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April 15, 2013

Called to BECOME Eucharist to Others?


Today I received a comment from a friend questioning why I say that CV are called to BECOME Eucharist. She wrote, "We are called to be conformed to Christ, to adore Christ, to serve Christ, to enjoy Christ.  But we are not called to become Christ.  The source and summit of perfection is the Eucharist, and we are not meant to become the source and summit."

This blog mentions CV called to BECOME Eucharist. So let me explain..........

What we profess in the Apostle's creed will be fulfilled only with 'life everlasting'  when the bodies of all Christians will be resurrected  and united with God.  The consecration of virgins [according to me]  acquires it fullest meaning  in the journey of daily life lived in union with the Risen Lord, being transformed, more and more into Eucharist for others. [Of course we are not the Real Presence, but every baptized Christian is a presence of Christ in the world]. 

29 And no one has ever hated his body; he feeds and takes care of it. That is just what Christ does for the Church,
30 because we are a part of his body.
31 Scripture says: Because of this a man shall leave his father and mother to be united with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
32 This is a very great mystery, and I refer to Christ and the Church.

[Ephesians 5 ]

If you type  the following in google search : "Behold who you are, become what you receive"   there is plenty of Church teaching on this.

St . Augustine--Sermon 272

Augustine delivered this sermon on Easter Sunday.  Many in the congregation had been baptized the night before, at the Easter Vigil service.

               What you are seeing on the altar of God, you also saw last night.  But you've not yet heard what it was that you were seeing last night, what it signified, or how great a miracle the sacrament contained.  What you see on the altar is bread and a cup; that is what your eyes announce to you.  But what your faith, in need of further instruction, insists is that the bread is the body of Christ and the cup holds the blood of Christ.  That, indeed, is what has been briefly said to you, and that instruction may be enough for a faithful person. 

                       But faith desires further instruction.  The prophet Isaiah says: "Unless you believe, you will not understand."  You can say to me, "You have taught us so that we may believe.  Now, set forth the whole teaching so that we may understand."

               A thought such as this can arise in someone's mind:  We know our Lord Jesus Christ received flesh from the virgin Mary.  As an infant he was fed his milk, he was nourished, he grew up.  He was led from childhood to young manhood.  He suffered persecution from the Jews, he was suspended and killed upon the wooden cross, from the wooden cross he was brought down, and he was buried.  On the third day he rose again, on the day of his own choosing he ascended into heaven, and to that place he lifted his body.  From heaven he will come so that he may judge the living and the dead; and there, at present, he is sitting at the right hand of the Father.  How, then, is the bread his body?  And the chalice, or what it holds, how is it his blood?

               And so these, brothers, are called sacramental mysteries, because one thing is seen in them but another is understood.  What is seen has bodily appearance; what is understood has spiritual fruit.  If therefore you wish to understand the body of Christ, hear the Apostle Paul speaking to the faithful, "But you are the body of Christ, and its members." (1 Corinthians 12:27)  If, therefore, your sacramental mystery has been placed on the table of the Lord, you receive the mystery.  To that which you see in front of you, you respond, "Amen," and by responding you are saying "Yes."  For you hear "body of Christ" and you respond "Amen."  Be a member of the body of Christ so that your "Amen" may be true.

            But why in bread?  Let us offer no explanation of our own, but let us hear the same Apostle.  Paul, when he speaks about this sacrament, says, "One bread, one body are we, even though we are many." (1 Cor 12:13) Understand and rejoice: oneness, truth, piety, charity.  "One bread:" who is this one bread?--one body, the many.  Consider that the bread comes to be, not from one grain, but from many.  When you were exorcised  before baptism, you were softened, just as dough is kneaded.  When you were baptized you were sprinkled, just as an unbaked loaf is moistened.  When you accepted the fire of the Holy Spirit it was as if the loaf of bread was baked.  Be what you see, and receive what you are.  That is what the Apostle said about the bread.

            Now, the Apostle has shown us clearly enough what we have come to understand about the chalice, even if he did not tell us in so many words.  For just as in bread we see many grains gathered into one loaf, so also with the wine--and so also the faithful, as the scripture says, "They were of one mind and one heart in God." (Acts 4:32)  Brothers, recall where wine comes from.  Many separate grapes hang at the vineyard, but the liquor of the grapes is blended in unity.  So also the Lord Christ meant for us to see ourselves.  He wished to reach us and bring us to himself.  He consecrated the mystery of our peace and unity on his table.  He who receives the sacramental mystery of unity but does not keep the bond of peace, receives not a mystery for himself but a testimony against himself.

            Having converted, having turned to the Lord God the omnipotent Father, let us give true and great thanks to him with a pure heart, as much as we are able in our weakness.  With our entire soul let us pray to the Father that in his unique kindness he will graciously hear our prayers; that he will drive away the Enemy from our deeds and thoughts; that he may increase our faith, direct our minds, grant us spiritual thoughts and guide us to his beatitude: through Jesus Christ his son.  Amen.


My comments to St Augustine:

Each and every member of the body of Christ, the Church, BECOME what we receive through our union with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, more and more, every time we receive Him throughout our lives.

This Sacrament of Communion  contains the Mystery that belongs to God alone ---because God is the source and summit of our lives. But it also contains the Mystery of the Church who is called to participate more and more in His divinity.

The Bride of Christ is a title of the Church of Christ, gifted to individual consecrated virgins. Why ? So that every  CV can be a sign, an eschatological image, an inspiration of that communion with God and with each other  that  the entire Church is called to BECOME.

This according to me does not happen fully in the ceremony of [the rite of] consecration. The  ceremony is perhaps  the beginning of the journey to holiness, a special grace to help CV to grow from virgin to bride to mother.

It will be accomplished only in Heaven. The eschatological tension [ ALREADY AND NOT YET ] is kept alive in CV.

 Pope Benedict XVI has said, 
"St Augustine helps us to understand the dynamic of Eucharistic communion when he mentions a sort of vision that he had, in which Jesus said to him: “I am the food of strong men; grow and you shall feed on me; nor shall you change me, like the food of your flesh into yourself, but you shall be changed into my likeness” (Confessions, vii, 10, 18).

Therefore whereas food for the body is assimilated by our organism and contributes to nourishing it, in the case of the Eucharist it is a different Bread: it is not we who assimilate it but it assimilates us in itself, so that we become conformed to Jesus Christ, a member of his Body, one with him. This passage is crucial. In fact, precisely because it is Christ who, in Eucharistic communion changes us into him, our individuality, in this encounter, is opened, liberated from its egocentrism and inserted into the Person of Jesus who in his turn is immersed in Trinitarian communion. The Eucharist, therefore, while it unites us to Christ also opens us to others, makes us members of one another: we are no longer divided but one in him. Eucharistic communion not only unites me to the person I have beside me and with whom I may not even be on good terms, but also to our distant brethren in every part of the world.

Hence the profound sense of the Church’s social presence derives from the Eucharist, as is testified by the great social saints who were always great Eucharistic souls. Those who recognize Jesus in the sacred Host, recognize him in their suffering brother or sister, in those who hunger and thirst, who are strangers, naked, sick or in prison; and they are attentive to every person, they work in practice for all who are in need."

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