One of the most beautiful ways that the Holy Spirit teaches me to think about the Eucharist is that of pondering upon its immense spiritual richness. This thought makes perfect sense because the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, instructs us by its very presence how we should be Christ for others, precisely by showing us, more and more, its indescribable divine richness.

To begin with, the Eucharist teaches me the virtue of real love which warms the heart. St Angela of Foligno says: If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ’s love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude. Thus, real Eucharistic virtue is one of self-giving as Jesus Christ was. St Augustine reminds us of this truth when tells us: 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.

In sermon 3 St Augustine affirms that the Eucharist was already prophesized in the Old Testament. 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. – from the writings of St. Augustine, Sermon 3, 2; circa A.D. 410 {original translation}. The Eucharist helps those who partake grow in the virtue of purity in order that we can receive more and more its incessant self-giving love for us that needs to flow on to our fellow human beings. Thus says St Ephrem: O Lord, we cannot go to the pool of Siloe to which you sent the blind man. But we have the chalice of Your Precious Blood, filled with life and light. The purer we are, the more we receive.

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