As we continue our journey at Sunday Masses through chapter 6 of the Gospel of Saint John (Jesus Christ’s teaching on the Holy Eucharist), I offer the following from Jesus and His Church. May we keep these teachings and prayers in mind and heart as our parish family worships and adores Jesus Christ on most First Fridays in Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and we receive Him at Mass in Holy Communion, His real, true and substantial presence.
“The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Sacrifice of the Mass is a tribute of inestimable value in the life of the Church. Such worship is closely linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice” (Redemptionis Sacramentum Instruction on the Eucharist #134; Pope Saint John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #25; Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1322-1419). Therefore, both public and private devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist even outside Mass should be vigorously promoted, for by means of it the faithful give adoration to Christ, truly and really present, the “High Priest of the good things to come” and Redeemer of the whole world (Hebrews 9:11; Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #3; Council of Trent, Session XIII, 11 October 1551).
The following prayer, the Anima Christi (Soul of Christ) prayer, is from at least the 14th century. It is still often prayed by many people after receiving Jesus Christ in Holy Communion:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Your wounds, hide me.
Apart from You let me never be.
From the evil one, protect me.
At the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to You, to praise You
with all Your saints and angels forever and ever. Amen.
When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion and worship Him during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, we deepen in our love for God and for neighbor (God is Love, 1 John 4:8). Saint John Vianney (1786-1859, the Curé of Ars, whose feast day we celebrated on August 4th) expresses this love in a prayer: “I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life. I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You. I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally… My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath. Amen.”
With peace and prayers in Christ,