HOLY COMMUNION

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Holy Communion
1. Let us meditate on what an extraordinary thing Holy Communion is. Jesus, God made man, really descends into us, poor creatures though we are. We become the living temples of the Holy Trinity.
Not alone does Jesus come to us, body, soul and divinity, but He also becomes our food. There is a great difference, however, between the nourishment of material food and the spiritual nourishment which we receive from the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. When we take ordinary natural food, we assimilate it. In other words, we cause it to become blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. When we receive Holy Communion, on the other hand, it is we who must be assimilated and changed into Jesus. Each of us should become, therefore, another Christ, in the manner indicated by St. Paul: “It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Material food become human and is assimilated into our being. Our Eucharistic food assimilates us into Itself and, in a certain sense, deifies us. This is why St. John Chrysostom calls it a mystery which transports us into Heaven.

Before this can happen, however, it is necessary for us to approach Holy Communion with the necessary dispositions. These are: (1) A lively and active faith, which will enable us to recognise in the white Host the person of Jesus Himself, full of goodness, mercy and love, eager to shower upon us all the treasures of His Heart. (2) Purity and freedom not only from mortal sin, but also from any deliberate attachment to venial sin. (3) Deep humility, because Jesus loves the humble and holds the proud at a distance from Him. He wishes us to be like Him, in other words, meek and humble of heart. There must be no worldly ambition, therefore, no love of honours, riches or human greatness, no inordinate affection for things or persons. There must be only a great desire to please God alone and to offer Him our whole life, including every thought and action. (4) Finally, an ardent love for Jesus, which will consume all our imperfections and unite us to Him so intimately that we shall be transformed by Him.

2. St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus truly claimed that one Holy Communion made with perfect dispositions was enough to produce a saint. When we receive Holy Communion properly we are transformed into Jesus and, therefore, we become holy. We live no longer as ourselves, but we live in Jesus. Not alone are we purified of all our imperfections, but we are emptied of ourselves in order to receive Jesus into ourselves. Jesus becomes the dominant thought in our minds and the central desire of our hearts.
Holy Communion, therefore, should be a supernatural miracle which causes us to live the life of Jesus.
This is the reason why the early Christians gathered daily at the Eucharistic table. They felt the need to achieving every day the transformation of their souls into Jesus. They hungered for Jesus, they burned with love for Him; they were as one in heart and in soul.

Let us examine ourselves and see if our Communions have anything like this effect on us. “Let a man prove himself, says St. Paul, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the cup; for he who eats and drinks unworthily...eats and drinks judgment to himself.” (I Cor. 2:28-29)
We should examine ourselves before Holy Communion and make an act of sorrow for our sins and imperfections. Then we shall be able to approach Jesus with love and confidence. We need not be afraid, for it is He Who invites us. It is He Who desires to be united with us in order to make us like Him.

3. Let us go to Him with repentance, with humility, and with love. Then He will make us holy.
"May the most Holy and Divine Sacrament be at all times praised and thanked."

-Meditations by Antonio Cardinal Bacci
 
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