“With all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels whence you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles. Because true happiness, dear friends, does not consist in the pleasures of the world or in earthly things, but in peace of conscience, which you have only if you are pure in heart and mind.” — Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
According to a tradition in the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), Saint Dominic once led grace in a refectory where the brethren had nothing to eat. Angels came and began to distribute bread to the hungry, poor friars. The medieval story reads like something out of the Bible, like when an angel feeds Elijah, giving him strength to travel for forty days (see 1 Kgs 19:7–8). The Eucharist is not merely bread given by angels. It is Christ himself, hidden under the appearance of bread. St. Thomas Aquinas poetically captured something of this mystery: “Thus Angels’ Bread is made / the Bread of man today: / the Living Bread from heaven / with figures dost away: / O miraculous gift indeed! / the poor and lowly may / upon their Lord and Master feed.” In giving us himself in the Eucharist, God raises us up, making mere human beings like the angels, drawing us nearer to him.
LET US PRAY
Lord Jesus, you are the bread of life, the bread of heaven, the bread of angels. May we long for this food of heaven. May it strengthen us, that one day we may arrive safely at our eternal home. Amen.
PRAYER TO THE EUCHARIST
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
-Collect for the Feast of Corpus Christi, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas