THE HISTORY OF COMMUNION IN THE HAND
The first two (printed) pages of the following was a letter to my parishioners of Antria, and a copy to Don Idilio:
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Antria (Magione – PG), Date: December 2016
Dear brothers and sisters,
After spending more than an hour each day in before the infinite God in the tabernacle in the last 16 years, and after having meditated and studied much the documents of the Church and the writings of saints and popes and several bishops, in my conscience, before God, I can no longer offer the Most Blessed Sacrament in the hand to people, but only on the tongue. Below you will find a history of Communion in the hand with some excerpts of the documents and of saints and popes, and several bishops who have convinced me of this decision.
Therefore, if a person or more, who comes to Holy Mass the third Sunday of the month at Antria, comes forth to receive the Holy Communion and is not willing to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament on the tongue from Father Joe, as did someone for the third Sunday of November 2016, and is not willing to go to another parish for the third Sunday of the month to try to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament in the hand, I will be forced to no longer offer the gift of my free service of the monthly Santa Mass at Antria as I have done for many years here in Antria. Ask your parish priest, Don Idilio, for other Holy Masses Antria.
THE HISTORY OF COMMUNION IN THE HAND
Here’s how the new way of Communion in the hands was promulgated in the Church
Vatican City – In the sixteenth century, the Protestant reformers, in their new Christian cult, re-established Communion in the hand to affirm their two fundamental heresies: there did not exist the so-called ‘transubstantiation’ and the bread used was ordinary bread.
In other words, they argued that the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist was only a popish superstition and the bread was just simple bread and anyone could handle it. In addition, the claimed that the minister of Communion was not indeed Different, in his nature, from the laity. Instead it is Catholic teaching that the Sacrament of Holy Orders gives man a spiritual power, sacramental, it imprints an indelible mark on his soul and makes him substantially different from the laity.
In contrast, the Protestant minister is a common man who leads the hymns, gives sermons in order to affirm the convictions of the believers. He cannot change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord, he cannot bless, he cannot forgive sins, he cannot, in a word, do anything that any layman could not do.
He, therefore, is not a vehicle of supernatural grace. The re-establishment of the Protestant Communion in the hand was a ‘simple’ way to express refusal to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, rejection of sacramental priesthood, in short to deny the whole of Catholicism. From that point on, Communion in the hand acquired a meaning clearly anti-Catholic. It was a blatantly anti-Catholic practice, founded on the denial of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and of the priesthood. After Vatican II, in the Netherlands, some Catholic priests of the Protestant mentality began to give Communion in the hand, mimicking the Protestant practice.
But some Dutch Bishops, instead of doing their duty and condemning the abuse, they tolerated it and thus allowed the abuse to continue unchecked. The practice spread, then to Germany, to Belgium, to France. But if some bishops seemed indifferent to this scandal, much of the laity of that time were outraged. It was the indignation of a great number of faithful who pushed Pope Paul VI to take the initiative to probe the opinion of the bishops of the world on this issue and they voted unanimously for MAINTAINING the traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue.
It is also necessary to note that at that time the abuse was limited to a few European countries, so much so that it was not yet started in the United States and Latin America. Pope Paul VI then promulgated, May 28, 1969, the document ‘MEMORIALE DOMINI’ (http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdwmemor.htm) in which he stated verbatim: ‘The bishops of the world are unanimously opposed to Communion in the hand. It must be observed this way of distributing Communion, that the priest must put the Host on the tongue of the communicants. Communion on the tongue does not take away dignity in any way from those who receive Holy Communion. Every innovation can lead to irreverence and profanation of the Eucharist, as well as gradually corroding the correct doctrine ‘. The document also stated: ‘The Supreme Pontiff judged that the traditional and ancient way of administering Communion to the faithful must not be changed. The Apostolic See therefore strongly urges bishops, priests and the people to observe zealously this law’.
But since this was the era of compromise, the papal document contained the seeds of its own destruction, as the Instruction went on to say that, where the abuse had already been strongly consolidated, it could be legalized with the two-thirds majority in a secret ballot of the National Episcopal Conference (as long as the Holy See confirmed the decision).
This ended in favor of the proponents of Communion in the hand. And it should be underlined that the Instruction said where abuse has already consolidated. Of course, the clergy of the Protestant mentality (including ours) concluded that if this rebellion could be legalized in the Netherlands, it could be legalized everywhere. It was thought that, ignoring ‘Memorial Domains’ and challenging the liturgical law of the Church, this rebellion would not only be tolerated, but finally legalized.
This was exactly what happened, and that’s why today we have the practice of Communion in the hand. COMMUNION IN THE HAND, THEN, NOT ONLY WAS STARTED IN DISOBEDIENCE, BUT WAS PERPETUATED BY DECEPTION. The propaganda, in the 70s, was used to bring Communion in the hand with to naive people, with a campaign of half-truths that gave Catholics the false impression that Vatican II had provided a provision for the abuse, when indeed, there is no mention about it in any of the documents of the Council.
Moreover, the faithful were not told that the practice was initiated by a clergy of pro-protestant and pro-mason mentality, in defiance of the established liturgical law, but they made it sound like a request from the laity; the advocates of Communion in the hand did not clarify that the bishops of the world, when their opinions were probed, voted unanimously against this practice. They made no reference to the fact that permission was supposed to be only a tolerance of an abuse, where it was already established in 1969, and that there had been no go-ahead whatsoever that Communion in the hand might be spread to other countries like Italy and The United States of America. We have now come to the point where the practice of the Host in the hand is even presented as the best way to receive the Eucharist, and also most of our Catholic children have been wrongly instructed in receiving First Communion. To the faithful it is said that it is an optional practice and if they do not like it, they can receive Communion on the tongue.
The tragedy is that if this is optional for the lay person, it is implied that it is not for the clergy. The priests are clearly instructed to administer Communion in the hand, to their like or dislike, to whoever might ask, throwing many priests into an agonizing crisis of conscience.
It is therefore clear that NO PRIEST CAN LAWFULLY BE FORCED TO ADMINISTER COMMUNION IN THE HAND; we must pray that the greatest number of priests might have the courage to protect the reverence due to this Sacrament and might not be trapped into a false obedience that makes them collaborate in the loss of the sacredness of Christ in the Eucharist.
The priests must find the courage to fight this new practice that is part of the occult strategy of the protestantization of Catholicism, recalling that Pope Paul VI rightly predicted that Communion in the hand would lead to irreverence and to the profanation of the Eucharist and a gradual erosion of the orthodox doctrine.
This unlawful abuse is so well established as a local tradition, that even Pope John Paul II was not successful in denouncing it, despite his attempt to curb the abuse.
In his Letter ‘Dominae Cenae’ of 24 February 1980, the Polish Pope reaffirmed the Church’s teachings according to which touching the sacred Species and administering them with one’s own hands is a privilege of the consecrated ones. But, for whatever reason, this document 36 years ago contained no threat of sanctions against the laity, priests or bishops who had ignored the defense of Communion on the tongue as the Pope wanted. A law without a penalty is not a law, but a suggestion.
Thus, the document of John Paul II was greeted by several members of the clergy of the Western countries as a suggestion not appreciated and unfortunately overlooked.
But what can the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, do if the majority of the bishops and priests and lay people do not obey? Is there anyone who is still seeking to discover what God wants instead of seeking only what “I want”? Do people today trust in God or in themselves? Are there still people of good will who want to dialogue in order to seek the Truth of God together according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for adults and according to the documents of the Church that the Holy Spirit has inspired in the last 2000 years? Are there still people who do not want to repeat the original sin of Adam and Eve (Gen 3,4-5) in deciding right and wrong according to their own heads, according to the subjectivism or relativism of each person as if each person were God? People who do not care about what God wants, also do not care about all the documents of the Church in the last two thousand years When people try to manipulate me and force me to offer or preach according to what people want without caring to seek what God wants, I reply: “I follow God, not men, because God can give me eternal life; men, creatures, they cannot offer me eternal life!
“We do not need a Church that is moved by the world, but a Church that moves the world” – G.K. Chesterton.
Considering this “ERA OF COMPROMISE”, in the final message of the Blessed Virgin, October 13, 1973, on the anniversary of the last apparition and of the miracle of FATIMA, at Akita, Japan, She said to Sister Agnes Sasagawa: “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the DELUGE, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms that will remain for you will be the Rosary and Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. WITH THE ROSARY, PRAY FOR THE POPE, THE BISHOPS, AND THE PRIESTS. The work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their conferees…churches and altars sacked, THE CHURCH WILL BE FULL OF THOSE WHO ACCEPT COMPROMISE and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them.” (http://www.miraclerosarymission.org/akita.htm).
Although the “mercy of God endures forever” (Ps 136), Jesus never offered compromises even when there was the risk of loosing many followers. When many of His disciples left Him regarding the truth about the Eucharist, He did not offer compromises with the Truth, but was even willing to loose his even His Apostles: “Will you also go away?” (Jn 6:67)! The pastors who do not follow the Truth, Who is Jesus (Jn 14:6), are interested first of all in the quantity of followers, “to go to the peripheries” instead of first finding a great union with God on Mount Tabor (Moses), in the desert (Saint Anthony Abate), at Subiaco (Saint Benedict), at Laverna (Saint Francis of Assisi); they are not interested in the true spiritual quality of helping people to sacrifice and suffer everything to follow the Truth! These false pastors and false Christians, who use religion for their own motives, are happy with mediocrity and seek to lead others with them down the path of mediocrity, and ultimately, the lose of the Truth, the faith and salvation!
We must stay close to the fundamentals of revealed truth very well summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for adults (CCC) and in the true documents of the Magisterium of the Church, not the “spirit of Vatican II”! But of course A FUNDAMENTAL TACTIC OF OUR ENEMY IS TO OFFER US HALF-TRUTHS, such as, only talking about mercy without talking about the other half of the truth, that is, the need and obligation to repent and change our lives. A half-truth is worse than a lie because we think we are being led properly by those who have the God-given vocation to lead us toward God and toward eternal life, not eternal death.
There is nowhere in the scriptures where the mercy of God doesn’t expect a response of faith and repentance. One of the huge deceptions is that just because God is merciful, that means I’m OK. We become OK when we respond to mercy, when we repent and when we believe. And that needs to be part of the message, which very often today is lacking even from the highest authority in the Church. Today in the Church there are a great number of priests, bishops and cardinals who offer mercy for sins with all kinds of compromises with the Truth. Jesus offered mercy but without compromises to the Truth!
Let us contrast this priority of the Eucharist, according to the Church and the saints, with the words of Don Idilio, the delegate of Umbria and Toscana for the priests of the Focolare Movement, in his weekly bulletin of August 17, 2014:
“Some say that the churches are mostly closed and perhaps suffers. And ‘certainly a peculiar sadness, but it can also be an incentive to review their positions even in relation to a parish that is because there is a people that attended and uses its facilities to meet, to be formed and forming relationships valid in a time in which, even the most sacred, they are less. Here it is nice to think of a parish in which you live communion to the brotherhood! And it is the highest …”
The focolarini say among themselves: “Let us keep Jesus in our midst”. But often they ignore or the put aside the uncomfortable Truth so that everyone is happy and at ease: They have put aside Jesus, who is the Truth (Jn 14:6)!!!
A great number of leaders in the Focolare Movement, as well as in the whole Church, are “Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity”!
Read the Book: “In the Name of Purpose – Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity” (Jeremiah 6:16), by Tamara Hartzell (http://inthenameofpurpose.org/inthename.pdf).
A great number of people in the Church today have embraced THE VERY POWERFUL HIDDEN DECEPTION OF SATAN TO REVERSE THE PRIORITIES OF LOVE OF GOD AND LOVE OF NEIGHBOR! Behold the cult of man at the expense of the true cult of God! They adore the cult of man behind which is Satan. Satan hid also behind the image of gold with the king Nebuchadnezzar while the people worshiped it (Daniel ch. 3). Satan hid also behind the golden calf while the people worshiped it (Exodus ch. 32).
To protect the greatness and the sacredness of the Holy Mass and of the Eucharist, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI ordered the Neocatecumenal Way to “follow the liturgical book faithfully and exactly”. The three founders of the movement refused to obey the popes (“La Messa Neocatecumenale”; http://cibo-spir.blogspot.it/2015/02/la-messa-neocatecumenale.html). When I spoke of this decree (2005) of Pope Benedict with some of the members of the Neocatecumenal Way, they replied to me: “We have already overcome that”! This is like saying: “We have already overcome Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI! Do they trust in themselves or in God?!? How do they live the Our Father: “MY will be done”, or “THY will be done”???
