Thought for the Day – 21 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) (Incorporating the Sunday Reflection)
“Let us meditate on what an extraordinary thing Holy Communion is.
Jesus, God made man, really descends into us, poor creature though we are.
We become the living temples of the Holy Trinity.
Not only does Jesus come to us, body, soul and divinity but, He also becomes our food.
There is a great difference, however, between the nourishment of material food and the spiritual nourishment which we receive from the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
When we take ordinary natural food, we assimilate it.
In other words, we cause it to become blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh.
When we receive Holy Communion, on the other hand, it is we who must be assimilated and changed into Jesus.
Each of us should become, therefore, another Christ, in the manner indicated by St Paul: “It is now, no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
Material food becomes human and is assimilated into our being.
Our Eucharistic food assimilates us into Itself and, in a certain sense, deifies us.
This is why St John Chrysostom calls it a mystery which transports us into Heaven.
Before this can happen, however, it is necessary for us to approach Holy Communion with the necessary dispositions.
(1) A lively and active faith, which will enable us to recognise in the white Host, the person of Jesus Himself, full of goodness, mercy and love, eager to shower upon us, all the treasures of His Heart.
(2) Purity and freedom, not only from mortal sin but, also from any deliberate attachment to venial sin.
(3) Deep humility because, Jesus loves the humble and holds the proud at a distance from Him. He wishes us to be like Him, in other words, meek and humble of heart. There must be no worldly ambition, therefore, no love of honours, riches or human greatness, no inordinate affection for things or persons. There must be only a great desire to please God alone and to offer Him our whole life, including every thought and action.
(4) Finally, an ardent love for Jesus, which will consume all our imperfections and unite us to Him so intimately, that, we shall be transformed by Him.”