From the Jerusalem Catecheses

Body and BloodSacred Chalice with Symbols of Bread and Wheat/© MariuszSzczygiel/Getty Images

By Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

“The Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation”

On the night he was betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said: “Take, eat: this is my body.” He took the cup, gave thanks and said: “Take, drink: this is my blood.” Since Christ himself has declared the bread to be his body, who can have any further doubt? Since he himself has said quite categorically, This is my blood, who would dare to question it and say that it is not his blood?

Therefore, it is with complete assurance that we receive the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ. His body is given to us under the symbol of bread, and his blood is given to us under the symbol of wine, in order to make us by receiving them one body and blood with him. Having his body and blood in our members, we become bearers of Christ and sharers, as Saint Peter says, in the divine nature.

Once, when speaking to the Jews, Christ said: Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall have no life in you. This horrified them and they left him. Not understanding his words in a spiritual way, they thought the Saviour wished them to practise cannibalism.

Under the old covenant, there was showbread, but it came to an end with the old dispensation to which it belonged. Under the new covenant, there is bread from heaven and the cup of salvation. These sanctify both soul and body, the bread being adapted to the sanctification of the body, the Word, to the sanctification of the soul.

Do not, then, regard the eucharistic elements as ordinary bread and wine: they are in fact the body and blood of the Lord, as he himself has declared. Whatever your senses may tell you, be strong in faith.

You have been taught and you are firmly convinced that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is not bread and wine but the body and the blood of Christ. You know also how David referred to this long ago when he sang: Bread gives strength to man’s heart and makes his face shine with the oil of gladness. Strengthen your heart, then, by receiving this bread as spiritual bread, and bring joy to the face of your soul.

May purity of conscience remove the veil from the face of your soul so that by contemplating the glory of the Lord, as in a mirror, you may be transformed from glory to glory in Christ Jesus our Lord. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Reading taken from the Office of Readings. If you are interested in praying the Liturgy of the Hours, then please visit www.universalis.com.

An Easter Homily

Open Tomb of JesusThe Open Tomb of Jesus with Sun through the Entrance / © Gino Santa Maria / 123RF Stock Photo

From an Easter Homily by Saint Melito of Sardis, Bishop

“There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover: that mystery is Christ, and to him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

For the sake of suffering humanity, he came down from heaven to earth, clothed himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself; he triumphed over the diseases of soul and body that were its cause, and by his Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.

He was led forth like a lamb; he was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as he had ransomed Israel from the hand of Egypt; he freed us from our slavery to the devil, as he had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with his own Spirit and the members of our body with his own blood.

He is the One who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen to be his own forever. He is the Passover that is our salvation.

It is he who endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed him. In Abel, he was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonoured in the prophets.

It is he who was made man of the Virgin, he who was hung on the tree; it is he who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead, and taken up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of his was broken; in the earth, his body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead, and who raised man from the depths of the tomb.”

Reading taken from the Office of Readings. If you are interested in praying the Liturgy of the Hours, then please visit www.universalis.com.

Crucifixion Quotes

DP146417Crucifixion (circa 1600-1700)/The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA (PD-Art)

“TWO CRIMINALS WERE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST. ONE WAS SAVED; DO NOT DESPAIR. ONE WAS NOT; DO NOT PRESUME.” – SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

“How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!” – Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

“It is not the finest wood that feeds the fire of Divine love, but the wood of the Cross.” – Saint Ignatius of Loyola

“Oh cherished cross! Through thee, my most bitter trials are replete with graces!” – Saint Paul of the Cross

“Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” – Saint Rose of Lima

 

The Magnificat

ISS_3222_02656.jpg‘Un Rosario y una Biblia con la Imagen de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe’/© Kbuntu/Stock Photo Secrets
The Magnificat(Taken from the Jerusalem Bible, Published and Copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968
 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a Division of Random House, Inc)

Francis of Assisi

st-francis-373549_1920‘Saint Francis Statue’/Pixabay

Prayer of Saint Francis

 

Catholic October Prayers

beads catholicism cross faith
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

SUB TUUM PRAESÍDIUM

“Sub tuum praesídium confúgimus,
sancta Dei Génetrix;
nostras deprecatiónes ne despícias in necessitátibus,
sed a perículis cunctis líbera nos semper,
Virgo gloriósa et benedícta.”

[We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.]

PRAYER OF LEO XIII

“Sancte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in próelio;
contra nequítiam et insídias diáboli esto praesídium.
Imperet illi Deus, súpplices deprecámur,
tuque, Prínceps milítiae caeléstis,
Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos,
qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in mundo,
divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Amen.”

[Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.]

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