“The Antichrist will conquer many people by saying: “You can do all that you like… it is enough to love each other…” – Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church (1098-1179) (http://profezie3m.altervista.org/ptm_profx_santaildegarda.htm)
It is most interesting how often we find this FALSE “LOVE” USED AS A POWERFUL STRATEGY in the 33 directives of the Grand Master of the Masons to the Catholic Bishops to destroy the Catholic Church! The word “love” APPEARS A WHOPPING 11 TIMES in these 33 directives! “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2Cor 11:14)! Visit: “The Masonic Plan For The Destruction Of The Catholic Church” (http://spir-food.blogspot.it/2013/11/masonic-plan.html),
To understand better the hidden powerful strategy of using false love, see also below:
A DAMNED PRIEST WARNS ABOUT HELL
According to Cardinal Biffi, according to the servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen and many saints and holy learned people, during the time of the great apostasy just before the manifestation of the Antichrist (2Thess 2:3-4), this universal worldwide brotherhood will take the place of the true religion; it will take the place of the true cult of God! Visit: “Russia Will Punish the World – 3rd Secret of Fatima Revealed” (http://spir-food.blogspot.it/2016/10/russia-will-punish-world.html).
I have a great sorrow in my heart for the souls entrusted to a great number of pastors today who do not live nor preach the Catechism of the Catholic Church for adults! If these pastors do not want to represent the Catholic Church and do not want to spend eternity with the Truth, Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6), best wishes to them. But to drag so many souls with them to be separated from the Truth for all eternity is something more terrible that one can imagine! Our Lady, the Mamma of all people, cries and a great number of her beloved sons, the priests, could care less! “The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God” (CCC 1035).
Considering the great rebellion against Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae (1968), an encyclical which reaffirmed the constant teaching of the Church (Casti Canubi 1930, etc.) on the gravity of using contraception, and then a year later with Memoriale Domini (1969), I am not surprised about the words of Pope Paul VI a while later.
We remember the dramatic words pronounced by Pope Paul VI on June 29 1972, after the Second Vatican Council, denouncing that “By some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered into the temple of God… One no longer trusts the Church; so many trust in the first profane prophet, who speaks to us in a magazine or in some social slogans, in order to run after him and ask him if he has the formula of true life. And we do not realize instead that we have already become lords and teachers. Doubt has entered our consciences, and it has entered through the windows which were meant to have been opened to the light. This state of uncertainty reigns even in the Church. It was hoped that after the Council there would be a day of sunlight in the history of the Church. Instead, there came a day of clouds, of darkness, of groping, of uncertainty…”
A few months before Pope Paul VI died, on September 8, 1977, he confirmed this grave judgment in a conversation with Jean Guitton. Here are the words of Paul VI recounted by the French philosopher:
“There is a great disturbance at this moment in the world and in the Church, and what is in question is the faith. It happens now that I find myself repeating the obscure saying of Jesus in the Gospel of Saint Luke: ‘When the Son of man returns, will he find faith on the earth?’ It happens that books are published in which important points of the faith are undermined, that the bishops are silent, that these books are not found to be strange. This, according to me, is strange. I read again every once in a while the Gospel of the end times and I realize that in this moment there is emerging some signs of the end times. Are we near the end? This we will never know. It is necessary to always be ready, but everything can still last quite a while. What strikes me, when I consider the Catholic world, is that a non-Catholic type of thought seems to predominate sometimes within Catholicism, and this non-Catholic thought might become the stronger one within Catholicism in the future. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. A small flock must remain, however small it may be.”
A pastor who does not study to seek to discover these hidden poisons of “the father of lies” (Jn 8:44) gives to the sheep the impression that all is OK even though they have slowly embraced the poisons of the wolf. The fundamental strategy of the wolf is to put to sleep spiritually the sheep so that they believe to be OK and thus do not seek to discover if they are truly OK according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for adults (CCC), even though they are OK according to the manner of the world in each era of the world. If a person does not confess a mortal sin, the sin remains for all eternity because God respects the free will of each person to not ask for the mercy of God (in sacramental confession) and to not live what one says in the Act of Contrition: “I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin”! HOW MANY PEOPLE, WITH THE HELP OF THE NEGLIGENCE OF THEIR PASTORS, HAVE IGNORED OR REBELLED AGAINST THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH ABOUT THE SIN OF USING CONTRACEPTION (Humanae Vitae – 1968; Casti Canubi – 1930), and have never confessed this mortal sin, but today commit many sacrileges in receiving Holy Communion without confessing this mortal sin? Does God have to change according to every epoch of the world or does the world have to change according to God??? If a pastor, who has the vocation to protect the sheep from the wolf, does not do this work of being the spiritual doctor of souls to help to identify and to overcome the spiritual mortal sickness of mortal sins, what will Jesus say to this pastor upon his death? “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mk 31:31). “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished” (Mt 5:17-18; 24,35).
The Subtle and Powerful Attack on the Eucharist
The Progressive Protestantization of the Catholic Mass
The fundamental strategy of the devil today is to eliminate humility before God, humility especially here on earth before the infinite God in the Eucharist. You cannot separate the body from the soul or from the heart. Therefore it is very important for Satan to take away the exterior signs of humility with the body before the infinite God in the Eucharist. The heart and soul slowly follow the signs of the body.
Saint Augustine tells us: It was pride that changes angels into devils; IT IS HUMILITY that makes men as angels. Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues. The soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance. Saint Bonaventure said that without humility, there is not virtue!
Without humility of obedience and humility before the infinite God in the Eucharist, Jesus says: My grace turns away from them to humble souls”!!!
Jesus said to Saint Faustina: “If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. THE PROUD REMAIN ALWAYS IN POVERTY AND MISERY, BECAUSE MY GRACE TURNS AWAY FROM THEM TO HUMBLE SOULS” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1602).
No one is forced to seek the will of God and to live the will of God with prayer. No one is forced to live the Lord’s Prayer, “THY will be done.” God totally respects our free will, for God is love. God does not force anyone to be with him. It would be like saying to a person: “You must love me, otherwise I will make you suffer!” That’s why after death there are two places, where there is the Creator of the universe and where there is not the Creator. The creatures are free to decide in this short life where they want to be for all eternity.
Like all human beings, I’m free to decide to follow God or follow people or other things. If a person wants to say that I do not respect their freedom because I do not do their will, this is the law of the bully and dictators. I am free to choose to follow God above all. If I do not agree with the Ten Commandments, or the words of Jesus in the Gospel, God respects my choice for all eternity. We are free not to follow Jesus and not to be with Jesus now and after death. But we do not have the power to compel God to change his law as we want! His laws are for our true good! We are free to obey his laws or to not obey his laws, to live with God for eternity or to not live with God for eternity.
