First Published in 1868.
TAN Books and Publishers
On the Effects of Holy Communion
I AM sure, dear Reader, that if you would once begin the practice of frequent Communion in order to please Our Lord, you would continue it in order to please yourself. I will now proceed to make good this assertion by showing the great and admirable effects which this Bread of the Strong produces in the soul. First, it confers an increase of Sanctifying Grace. The life of the soul consists in its being in a state of acceptance or friendship with God, and that which renders it acceptable to God is Sanctifying Grace.
This grace, which was merited for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ, is infused into the soul by the Holy Ghost through the Sacraments; but each Sacrament does not confer it in the same manner. Baptism and Penance bestow it upon those who are entirely out of the grace of God, or in other words, who are spiritually dead; Baptism being the means appointed for those who have never been in the grace of God, and Penance for those who have lost it. These Sacraments are therefore called Sacraments of the Dead, as being instituted for the benefit of those who are in mortal sin or dead to grace. When these Sacraments are received with the right dispositions, they truly reconcile the sinner with God, so that from being an enemy of God, he becomes His friend and an object of His complacency. But this acceptance, though true and real, is not in the highest degree; it admits of an increase, as the Holy Scripture says: "Let him that is just be justified still; and let him that is holy be sanctified still"; and therefore God appointed the other Sacraments, the Sacraments of the Living, not only to convey special graces peculiar to each, but to impart an increase of Sanctifying Grace to those who are already in His favor.
A rich man, when he has taken possession of a field which he wishes to convert into a garden, is not content with putting a wall around it and clearing it of the most noxious weeds and setting it in good order, but he continues to cultivate it assiduously, to fill it with the most beautiful plants and to embellish it with new and choice ornaments. Thus Almighty God, in His love and goodness, has multiplied means by which the soul may be enriched with the graces and merits of Jesus Christ and become more and more agreeable and beautiful in His eyes.
Now among all these means, there is none greater or more powerful than the Blessed Eucharist. Each time that we receive our Saviour in Holy Communion, we participate anew in all the merits of His Redemption, of His poverty, His hidden life, His scourging and His crowning with thorns. The Holy Eucharist, then, differs from the other Sacraments in this, that while the other Sacraments bestow upon us one or another of the fruits of Christ's merits, this gives us the grace and merits of our Saviour in their source.
The soul, therefore, receives an immense increase of Sanctifying Grace at each Communion. Dear Christian, let us reflect upon this for a moment. It is no slight thing for a soul to be beautiful in the sight of God. That must needs be something great and precious which can render us-----sinful creatures as we are-----truly amiable before God. What must be the value of Sanctifying Grace, which can work such a transformation? What is it and who can declare
St. Thomas tells us that the lowest degree of Sanctifying Grace is worth more than all the riches of the world. Think, then, of all the riches of this world! The mines of gold, of precious stones, the forests of costly wood, and all the hidden stores of wealth, for the least of which treasures the children of this world are willing to toil and struggle and sin for a whole lifetime.
Again, consider that the lowest grace which a humble Catholic Christian receives at the rails of the sanctuary at dawn of day, before the great world is astir, outweighs all those riches. But why do I draw my comparison from the things of this world? St. Teresa, after her death, appeared to one of her sisters in religion and told her that all the Saints in Heaven, without exception, would be willing to come back to this world and to remain here till the End of Time, suffering all the miseries to which our mortal state is subject, only to gain one more degree of Sanctifying Grace and the eternal glory corresponding to it.
Nay, I even assert that all the devils in Hell would consider all the torments of their dark abode, endured for millions upon millions of ages, largely recompensed by the least degree of that grace which they had once rejected. These thoughts give us a grand and sublime idea of the value of grace; but there is another consideration that ought to raise our estimate of it still higher, namely, that God Himself, the Eternal Son of the Father, came down upon earth, was made man, suffered and died the death of the cross in order to purchase it for us. His life is in some way the measure of its value.
Now in Holy Communion, this Sanctifying Grace is poured upon us in floods! The King of Heaven is then present in our souls, scattering profusely His benedictions and making us taste of the powers of the world to come. Oh, if anyone of us were to see his own soul immediately after Communion, how amazed and confounded would he not be at the sight of it. He would take it for an Angel.
