Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi
In our previous post, “The Christian Faith: the Key to Divine Life (I),” Faith, with a capital “F”, refers rather to a divine gift – a knowledge of God but which is an intimate revelation of God’s very Person, His truths, and His will THROUGH THE AUTHORITY OF HIS WORD; a supernatural knowledge of God in His intimate life the revelation of which moves, by grace, the assent and adherence of reason, though it does not comprehend the extent, the breadth, and the depth of how it is so – and therefore not determined by the “logical necessity” of the evidence or the solid rationally credible motives offered. As such, this divine gift is a light shed upon our minds darkened by original sin: In Him [the Eternal Word made flesh] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness… That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world (Jn. 1.4,5,9). It is a free gift of God by way of divine aid to heal, nourish, and perfect reason; therefore, the truly supernatural Christian Faith can never contradict reason nay do injury to it by crushing it down.
Central to this supernatural revelation is the truth that in God there are Three consubstantially divine Persons. God knowing Himself infinitely and eternally generates the Word Who Is not a mere abstraction but Knowledge and Wisdom Who is Living and Personal. And God knowing Himself to be the Supreme Good, loves Himself not with a mere power or passion but with a Love that is also Living and Personal.
In the course of the Liturgical Year, God, through the teaching authority of His Church, instructs us, step by step, from the consideration of the mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ to the contemplation of the Most Holy Trinity, Whose solemn feast we celebrated last Sunday. Jesus, our Mediator, our Way, has taken us the by the hand and led us back to our true life: the Trinity; and today it seems as though the Three Persons Themselves wish to take us back to Jesus, considered in His Holy Eucharist. No man cometh to the Father but by Me (Jn. 14.6), Our Savior said, and He added, No man can come to Me except the Father… draw him [by the Holy Ghost] (ibid., 6.44). This is the journey of the Christian soul: from Jesus to the Trinity; from the Trinity to Jesus. We recall here that through the merits of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, especially through His Passion and Death on the Cross, we were able to obtain from the Father not only His pardon, mercy, and deliverance from eternal perdition but even participation in the intimate life of God through the seed of that divine organism which the Holy Ghost infuses into the soul at Baptism transforming us into a new creation, a new babe born again as it were, perfectible unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ… until Christ be [perfectly] formed in us (Eph. 4.13; Gal. 2.20). Now, this new divine organism needs be fed, nourished, and strengthened until Christ is finally perfected in it. The Introit of the Mass refers us to the wheat [the manna] and honey with which God once fed the Hebrews in the desert, a heavenly miraculous food, and yet a mere figure of the true Living and Life-Giving Bread on the Catholic high altar [cf., our post “We have an altar (Heb. 13.10): the Divine Institution of the Holy Eucharist“] feeding those who have been baptized in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.
The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ requires a great faith – that one which discerns (cf., 1 Cor. 11.29) and takes the consecrated bread for what it truly and really is on the authority of the Eternal Word and of His Church He constituted to be the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3.15) for all ages – among those who seek His life-giving presence and rebukes those of little for in the Holy Eucharist, He is not only actually, truly, and really living among us (therefore, the Church enthusiastically sings in her Divine Office: “There is no other nation so great as to have its gods so near as our God is present to us,” The Roman Breviary), but it is Jesus Himself become our supersubstantial [Food] (Mt 6.11, Vulg. and DRV). In order to have a better understanding of the immense value of the Holy Eucharist, we must go back to the very words of Jesus, most opportunely recalled in the Gospel of the day, He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me and I in him. The Savior made Himself our Food in order to assimilate us to Himself (while in the natural order of things, it is our food that is assimilated to us), to make us live His life, to make us live in Him, as He Himself lives in His Father. The Holy Eucharist is truly the sacrament of union and at the same time it is the clearest and most convincing proof that God calls us and pleads with us to come to intimate union with Himself in [F]aith. I will espouse thee to Me in faith (Os. 2.20).
A blessed Feast to all!
Related post: “Doctrinal Instruction: the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist“