Choose a topic from Part 3a:

73. The Holy Eucharist

1. In the bodily order, a person must first be born, andthereafter he requires steady nourishment as long as life lasts. Inthe spiritual order, a person is born by baptism, matured byconfirmation, andsteadily nourished by Holy Eucharist. Everysacrament is a special aid to man in his spiritual life. The HolyEucharist is the special spiritual nourishment required by thechild of God.

2. The Holy Eucharist is one sacrament, though it is boththe flesh and the blood of our Lord.

3. The Holy Eucharist is the most excellent of sacraments,for it is our Lord and God himself. But, notwithstanding itssurpassing excellence, it is not required for a man's salvationin the way in which baptism is required. For baptism is thebeginning of the life of the soul; Holy Eucharist is theconsummation of that life. Yet baptism looks on to Holy Eucharist,as beginning looks to consummation. Indeed, all the sacraments aredirected to the Holy Eucharist.

4. The faithful children of the Church give to the HolyEucharist various and reverently significant names: (a) Eucharist,which means "good grace"; (b) Communion orSynaxis, to indicate the union and unity of the faithfulwith Christ in this sacrament; (c) Viaticum, a special title,meaning "companion on the way," given to this sacramentwhen it is received in serious illness to be the soul'scompanion and support on the way to judgment; (d) Sacrifice,inasmuch as the Holy Eucharist is confected and offered in HolyMass, which is the identical sacrifice offered by Christ on thecross, except in the manner of offering: for Christ died on thecross, but does not die in the Mass; the Mass represents his death,but does not reproduce it.

5. Our Lord instituted this great sacrament when he wasabout to depart from visible communication with his apostles. Hewould remain with them in reality, but as wrapped in the mystery ofthis sacrament. Again, Christ celebrated the Pasch, bringing to anend the ceremony of the Old Law, and instituting a new sacrament,which is the true Pasch. Our Lord chose the solemn moment of thisLast Supper to fix this great Eucharistic mystery deep in the mindsand hearts of his apostles.

6. The paschal lamb was the chief Old Testament figure ofthe Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. St. Paul (I Cor. 5:7) says:"Christ our pasch is sacrificed."

"Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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