St. Catherine of Siena having been asked by her confessor to describe to him the beauty of a soul in the state of grace-----as it had been revealed to her-----replied: "The beauty and lustre of such a soul is so great that if you were to behold it, you would be willing to endure all possible pains and sufferings for its sake." Need we wonder, then, that the Angels loved to keep company with those Saints on earth who every day with great devotion received Holy Communion, and that even the faces of those who have been ardent lovers of the Blessed Sacrament have sometimes shone with the glory with which they were filled? Does not Christ say of such a soul: "How beautiful art thou, My beloved! How beautiful art thou."
What great value should we then not set on this Divine Sacrament? At each Communion, we gain more and more upon what is bad in our hearts; we bring God more and more into them, and we come nearer to that heavenly state in which they shall be altogether "without spot or wrinkle," holy and without blemish. Should we not, then, esteem this wonder-working Sacrament more than anything else in this world? Ought we not continually to give thanks to God for so great a blessing and, above all, show our thankfulness by receiving it frequently and devoutly? I leave it to you, O Christian soul, to answer what I have said. I will not dwell longer on this point; reflect and act accordingly. I must pass on to explain some of the other wonderful effects of this precious Sacrament.
The benefit to be derived from Holy Communion which I will notice in the second place consists in this, that we are thereby preserved from mortal sin. In like manner as the body is continually in danger of death by reason of the law of decay which works unceasingly within us, so in like manner the life of the soul is constantly in jeopardy from that fearful proneness to sin which belongs to our fallen nature.
Accordingly, as Almighty God, in His Wisdom, has ordained natural food as the means of repairing the decay of the body and of warding off death, so has He seen fit to give us spiritual and heavenly food to keep us from falling into mortal sin, which causes the death of the soul. This food is the Holy Eucharist, as the Council of Trent teaches us, saying that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is "the antidote by which we are freed from daily faults and preserved from mortal sins." And hence St. Francis de Sales compares Holy Communion to the Tree of Life which grew in the midst of the garden of Paradise, saying that ''as our first parents by eating of that tree might have avoided the death of the body, so we, by feeding on this Sacrament of Life, may avoid the death of the soul."
Do you ask how the Blessed Sacrament preserves us from mortal sin? I reply: in two ways, by weakening our passions and by protecting us against the assaults of the devil. Everyone has some besetting sin, some passion which is excited in his heart more easily and more frequently than any other and which is the cause of the greater part of his faults. In some it is anger; in others, envy; in others, pride; in others, sensuality and impurity.
Now, however weak one may be, and by whatsoever passion he may be agitated, let him frequently receive the Body of Christ, and his soul will become tranquil and strong. The saints would express this by saying that, as the waters of the Jordan stood back when the Ark of the Covenant came into the river, so our passions and evil inclinations are repelled when Jesus Christ enters into our hearts in Holy Communion.
St. Bernard says: "If we do not experience so frequent and violent attacks of anger, envy and concupiscence as formerly, let us give thanks to Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, who has produced these effects in us." Accordingly, in the thanksgiving which the Church has provided to be used by the priest after the celebration of Mass, there is a prayer for imploring God that in like manner as the holy Martyr St. Lawrence overcame the torments of fire, the soul, which has been fed with this Bread of Heaven, may be enabled to extinguish the flames of sin. There are thousands of cases which attest the efficacy of the Blessed Sacrament in this respect.
