The Eucharist: A Foretaste of Heaven

“The entire substance of bread and the entire substance of wine are changed after consecration into the Body and Blood of the Son of God. . . . As the natural bread is by a miracle made a heavenly Bread, so grace coming to us in this sacrament converts our earthly nature into a heavenly one, and without destroying its substance makes it participate in the Divine Nature.”

“It is true that this change is not visible to our senses; but neither does Transubstantiation affect the outward form of the bread and wine. Exteriorly the children of God are as other men, subject to the same trials and diseases; but, as the Apostle says, ‘the outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day’; they are transformed by the Spirit of God, until hereafter their mortal life is changed into a glorious and immortal one.”

“The Body and Blood of His Son is, yet, not the greatest food which the heavenly Father gives to His children. In the Holy Sacrament the Son of God gives Himself directly in His humanity, because we are yet too immature, too small, to be able to comprehend Him in His Divinity. Here He gives Himself, as it were, as the milk, there as the Bread of Eternal Life. ‘For as the mother,’ says St. Augustine, ‘prepares in her maternal breast, as milk, the bread which the infant cannot eat yet at the table of its father, so that the infant receiving it may become stronger and grow bigger; so the Word of God, who, with His Father in heaven, is the Bread of the elect, has descended to us on earth, and made Himself small, that He may be taken as milk by the new-born children of His Father. The Holy Sacrament of the Altar, therefore, though truly Divine, is only a foretaste of, and a preparation for, that food with which God the Father will nourish us in heaven. There we shall enjoy the Son of God in His glory; there we shall be strengthened by the power of His Divine Nature; there we shall be nourished by the light of His glory, and shall drink in the flood of His love and delight.'”

Quotations from Alice Lady Lovat, The Marvels of Divine Grace: Meditations Based on the “Glories of Divine Grace” (Original Treatise by Fr. Nieremberg, S.J., Entitled “Del Aprecio y Estima de la Divina Gracia”) (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1917).

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