Hidden Treasure: The riches of the Eucharist

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is taken from Louis Kaczmarek’s book “Hidden Treasure: The Riches of the Eucharist.” This is one of many Eucharistic reflections that will be published by Catholic San Francisco magazine as part of the U.S. Catholic Church’s Eucharistic Revival (eucharisticrevival.org) that began on June 19, 2022, on the feast of Corpus Christi, and continues through Pentecost 2025.

Where can we find  God? This excellent volume provides the astounding answer: the pearl of great price, the hidden treasure, is Christ as He reveals Himself in the great sacrifice and sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We find God in the Christ of the Eucharist, the entire spiritual treasure of the Church.

Today more than ever, people are looking for visible signs of commitment, love, trust, faith and devotion. No more visible sign could we have than the sign God has given to us in the Holy Eucharist.

Such strong testimony includes sacred Scripture, the writings of the Fathers of the Church, the witness of countless saints whose dedicated Christian lives flowed from their great love for and devotion to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and the statements of the Church’s magisterium.

In an age of unbelief and so much self-seeking, in a world of distractions, confusion, tumult and indifference to the Church and her doctrines, the pages of this book call on Catholics to renew and rededicate themselves to a greater love, devotion and appreciation for Christ’s gift of the Eucharist. In particular, the reader is challenged to observe the devotional practice of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament as well as to receive Communion frequently and worthily.

Holy Communion

No doubt, volumes could be written containing statements the saints and holy people have made about the effects of Holy Communion. Here are some of the more notable:

St. John Chrysostom, called “the doctor of the Eucharist,” in one of the most forceful passages in his writings, said:

“How many in these times say: would that I could gaze upon His form, His figure, His garment, His shoes! Lo! Thou seest Him, touchest Him, eatest Him. He gives Himself to thee, not merely to look upon, but even to touch, to eat, and to receive within….Consider at Whose table thou eatest! For we are fed with that which the angels view with trepidation and which they cannot contemplate without fear because of its splendor. We become one with Him; we become one body and one flesh with Christ.… Jesus, for the burning love He bore us, wished to unite Himself so closely to us that we should become one and the same with Him for such is the dream of true lovers.”

St. Gertrude: “Each time a person receives Holy Communion, their place in heaven becomes greater and their stay in purgatory is shortened.”

Abbot Blosius: “By the humble, frequent and devout reception of the Eucharist, a person will progress more speedily in divine union and holiness of life than by any other exercise.”

Pope St. Pius X: “Holy Communion is the shortest and surest way to heaven.”

St. John Vianney: “Of all the sacraments, there is not one that can be compared to the Holy Eucharist…a soul may receive its Creator, and as often as it desires.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard: “The Eucharist is the supreme proof of the love of Jesus. After this, there is nothing more but heaven….Be willing to sacrifice everything, be willing to do everything for the sake of one communion. A single communion is able to transform a sinner into a saint instantaneously because it is Jesus Christ Himself, author of all sanctity, who comes to you.”

St. John Baptist de la Salle: “Be convinced that there is in all your life no more precious time than that of Holy Communion and the moments following, during which you have the happiness to be able to speak face to face, heart to heart, with Jesus.”

St. Denis: “The Sacrament of the Eucharist is far more powerful for the sanctification of souls than all other spiritual means of grace.”

Thomas Merton: “The most sanctifying action a Christian can perform is to receive Christ in the Eucharistic mystery.”

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi: “Sacrifice all earthly goods rather than a single communion.”

St. Joseph Moscati:

“Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion is greater than having Him make a personal visit to our home. What preparations we make to welcome a guest into our home! Everything must be in order, the house spotless, and an air of harmony and happiness, peace and joy must be presented to our guest to make him or her feel welcome. What preparations would one make to welcome the governor of the state into one’s home because of his situation in life, his dignity of office. How much more so would one welcome the president of the United States because of his greater station in life, his greater dignity of office. What preparation would one make to receive the Holy Father the Pope, the vicar of Christ on earth, the most important office in the world? How much more, therefore, if our Lord were to come into our homes, He who loves us to life! This, then, can be the gauge of how we should prepare ourselves to receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. The reception of Jesus into our souls is so intimate and so sacred that no words can describe this visit.”

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