In Ferrara there lived a man who in his youth was very much molested with temptations of the flesh, to which he too often gave consent, and thus committed many mortal sins. To free himself from this miserable state, he determined to marry; but his wife died very soon, and he was again in danger. He was not disposed to marry again; but to remain a widower was, he thought, to expose himself anew to his former temptations. In this emergency he consulted a good friend and received the advice to go frequently to Confession and Holy Communion. He followed this advice and experienced in himself such extraordinary effects of the Sacrament that he could not help exclaiming: "Oh, why did I not sooner meet with such a friend! Most certainly I would not have committed so many abominable sins of impurity had I more frequently received this Sacrament which maketh virgins." (Baldesanus in Stim. Virt. I, c. 8)
In the life of St. Philip Neri, we read that one day a young man who was leading a very impure life came to the Saint to Confession. St. Philip, knowing that there was no better remedy against concupiscence than the most sacred Body of Jesus Christ, counselled him to frequent the Sacraments. By this means he was in a short time entirely freed from his vicious habits and became pure like an angel. Oh, how many souls have made the same experience! Ask any Christian who has once lived in sin and afterwards truly amended, from what moment he began to get the better of his passions, and he will answer, from the moment that he began to frequent the Sacraments. How should it be otherwise? Jesus calms the winds and seas by a single word. What storm will be able to resist His power? What gust of passion will not subside when, on entering the soul, He says: "Peace be with thee; be not afraid; it is I!" The danger of mortal sin, however, arises not only from the strength of our passions, but also from the violence of the temptations with which the devil assails us; and against these, too, the Blessed Sacrament protects us.
When Ramirus, King of Spain, had been fighting a long time against the Saracens, he retired with his soldiers to a mountain to implore the assistance of Almighty God. While he was at prayer, St. James the Apostle appeared to him and commanded him to make all his soldiers go to Confession and Communion the day following and then to lead them out against their enemies. After all had been done that the Saint commanded, they again had an engagement with the Saracens and gained a complete and brilliant victory. (Chron. Gen. Alphon. Reg.)
In our conflict with the devil, how much more shall we not be enabled, by means of Holy Communion, to put him to flight and cover him with shame and confusion! St. Thomas says: "Hell was subdued by the death of our Saviour, and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar being a mystical renewal of the death of Jesus Christ, the devils no sooner behold His Body and Blood in us, than they immediately take to flight, giving place to the Angels, who draw nigh and assist us." St. John Chrysostom says: "As the Angel of destruction passed by all the houses of the Israelites without doing them any harm, because he found them sprinkled with the blood of the lamb, so the devil passes by us when he beholds within us the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God."
And St. Ambrose says: "When thy adversary shall see thy habitation taken up with the brightness of the presence of God in thy soul, he departs and flies away, perceiving that no room is left for his temptations. Oh, how often has it happened that souls were so dreadfully tormented by the evil representations, suggestions and temptations of the devil as not to know what to do! But no sooner had they received Holy Communion, than they became at once quite calm and peaceful! Read the life of any of the Saints, and you will find instances of this; or ask any devout Catholic, and he will tell you that what I have asserted is but reality.
Nay, the devil himself must confess, and has often confessed, this truth. If he were forced to say why it is that he cannot tempt such and such a soul oftener and more violently, why it is that, to his own shame and confusion, he is forced to withdraw so often from a soul which once he held in his power, what do you think he would answer? Hear what he once answered. A person whom by a special permission of God he was allowed to harass very much and I even drag about on the ground was exorcised by a priest of our Congregation, and the devil was commanded to say whether or not Holy Communion was i very useful and profitable to the soul.
At the first and second interrogatory he would not I answer, but the third time, being commanded in the name of the blessed Trinity, he replied with a howl: "Profitable! Know that if this person had not received Holy Communion so many times, we should have had her completely in our power." Behold, then, our great weapon against the devil! "Yes," says the great St. John Chrysostom, "after receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy! Eucharist, we become as terrible to the devil as a
furious lion is to man." When the King of Syria went out to take the prophet Eliseus captive, the servant of the man of God was very much afraid at seeing the great army and the horses and chariots, and he said: "Alas! alas! alas! my Lord; what shall we do?" But the prophet said: "Fear not, for there are more with us than with them. " And then he showed the trembling servant how the whole mountain was full of angels ready to defend them.
So, however weak we may be and however powerful our enemies, fortified with the Bread of Heaven, we have no reason to fear; we are stronger than Hell, for God is with us. "The Lord ruleth me, I shall want nothing. Though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I fear no evils, for Thou art with me. Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me."
In concluding this point, let me then once more address to you, dear Christian, the words of exhortation. With what justice does not St. Francis de Sales appear to you, saying: "O Philothea, what reply shall reprobate Christians be able to make to the reproaches of the just Judge for having lost His grace when it was so easy to have preserved it?" If the means of avoiding sin had been very difficult, the case of the reprobate might seem hard, but who can pity him who has but to obey the easy command: "Take and eat; if any man shall eat of this bread he shall live forever." For a Catholic to fall into mortal sin is as if one should starve at a splendid banquet, and for a Christian to die in the power of the devil is to be in love with death.
