Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blessed Feast of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord

Prayer from St. Ambrose

Lord Jesus Christ, I approach your banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner, and dare not rely on my own worth but only on your goodness and mercy. I am defiled by many sins in body and soul, and by my unguarded thoughts and words.

Gracious God of majesty and awe, I seek your protection, I look for your healing. Poor troubled sinner that I am, I appeal to you, the fountain of all Mercy. I cannot bear your judgment, but I trust in your salvation. Lord, I show my wounds to you and uncover my shame before you. I know my sins are many and great, and they fill me with fear, but I hope in your Mercies, for they cannot be numbered.

Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal King, God and man, crucified for mankind, look upon me with Mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in You. Have Mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin, for the depth of your Compassion never ends.

Praise to you, Saving Sacrifice, offered on the wood of the Cross for me and for all mankind. Praise to the noble and Precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world. Remember, Lord, your creature, whom you have redeemed with your Blood. I repent of my sins, and I long to put right what I have done. Merciful Father, take away all my offenses and sins; purify me in body and soul, and make me worthy to taste the Holy of Holies.

May your Body and Blood, which I intend to receive, although I am unworthy, be for me the remission of my sins, the washing away of my guilt, the end of my evil thoughts, and the rebirth of my better instincts. May it incite me to do the works pleasing to you and profitable to my health in body and soul, and be a firm defense against the wiles of my enemies.

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds conceal me.
Do not permit me to be parted from you.
From the evil foe protect me.
At the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come to you,
to praise you with all your saints
for ever and ever.

The Holy Father John Paul II Encyclical on the Eucharist

The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfilment of the promise: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity. Ever since Pentecost, when the Church, the People of the New Covenant, began her pilgrim journey towards her heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament has continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope.

Keith Fournier does a nice job here speaking about the Eucharistic Processions which are being reignited across the country.

Jesus told his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” We who have been given the bread of angels now have life within us; His Life - the very life of the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit - a communion of Divine Persons in the Perfect unity of Perfect love.

This is why this Feast of Corpus Christi follows the Feast of the Holy Trinity in the Western calendar, to show us this profound connection. Through the Holy Eucharist, we are invited into the Trinitarian communion and then sent into the world to carry Jesus to others so that they all may join in the eternal Feast! The Eucharist is a mystery that is meant to plunge its roots deeply into every area of our lives. It is a gift to be received and lived, to unfold into a dynamic, daily encounter with a living God who calls us to continual conversion. This conversion happens in and through the very “stuff” of the struggles and travail of our daily lives; through the mistakes, the wrong choices, the failures, and even through the pain. Through it all, the love of God purifies and refines us like the refiners’ fire purified the gold that was used to make the many Monstrances in which the consecrated Host is enthroned on this Feast of Corpus Christi.

Often, especially in difficulty, the Lord appears to be hidden, as He does to so many in the Holy Eucharist. But, with the light of faith, He soon reveals Himself. Through the continuing work of grace - and our response to God’s loving invitations - we really can become such “living monstrances”, living tabernacles, wherein the Lord dwells.

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