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The Holy Eucharist

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know Me,
you know my Father too.
From this moment,
you know Him and have seen Him."
(John 14:6-7)

Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;...he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and...abides in Me, and I in him" (Jn 6:51, 54,56).

By the consecration, the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ Himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: His Body and His Blood, with His Soul and His Divinity (cf. Coucil of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).

Because Christ Himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, He is to be honored with the "worship of adoration". "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is...a proof of gratitude, and expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord" (Paul VI, MF 66).

"O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us." If the Eucharist is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are filled "with every heavenly blessing and grace," then the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory.

At the Last Supper the Lord Himself directed His disciples' attention toward the fulfillment of the Passover in the kingdom of God: "I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist she remembers this promise and turns her gaze "to Him Who is to come." In her prayer she calls for His coming: "Marana tha!" "Come, Lord Jesus!" "May Your grace come and this world pass away!"

The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in His Eucharist and that He is there in our midst. However, His presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist "awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ," asking "to share in Your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see You, our God, as You are. We shall become like You and praise You forever through Christ our Lord."

The Eucharist contains and expresses all forms of prayer: it is "the pure offering" of the whole Body of Christ to the Glory of God's name and, according to the traditions of East and West, it is the "sacrifice of praise."

Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."

A note: I have always knelt as soon as the tabernacle door is opened. Some churches coinside this with kneeling, but others have offset this with prayer first, and then kneeling. I also genuflect, just before receiving the Holy Eucharist, as the priest raises it, and before I say "Amen", to show the greatest respect, for the Body and Blood, which is really Jesus Christ's presence before us. He really is there, and realizing this, we should get down on our knees to thank Him for dying for our sins, making it possible for us to have eternal life, and honor Him, and take seriously His presence.

Taken from "Catechism of the Catholic Church"
Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Imprimi Potest
+ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Interdicasterial Commission for the Cathechism of the Catholic Church
Copyright 1994 Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Citta del Vaticano

I Was Not Made A Butterfly
(An Eagles Wings)
Words by Jean Erikson, Music by Michael Lehr

I was not made a butterfly
To flit and float across the sky
To flirt with worry,
And with strife,
Let doubt and fear into my life.

Tossed by every blowing wind
Of pleasing words or false doctrine.
Tiny and frail
And easily led
This could have been
And yet instead:

An eagles wings You've given me
A mountain view, a path to see
A call to climb to greater heights
A call by faith, and not by sight...

A piercing gaze, a steady eye,
A glory crown, a victory cry.
I have also a fortressed nest,
The rock, the tower of your rest.

An eagles wings,
You've given me,
A mountain view, a path to see,
A call to climb
To greater heights
A call by faith, and not by sight...

I praise You Lord
For faith in me
And for Your whisper
"Soar in Me."

I have also a fortressed nest,
The rock, the tower of your rest.

An eagles wings,
You've given me,
A mountain view, a path to see...

Praise and thank You Lord Jesus, "for never leaving us, even until the end of time..."

See next page Eucharistic Adoration

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I Was Not Made A Butterfly
(On Eagles Wings)
Words by Jean Erikson, Music by Michael Lehr