But there are other riches in this Blessed Sacrament which remain to be unfolded. It not only increases in us sanctifying grace and preserves us from mortal sin, but it truly unites us to God, and this is the third effect of this Holy Sacrament. The most obvious sense in which this Sacrament is said to unite us to God is that which is suggested by the doctrine of the Real Presence itself. In the Holy Eucharist we receive the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ; and as members of the same family are united together by the ties of the common blood which flows in their veins, so we become truly kinsmen of Christ by participation of the Blood which He received from His most Holy Mother and shed on the Cross for us.
Hence, St. Alphonsus says that as the food we take is changed into our blood, so in Holy Communion God becomes one with us-----with this difference, however, that whereas earthly food is changed into our substance, we assume, as it were, the nature of Jesus Christ, as He Himself declared to St. Augustine, saying, "It is not I that shall be changed into you, but you shall be changed into Me."
"Yes," says St. Cyril of Alexandria, "he who communicates unites himself as closely to Jesus Christ as two pieces of wax, when melted, become one." And the Saints have always been so penetrated with this belief that after Holy Communion they would exclaim: "O Jesus, now Thou art mine and I am Thine! Thou art in me, and I am in Thee! Now Thou belongest entirely to me, and I belong entirely to Thee. Thy soul is mine, and my soul is Thine! Thy life is mine, and my life is Thine!" But this is not all.
We are united to Our Lord's sacred humanity in order that we may be made conformable to His image in will and affections; accordingly, in the Eucharist we receive from Him infused virtues, especially Faith, Hope and Charity, the three distinguishing characteristics of the children of God. As to Faith, it is so much increased by Communion that this Sacrament might be called the Sacrament of Faith, not only because it makes the largest demand on our faith of any mystery of our Holy Religion, but also because it more than any other increases and confirms it. It seems as if God, in reward of the generous faith with which we believe this doctrine, often gives an inward light which enables the soul in some way to comprehend it, and with it the other truths of faith.
So, the Council of Trent says that "The mode of Christ's presence in the Eucharist can hardly be expressed in words, but the pious mind, illuminated by faith, can conceive of it." The reception of this Sacrament is the best explanation of the difficulties which sense opposes to it. It was in the breaking of bread at Emmaus that the two disciples recognized Jesus. He Himself gives us evidence of the reality of the Divine Presence in this heavenly food and makes us taste what we do not understand. One day a holy soul said to Father Surin of the Society of Jesus: "I would not exchange a single one of the Divine communications which I receive in Holy Communion for anything whatever that men or Angels might present to me."
Sometimes God adds to these favors the gift of a spiritual joy and delight, intense and indescribable. St. Thomas says that "Holy Communion is a spiritual eating which communicates an actual delight to such souls as receive it devoutly and with due preparation." And the effect of this delight, according to St. Cyprian, is that it detaches the heart from all worldly pleasures and makes it die to everything perishable. Nay, this joy is sometimes even communicated to the exterior senses, penetrating them with a sweetness so great that nothing in the world can be compared to it. St. Francis, St. Monica, St. Agnes and many others are witnesses of this, who, intoxicated with celestial sweetness in Holy Communion, exulted for joy and exclaimed with the psalmist: "My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. For what I have in Heaven? and besides Thee what do I desire upon earth? Thou art the God of my heart and the God that is my portion forever. My Jesus, my Love, my God, my All."
Oh what a firm faith men would have in this mystery did they communicate often and devoutly! One single Communion is better than all the arguments of the schools. We have not a lively faith, we think little of Heaven, of Hell, of the evil of sin, of the goodness of Our Lord and the duty of loving Him, because we stay away from Communion; let us eat and our eyes shall be opened. "Taste and see that the Lord is sweet."
Hope also receives a great increase from this Sacrament, for it is the pledge of our inheritance and has the promise of eternal life attached to it. "He who eateth of this Bread shall live forever. He who eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood abideth in Me and I in him. As the Father Who liveth sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. He shall never hunger or thirst. He shall not die, but have life everlasting, and I will raise him up on the last day." (Cf. John 6)
St. Paul argues that' 'if we are sons, then we are heirs, heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ." And elsewhere he says that "we glory in hope of the glory of God." It is true that in this life we can never have an infallible assurance of our salvation, but Holy Communion most powerfully confirms and strengthens our hope of obtaining Heaven and the graces necessary for living and dying holily. However great the fear and diffidence may be with which our sins inspire us, what soul is not comforted when our Saviour Himself enters the heart and seems to say: "Ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you." "Can I refuse the less Who have given the greater? Can I withhold any necessary graces Who have given Myself? Shall I refuse to bring you to reign with Me in Heaven, Who am come down on earth to dwell with you?"
Charity, however, is the virtue which is more especially nourished by the Holy Eucharist. This may be called, by eminence, the proper effect of this Sacrament, as indeed it is of the Incarnation itself. "I am come to cast fire on the earth, and what will I but that it be kindled!" (Luke 12:49) And St. Dionysius the Areopagite says that" Jesus Christ in the most Holy Eucharist is a fire of charity." It could not be otherwise. As a burning house sets the adjacent ones on fire, so the Heart of Jesus Christ, which is always burning with love, communicates the flames of charity to those who receive Him in Holy Communion. Accordingly, St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa, St. Philip Neri, St. Francis Xavier and thousands of others, by their frequent Communions, became, as it were, furnaces of divine love. "Do you not feel," said St. Vincent de Paul to his brothers in religion, "do you not become sensible of the Divine fire in your hearts after having received the adorable Body of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist?" In proof of the strength of love which souls derive from Holy Communion, I might appeal to the ecstasies and raptures which so many souls have experienced at the reception of the most Holy Eucharist. What were all these favors but flames of Divine love enkindled by this heavenly fire which, as it were, destroyed in them themselves and conformed them to the image of their Saviour.
Or, I might take my proof from those sweet tears which flow from the eyes of so many servants of God
when at the Communion rail they receive the Bread of Heaven. But I have a better proof than these transports of devotion: I mean suffering. This is the true test of love. St. Paul says that the Christian glories in tribulation because the charity of God is poured out into his heart, and so the Holy Eucharist, by infusing love into our hearts, gives us strength to suffer for Christ.
In the life of St. Lydwine, who was sick for thirty-eight years uninterruptedly, we read that, in the beginning of her sickness, she shrank from suffering. By a particular disposition of Providence, however, a celebrated servant of God, John Por, went to see her, and perceiving that she was not quite resigned to the will of God, he exhorted her to meditate frequently on the sufferings of Jesus Christ, that by the remembrance of His Passion she might gain courage to suffer more willingly. She promised to do so and fulfilled her promise, but she could not find any relief for her soul. Every meditation was disgusting and unpleasant, and she began again to break out into her usual complaints. After a while, her director returned to her and asked her how she had succeeded in meditating upon Our Lord's Passion and what profit she had derived from it. "O my Father," she answered, "your counsel was very good indeed, but the greatness of my suffering does not allow me to find any consolation in meditating on my Saviour's sorrows?"
He exhorted her for some time to continue this exercise, no matter how insipid soever it might be to her; but perceiving at last that she drew no fruit from it, his zeal suggested another means. He gave her Holy Communion and afterwards whispered in her ear: "Till now I have exhorted you to the continual remembrance of Christ's sufferings as a remedy for your pains, but now let Jesus Christ Himself exhort you." Behold! No sooner had she swallowed the Sacred Host than she felt such a great love for Jesus and such an ardent desire to become like unto Him in His sufferings, that she broke out into sobs and sighs, and for two weeks was hardly able to stop her tears.
