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Eating Fire and Spirit: Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion

Eating Fire and Spirit: Receiving Jesus in Holy CommunionEating Fire and Spirit: Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion

Imagine eating the sun–and imagine you could do it without vanishing. What would happen? You would receive into your body the source of light and cordiality. You would have within you all the ignited and heat that you could possibly ever need or demand. No more heating proposals , no more lightbulbs , no more winter expeditions to warmer climes.

When we receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, we receive the source of all mysterious dawn and kindnes, the daylight of truth, the heat of love, for undoubtedly He is the “sun of Justice.” We receive God Himself, the most Son of God, Who is inseparable from the Father and the Holy Spirit. Saint Ephrem the Syrian wrote: “He called the bread his living body and he replenished it with himself and his Spirit …. He who ingests it with sect, devours Fire and Spirit….”

That we are not killed instantly by this contact with eternal and infinite Fire is, in its own way, a greater miracle than would be eating the sun without perish. Our Lord protects us, courteously obstructing His blazing glory lest we be overwhelmed, and gently radiating His peace.

It is because we receive divine fire–a fire far more potent in the array and reach of its possible spiritual gists than any physical fire–that the honorable receipt of the Eucharist is refining, crystallizing, and unitive. The Holy Eucharist does within and upon the spirit that which burn does within and upon incendiary thing, burning away contrary dispositions and transforming the matter into itself. But since the spiritual feeling is incorruptible, the mind can become fire without expiring, like the magical burning bush. The Eucharist does for the being what the ardour of the daylight does for the earth, spreading light, warming forms, inducing growth.

As we learn lessons from the Fathers, Doctors, and mystics of the Church, the Real Presence of Jesus has a proper effect on our soul and our form. It acts principally on the someone, for, again like the sunshine, Jesus extends forgivenes to everything that circumvents Him, everything with which He comes into contact, according to His will, “according to the measure of the rendering of Christ”( Eph 4:7 ).

This article is from The Holy Bread of Eternal life.

Like the healing of the woman with the flow of blood( cf. Lk 8: 43 ), the diseased blood of the old-fashioned Adam cannot be healed by any human prescription, but exclusively by the touch of the new Adam, family physicians of beings. The Lord touches first the essence of the someone, improved in it the grace that meets the feeling pleasing to God, an adopted son of the Father, a sister and bride of the Son, a church of the Holy spirit. He strokes the powers of the someone, kept informed with goodness, strengthening righteous attires. He budges these superpowers into operation–He creates within us acts of faith, hope, charity, and all the righteousness. Simply in the life to come will we be given to know just how many times it was Jesus who, faced with the listless torpor of our topple position, animated our minds into action and stimulated us to bear fruits pleasing to God and profitable to us.

Holy Communion affects their own bodies, too. This is very important to see, even if we cannot understand it absolutely. Wrapped in the long shadow of Descartes, modern Westerners seem affected with a partiality to consider “spirituality” the exclusive land of the spirit–leaving the flesh to fend for itself like an abandoned orphan. This is not what the Lord who generated heaven and earth has in mind for us information individuals. By the ways and means of the Holy Eucharist, our flesh is formed more obedient and docile to the soul, interpreted more approachable to the informing power of mind and decency. The Lord is sown into the flesh as a grain of greatnes: He extends discern life, see actuality, upon what has purely earthly life and earthly actuality.

The Life we long for, the blessed life, living conditions of heaven: this Life we can take into ourselves. That God should demonstrate us Himself is fully beyond our restriction understanding, but not at all beyond His unlimited strength. The Way we seek to follow, the Gospel way, is not a philosophy but a Person, the Word concluded Flesh, and this Person yields Himself to us.

We must therefore cling heartily and gaily to the Eucharistic Lord, and receive Him as often as we can, go before Him in Adoration, cause our attentions and mettles be “eucharisticized” so that our lives are likely to be, more and more, an achievement of thanksgiving for His mighty work of saving in us.

This article is adapted from a period in Dr. Kwasniewski’s latest journal, The Holy Bread of Life eternal: Restoring Eucharistic Reverence in an Age of Impiety. It is available as an ebook or paperback from Sophia Institute Press.

image: The icon of Jesus Christ the Priest from Chiesa di Santa Maria Maddalena, Ravenna via Renata Sedmakova/ Shutterstock.com

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