Jesus, as God, is truly very demanding, because only God can offer eternal life. “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me…” (Mt 10:37). “If any one come to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26).
Ci sono pochissime persone oggi che chiedono il sacerdote, come possiamo imparare di più di come Gesù vuole che riceviamo l’Eucaristia. È piuttosto come voglio farlo io, senza nessun desiderio di imparare dai documenti della Chiesa. C’è un atteggiamento diffuso oggi che io so meglio che la Chiesa, e perciò in realtà, io so meglio di Dio!
Padre Larry Richards dice che l’iscrizione sopra le porte dell’inferno sarà il titolo della canzone cantata da Frank Sinatra anni fa: “Ho Fatto nel Modo Mio” (“I Did It My Way”)!
Benedict XVI and liturgical reform; Dom Alcuin Reid, OSB:
“As he (Pope Benedict) so eloquently explained as Cardinal: “If the Liturgy appears first of all as the workshop for our activity, then what is essential is being forgotten: God. For the Liturgy is not about us, but about God. Forgetting about God is the most imminent danger of our age. As against this, the Liturgy should be setting up a sign of God’s presence.”
“Yet what is happening, if the habit of forgetting about God makes itself at home in the Liturgy itself, and if in the Liturgy we are only thinking of ourselves? In any and every liturgical reform, and every liturgical celebration, the primacy of God should be kept in view first and foremost.”
Commentators have remarked on Benedict XVI’s courtesy and humility. These, and his profound love of the Church, mean that he will take seriously the words he wrote not twelve months ago: “The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience. He cannot do as he likes, and is thereby able to oppose those people who for their part want to do what has come into their head. His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith.”
“Pope Benedict XVI will not act beyond his competence in respect of the Sacred Liturgy, but he will act, for he is convinced that, as he wrote in 1997, “the true celebration of the Sacred Liturgy is the centre of any renewal of the Church whatever.”
BISHOP ATHANASIUS SCHNEIDER of Karaganda (Kazakhstan) is one of the few prelates who, in truth, continues to speak out against the abusive practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand. In 2008, Bishop Schneider penned a short book on his thoughts regarding the reception of Holy Communion in the hand while in a standing position. “Dominus Est” – “It is the Lord”! Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion was first published by the Vatican Press. He wrote the book in response to the widespread problem of “a gradual, growing weakening of the attitude of reverence toward the Sacred Eucharistic Species,” not to mention the abuses of dropping the Eucharistic Host, saving it for later consumption, or profaning the Blessed Sacrament as in a Satanic Mass.
The book begins with an introduction to three women: Bishop Schneider’s mother, Maria Schneider, his great aunt, Pulcheria Koch, and Maria Stang, a parishioner of the Karaganda diocese. As part of the Soviet underground, these “Eucharistic women” risked their lives during the dark times of Communist oppression so that the Holy Eucharist and the few remaining priests could be protected. With faith, and in great danger, the Eucharistic women were “often mothers and grandmothers with a ‘priestly’ soul who safeguarded and even administered the Eucharist with extraordinary love, with care, and with the greatest reverence possible, in the spirit of the Christians of the first centuries, expressed in the adage ‘cum amore ac timore’ (with love and fear).” The people of the Soviet underground reverenced the Holy Eucharist and during the rare times that the Blessed Sacrament was available to them, they “received Holy Communion on their knees and in tears.”
In the very beginning of the Christian Church, Holy Communion was received in the hand. However, Bishop Schneider explains that as the early Church became increasingly “aware of the greatness of the moment of Holy Communion [She] searched to find a ritual expression that can bear witness in the most perfect manner to her faith, love, and respect.” By the sixth century, with greater understanding and adoration of the Sacrament, Holy Communion placed directly on the tongue became the NORM. Those who continued to distribute Communion in the hand were censured. The sect known as the Casiani was condemned in 839 for refusing to receive Communion on the tongue. The Synod of Rouen in 878 threatened to suspend sacred ministers if they distributed Communion in the hand.
Aware of the magnitude of the greatness of the moment of Holy Communion, the Church in its two thousand year old tradition has tried to find a ritual that could testify as perfectly as possible to her faith, to her love and to her respect. This occurred, when in the wake of an organic development, at least from the sixth century, the Church began to adopt the mode of distributing the holy Eucharistic species directly on the tongue. There is given testimony to this: the biography of Pope Gregory the Great and an indication of the same Gregorio related to Pope Agapito (Dialogues, III).
The early Church Fathers were concerned about safeguarding fragments of the Holy Eucharist (cf. Catechesi mistagogiche, 5,21). This was another reason for the institution of receiving Christ directly on the tongue in both the early Eastern and Western churches. Receiving Holy Communion in the hand posed the very real hazard that tiny particles, including those that were imperceptible to the human eye, could be dropped. St. Jerome expressed his concern about even a tiny fragment of the Holy Eucharist falling to the ground: “If anything should fall to the ground, there is danger.”
According to the Coptic Church, “there is no difference between the smaller and larger particles of the Eucharist, even those smallest ones which cannot be perceived with the naked eye; they deserve the same veneration and possess the same dignity as the whole Bread.”
Bishop Schneider reminds us that the Holy Eucharist is “the GIFT par excellence that Christ has left for the Church, His Bride.” Thus, the believer’s attitude when receiving this precious gift is one of “the humility of the centurion, the attitude of one who allows himself to be fed, precisely the attitude of a child.” The writings of the early Fathers of the Church continue to teach us that the proper outlook while receiving Holy Communion is ‘cum amore ac timore” (with love and fear).
From the sixth century, “prostration and genuflection” before receiving the Blessed Sacrament was common in monasteries. By the tenth and eleventh centuries, the practice had spread.
John Paul II in his last encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, left to the Church an ardent warning that sounds like a true testament: ” By giving the Eucharist the prominence it deserves, and by being careful not to diminish any of its dimensions or demands, we show that we are truly conscious of the greatness of this gift (…) There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery!” (N. 61). The awareness of the greatness of the Eucharistic mystery shows itself especially in the manner in which the Lord’s body is distributed and received.
Kneeling is the biblical gesture of adoration. Adoration is the highest form of prayer; and as St. Augustine warned, “we would sin were we not to adore [the Holy Eucharist].” Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger confirmed that “kneeling is the right, indeed the intrinsically necessary gesture” before the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of Christ. Those who are unable to kneel must also make an alternate act of reverence.
Pope St. John Paul II exhorted the Church to “safeguard and strengthen the sacredness of the Eucharist.” He noted that this was important since our secular society seeks to desacralize the sacred.
