Holy Eucharist – Part 2 of 3

Father Cassilly says of the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist: “The Body that was fashioned for God the Son in Mary’s womb, enters the body of each Christian and there abideth, bringing in its train a host of ministering spirits, and giving forth the same current of graces that flowed from it in Christ’s ministrations when He trod the hills and vales of Palestine. And why does He come, body and soul, into the bosom of us Christians? That He may abide in us and we in Him, that so we may have life everlasting.”

“As material food and drink nourish the body, Christ’s Body and Blood feed and strengthen the soul. Natural food enters into our arteries and veins, and is transmuted from dead elements into living tissue and substance. It is changed into us. Not so with this spiritual food of our soul. Christ’s Body is not changed into ours, but we, in a manner, are changed into Him. For, His Body is not dead, but living, and in a union of living things the higher life prevails, the inferior is absorbed into the superior. . . . By nature’s law, the elements and lower organisms minister to the higher, the inferior life is elevated to the superior. But the Divine life is higher than the human and so Christ’s life cannot be changed into ours, but ours is elevated to become His.”

“The primary effect of this Sacrament is union with Christ in charity, and this is produced by an increase of sanctifying grace. . . . This heavenly nourishment makes the recipient live, as it were, with Christ’s life, love with His charity, and under the influence of this charity grow in all other virtues. . . . As the body that is weak and anaemic easily falls a prey to the countless germs and bacilli, which ever lie in wait for it in air and water and food, seeking entrance into the circulatory system; whereas the strong and vigorous constitution easily repels these invading hordes: so, too, the soul that is frequently nourished with the Body of Christ has strength to ward off the temptations and sins that ever strive to find lodgment in it.”

Quotations from Francis Cassilly, A Story of Love, 2d ed. (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917).

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