“If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering.”—St. Faustina Kowalska (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul)
Original piece by Josh Applegate on Unsplash.
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This is the Holy Eucharist on display in a monstrance during Adoration. In a world that seems hungry for scientific proof and visible evidence, the Eucharist and its significance is often overlooked. I write more about the Eucharist and the challenge of its teaching in this blog post: The Eucharist: Difficult Bread
I think of the Eucharist and its effect much like a seed. Let’s say you met some cave dweller who has never laid eyes on a tree, and all you had was a tiny seed in your hand. He asks what it is and you try to describe what a tree is and how this seed turns into one. It could be quite the challenge!
When the unleavened bread is consecrated during Mass, it isn’t some visual spectacle. It’s humble silence. The real spectacle is what the Eucharist does within us and through us, once it is consumed. So long as the recipient has faith in what it can do, then it’s like a seed falling on fertile soil, and it will change them. However, if they are hardened of heart and don’t believe in what they are consuming, it doesn’t root itself. Faith is key here. Throughout the Gospels, Christ repeatedly urges his followers that faith is essential to allowing God to change us or work through us.
“It is by faith that every grace, every gift of the Spirit, every divine blessing comes to us, as Saint Paul ceaselessly affirms. Faith is the essence of our capacity to receive the free gift of God. And here we see why Jesus insists much on this point in the Gospel: Where is your faith? (Lk 8:25).”—Fr. Jacques Philippe