La nostra profonda gesto di riverenza e di adorazione, vale a dire, in ginocchio e ricevendo il Santissimo Sacramento sulla lingua è, nelle parole del vescovo Schneider, “un segno impressionante che professa la fede nella presenza reale di Dio in mezzo dei fedeli”. Un atto di adorazione, soprattutto in un mondo che si rifiuta di credere in gran parte, è una professione di fede che invita i miscredenti ad adorare Dio.
In the conclusion of his short but important work on the reverent reception of the Holy Eucharist, Bishop Schneider reflected:
God willing, the pastors of the Church will be able to renew the house of God which is the Church, placing the Eucharistic Jesus in the center, giving Him the first place, making it so that He receive gestures of honor and adoration also at the moment of Holy Communion. The Church must be reformed, starting from the Eucharist! Ecclesia ab Eucharistia emendanda est! The Church must be reformed by the Eucharist.
The Sacred Host is not something, but some ONE. “He is there,” was the way St. John Mary Vianney synthesized the Eucharistic Mystery. Therefore, we are involved with nothing other than, and no one less great than, the Lord Himself: Dominus est! (It is the Lord!)
Schneider, A. (2008). Dominus Est—It is the Lord! Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion. New Jersey: Newman House Press.
Eat to condemnation if do not recognize Jesus in Eucharist. This is the meaning of what Saint Paul tells us:
“Perché chi mangia e beve senza riconoscere il corpo del Signore, mangia e beve la propria condanna.” (1Cor 11,29).
First job of a priest is to protect the sacraments!!! If a priests does not help the people to “discern” the Body and Blood of Christ, and people come up without the proper preparation, this priest will have to answer to God on judgment day.
Since his election, which took place right in the Year of the Eucharist, Benedict XVI has frequently reaffirmed the real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. He also retrieved, beginning from the feast of Corpus Christi in 2008 the use of giving Holy Communion on the tongue to kneeling faithful. Struck by this papal example, numerous priests, often among the younger ones, began to doubt the merits of generalized communion in the hand, considered also by some as one of the greatest damages of the liturgical reform.
His book, Dominus Est, Bishop Athanasius Schneider specifically addresses this issue. According to him, we can say, as S.E. Msgr. Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in the preface of his book, that communion in the hand has fostered a loss of faith, on the part of the faithful as well as that of the clerics, in the real presence of Christ and, therefore, a lack of respect for the Blessed Sacrament. We refer to the displacement of Tabernacles in dark corners of the churches, to the faithful who do not genuflect anymore before the Blessed Sacrament, the sacrilegious communions, etc.
Pope John Paul II underlined the necessity of external expressions of respect towards the Eucharistic Bread: “Though the idea of a “banquet” naturally suggests familiarity, the Church has never yielded to the temptation to trivialize this “intimacy” with her Spouse by forgetting that he is also her Lord… The Eucharistic Banquet is truly a “sacred” banquet, in which the simplicity of the signs conceals the unfathomable holiness of God… The bread which is broken on our altars… is the bread of angels, which cannot be approached except with the humility of the centurion in the Gospel: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof ” (Mt 8:8; Lk 7:6). (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 48).
Bishop Athanasius Schneider was asked a few questions:
Q. Is the Church going in the opposite direction from where you are going?
BAS: ‘It seems that the majority of the clergy and the bishops are content with this modern use of Communion in the hand and don’t realize the real dangers connected with such a practice. For me this is incredible. How is this possible, when Jesus is present in the little hosts? A priest and a bishop should say: “I have to do something, at least to gradually reduce this. All that I can do, I have to do.” Unfortunately, though, there are members of the clergy who are making propaganda of the modern use of Communion in the hand and sometimes prohibiting receiving Communion on the tongue and kneeling. There are even priests who are discriminating against those who kneel for Holy Communion. This is very, very sad.
Q. Some people would say you are worrying about unimportant things, what about the poor?
BAS: ‘This is erroneous. The first commandment which Christ gave us was to adore God alone. Liturgy is not a meeting of friends. It is our first task to adore and glorify God in the liturgy and also in our manner of life. From a true adoration and love of God grows love for the poor and our neighbor. It is a consequence. The saints in two thousand years of the Church, all those saints who were so prayerful and pious, they were all extremely merciful for the poor and to care for the poor.
‘In these two commandments are all the others. But the FIRST commandment is to love and adore God and that is realized in a supreme manner in the sacred liturgy. When you are neglecting the first commandment, then you are not doing the will of God, you are pleasing yourself. Happiness is to fulfill the will of God, not to fulfill our will.’
During a trip to England the Soviet-born bishop said the Church today is experiencing ‘tremendous confusion’
Although he says talk of change is mainly coming from “the anti-Christian media”, he sees clergy and lay Catholics “collaborating” with what he calls the new paganism. Bishop Schneider is particularly critical of the idea that these changes should be made so as to be merciful to those currently barred from receiving the Sacraments. “[This is] a kind of sophism,” he said. “This is not mercy, this is cruel.”
He suggested this was “a false concept of mercy”, saying: “It is comparable to a doctor who gives a diabetic patient sugar, although he knows it will kill him.”
Such critics may assert that Bishop Schneider’s concern over Holy Communion is like worrying over the numbers of angels on a pinhead. But the bishop insists that treatment of the Eucharist is at the very heart of the crisis. “The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church,” he said. “When the heart is weak, the whole body is weak.”
He argued that receiving Communion in hand “contributes gradually to the loss of the Catholic faith in the Real Presence and in transubstantiation”.
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Various writings of the saints
HUMILITY OF THE SAINTS BEFORE THE EUCHARIST:
(in contrast with our presumption!)
“Often during Mass, I see the Lord in my soul; I feel His presence which pervades my being. I sense His divine gaze; I have long talks with Him without saying a word; I know what His divine Heart desires, and I always do what will please Him the most. 1 love Him to distraction, and I feel that I am being loved by God. At those times when I meet with God deep within myself, I feel so happy that I do not know how to express it. Such moments are short, for the soul could not bear it for long, as separation from the body would be inevitable. Though these moments are very short, their power, however, which is transmitted to the soul, remains with it for a very long time. Without the least effort, I experience the profound recollection which then envelops me-and it does not diminish even if I talk with people, nor does it interfere with the performance of my duties. I feel the constant presence of God without any effort of my soul. I know that I am united with Him as closely as a drop of water is united with the bottomless ocean” (Diary of Saint Faustina; no. 411).
