Sunday, June 2, 2013

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

In honor of the ‘Year of Faith’ on this day, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Holy Father will preside over a special Eucharistic adoration that will extend at the same time all over the world involving the cathedrals and parishes in each diocese. For an hour at 5PM (Rome time), the whole world will be united in prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. What a true blessing. I am sending out this note to make sure that wherever you are on this great Solemnity, you join the WORLD in prayer. This will happen at 10am Central. We are having a special adoration at 10am here in Peoria at the Cathedral where Fulton Sheen was ordained and Mass will then start at 10:30am for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. I wish to share with you Venerable Fulton Sheen’s thoughts on how the Eucharist is both a sacrifice and a sacrament.
May the Body of Christ dwell within you,

Msgr. Stanley Deptula
Executive Director

“The Sacrament of the Eucharist has two sides: it is both a sacrifice and a sacrament. Inasmuch as biological life is nothing but a reflection, a dim echo, and a shadow of the divine life, one can find analogies in the natural order for the beauties of the divine. Does not nature itself have a double aspect: a sacrifice and a sacrament? The vegetables which are served at table, the meat which is presented on the platter, are the natural sacraments of the body of man. By them he lives. If they were endowed with speech, they would say: ‘Unless you have communion with me, you will not live.’

But if one inquires as to how the lower creation of chemicals, vegetables or meats came to be the sacrament or the communion of man, one is immediately introduced to the idea of sacrifice. Did not the vegetables have to be pulled up by their roots from the earth, submitted to the law of death, and then pass through the ordeal of fire before they could become the sacrament of physical life, or have communion with the body? Was not the meat on the platter once a living thing, and was it not submitted to the knife, its blood shed on the soil of a natural Gethsemane and Calvary before it was fit to be presented to man?

Nature, therefore suggests that a sacrifice must precede a sacrament; death is the prelude to a communion. In some way, unless the thing dies, it does not begin to live in a higher kingdom. To have, for example, a communion service without a sacrifice would be, in the natural order, like eating our vegetables uncooked, and our meat in the raw. When we come face to face with the realities of life, we see that we live by what we slay. It was our sins that slew Christ on Calvary, and yet by the power of God risen from the dead and reigning gloriously in Heaven, He now becomes our life and has communion with us and we with Him. In the divine order, there must be the Sacrifice or the Consecration of the Mass before there can be the sacrament or the Communion of the soul and God.” Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen (These are the Sacraments)