From that moment the pains and sufferings of her Saviour remained so deeply impressed upon her mind that she thought of them all the time and thus was enabled patiently to suffer for Him, who for the love of her had endured so many and so great pains and torments. Her disease at last grew so violent that her flesh began to corrupt and to be filled with worms, and the putrefaction extended even internally, so that she had to suffer the most excruciating pains. But comforted by the example of Jesus Christ, she not only praised God and gave thanks to Him for all her sufferings, but even vehemently desired to suffer still more; nay, by meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ, she was so much inflamed with love that she used to say, "It was not she who suffered, but her Lord Jesus Christ Who suffered in her." (Surius 14 April in Vita S. Ludwinae, Part I. C. 14)
Thus, by Holy Communion this Saint received a grace by which she has merited to be numbered among the most patient of Saints. Nor is this a single case. Animated by this heavenly food, St. Lawrence braved the flames, St. Vincent the rack, St. Sebastian the shower of arrows, St. Ignatius of Antioch the fury of lions, and many other martyrs every kind of torture which the malice of the devil could invent, content if they could but return their Saviour love for love, life for life, death for death.
They embraced the very instruments of their tortures; yea, they even exulted and gloried in them. Now this was the effect of the Holy Eucharist; this life-giving Bread imparted to them courage and joy in every pain and trial. For this very reason, in the early times of the persecutions, all Christians, in order to be prepared for Martyrdom, received the Blessed Sacrament every day, and when the danger was too pressing for them to assemble together, they even carried the Sacred Host to their own homes, that they might communicate themselves early in the morning. The same was done by Mary, Queen of Scots, during her captivity in England when she was deprived of the ministry of a priest.
It was for the same reason that Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist just before His Passion, that He might thereby fortify His Apostles for the trials that were coming on them. It is true we have not so fierce a conflict to endure as the early Christians had, nor has anyone such a dreadful sickness as St. Lydwine had; but in our lighter trials, we have also need of this fortitude of love; nor is it refused to us.
Multitudes of pious souls confess that it is the Holy Communion alone which keeps them steady in the practice of virtue and cheerful amid all the vicissitudes of life. How often do we hear such souls declaring that on the days they do not receive Communion they seem to themselves lame and miserable; everything goes wrong with them, and all their crosses seem tenfold heavier than usual. But when in the morning they have had the happiness of partaking of the Body of Christ, everything seems to go well; the daily annoyances of their state seem to disappear; they are happy and joyous; words of kindness seem to come naturally in their mouths; and life is no longer the burden which once it seemed to be.
O truly wonder-working Sacrament! Marvelous invention of Divine Love, surpassing all power of speech to describe or thought to fathom! When the children of Israel found in the fields the bread from Heaven which God gave them in the wilderness, they called it Manhu, "What is it?" because they did not know what it was. So, after all that we have said of the true Manna, the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we must confess that we are unable to comprehend it. "Man does not live on bread alone." He has a higher life than that which is nourished by the fruits of the ground, a spiritual and Divine life, and this life is nourished by the Body of Christ.
Hidden under the Sacramental form, our Divine Saviour comes down to make us more and more acceptable to Him, to preserve us in this dangerous world from mortal sin, to make us true children of God, to console us in our exile, to give us a pledge of our eternal happiness, to shed abroad in our hearts the love of God.
And as if this were not enough and as if to set the seal on the rest, He is sometimes pleased to make His own most Sacred Body supply the place of all other nourishment and miraculously to sustain even the natural life of His servants by this Sacramental food. St. Catherine of Siena, from Ash Wednesday to Ascension Day, took no other food than Holy Communion. (Surius 29 April). A certain holy virgin of Rome spent five whole Lents without tasting anything else but the Bread of Angels. (Cacciaguerra)
St. Nicholas of Flue, of whom I have spoken, for fifteen successive years lived without other nourishment than the Sacred Body of Our Lord. (Simon Majolus Canicular, Collet IV). And St. Liberalis, Bishop of Athens, fasted every day in the week, taking nothing whatever, not even the Blessed Sacrament, and on Sunday his only nourishment consisted i of this heavenly food, yet he was always strong and I vigorous. (P. Nat. L. IV., Collat. Sanct. c. xciii)
We can but repeat: O wonder-working Sacrament!! We are at a loss what to say. We are silenced by the greatness of God's bounty. What can we do but humbly thank God in the depths of our hearts for so great a blessing, so rich a consolation in this valley of tears. There is nothing short of the vision of God in Heaven which the mind of man can conceive so precious as one Communion. "Thou hast given us, O Lord, Bread from Heaven, having in it all manner of delights!" "O sacred banquet in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is celebrated, the mind is filled with grace, and the pledge of future glory is given to us! Alleluia!"