St. Therese of Lisieux:
“I am just a speck of dust, but I want to make my dwelling in the shadow of the sanctuary with the prisoner of love. My soul longs for the host; I love Him and want nothing more. It is a hidden God who attracts me. I am the atom of Jesus Christ.”
“On several occasions, I have learned how some religious defend their own glory under the pretext of being concerned for the glory of God, whereas it is not a question of the glory of God, but of glory of self. O Jesus, how painful this has been for me! What secrets the day of Your judgment will bring to light! How can one steal God’s gifts?” (Diary of St. Faustina, no. 1149).
THE SECRET OF MARY by St.Louis de Montfort
“37. 3. Consecrating ourselves in this way to Jesus through Mary implies placing our good deeds in Mary’s hands. Now, although these deeds may appear good to us, they are often defective, and not worthy to be considered and accepted by God, before whom even the stars lack brightness. Let us pray, then, to our dear Mother and Queen that having accepted our poor present, she may purify it, sanctify it, beautify it, and so make it worthy of God. Any good our soul could produce is of less value to God our Father, in winning his friendship and favor, than a worm-eaten apple would be in the sight of a king, when presented by a poor peasant to his royal master as payment for the rent of his farm. But what would the peasant do if he were wise and if he enjoyed the esteem of the queen? Would he not present his apple first to her, and would she not, out of kindness to the poor man and out of respect for the king, remove from the apple all that was maggoty and spoilt, place it on a golden dish, and surround it with flowers? Could the king then refuse the apple? Would he not accept it most willingly from the hands of his queen who showed such loving concern for that poor man? “If you wish to present something to God, no matter how small it may be,” says St Bernard, “place it in the hands of Mary to ensure its certain acceptance”.”
In Italian, you can also visit articles that I have posted:
“A Servizio di Tutti” (http://cibo-spir.blogspot.it/2014/08/a-servizio-di-tutti.html).
“Il Dio Infinito Fra Noi” (http://cibo-spir.blogspot.it/2014/01/il-dio-infinito-fra-noi.html).
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Blessed Francisco, after having received the Eucharist from the Angel of Fatima, he understood the greatness of the reality of Jesus present in the Eucharist and he spent three hours everyday before the Tabernacle until his death about a year later.
The Holy Father John Paul II said in his homily at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Saturday, May 13, 2000:
Later Francisco, one of the three privileged children, exclaimed: “We were burning in that light which is God and we were not consumed. What is God like? It is impossible to say. In fact we will never be able to tell people”. God: a light that burns without consuming. Moses had the same experience when he saw God in the burning bush; he heard God say that he was concerned about the slavery of his people and had decided to deliver them through him: “I will be with you” (cf. Ex 3: 2-12). Those who welcome this presence become the dwelling-place and, consequently, a “burning bush” of the Most High.
The Marvelous Value of the Holy Mass!
“The Church … was built up” (Acts 9:31), because the first Christians celebrated the Eucharist every day.
All the saints understood the greatness of the Eucharist; for this reason they are saints, and for this Satan does all he can to lead us away from the “the source and summit of the Christian life”. (Vat. II: LG 11; CCC 1324)! What can dust do without God? Mother Teresa of Calcutta did not open a new religious house for her sisters if there was not the possibility of having not only the Holy Mass every day, but also several hours before the Most Blessed Sacrament every day.
Sister Mary Gabriel (in purgatory) communicated to Sister Mary of the Cross: “Alas, how many lives seem to be filled with good works and at the death are found empty. This is because all those actions that appeared to be good, all those showy works, all that conduct that seemed irreproachable – all these were not done for Jesus alone. Some will have their eyes opened when they come here to this life (in Purgatory). On earth they wanted to be made much of, to shine, to be thought very exact in religious observances, to be esteemed as perfect religious. This is the mainspring of so many lives. If you only knew how few people work for God and act for Him alone. Alas, at death, when they are no longer blinded, what regrets they will have. If only sometimes they would think of eternity! What is life compared to that day which will have no evening for the elect, or to that night which will have no dawning for the damned? On earth, people attach themselves to everything and everyone except to Him, who alone ought to have our love and to whom we refuse it. JESUS IN THE TABERNACLE WAITS FOR SOULS TO LOVE HIM AND HE FINDS NONE. Hardly one soul in a thousand loves Him as it should. You love Him and make up to Him for this guilty indifference which exists all over this world.
(December 8, 1879; “A Manuscript On Purgatory”; http://purgatory-manu.blogspot.com).
“He loved the most holy Eucharist also with complete single-mindedness, often adoring it for hours on end in the sanctuary of the church and longed to receive it as often as possible as the food of his soul.” (Saint Martin of Porres; Office of Readings; November 3)
“I will not allow myself to be so absorbed in the whirlwind of work as to forget about God. I will spend all my free moments at the feet of the Master hidden in the Blessed Sacrament. He has been tutoring me from my most tender years” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 82).
Many priests do not spend time in adoration everyday with the excuse of their apostolate while sliding into ACTIVISM, similar to a husband who does not pass time with his wife, being occupied with his carrier or worse, with other women.
SAINT JOHN OF KENTY: “Each day, when he had finished his work, he would go straight from the college to the church. There before Christ present in the Eucharist he would spend long hours in prayer and contemplation. THE GOD OF WHOM HE SPOKE WAS THE SAME GOD WHO WAS IN HIS HEART.” (Breviary; December 23).
“As for ourselves, HOW OFTEN DO WE COME TO CHURCH WITHOUT THINKING WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO OR FOR WHAT WE ARE GOING TO ASK. And yet, when we go to call upon someone, we have no difficulty in remembering why it was we came. Some appear as if they were about to say to God: ‘I am just going to say a couple of words, so I can get away quickly.’ I often think that when we come to adore our Lord we should get all we ask if we asked for it with a lively faith and a pure heart.” (St. John Vianney; Office of Readings; August 4).
