GO, THEN, TO COMMUNION– CURÉ D’ARS

FROM THE EUCHARISTICMEDITATIONS OF THE
CURÉ D’ARS:

“GO, THEN, TO COMMUNION.
My children, go to Jesus with love and confidence. Go, to live by Him in order to live for Him.
Do not say that you have too much to do. Has not the divine Saviour said:
“Come to Me all you who work and are heavily laden; come to Me and I will comfort you”?
Can you resist an invitation so full of tenderness and friendship? You work each day.
Communicate then each day. Do not say that you are not worthy. What nonsense! It is true you are
not worthy, but you are in need. If our Saviour had had our worthiness in view He would never
have instituted His beautiful Sacrament of love, because no one in the world, not even the Saints
nor the Angels, nor the Archangels, not even the Blessed Virgin, are worthy of it. Since He wishes
to abase Himself to our misery, let us work then to merit to receive Him every day. This is what the
Christians did in the early Church.”

Listening to You, O God

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Listening to You, O God

I am listening, O God,
I am listening.

As my ear rests upon Your Breast,
The throbbing of Your Heart, a plaintiff call, 
Sounds a sacred prayer
In unending rhythm, eternal.

Though stopped
In Your willed bodily Death,
It’s steady beat pierced the earth,
As Your Spirit descended to captivate
Those justified by Your Blood,

The prize of Salvation won upon Calvary’s mount.

High ridged mountains of prayer
Span the course of centuries,
As I now in my ordained place,
Offer my will to You in this my time.

As that same once spent Blood,
Now courses through my veins
In sweet Communion,

Speak peace to me.

By Joann Nelander copyright 2011
All rights reserved.

Justin Martyr – the Celebration of the Eucharist in the Early Church

65. But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.
66. And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.
67. And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.

ORIGINAL GREEK TEXT

On Eucharist

 

Reflection on St. Augustine’s, “I seemed to hear your voice from on high: ‘I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me’.”

On Eucharist

O Christ, I receive Thee
That I might become Thee.
I desire to be as You would have me,
To be, Christ, living Your Life,
In the time and place and space
That is me,
Soul and matter one,
And wed to my All Holy Three.

Come, O come to me, My Christ.
My blind eyes see but bread.
Hope lights my darkness.
Faith assures me
Of what I can not now behold.

You are the food,
That transforms my being
To Your Being,
Though the steps and stages
Be but measured.
You respect my frailty,
Adding strength upon strength,
That the common might be wed
To the Magnificent
Without my dissolution..

Only in union can I live
“Thy Will be done,”
As You, the Son.
Grow me, grace me,
That I might become mature.
Sanctify this soul
So unlike Your own,
That free of Sin.
I be as the moon to You, O Sun.

I want to become,
To be of You,
And by You completely transformed.
I pray that Your Holy Spirit
Conform me to the Will of the Father,
That I may answer
As Mother Mary, “Fiat.”.

In Fire’s purifying ardor
Remove my dross.
Make me malleable.
Impress Yourself on me.
Ready me, as melted wax,
That I may receive the image,
That You conceived for me.
That with all my being,
I may spend myself totally
On the Father’s All Holy Will,
Answering with the voice of Christ
One great “Amen.”

As a desert penitent
May I shed my tears for Your cause in me,
And in the world of souls,
For whom You shed Your blood.
May I complete my time on this earth
Running the race with You as my Way.

Although I am all effort,
And that pleases You,
A thousand efforts
Do not make the slightest grace.
So grace me, Beloved,
That the Father will delight
To see His Only Son in me.

More than a Conqueror,
You become my very being.
May I live my life in Your Life.
Come, O Eucharist,
O, Sanctifier of my soul.

By Joann Nelander

All You Have Given Me

I love You, Lord. You embrace me in our communion of Eucharist. I believe in Your love for the sinner. I am that sinner. You come to me. I am empty and poor, yet You make my poverty Your paradise. Here I bring to You all You have given me.

Behold Your streaming waters tumbling over my rocky ground. Your light penetrates my depths; the caverns of my heart yield their darkness to You, O Holy Sun! Sit here beside me in silence, as praise becomes an uncontainable river within me.  Flow  from my humble abode to water Your thirsting world without.  Delight, O Lord, at the crashing thunder as majestic waves rise before You in a crescendo of thanksgiving, finally pounding down upon the shore of my unworthiness.  They ebb and flow and gather strength as I remember Your Mercies.  All You have given me, I give now with gratitude.

Eagles dance in the air above our heads, grasping as claws hold fast, spinning  in wedded bliss;  their flight a symbol of our holy love.

By Joann Nelander

The Eucharist

From The First Apology of St. Justin Martyr:

No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.

We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.

The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.

On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen”. The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.

The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.

We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.

Eucharist – God With Us

Art appeals to the heart on a level that challenges complacency and awakens awe. Hidden in His humility, He in proclaimed by those whose hearts beat with His, and are thus moved to reveal Him in their God- inspired creativity.