“If it is ‘daily bread,’ why do you take it once a year? Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year.” ~ St. Ambrose
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. As we do so, it is incumbent upon us to examine just what that wonderful gift is all about as well as how we accept it in our own lives.
St. Ambrose is a Doctor of the Church and was a major influence in the conversion of St. Augustine. He was a leader of the Church who was of sound doctrine and, at the same time, charitable and forgiving when dealing with others.
His view of the Eucharist is spot on, especially for the people of the world today. There are too many who do not practice their faith nor gather to worship. They have little appreciation about the Eucharist and what it truly is: the source and summit of the Christian life.
If the Eucharist is so important, so elemental, to us, we need to cultivate a greater respect and hunger for it. Respect in that we need to spend time in adoration and devotion, visiting the Eucharistic Lord when the Eucharist is exposed on the altar or when it resides in the tabernacle. Hunger in that it is the Bread of Life and the food for the soul.
There is no way that a person can refrain from food and water for an extended period of time. That person would soon die. So it is with the soul. Keeping ourselves away from the very sustenance that nourishes us and keeps us alive, our souls can become in jeopardy of perishing. It is that real and urgent of a problem.
In Ambrose’s day, many thought that they were unworthy to receive the Eucharist regularly. In our day, people excuse themselves from the celebration of their faith, becoming “Creasters” (Christmas and Easter) or CEOs (Christmas and Easter only). Thinking that they can survive without the Eucharist throughout the vast majority of the year puts their souls in great peril.
On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, let us pray for a deeper appreciation of the gift of the Eucharist and nourish ourselves with it often.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who exempt themselves from regular worship and reception of Communion.