From the 100-page booklet, “Saint Veronica Giuliani – True Disciple and Apostle of Mary”, by Frate Emmanuele of the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary (p. 52):
“And to the Holy Eucharist, this “great invention of love,” as she called It, to which she resorted to ask the most difficult graces, obtaining permission to receive Him every day; and how often she received Him from the hands of the Angels … or from Most Holy Mary … One must look in the mirror of the Diary to understand how little reverence and so much superficiality we approach the Sacred today, and how little faith in the real and working presence of God in this wonderful Sacrament, even to the limits of desecration … How important it was for her the way to receive Him! All … all the spiritual fruits depended on this. She used to say, “Whenever we receive Him in the Blessed Sacrament, God is reborn in the souls of the righteous who, with the heart ,serve Him and receive Him with purity.” It is enough to remember that she was raptured into union with God after almost every Communion …
Our Lady to Don Stefano Gobbi, August 21, 1987:
“I am the Mother of Adoration and of Reparation. Beside every tabernacle of the earth, there is always my motherly presence. It forms a new and loving tabernacle for the solitary presence of my Son Jesus; it builds a garden of love for his permanent residence among you; it forms a celestial harmony which surrounds Him with all the enchantment of paradise in the adoring choirs of angels, in the blessed prayer of the saints, in the painful aspiration of the many souls who are being purified in purgatory. In my Immaculate Heart all form a concert of perennial adoration, of unceasing prayer and of profound love for Jesus, really present in every tabernacle on earth. Today my motherly Heart is saddened and is deeply wounded because I see that, about the divine presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, there is so much emptiness, so much abandonment, so much neglect, so much silence. O Church, pilgrim and suffering, of which I am the Mother, Church, who are the family of all my children, ark of the new alliance, people of God, you must understand that the center of your life, the fount of your grace, the source of your light, the beginning of your apostolic action is found only here in the tabernacle where Jesus is truly kept. And Jesus is present to teach you how to grow, to help you to walk, to strengthen you in giving witness, to give you courage in evangelizing, to be a support for all your sufferings. O pilgrim and suffering Church of these times, who are being called to live the agony of Gethsemane and the bloody hour of your Calvary, I want to bring you here today with me, prostrate before every tabernacle, in an act of perpetual adoration and reparation, so that you too may be able to repeat the action that is always being carried out by your heavenly Mother. I am the Mother of Adoration and of Reparation. In the Eucharist Jesus is really present with his Body, with his Blood, with his Soul and with his Divinity. In the Eucharist, there is really present Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that God who, in Him, I saw at every moment of his earthly life, even if He was hidden under the veil of a fragile and feeble nature, which developed through the rhythm of time and of his human growth… Go before the tabernacle to establish with Jesus a simple and daily rapport of life.”
Pope John Paul II tells us:
“Let us take our place, dear brothers and sisters, at the school of the saints, who are the great interpreters of true Eucharistic piety. In them the theology of the Eucharist takes on all the splendor of a lived reality; it becomes “contagious” and, in a manner of speaking, it “warms our hearts”. Above all, let us listen to Mary Most Holy, in whom the mystery of the Eucharist appears, more than in anyone else, as a mystery of light. Gazing upon Mary, we come to know the transforming power present in the Eucharist. In her we see the world renewed in love. Contemplating her, assumed body and soul into heaven, we see opening up before us those “new heavens” and that “new earth” which will appear at the second coming of Christ. Here below, the Eucharist represents their pledge, and in a certain way, their anticipation: “Veni, Domine Iesu!” (Rev 22:20).” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, no. 62).
“Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.” St. John Bosco
“The Dream of St. John Bosco” of the two pillars indicates to us the great importance of staying very close to Jesus in the Eucharist (while it is still possible) with our Rosary in hand.
Saint Padre Pio said: “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the HOLY MASS.” This saint also said: “The ROSARY is the weapon for these times”!
Our Lady to Don Stefano Gobbi, July 16, 1976:
“Above all, I bring you gently before the divine Person of my Son Jesus present, as in heaven, in the sacrament of the Eucharist. You acquire from me a taste for prayer. Prayer of adoration, prayer of thanksgiving, prayer of reparation. The more the coldness of desertion and silence surrounds my Son Jesus, present among you in the Eucharist, the more I myself gather the voices of my beloved sons so that, united with my voice, there may be composed even here on earth a melody of love to be offered to the Heart of my Son for his consolation.”
In Italian, visit:
Una Festa Falsa Senza la Verità
(A False Feast Without the Truth)
“This Bread of the Strong gives me all the strength I need to carry on my mission and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. The courage and strength that are in me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me – it is the Eucharist” (Diary of St. Faustina, no. 91).
“At such times, as always, I hasten to the Tabernacle and bow before the ciborium and there draw strength to accept God’s will. That which I have written is not yet everything” (Diary of St. Faustina, no. 1431).
“I find myself so weak that were it not for Holy Communion I would fall continually. One thing alone sustains me, and that is Holy Communion. From it I draw my strength; in it is all my comfort. I fear life on days when I do not receive Holy Communion. I fear my own self. Jesus concealed in the Host is everything to me. From the tabernacle I draw strength, power, courage and light. Here, I seek consolation in time of anguish. I would not know how to give glory to God if I did not have the Eucharist in my heart” (Diary of St. Faustina, no. 1037).
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, in his Letter of Proclaiming A Year For Priests on the 150th Anniversary Of The “Dies Natalis” of the Curé Of Ars, he wrote:
Saint John Mary Vianney taught his parishioners primarily by the witness of his life. It was from his example that they learned to pray, halting frequently before the tabernacle for a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. “One need not say much to pray well” – the Curé explained to them – “We know that Jesus is there in the tabernacle: let us open our hearts to him, let us rejoice in his sacred presence. That is the best prayer”. And he would urge them: “Come to communion, my brothers and sisters, come to Jesus. Come to live from him in order to live with him… “Of course you are not worthy of him, but you need him!”. This way of educating the faithful to the Eucharistic presence and to communion proved most effective when they saw him celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Those present said that “it was not possible to find a finer example of worship… He gazed upon the Host with immense love”. “All good works, taken together, do not equal the sacrifice of the Mass” – he would say – “since they are human works, while the Holy Mass is the work of God”. He was convinced that the fervor of a priest’s life depended entirely upon the Mass: “The reason why a priest is lax is that he does not pay attention to the Mass! My God, how we ought to pity a priest who celebrates as if he were engaged in something routine!”. He was accustomed, when celebrating, also to offer his own life in sacrifice: “What a good thing it is for a priest each morning to offer himself to God in sacrifice!”.
The Curé of Ars dealt with different penitents in different ways. Those who came to his confessional drawn by a deep and humble longing for God’s forgiveness found in him the encouragement to plunge into the “flood of divine mercy” which sweeps everything away by its vehemence. If someone was troubled by the thought of his own frailty and inconstancy, and fearful of sinning again, the Curé would unveil the mystery of God’s love in these beautiful and touching words: “The good Lord knows everything. Even before you confess, he already knows that you will sin again, yet he still forgives you. How great is the love of our God: he even forces himself to forget the future, so that he can grant us his forgiveness!”. But to those who made a lukewarm and rather indifferent confession of sin, he clearly demonstrated by his own tears of pain how “abominable” this attitude was: “I weep because you don’t weep”, he would say. “If only the Lord were not so good! But he is so good! One would have to be a brute to treat so good a Father this way!”. He awakened repentance in the hearts of the lukewarm by forcing them to see God’s own pain at their sins reflected in the face of the priest who was their confessor. To those who, on the other hand, came to him already desirous of and suited to a deeper spiritual life, he flung open the abyss of God’s love, explaining the untold beauty of living in union with him and dwelling in his presence: “Everything in God’s sight, everything with God, everything to please God… How beautiful it is!”. And he taught them to pray: “My God, grant me the grace to love you as much as I possibly can”.
By spending long hours in church before the tabernacle, he inspired the faithful to imitate him by coming to visit Jesus with the knowledge that their parish priest would be there, ready to listen and offer forgiveness. Later, the growing numbers of penitents from all over France would keep him in the confessional for up to sixteen hours a day. It was said that Ars had become “a great hospital of souls”.
His chastity, too, was that demanded of a priest for his ministry. It could be said that it was a chastity suited to one who must daily touch the Eucharist, who contemplates it blissfully and with that same bliss offers it to his flock. It was said of him that “he radiated chastity”; the faithful would see this when he turned and gazed at the tabernacle with loving eyes”
When God gave “manna” to arrive to the “promised land”, the Israelites “loathe this worthless food” (“manna”, Num 21:5) just as a great number of Catholics loathe the Eucharist, which is to help us to arrive to the “promised land”, paradise! In order to bring back the Israelites to the path of salvation, “The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died” (Num 21:6). “And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” (Num 21:8-9). So too God offers us the cross, and His Son crucified as the “serpent” humiliated and agonizing on the cross covered with blood. Are we willing to look at the serpent frequently in meditating often on the Passion of Christ as the solution for loathing the Eucharist?
From the Treatise of St. Ambrose On the Mysteries, “Neophytes and the Eucharist”:
“Now consider which is the more excellent, the bread of angels or the flesh of Christ, which is indeed the body of life. The former manna was from heaven, this manna is above heaven; the one was of heaven, the other is of the Lord of heaven… Whoever tastes it (Eucharist) devoutly can never experience corruption…” (Office of Readings; OT 15; Friday).
Pope John Paul II tells us:
“Priests are engaged in a wide variety of pastoral activities. If we also consider the social and cultural conditions of the modern world it is easy to understand how priests face the very real risk of losing their focus amid such a great number of different tasks. The Second Vatican Council saw in pastoral charity the bond which gives unity to the priest’s life and work. This, the Council adds, “flows mainly from the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which is therefore the centre and root of the whole priestly life”. We can understand, then, how important it is for the spiritual life of the priest, as well as for the good of the Church and the world, that priests follow the Council’s recommendation to celebrate the Eucharist daily: “for even if the faithful are unable to be present, it is an act of Christ and the Church”. In this way priests will be able to counteract the daily tensions which lead to a lack of focus and they will find in the Eucharistic Sacrifice – the true centre of their lives and ministry – the spiritual strength needed to deal with their different pastoral responsibilities. Their daily activity will thus become truly Eucharistic.” .” (Ecclesia De Eucharistia, no. 31; http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_17042003_ecclesia-de-eucharistia_en.html).
Our Lady to Don Stefano Gobbi, August 8, 1986:
“Beloved sons, how my Heart is filled with joy in seeing you here, on a priestly pilgrimage of adoration, of love, of reparation and of thanksgiving to Jesus, my Son and my God, present in the Eucharist, to console Him for the great emptiness, the great ingratitude and the great indifference, with which He is surrounded in his real and loving presence in all the tabernacles of the earth, on the part of so many of my children, and especially on the part of so many of my beloved sons, the priests.
Instead, today, Jesus in the tabernacle is surrounded by much emptiness, much neglect and much ingratitude. These times were foretold by me at Fatima, through the voice of the Angel who appeared to the children to whom he taught this prayer: `Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is surrounded…’
This prayer was taught for these times of yours.
Jesus is surrounded today by an emptiness, which has been brought about especially by you priests who, in your apostolic activity, often go about uselessly and very much on the PERIPHERY, going after things which are less important and more secondary and forgetting that the center of your priestly day should be here, before the tabernacle, where Jesus is present and is kept especially for you.
He is also surrounded by the indifference of many of my children, who live as if He were not there and, when they enter church for liturgical functions, are not aware of his divine and real presence in your midst. Often Jesus in the Eucharist is placed in some isolated corner whereas He should be placed in the center of the church, and He should be placed at the center of your ecclesial gatherings, because the church is his temple which has been built first for Him and then for you.
What causes deep bitterness to my motherly Heart is the way in which Jesus, present in the tabernacle, is treated in many churches, where He is placed in a little corner, as though He were some object or other to be made use of, for your ecclesial gatherings.
But above all, it is the SACRILEGES which today form, around my Immaculate Heart, a painful crown of thorns. In these times, how many communions are made, and how many sacrileges perpetrated! It can be said that there is no longer any Eucharistic celebration where sacrilegious communions are not made. If you only saw with my eyes how great this wound is which has contaminated the whole Church and paralyzes it, halts it, and makes it impure and so very sick! If you only saw with my eyes, you too would shed copious tears with me.
And so, my beloved ones and children consecrated to my Heart, it is you who must be today a clarion call for the full return of the whole Church Militant to Jesus present in the Eucharist. Because there alone is to be found the spring of living water which will purify its aridity and renew the desert to which it has been reduced; there alone is to be found the secret of life which will open up for it a second Pentecost of grace and of light; there alone is to be found the fount of its renewed holiness: Jesus in the Eucharist!
It is not your pastoral plans and your discussions; it is not the human means on which you put reliance and so much assurance, but it is only Jesus in the Eucharist which will give to the whole Church the strength of a complete renewal, which will lead it to be poor, evangelical, chaste, stripped of all those supports on which it relies, holy, beautiful and without spot or wrinkle, in imitation of your heavenly Mother.
I desire that this message of mine be made public and be numbered among those contained in my book. I desire that it be spread throughout the whole world because I am calling you today from every part of the earth to be a crown of love, of adoration, of thanksgiving and of reparation, upon the Immaculate Heart of her who is true Mother -joyful Mother but also most sorrowful Mother – of the Most Holy Eucharist.”