh and blood my food to be,
To give me strength and holy grace;
A pledge to see Him face to face,
And when the Holy Mass is done
Then with His blessing, come back home.