Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. James Farfaglia

6/6/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Eucharist is an immense miracle

The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds us that we possess an immense treasure.  When a Catholic priest takes a little piece of unleavened bread and repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, "This is my body", and when he takes a small of amount of wine in a chalice and says, "This is my blood", the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine.  At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we participate in a marvelous miracle, the miracle called, in the Latin Rite, transubstantiation.  East or West, the mystery is still the same; words cannot express it. 

The Eucharist is called Holy Communion.  Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence.  As Pope Benedict explained, 'And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance'.

The Eucharist is called Holy Communion. Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence. As Pope Benedict explained, "And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance".

Highlights

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/6/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


'CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (CATHOLIC ONLINE) - Most of the time, we need constant reminders of the immense gifts that God continually bestows upon us.  The Eucharist is an immense miracle, but sometimes we need to be reminded just how amazing this miracle really is.  One such reminder took place in 1263. A German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe in Transubstantiation. While celebrating Mass at the tomb of St. Christina, located in Bolsena, Italy, he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal. The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing.

The Pope listened to the priest's story and gave him absolution for his lack of faith.  He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto, Italy. Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the liturgical prayers in honor of the Eucharist. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint's compositions, and by means of a papal bull instituted the feast of Corpus Christi. The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds us that we possess an immense treasure.  When a Catholic priest takes a little piece of unleavened bread and repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, "This is my body", and when he takes a small of amount of wine in a chalice and says, "This is my blood", the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine.  At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we participate in a marvelous miracle, the miracle called, in the Latin Rite, Transubstantiation.  East or west, the mystery is still the same; words cannot come close to expressing it. It is a gift to be received. Last week we reflected upon the mystery of communion.  Our Triune God is a communion of persons.  We can see the image of this communion stamped into all of existence.  Human nature, marriage, the family, human society and the Church are all icons of the Triune God who is a communion of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The Eucharist is called Holy Communion.  Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence.  As Pope Benedict explained, "And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance". What intimacy!  When Jesus comes to us, he comes to us as communion.  God and man become one.  He comes to us as the divine lover.  His communion with us is more intimate than the intimate union of husband and wife or a mother with her unborn child.  We cannot even begin to fathom the depth of God's love for us.  His love is so immense that he himself is defined as love.  "God is love" (1 John 4: 8, 16).  The Holy Eucharist is the most visible sign of God's love for each of us.  Jesus loves us so much that he cannot leave us.  "And know that I am with you always until the end of time" (Matthew 28: 20).  Let us recall then the words from the first encyclical letter written by Pope John Paul II, "Man cannot live without love.  He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it".   As we consider the mystery of God's unconditional love we are reminded that love defines the very purpose of our existence too.  The purpose of our life can be summed up with only one word: love.  ".since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another" (1 John 4: 11). The human person cannot live without the experience of divine love and human love.  The human person cannot live without the experience of divine intimacy and human intimacy.  The human person cannot live without communion.  Man becomes fully realized in communion because he is created for communion by a God who is the most perfect communion. This is why Pope Benedict calls the Church a "Eucharistic fellowship".  This is why the Catechism says that, "No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. I cannot believe without being carried by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the faith" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 166). As I mentioned last week, I firmly believe that after every Eucharistic Celebration, whenever possible, there should always be some kind of fellowship activity.  Moreover, sprinkled throughout the liturgical year, there should be well organized social activities that provide an opportunity for the entire parish to come together for fellowship. How can we begin to live in our parish family the community life that we are supposed to live?  First, start by forming the habit of seeing Jesus in each person.  This will certainly help when you do not feel like talking to someone.  Jesus is hidden in every individual.  Secondly, no one should be seen as a stranger.  We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus.  Thirdly, if you are shy, acquire a new virtue.  Force yourself to be outgoing.  In this way, you will be sure to make new friends.  Fourthly, be universal in your charity.  Do not avoid anyone.  Do not form clicks. Do not stick to your own age group or your own nationality.  If we really do what we are suppose to do, parish life can become a powerful experience.  We can really experience the Church as a "Eucharistic fellowship".   It is the Eucharist that brings us together and forms us into one body, not the praying of the Our Father.  We have a proper liturgical gesture that expresses our unity.  Before we receive Holy Communion, we exchange an external sign of fraternal charity with the sign of peace.  Peace, unity, and fraternal charity are all fruits of the Eucharist.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis at risk of an assassination attempt by Islamic State Watch

Image of There was an assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981 by Turk Mehmet Ali Agca. That Pope later forgave his attacker.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis at risk of an assassination attempt by ISIL'Band of criminals' could have Pope Francis in its sights prior to his visits to Albania, TurkeyCatholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)Iraq's ambassador to the Holy See warns that there are credible threats against ... continue reading


Patriarchs ask faithful to help 'save Christianity in the Middle East' Watch

Image of Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan prayed during an ecumenical service in Washington last week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs from the Middle East urged Westerners to take action to help ensure that Christians and other minorities can remain in the region. "Christians are not (just) looking for humanitarian aid. They are looking for humanitarian ... continue reading


With just six months to live, news anchorman finds comfort with God Watch

Image of Dave Benton announced on his Illinois show that he had only six months left to live after a long battle with brain cancer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Illinois news anchorman with Champaign WCIA-TV shared heartbreaking news with his viewers on September 11, revealing that after a lengthy battle with cancer, he had only six months to live. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 51-year-old anchorman, Dave ... continue reading


Did a Catholic Online candle contribute to a miracle? Here's a yes!

Image of Did a prayer candle have a role in a recent miracle?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has received many comments thanking us for sharing the prayers of the faithful. Catholic Online has a vibrant prayer community and we are happy to report another miracle. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mika T.* sent an email to Catholic Online ... continue reading


Pope Francis denounces ongoing global conflict as 'piecemeal' World War III Watch

Image of Pope Francis, who has often condemned the concept of war in God's name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his visit to the Redipuglia monument, the resting place of 1000,000 Italian soldiers killed during World War I, Pope Francis condemned ongoing conflicts across the globe. "Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep. Even today, after the second ... continue reading


Fr Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Watch

Image of Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D. is the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Foundation.

By Fr Peter M. J. Stravinskas,Ph.D., S.T.D.

Every cross borne by any believer in history gains meaning and becomes life-giving when it is brought into a relationship with the Cross, the Cross from which Jesus reigned as the King of Love and over which He triumphed in His glorious Resurrection.  The ... continue reading


Two U.S. priests appointed by Pope Francis to address clergy sexual abuse Watch

Image of Father Oliver had previously served as a judge and promoter of justice in Boston tribunals and as a consultant to the Boston archdiocesan review board.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Addressing the sexual abuse of minors by clergy within the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has appointed two U.S. priests to top positions at the Vatican. Father Robert W. Oliver, from Boston and Jesuit Father Robert J Geisinger, a member of the Chicago-Detroit ... continue reading


The truth about climate change

Image of Pope Benedict is known as the 'Green Pope' because of statements he has made on the environment. Pope Francis is also said to be working on an encyclical about the environment.

By Tony Magliano

"Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change .  loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the ... continue reading


Cardinal George compares forcing of sexual agenda to Sharia law Watch

Image of Cardinal George compared American culture and government to Sharia law in the way it treats mainstream Christians.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal George has criticized the imposition of a "public creed" to force acceptance of sexual depravity across the nation, enforced with the power of law. Cardinal George compared the forcing to Sharia law in some countries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Head ... continue reading


Jesus Spent the Night In Prayer. Maybe We Should Follow His Example Watch

Image of Prayer is the most effective form of action for a Christian.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What jumped off the page as I proclaimed the Gospel is the importance and priority of prayer. Before Jesus made this historic and eternal decision he spent the entire night in prayer. I know that in His Sacred humanity he shows us the pattern for our own lives. ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter