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Posts Tagged ‘the Lord’s Supper’

“Behold, I come to You, Lord, that I may prosper by Your gift and be delighted at Your holy banquet which You, O God, in Your sweetness have prepared for Your poor. Behold, all that I can or ought to desire is in You. You are my salvation and my redemption, my hope and strength, my honor and glory.

“Gladden, then, this day the soul of Your servant because I have raised my heart to You, O Lord Jesus. I long to receive You now, devoutly and reverently. I desire to bring You into my house that, with Zacchaeus, I may merit Your blessing and be numbered among the children of Abraham.

“My soul longs for Your Body; my heart desires to be united with You. Give me Yourself—it is enough; for without You there is no consolation. Without You I cannot exist, without Your visitation I cannot live. I must often come to You, therefore, and receive the strength of my salvation lest, deprived of this heavenly food, I grow weak on the way. Once, most merciful Jesus, while preaching to the people and healing their many ills, You said: “I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.” Deal with me likewise, You who have left Yourself in this Sacrament for the consolation of the faithful. You are sweet refreshment to the soul, and he who eats You worthily will be a sharer in, and an heir to, eternal glory. Amen.”

 

“It is indeed necessary for me, who falls and sins so often, who so quickly becomes lax and weak, to renew, cleanse, and inflame myself through frequent prayer, confession, and the holy reception of Your Body, lest perhaps by abstaining too long, I fall away from my holy purpose. For from the days of his youth the senses of man are prone to evil, unless divine aid strengthens him, he quickly falls deeper.  But Holy Communion removes him from evil and confirms him in good.

 

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“Now there is a connection between our fallen humanity as flesh and the sheer physicality of human bodily existence. And the connection lies in our mortality. As my friend constantly reminds me, all medical progress notwithstanding, the death rate remains at one per person. Or as the prophet put it, “All flesh is grass”. It looks good enough when it is well watered. But just wait until August and watch it wilt and die under the Sun’s scorch. The gift of life given by God is not immortal. That is to say, it cannot survive on its own. Its survival depends on things outside itself. Tile oxygen that we breathe comes from the air around us. The water that we drink is equally outside of us. And food as well comes to us from beyond.

And therefore, it is sheer terror to have the wind knocked out of you and to struggle to catch your breath, And both hunger and thirst make us aware of our mortality. Guess what? THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO! That is their theological meaning. Hunger and thirst are sacraments of our mortality. They are the felt reminders of the fact that we do not have life within us.” (from a sermon by Rev. Louis Smith+)

“Centuries of secularism have failed to transform eating into something strictly utilitarian. Food is still treated with reverence.  A meal is still a rite-the last “natural sacrament” of family and friendship, of life that is more than “eating” and “drinking”.  To eat is still something more than to maintain bodily functions. People may not understand what that ‘something more’ is, but they nonetheless desire to celebrate it. They are still hungry and thirsty for sacramental life.” 
― Alexander SchmemannFor the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy

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