Quote/s of the Day – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Exodus 16: 2-4, 12-15; Psalms 78: 3-4, 23-24, 25, 54 (24b); Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24; John 6: 24-35
“I am the bread of life”
“For His body, has been given to you under the appearance of bread and His blood, under the appearance of wine, so that, when you have partaken of the body and blood of Christ, you might be one body and one blood with Him. So shall we become Christ-bearers [“Christophers”]. His body and blood are diffused t hrough all our members – see, then, how we become participants in the divine nature!”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Father & Doctor of the Church
This the truth to Christians given, Bread becomes His flesh from heaven, Wine becomes His holy Blood (Jn 6:55). …
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Sequence for the feast of Corpus Christi “ Lauda Sion ”
One Minute Reflection – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Exodus 16: 2-4, 12-15; Psalms 78: 3-4, 23-24, 25, 54 (24b); Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24; John 6: 24-35
They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”…John 6:34-35
REFLECTION – Christ is “the bread of life” for those who believe in Him: to believe in Christ is to eat the bread of life, to possess Christ within one, is to possess eternal life… “I am the bread of life,” He says; “your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they are dead” (Jn 6,48f). By this is to be understood ,spiritual death. Why are they dead? Because they believed in what they saw and did not understand what they could not see… Moses ate manna, Aaron ate it and many others, too, who pleased God and are not dead. Why are they not dead? Because they understood, in a spiritual fashion, they were spiritually hungry, they tasted the manna spiritually, so that they might be spiritually satisfied. “This is the bread that came down from heaven: whoever eats it will never die” (v.50). This manna – that is to say, Christ, who Himself spoke like this…, was prefigured by the manna but was able to do more than manna could. For manna could not, of itself, prevent dying spiritually… But the righteous saw Christ in the manna, they believed in His coming and Christ, of whom manna was the symbol, grants to all who believe in Him that they should not spiritually die. Hence He says: “This is the bread come down from heaven; whoever eats it will never see death.” Here on earth, here now, before your eyes, your eyes of flesh: here is to be found the “bread from heaven” (v.51). The “bread of life” we spoke of a moment ago is now called “living bread.” Living bread because it contains, within itself, the life that abides and can deliver from spiritual death and bestow life. First He said: “Whoever eats it will never die” now he speaks clearly, concerning the life He gives: “Whoever eats this bread will live for ever” (v.58). Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury (c 1125-1190) Cistercian – The Sacrament of the Altar II
PRAYER – Forgive the sins of Your people Lord and since of ourselves, we are unable to do what pleases You, lead us on the way of salvation in Your divine Son who lives in us and gives us life. May the prayers of Mary, His Mother help us to constantly meditate on His eternal sustenance. He is our food, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 21 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anselm (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church
“I am the bread of life” John 6:35
REFLECTION – “When Christ Himself has said of the bread: “This is my body” who could waver? And when He asserts that “This is my blood” who could be in doubt? Once, in Cana of Galilee, Jesus changed water into wine – which is akin to blood. So who could now refuse to believe it, if He transforms wine into blood? He wrought this amazing miracle when invited to an earthly marriage, so how could anyone refuse to acknowledge that He might grant the happiness of His own Body and Blood, to “the friends of the Bridegroom,” (Mt 9,15)?
For His body, has been given to you under the appearance of bread and His blood, under the appearance of wine, so that, when you have partaken of the body and blood of Christ, you might be one body and one blood with Him. So shall we become Christ-bearers [“Christophers”]. His body and blood are diffused through all our members – see, then, how we become participants in the divine nature! Formerly, when He was talking to the Jews, Christ said: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have life in you” (Jn 6,53. If the bread and wine only seem to be purely natural substances to you, don’t stop at that… If your senses lead you astray, let your faith reassure you.
So when you draw near to receive him do not do so without respect, holding out the palms of your hands with your fingers spread apart. But since the King is about to rest in your right hand, make a Throne for Him with your left. Receive the Body of Christ in the hollow of your hand and answer: Amen!” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father & Doctor of the Church – Catechetical Lectures to the Newly Baptised, 22
PRAYER – Holy almighty God, in Your wisdom You created us and by Your providence You rule and feed us with the bread of life, Your Divine Son Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service, as we follow Your Son, who leads us to eternal life. May the prayers of Mary our Mother and St AAnselm, help us to shine Your light on our neighbour. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Acts 8: 1b-8 1 There was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all dispersed through the countries of Jude, and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men took order for Stephen’s funeral, and made great mourning over him. 3 But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison. 4 They. therefore. that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God. 5 And Philip going down to the City of Samaria, preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing and seeingthe miracles which he did. 7 For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. 8 And many, taken with the palsy and that were lame, were healed.
Gospel: John 6: 35-40 35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life,-he that comes to me, shall not hunger and he that believeth in me, shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, that you also have seen me and you believe not. 37 All that the Father gives to me, shall come to me; and him that comes to me, I will not cast out. 38 Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him that sent me. 39 Now this is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing but should raise it up agaiin, the last day. 40 And this is the will of my Father that sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him, may have life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day.
Sunday Reflection – 11 August – The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”…John 6:34-35
“The soul’s bread is Christ, “the living bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6:51) who gives food to His own, by faith here and by vision in the world to come. For Christ dwells in you by faith and faith in Christ, is Christ in your heart (Eph 3:17). The measure of your faith in Christ is the measure of your possession of Him.
… In this gift I have received, I possess Christ wholly and Christ wholly possesses me, just as the member belonging to the whole body likewise possesses the body in its entirety. And so this portion of faith you have received as your share, is like the morsel of bread in your mouth. But unless you often devoutly meditate over what you believe, unless you chew over it, so to speak, moving it about and turning it over with your teeth, that is to say with your spiritual senses, it will never enter your throat, in other words it won’t get as far as your understanding.
For indeed, how could you understand anything that you reflect over only rarely and carelessly, especially when it concerns something subtle and unseen?… So, by means of meditation, let “the Law of the Lord be ever on your lips” (Ex 13:9) so that a sound understanding may be brought to birth within you. Through a good understanding, spiritual food passes into your heart, so that you will not neglect what you have understood but will lovingly reflect over it.”
Guigo II the Carthusian “the Angelic” (?-1188)
9th Prior of the Grande Chartreuse
(Meditation 10 (SC 163, p. 181 rev.)
Guigo II is considered the first writer in the western tradition to consider stages of prayer as a ladder which leads to a closer mystic communion with God. The work was among the most popular of medieval spiritual works (in part because it commonly circulated under the name of the renowned Bernard of Clairvaux or even Augustine), with over one hundred manuscripts surviving. It was also translated into some vernacular languages, including into Middle English.
It is still a basic guide for those who wish to practice lectio divina.
Guigo II also wrote twelve Meditations, which were clearly less widely known as they survive in only a few manuscripts. From internal evidence, it appears they may have been written before the Scala Claustralium.