by Catherine Moran, Ph.D.
The miracle of the Eucharist is a masterpiece of the wisdom, the power and the generosity of God. St. Augustine illustrated this beautifully when he wrote, “God, all wise though He be, knows nothing better; all power though He be, He can do nothing more excellent; infinitely rich though He be, He has nothing more precious to give than the Eucharist.”
In the Eucharist, Jesus, performs several miracles, which are infinite! The first and obvious miracle is the changing of the bread into His sacred Body and the wine into His precious Blood. On this St. Augustine wrote, “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.” Next is the miracle of His presence in the tabernacles throughout world without ceasing to be present in heaven. Third is the miracle of the multiplication of His Divine presence in all the consecrated Hosts in the world at any given time. Even more miraculous is His presence in each Host, whole and entire, including even the tiniest of particles or drop of consecrated wine. The greatest miracle though, occurs at every Mass by the means of eight words, “This is my Body; this is my Blood,” proclaimed by the priest.
When meditating upon this marvelous miracle and mystery of the Eucharist, we need to also consider what Jesus does for us in this greatest of sacraments. Concerning this point, Our Lord told St. Matilda, “At the moment of consecration, I come down first in such deep humility that there is no one at Mass, no matter how despicable and vile he may be, towards whom I do not humbly incline and approach, if he desires me to do so and prays for it. Secondly, I come down with such great patience that I suffer even my greatest enemies to be present and grant them full pardon of all their sins, if they wish to be reconciled with me. Thirdly, I come with such immense love that not one of those present can be so hardened that I do not soften his heart and enkindle it with my love, if he wishes me to do so. Fourthly, I come with such inconceivable liberality that none of those present can be so poor that I would not enrich him abundantly. Fifthly, I come with such sweet food that one ever so hungry should not be refreshed and fully satiated by me. Sixthly, I come with such great light and splendor that no heart, how blinded so ever it may be, will not be enlightened and purified by my presence. Seventhly, I come with such great sanctity and treasures of grace that no one, however inert and undevout he may be, should not be roused from this state.”
Jesus, in this most Blessed Sacrament, contemplates God His Father, just as He did when He lived on earth, taking delight in His infinite perfections. In every tabernacle in the world, Jesus praises, exalts and adores His Father in heaven for us. All this is done for us within the limits of a simple Host, in order to glorify God by this most profound abasement of Our Lord. St. Francis of Assisi exclaimed, “What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation”
In this sacrament of love, Our Lord also occupies Himself with our own personal interests. He continuously thanks God for us, prays to God for us, asks pardon for our faults, makes reparation and amends for our sins, offering Himself up in our place as a Host of expiation.
This homage of Our Lord is never interrupted and is infinite in value and merit! Only God could love us this much. Let us resolve to visit Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament often, either physical if possible or spiritually when we pray. St. Francis de Sales told us, “We must visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament a hundred thousand times a day.” We can do this during the day when we think of Our Lord, and in our place, send our guardian angel to adore Jesus in the tabernacle. Again meditate on this great mystery of love using the words of St. Augustine, “All wise thou art, thou knowst of nothing more excellent to give us.”
Katie Moran is president of the WAF Byzantine Division of the Archdiocese/Eparchy of Pittsburgh. She is an author, speaker and regular host on Radio Maria Radio. She wrote this for the Summer 2021 issue of Soul Magazine.