7 Secrets of The Eucharist

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Jesus once lamented to St. Faustina how so many people don't seem to understand the Sacrament of Holy Communion and His Real Presence in the Eucharist.

"When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion," He said, "My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. ... They treat Me as a dead object" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1385)

The message of Divine Mercy is a Eucharistic message, one that calls us to lead a sacramental life. So let's take a closer look at this great gift: the Eucharist.

'Unless You Eat the Flesh'
The Sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted on Holy Thursday, and this gift is celebrated daily in Holy Masses all over the world. Jesus wants us to partake in this gift as frequently as our station in life permits. "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" (Jn 6:53-54).

The Church teaches that at the moment of Consecration during the Mass, the bread and wine on the altar become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. In 1551, the Council of Trent condemned the opinion that Christ is present only in the elements as a sign, or that Christ is received only spiritually. In John 6: 48-51, Jesus says, "I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, but they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and never die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh."

The Real Presence
After the Consecration, although the appearance remains, the bread and wine cease to exist. This change is called transubstantiation. While it is true God is everywhere spiritually, the Eucharistic presence of Christ — that is, that Christ is present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, is called the True Presence or the Real Presence. When discussing the Real Presence, one can see from John, Chapter 6, that even at the time of Christ, there was disagreement and discussion, and many did not understand what He was saying. In verses 48-56, He speaks of being "the living bread which came down from Heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever," and He added, "for My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." However, in verse 60, it is written that many of His disciples, when they heard Christ's words, remarked, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" And in verse 66, "After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him."

The early Christians who believed in the Real Presence suffered much. There was much persecution, and many martyrs were made. People met and prayed in secret and could not openly discuss their faith. As a result, a community of secrecy developed as reflected in the complex signs and symbols of the early Church, ones that could not be deciphered by the pagans.

Early this century when the catacombs were discovered and excavated, several symbols were found in far greater frequency than others. They reflected on the meaning of life and the "Great Secret," the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Interestingly, it was not Christ's Resurrection, His numerous healings, the Sermon on the Mount, or the Passion that predominated in the symbolic artwork of the catacombs. Rather, it was the symbol of the Eucharist that was the focus throughout and was even on Peter's tomb.

A Miracle in Lanciano
I want to mention the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, Italy. Lanciano is a small coastal town on the Adriatic Sea. The term means "the lance," and tradition has it that St. Longinus, the soldier whose lance pierced the heart of Jesus from which flowed blood and water (Jn 19:34) was from Lanciano. Longinus converted after the events of the Crucifixion and was eventually martyred for the faith.

At the time of this Eucharistic miracle, heresy was spreading in the Church about the True Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist. A monk was having doubts, and his doubts were growing stronger. One morning at Mass during the Consecration, he began to shake and tremble. He faced the people to show them what had happened. The Host had turned to flesh and the wine into blood!

This miracle took place nearly 1,300 years ago and is ongoing. Testing done in the 1970s revealed the flesh to be human heart tissue and the blood of human origin, both AB blood type. The blood had characteristics of living blood, and no preservatives of any kind were found in either specimen.

A Girl Gets a Special Gift
The miracle of Bologna, Italy, took place in 1333 in Bologna, Italy, and occurred because a pious young girl of 11 had a burning desire to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. Imelda Lambertini was born of wealth and entered the Dominican convent at age 9. She had a burning love for Jesus in the Eucharist. She wanted to receive Holy Communion but was unable because she was not the required 12 years of age.

The Lord gave her a special gift on the Feast of the Ascension in 1333. While praying, a Host appeared suspended in mid-air in front of her. The priest was called and he gave her Holy Communion. She went into ecstasy and never awakened. She died while receiving her First Holy Communion! Blessed Imelda's incorrupt body lies in the church of San Sigismondo near the University of Bologna. Pope St. Pious X named her Protectress of First Holy Communicants.

We may ask why the Lord gives us these miracles. Perhaps it is to show how present He is in the Eucharist. He desires that all of us, even the lost sheep, come back to the fold and that He loves us, even when we sin. He is the God of mercy and love, and He wants us to share that love and mercy with others. So today, may God bless you and may His Eucharistic love radiate out from you to a hurting world!

Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

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A servant of Jesus and Mary - May 29, 2009

Praise be Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Mary, if it be God's will, help us to truly see your Son. It would please him so much, amen.

violeta - May 29, 2009

I had been a daily communicant for about 7 years when the Lord brought me to a Charismatic Group in 1976. I thought they were nice,simple but not in touch with reality. While attending one of their Charismatic Masses,I received Holy Communion and as soon as that Host entered my mouth I knew without a shadow of a doubt that that was my Living Lord and no longer bread. I cried quietly and copiously and was only able to say. "It is true! Your are really here! I have been taught this but now I know it is true!" May the Holy Spirit author of life bring Jesus to life in our souls each time we receive Him.

Susie B.Australia - May 30, 2009

BEAUTIFUL,MAY WE ALWAYS RADIATE GOD'S LOVE INTO A HURTING WORLD,AMEN.

Bonnie - May 31, 2009

I sent this to some who really need to read this. On this Pentecost Sunday - "Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray..' Give them your salvation, Lord..." Amen, Alleluia!

I.C. - May 31, 2009

Jesus Christ, Son of God , King of mercy, on the feast of Pentecost, we believe Your real presence in the Holy Eucharist.Lord Jesus, You made Yourself very small in the Holy Bread: The Divine Mercy of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: The Divine Obedience : The Divine Mercy ( "Divya Karunyam" as sung in the Malayalam language of Kerala in India). The Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ Who always stays with us. Jesus waits for us in this Holy Sacrament: The Holy Bread broken and scourged for us in Divine love.Jesus , You invite us to be Your witnesses in justice, mercy and love. To think of Your Love and to thank You forever, we need Your grace . To experience and celebrate the Divine Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the feast of Pentecost and on all days to come. We need the grace to be with You always, Jesus Christ, King of mercy. " Mane nobiscum Domine".

Maria - Jun 1, 2009

His infinte Mercy that gives His children the trust and the power to fall into the earth and die too - into the pain and sinful attitudes of others too, to become one with them esp. of those whom He has allowed to hurt us or seem against us and then lift it all up - even the seeming strangleholds of the enemy with its fear to give into the Love of The Lord .

His grace and power again helping us , in simple loving trust , to lift it all up , to the sunshine of His merciful love and wait patiently for the hundred fold !

yet Lord , we are weak and often tempted to run away or become annoyed at the dirt and the rain -till we can hold onto the trust, the root of all good , the trust that You can do it all ;may Your grace allow us , the dirt in us all ,to be transformed into areas of everlasting gratitude !

May we ever trust in Your love for us all and live accordingly .

St.Margaret Mary and all saints , pray for us all!

maryS - Jun 1, 2009

the passage struck me so much,I hope people will realize how Jesus loves us so much.God bless
"When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion," He said, "My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. ... They treat Me as a dead object" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1385)

I.C. - Jun 6, 2009

To desire to love You, Jesus Christ, is a grace from the Eternal Father of mercy. We love You Jesus. The Holy Mystery of the Holy Eucharist is beyond my poor comprehension.Lord Jesus, You make Yourself a palpable grace for us in the Holy Bread. " Solo Dios basta". To live Your love is the will of Eternal Father.

Tony - Jun 12, 2009

When I communicate with Jesus in the Eucharist I desire a depthless union. I want Jesus to be my Life my Strengh my Healer.

Dee - Jun 13, 2009

Jesus in the Eucharist has remained in solitary confinement for over two thousand years in the tabernacles of the world - and all for the love of us.
Isn't it time we realize that He is truly present in the Eucharist and that receiving Holy Communion in either form (body or blood) will not make anyone sick! So many people are afraid to receive the blood and share the Eucharistc cup because they think they will pick up some else's germs. Do they really think Jesus would let anyone get sick from receiving HIM in the Eucharist?

i - Jun 14, 2009

Good Jesus, King of mercy, You always give us the Emmaus experience in the Most Blessed Sacrament to witness Your divine sharing love and mercy. You wait for us in the Holy Tabernacles of the Catholic churches. Good Jesus, concealed in the Holy Eucharist, Your Holy, Living, Real Presence prepares us for the Kingdom of God. " To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men..." (1 Cor 9:22).

Susan Maynard - Sep 17, 2015

Mary, Lend me your Immaculate Heart, so that I can love your son, Jesus as you do