As the International Eucharistic Congress convenes in Cebu this month, Jan 24-31, 2016, we share with you various articles on the Eucharist, beginning with these Eucharistic Gems from the writings of St. Faustina by author Kathleen Beckman, with the prayer that your faith in the Holy Eucharist will be strengthened and become more vibrant as you reflect on the Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. –Editor
Saint Faustina’s full religious name was Sister Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Her profound love and devotion to the Eucharist was the center of her life. Eucharistic love motivated her every action. Almost every page of her spiritual diary makes reference to the Eucharist. To a friend she said, “The most solemn moment of my life is the moment when I receive Holy Communion and for every Holy Communion I give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity” (Diary of St. Faustina, 1804). Another time she recorded, “…All my strength is in You, O Living Bread. It would be difficult for me to live through the day if I did not receive Holy Communion. It is my shield; without You, Jesus, I know not how to live” (Diary of St. Faustina, 814).
Gems of Eucharistic love
Jesus gave St. Faustina a clear love of the mystery of the Eucharist. She described it “as the wonderful gift of His presence on earth”. She wrote that during Mass, “I thanked the Lord Jesus for having redeemed us and for having given us the greatest of all gifts, the Holy Eucharist.” “You wanted to stay with us, and so you left us yourself in the Sacrament of the Altar, and you opened wide your mercy to us. You opened an inexhaustible spring of mercy for us, giving us your dearest possession, the Blood and Water, that gushed forth from Your Heart” (Diary 1747).
2. Love’s sacrifice was fully consummated at the consecration
During a Holy Hour, in a vision of the cenacle, Sr. Faustina saw the institution of the Holy Eucharist. She came to understand that, “At the moment of consecration…the sacrifice was fully consummated. Hereafter, only the external ceremony of death will be carried out. Never in my whole life had I understood this mystery so profoundly as during that hour of adoration” (Diary 684, 757, 832).
3. The mercy that gushed from His Heart…
St. Faustina asked God to bring the world to understand more the mystery of divine mercy and the Eucharist. She said, “Who will ever conceive and understand the depth of mercy that gushed forth from His Heart? It is only in eternity that we shall know the great mystery given to us in Holy Communion. One day we will know what God is doing for us in each Mass, and what sort of gift He is preparing through it for us.”
4. Eucharist: Transform me into a living host to atone for sinners.
“All the tongues of men and angels united could not find words adequate to describe this mystery of Your love and mercy”. “Transform me in Yourself, 0 Jesus, that I may be a living sacrifice and pleasing to You. I desire to atone at each moment of my life for poor sinners.“ Jesus answered her prayers telling her: “You are a living host, pleasing to the Heavenly Father” (Diary 1826). Through our communion with Christ we grow in self-emptying love that desires to offer reparation for sinners. The Eucharist moves us to an ever-greater thirst for the salvation of souls.
St. Faustina said: “All the good that is in me is due to the Holy Communion. I owe everything to it.” She was transformed into a living host in imitation of her Lord; hidden, and broken like Jesus in His passion laying down His life for our redemption. St. Faustina’s union with God was increased during the Mass, Holy Communion and during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Eucharistic life is transformative.
6. Love demands only one thing: reciprocity.
Her union with the Lord was, in His words, as a bride: “Here, I am entirely yours, soul, body and divinity as Your Bridegroom. You know what love demands, one thing only, reciprocity”. (Diary 1770) What she experienced during Holy Communion was a complete union with the Holy Trinity, “At that moment, I was drawn into the bosom of the Most Holy Trinity, and I was immersed in the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Diary 1670, 1121,1129)
7. “In the Host is the power…”
“These times of union are a taste of Eternity,” she said (Diary 969). St Faustina was strengthen and supported in the daily struggles of life by receiving Holy Communion. The Lord told her: “In the Host is the power; it will defend you always” (Diary 616). Eucharistic love is infinitely powerful to defend us from all that is harmful to our salvation.
8. Rays of Mercy come from the Holy Eucharist covering the world.
During Holy Mass, many times St. Faustina experienced visions of the Lord and over sixty such visions are found in her spiritual diary. She often saw the infant Jesus during Mass, but also, on occasion, saw the Blessed Mother, or Jesus during His passion, and sometimes, in His glorious majesty. She records seeing the rays of mercy as in the image of Divine Mercy coming from the Holy Eucharist, at times covering the world. (Diary 420, 441, 1046).
9. The Eucharist is closely associated with the vessels of mercy.
Holy Communion is the most important part of the celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy. The Feast of Divine Mercy, the Image, the Chaplet, and the three o’clock prayer are all closely related to the Eucharist. On a number of occasions, St. Faustina saw the Eucharist radiate red and white rays, like in the Image of Divine Mercy. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is Eucharistic. It is an offering of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the Father, in atonement for the sins of the world.
Faustina’s Eucharistic Act of Oblation
During the reception of the Eucharist Sr. Faustina offered herself in total abandonment to God’s will composing her personal act of oblation:
Jesus-Host, whom I have this very moment received into my heart, in this union with you I offer myself to the Heavenly Father as a sacrificial host, abandoning myself totally and completely to the most merciful holy will of my God. From today onward, your will, Lord, is my food. You have my whole being; dispose of me as you please . . . I no longer fear any of your inspirations, nor do I probe anxiously to see where they will lead me . . . I have placed all my trust in your will which is, for me, love and mercy itself. (Diary of St. Faustina, 1264, 456)
Eucharistic Healing & Resurrection
The Eucharist is healing in ways seen and unseen, and affects our resurrection. Fr. Lawrence Lovasik wrote, “Holy Communion establishes between Jesus Christ and us not merely spiritual contact but physical contact as well through the ‘species’ of bread. The resurrection of the body can be traced from this physical contact with Christ. The resurrected bodies of those who have worthily received the Eucharist during their lifetime will be more strikingly resplendent because of their frequent contact, during life, with the risen Body of their Lord.” (Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, The Basic Book of the Eucharist, Sophia Press, 140)
Prayer to Become a Living Monstrance
Lord Jesus, please fashion me into a living Eucharistic monstrance so that I may become a vessel of mercy carrying Your love to others. Through our Eucharistic incorporation, grant that I may be a child of the light, salt of the earth, bread for the hungry, water for the thirsty, new wine, and healing oil for others. May people see You in my servant’s heart, You in the light of my eyes, You in the warmth of my heart, You in the works of my hands, You in the words of my mouth, You in the incense of my prayer, You in the lightness of my laughter, You in the glistening of my tears, You in the lowliness of Your creature. Hide me, I pray, in the gilded monstrance of Your loving heart so that I can be a living monstrance radiating Your healing rays of mercy. (Kathleen Beckman, God’s Healing Mercy, Sophia Press, 133-134).
Source: http://catholicexchange.com/st-faustina-eucharistic-wisdom-10-gems, January 20, 2016.
Kathleen Beckman, L.H.S. President and co-founder of the Foundation of Prayer for Priests (www.foundationforpriests.org), has served the Church for the past 25 years as a Catholic evangelist, author, radio host, Ignatian trained retreat director and speaker.