Mass

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Eucharist is a Greek word that means

“Thanksgiving”

It’s also important to remember that just as Adam and Eve allowed sin to enter the world by physically eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Mary gives us the fruit of the cross aka the Tree of Life, which is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist for us to physically eat, thus overcoming sin and allowing our salvation. The devil goes around as a roaring lion seeking to devour us; Jesus, on the other hand, goes around like the Lamb of God seeking for us to devour His flesh to overcome the devil.

“There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.”

Saint Jean Vianney

Even the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem points to the reality of His Body being the bread of life come down from heaven.  Why? Because the name “Bethlehem” is a Jewish word that means “House of Bread.”  And after Jesus was born, Mary placed him in a manger, which is a feeding trough for sheep to come and eat out of!

In 1 Corinthians 15:45, Jesus is described as “the new Adam”, meaning that through Adam sin entered the world, and through Jesus salvation entered the world. However, there is more to it than that. Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and died as a result.  Conversely, Jesus was hanged on a tree (Acts 10:39); He commanded us to eat of the fruit of this tree (his Eucharistic flesh) at the Last Supper, so that we will live forever and never die

 

In the Old Testament is the manna from Heaven.  In Exodus 16:4ff, God feeds the Israelites struggling in the desert with bread from Heaven.  The Israelites were forbidden from storing more than one day’s supply of the manna (except for the day before the Sabbath), so that they would learn to trust in God’s providence. Just so, Jesus feeds us with the bread of heaven, His body and Blood, while we struggle in our lives, which can certainly resemble wandering in a desert at times.  When we say the “Our Father” prayer – “Give us this day our daily bread”- we are asking God to give us the Eucharist daily, just like God gave the Jews in the desert their manna daily.  Paul calls manna in the Old Testament “supernatural food” in 1 Corinthians 10:3, and how much more supernatural the Eucharist is, since all Old Testament types are imperfect and point to the perfect  (Jesus) in the New Testament.

“If someone said to us, “At such an hour a dead person is to be raised to life, ” we should run very quickly to see it. But is not the Consecration, which changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of God, a much greater miracle than to raise a dead person to life? We ought always to devote at least a quarter of an hour to preparing ourselves to hear Mass well; we ought to annihilate ourselves before God, after the example of His profound annihilation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist; and we should make our examination of conscience, for we must be in a state of grace to be able to assist properly at Mass. If we knew the value of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or rather if we had faith, we should be much more zealous to assist at it.”

St. John Vianney

The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!

Pope Paul VI

CLEAR YOUR MINDS

If you desire the worship that you give to God to be pleasing to Him and valuable for the salvation of your soul, put it properly into practice. Begin by preparing for holy Mass as soon as you are awake, uniting yourself to all the Masses which are being said at that moment. When the bell rings to call you to the house of God, consider the fact that it is Jesus Christ Himself calling you. Start out immediately, so that you will have a moment to meditate upon the tremendous act at which you are about to assist. Do not say, like those people who have no religion, that you have plenty of time, that you will be there soon enough. But say, rather, with the Holy Prophet: “I rejoice when I am told that we are going into the house of the Lord.”

When you come out from your home, think about what you are going to do and what you are going to ask of God. Begin by clearing your mind of earthly matters so that you will be thinking of God only. Avoid all sorts of unnecessary conversations which serve no other purpose than to make you hear Mass badly. When you enter the church, recall to yourself what the holy patriarch Jacob said: How awesome is this place! How holy it is! It is truly the house of God and the gateway to heaven! When you get to your place, humble yourself profoundly as you think of your own unworthiness and the greatness of your God, Who, nevertheless, in spite of your sins, wishes to suffer you in His holy presence. Make an act of faith with all your heart. Ask God to give you the grace to lose none of the many favours which He grants to those who come here with good dispositions. Open your heart so that the word of God may enter it, take root in it, and bear fruit there for eternal life. Before leaving the church, do not fail to thank God for the graces He has just given you and go straight home, fully occupied with the thoughts of what you have seen and heard.

Yes, my dear children, if we conducted ourselves in this manner, we should never come away from the services of the Church without being filled with a fresh desire for heaven and a new disgust for ourselves and the things of this earth. Our hearts and our minds would be given over altogether to God and not at all to the world. Then the house of God would truly be for us the gateway to Heaven. That is what I desire for you. St John Vianney

Matthew 26:26-28: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

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Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God’s Goodness and asked Our Lord “How can I thank you?” Our Lord replied, “ATTEND ONE MASS.”

Jesus Christ

 John 6: 30-66: So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?  Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”  Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”  Jesus said to them,I AM the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” The Jews then murmured at him, because he said,I am the bread which came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, `I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I AM the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I AM the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

‘He said: This is my Body; therefore the Eucharist is not the figure of his Body and Blood, as some have said, talking nonsense in their stupid minds, but it is in very truth the Blood and Body of Christ.’
St. Macarius the Great
How kind is our Sacramental Jesus! He welcomes you at any hour of the day or night. His Love never knows rest. He is always most gentle towards you. When you visit Him, He forgets your sins and speaks only of His joy, His tenderness, and His Love. By the reception He gives to you, one would think He has need of you to make Him happy.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“When we work hard, we must eat well. What a joy, that you can receive Holy Communion often! It’s our life and support in this life — Receive Communion often, and Jesus will change you into himself.”
Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“Have a great love for Jesus in his divine Sacrament of Love; that is the divine oasis of the desert. It is the heavenly manna of the traveller. It is the Holy Ark. It is the life and Paradise of love on earth.”
Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“Live on the divine Eucharist, like the Hebrews did on the Manna. Your soul can be entirely dedicated to the divine Eucharist and very holy in the midst of your work and contacts with the world.”
Saint Peter Julian Eymard

A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.

St. Anself

“If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews without food in the desert for fear that they would collapse on the way, it was to teach us that it is dangerous to try to get to heaven without the Bread of Heaven.”

St. Jerome

Jesus, what made You so small? LOVE!

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.”

– St. Maximilian Kolbe

In Acts Luke 24, on the road to Emmaus, the resurrected Jesus appears to some disciples, but his identity is “hidden” from them.  Then He discusses the scriptures that pertain to Him (the Liturgy of the Word), and then sits down to table and celebrates the breaking of the bread (the Liturgy of the Eucharist) with his disciples. At the moment of Consecration,  the true identity of Jesus is made known to His disciples, and then he disappears (becomes “hidden”).  So we see here that the Last Supper is misnamed,  because in reality, the Last Supper was the First Eucharist, and at Emmaus one of the first things Jesus did was to celebrate Mass AGAIN with the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the 2 components of the Holy Mass!  And the term “hidden manna” is now apparent as to its meaning – Jesus is “hidden”, or truly present, in the Bread from Heaven!

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John 15:4-7: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. 

“Renew your faith by attending Holy Mass. Keep your mind focused on the mystery that is unfolding before your eyes. In your mind’s eye transport yourself to Calvary and meditate on the Victim who offers Himself to Divine Justice, paying the price of your redemption.”

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices  partners in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

St. Paul also speaks about the reality of Jesus’ body and blood in the Eucharist, in 1 Corinthians 11:23-30:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,  and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

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“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.” 

St. Padre Pio, stigmatic priest

John 15:4-7: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. 

“Eternal Son of the living God, Whom I here acknowledge really present!  I adore Thee with all the powers of my soul.  Prostrate with the Angels in the most profound reverence, I love Thee, O my Saviour, Whom I now behold on the throne of Thy love!  O dread Majesty, O infinite Mercy!  Save me, forgive me!  Grant that I may never more be separated from Thee.”

-St. Basil

“Lord Jesus Christ, pierce my soul with your love so that I may always long for you alone, who are the bread of angels and the fulfillment of the soul’s deepest desires. May my heart always hunger for you, so that soul may be filled with the sweetness of your presence”

Saint Bonaventure

Consuming the Eucharist, the fruit of the tree known as the cross, or the Tree of Life, overcomes Adam eating the forbidden fruit from the tree known as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Jesus says that if you eat the Eucharist, He abides in you, and we in Him!

St. Padre Pio, stigmatic priest

The effects of taking Holy Communion are as follows:

It unites us most intimately with Christ;

It increases sanctifying grace in us;

It weakens our evil inclinations;

It strengthens us in the practice of all virtues;

It cleanses us from venial sins;

It preserves us from mortal sins;

It is a pledge of eternal life.

“When we have been to Holy Communion, the balm of love envelops the soul as the flower envelops the bee.” 

Saint Jean Vianney

“All expressions of love, even the highest and the most profound, are verified in the Eucharist. Thus, it is a Love that is crucified, a Love that unites, a Love that adores, a Love that contemplates, a Love that prays, a Love that delightfully satisfies,”

Fr. Stefano Manelli, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D.

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  1. Padre Pio’s Prayer for after Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and alway be in Your company

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You

Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.

Amen.

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