I’m excited about the great feast that will be celebrated in our churches all over the world tomorrow – the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. Jesus loves us so much that He has stayed physically present with us for almost 2000 years, in tabernacles around the globe. Being able to receive Jesus in my heart and in my body has had a profound impact on my life and my faith.
Jesus has been forcibly removed from churches in places where freedom of religion was not permitted. I cannot wipe the images from the compelling movie Romero from my mind – Archbishop Romero giving his life in an attempt to protect the Blessed Sacrament – Jesus from terrorists. I pray that will never happen here in America, as I cannot imagine having to live a life without the graces that flow from this incredible sacrament.
We’ve been experiencing hard bands of rain training one behind the other this weekend here in the Gulf South. I’m hoping that it clears for a few hours in the morning so that we can make the hour drive into New Orleans to attend the Latin Mass, Benediction and the Corpus Christi procession. I love St. Patrick’s historic church, because the church has never removed its old confessionals and altar railing with kneelers. It seems so fitting to me to receive the sacrament of reconciliation just before inviting Jesus into one’s body. It also seems fitting to receive one’s King while kneeling before Him – from the hands of one anointed to the holy priesthood.
Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.
Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o’er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble senses fail.
To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty. Amen.
by St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas said it so well in the text I’ve bolded. Our senses fail to recognize what looks like bread as the body of Christ. In the bread of life discourse we read in the gospel tomorrow, however, Jesus leaves no room for interpretation. “This is my body…” Jesus loves us so much that He gives us His very self – His whole self. Let us never take this gift for granted. To Him be all praise and honor!
Anima Christi prayer:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever.