Meditations through the ages

Walking past the "dandelion" fountain of Loring Park

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Third Order Dominican and Doctor of the Church

O inestimable charity! Even as You, true God and true Man, gave Yourself entirely to us, so also You left Yourself entirely for us, to be our food, so that during our earthly pilgrimage we would not faint with weariness, but would be strengthened by You, our celestial Bread.

O man, what has your God left you? He has left you Himself, wholly God and wholly Man, concealed under the whiteness of bread.

O fire of love! Was it not enough for You to have created us to Your image and likeness, and to have recreated us in grace through the Blood of Your Son, without giving Yourself wholly to us as our Food, O God, Divine Essence? What impelled You to do this? Your charity alone. It was not enough for You to send Your Word to us for our redemption; neither were You content to give Him us as our Food, but in the excess of Your love for Your creature, You gave to man the whole divine essence.

Blessed Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879)
Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Jesus is waiting for you in the Chapel. Go and find Him when your strength and patience are giving out, when you feel lonely and helpless. Say to Him: “You know well what is happening, my dear Jesus, I have only You. Come to my aid....” And then go your way. And don’t worry about knowing how you are going to manage. It is enough to have told Our good Lord. He has an excellent memory.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916)
Priest, religious, missionary

Your mind... should be full of the love of God, forgetful of yourself. It should be full of the contemplation and joy of My beatitude, of compassion and sorrow for My sufferings, and of joy at My joys.... It should be a mind full of love for your neighbor for My sake, for I love all men as a father loves his children. It should be full of longing for the spiritual and material goods of all men for My sake. It should be a mind free, tranquil, at peace.... Do not be disturbed by little things. Throw all little matters aside and try to live at a very high level, not from pride but from love.

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
Servant of God
Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 59

For over a half century ... my eyes have gazed in recollection upon the host and the chalice, where time and space in some way “merge” and the drama of Golgotha is re-presented in a living way, thus revealing its mysterious “contemporaneity.” Each day my faith has been able to recognize in the consecrated bread and wine the divine Wayfarer who joined the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and opened their eyes to the light and their hearts to new hope (cf. Luke 24:13-35).

Allow me, dear brothers and sisters, to share with deep emotion, as a means of accompanying and strengthening your faith, my own testimony of faith in the Most Holy Eucharist. Ave verum corpus natum de Maria Virgine, vere passum, immolatum, in cruce pro homine! Here is the Church’s treasure, the heart of the world, the pledge of the fulfillment for which each man and woman, even unconsciously, yearns. A great and transcendent mystery, indeed, and one that taxes our mind's ability to pass beyond appearances. Here our senses fail us: visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur, in the words of the hymn Adoro Te Devote; yet faith alone, rooted in the word of Christ handed down to us by the Apostles, is sufficient for us. Allow me, like Peter at the end of the Eucharistic discourse in John’s Gospel, to say once more to Christ, in the name of the whole Church and in the name of each of you: “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Antoine Frédéric Ozanam (1813-53)
Founder of St. Vincent de Paul Society

The best way to economize time is to 'lose' half an hour each day attending Holy Mass.

St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)
Priest, founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, promoter of Eucharistic devotion

The Eucharist is the supreme proof of the love of Jesus. After this, there is nothing more but Heaven itself.

The Eucharist is the link that binds the Christian family together. Take away the Eucharist and you have no brotherliness left.

To be possessed by Jesus and to possess Him—that is the perfect reign of Love.

Love cannot triumph unless it becomes the one passion of our life. Without such passion we may produce isolated acts of love; but our life is not really won over or consecrated to an ideal. Until we have a passionate love for our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament we shall accomplish nothing.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa, 1910-1997)
Founder of Missionaries of Charity

When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)
Bishop, American television preacher, Servant of God

Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are proceeded by a personal encounter with Him. Theological insights are gained not only from between two covers of a book, but from two bent knees before an altar. The Holy Hour becomes like an oxygen tank to revive the breath of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the foul and fetid atmosphere of the world.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Priest and Dominican Doctor of the Church

The Sacrament of the Body of the Lord puts the demons to flight, defends us against the incentives to vice and to concupiscence, cleanses the soul from sin, quiets the anger of God, enlightens the understanding to know God, inflames the will and the affections with the love of God, fills the memory with spiritual sweetness, confirms the entire man in good, frees us from eternal death, multiplies the merits of a good life, leads us to our everlasting home, and re-animates the body to eternal life.

St. John Chrysostom (c.347-407)
Patriarch of Constantinople and Doctor of the Church
Homily on St. Matthew, 50, 4

The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, His brethren. “You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother.... You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal” (St. John Chrysostom, Homily on First Corinthians, 27, 4)

Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1397

Do you want to honor Christ’s Body? Then do not scorn Him in His rags, nor honor Him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting Him outside where He is cold and naked. For He who said: “This is My Body” [Matthew 26:26] and made it so by His words, also said: “You saw Me hungry and did not feed Me” [Matthew 25:42] and “inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of My brethren, you did not do it for Me” [Matthew 25:45]. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; ... for God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.

Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but He is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too. A gift to the church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness.

Of what use is it to weigh down Christ’s table with golden cups, when He Himself is dying of hunger? First, fill Him when He is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn His table. Will you have a golden cup made but not give a cup of water? What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ Himself with the clothes He needs?...

You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear to even look at Him as He lies chained in prison.... Therefore do not adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.

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