"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.'"
"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."
"Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: 'This is My Body.' No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it.
"On the altar you are looking at the same thing as you saw there last night. You have not heard, however, what this is, what it signifies, or about the greatness of the reality of which it is a sacrament. Your eyes are looking at bread and cup. This is the evidence before your physical sight. But your faith must be instructed concerning it- this bread being Christ 's Body and the cup containing His Blood. Though perhaps these words may be enough to initiate faith, faith must be further instructed in accordance with the Prophet's words: 'Believe that you may understand' ( Is 7:9).
St. Augustine of Hippo
"Recognize in this bread what hung on the cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side... whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament pertains to this one sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament."
St. Augustine, Sermon 3, 2; circa A.D. 410
"Of the sacrifice which we offer in every place, that is, of the bread and chalice of the Eucharist, Malachias has prophesied."
St. Justin, 2nd Century Martyr
"The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life,"
St. Thomas Aquinas
"Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart...don't listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love...
"Receive Communion often, very often...there you have the sole remedy, if you want to be cured. Jesus has not put this attraction in your heart for nothing..."
"The guest of our soul knows our misery; He comes to find an empty tent within us - that is all He asks."
St. Therese of Lisieux
"When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now,"
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
"The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life,"
Pope John Paul II
"At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge for future glory is given to us,"
Vatican Council II
I. The Eucharist—Source and Summit of Ecclesial Life
1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
1325 “The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.”
1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.
1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.”
1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread....” “He took the cup filled with wine....” The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, fruit of the “work of human hands,” but above all as “fruit of the earth” and “of the vine” — gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who “brought out bread and wine,” a prefiguring of her own offering.
1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. “Will you also go away?”: the Lord’s question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has “the words of eternal life” and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself.
1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it....” They went... and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God..”... And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”
1353 In the epiclesis, the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessing) on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit (some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis).
In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ’s body and blood, his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.
1357 We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present.
1358 We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:
– thanksgiving and praise to the Father;
– the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;
– the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit.
1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: “This is my body which is given for you” and “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.” In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.”
1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.”
1381 “That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that ‘cannot be apprehended by the senses,’ says St. Thomas, ‘but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.’ For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 (‘This is my body which is given for you.’), St. Cyril says: ‘Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.’”
THE SAINTS ON THE HOLY MASS
“When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.”
– St. John Chrysostom
“If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy.”
– St. Jean Vianney
“The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass.”
– St. Augustine
“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.”
– St. Padre Pio
“The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death.”
– Pope Benedict XV
“Put all the good works in the world against one Holy Mass; they will be as a grain of sand beside a mountain.”
– St. John Vianney
“Let the entire man be seized with fear; let the whole world tremble; let heaven exult when Christ, the Son of the Living God, is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O admirable height and stupendous condescension! O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! that the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under a morsel of bread.”
– St. Francis of Assisi
“No human tongue can enumerate the favors that trace back to the Sacrifice of the Mass. The sinner is reconciled with God; the just man becomes more upright; sins are wiped away; vices are uprooted; virtue and merit increases; and the devil’s schemes are frustrated.”
– St. Lawrence Justinian
“Know, O Christian, that the Mass is the holiest act of religion. You cannot do anything to glorify God more, nor profit your soul more, than by devoutly assisting at it, and assisting as often as possible.”
– St. Peter Julian Eymard
“The heavens open and multitudes of angels come to assist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
– St. Gregory the Great
“How happy is that guardian angel who accompanies a soul to Holy Mass!”
– St. John Vianney
12) “When we receive Holy Communion, we experience something extraordinary – a joy, a fragrance, a well being that thrills the whole body and causes it to exalt.” – St. John Vianney
13) “I believe that were it not for the Holy Mass, as of this moment the world would be in the abyss.” St. Leonard of Port Maurice
Thank God for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist!
The faith of the Church is this: That one and identical is the Word of God and the Son of Mary Who suffered on the Cross, Who is present in the Eucharist, and Who rules in Heaven.
— Pope Pius XII
From the Eucharist comes strength to live the Christian life and zeal to share that life with others.
— Pope St. John Paul II
Once for all beloved children, the surest, easiest, shortest way is by the Eucharist. It is so easy to approach the holy table, and there we taste the joys of Paradise.
— Pope St. Pius X
The surest, easiest, shortest way [to heaven] is the Eucharist.
— Pope St. Pius X
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.
— Pope St. John Paul II
Just as the divine Redeemer, dying on the Cross, offered Himself as Head of the whole human race to the eternal Father, so also in this "clean oblation" (Mal 1:2), He, as Head of the Church, offers not only Himself but, in Himself, all His mystical members.
In this manner [Eucharistic adoration] the faithful testify to and solemnly make evident the Faith of the Church according to which the Word of God and the Son of the Virgin Mary who suffered on the Cross, who lies present hidden in the Eucharist, and who reigns in heaven are believed to be identical.
— Pope Pius XII
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the Living Heart of each of our parishes.
— Pope Paul VI
To keep me from sin and straying from Him, God has used devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. My life vows destined to be spent in the light irradiating from the tabernacle, and it is to the Heart of Jesus that I dare go for the solution of all my problems.
— Pope St. John XXIII
The Eucharist is source and pledge of blessedness and glory, not for the soul alone, but for the body also.... In the frail and perishable body that divine Host, which is the immortal body of Christ, implants a principle of resurrection, a seed of immortality, which one day must germinate,"— Pope Leo XIII
When Christ manifested Himself to Margaret Mary, and declared to her the infinitude of His love, at the same time, in the manner of a mourner, He complained that so many and such great injuries were done to Him by ungrateful men — and we would that these words in which He made this complaint were fixed in the minds of the faithful, and were never blotted out by oblivion: "Behold this Heart" — He said — "which has loved men so much and has loaded them with all benefits, and for this boundless love has had no return but neglect, and contumely, and this often from those who were bound by a debt and duty of more special love."
— Pope Pius XI