When Imelda Lambertini was five years old, she asked to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. She loved Christ deeply, to the point of wondering, “Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” However, as it was the year 1327, her request was out of the question. At that time children were not allowed to receive Holy Communion until they were at least 12 years old. But she persisted.
Once again, Our Lord has granted the Church a Eucharistic Miracle to strengthen our faltering faith in, and proper reverence toward, this central teaching of the Catholic faith: When Jesus said, “This is my body,” and, “This is my blood,” he meant it literally.
As Catholics, we know that the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith: it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pope Francis said, “The Eucharist is at the heart of ‘Christian initiation’, together with Baptism and Confirmation, and it constitutes the source of the Church’s life itself. From this Sacrament of love, in fact, flows every authentic journey of faith, of communion, and of witness.”
For children who are preparing to receive Holy Communion for the first time, this is a big deal. And for all of us, no matter how many times we have received Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, it should always be a big deal.
St. John Bosco (Don Bosco) was an influential 19th century Italian priest who ministered to the poor and neglected boys of Turin, Italy, who were driven to a life of desperation and crime in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Don Bosco became their mentor and spiritual director, inspiring them to a life of virtue and saving many from a future of poverty and incarceration.
Over Thanksgiving week two similar news stories emerged that have been widely shared on social media. The subject of each was a Consecrated Host, yet each was in stark contrast to the other. … As it happened last week, the news of the desecrated Hosts and the Eucharistic Miracle were appearing almost side-by-side. If we did not flinch interiorly at the news of the desecration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the news of the miracle was there to keep our hearts in check.
According to the Papal Encyclical Lumen Gentium, what is the “source and summit of the Christian life”? Hint: It’s not the Holy Spirit, the communion of saints, or the Holy See.
Answer: It’s the Eucharist!