The Eucharist, Sacrament of Humility
The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Humility. It teaches us
humility by Christ's example, and its grace helps us in the practice of
Old Testament sage, Sirach, said that humility is an attractive virtue that wins
the favor of God and men. Jesus taught that we must possess the virtue of
humility to enter heaven. When Jesus said that the humble will be exalted, He
meant that they will be rewarded with eternal life.
The Old Testament sage, Sirach, said that humility is an attractive virtue that wins the favor of God and men. Jesus taught that we must possess the virtue of humility to enter heaven. When Jesus said that the humble will be exalted, He meant that they will be rewarded with eternal life.
The ancient pagans did not have an appreciation for the virtue of humility. They despised humility in speech and action and considered it a sign of weakness. Even the most noble pagans regarded humility as servile and degrading. But that was not so with the Jews. Enlightened by their faith, they were conscious of their own wretchedness and nothingness. The Old Testament is laced throughout with praise for humility.
The virtue of humility is known by its fruits. Following are four prominent ones:
There are two things that the modern mind scorns: authority and obedience. It's accurate to say that disobedience to God's laws is the source of all the problems in the Church and the world today. The Ten Commandments are not only ignored these days, they are downright hated because they interfere with sinful lifestyles people have chosen for themselves.
The Ten Commandments give people guilty consciences, which they don't like. Many people today want to sin and not feel guilty about it.
Disobedience is rooted in pride - the vice opposed to the virtue of humility. Pride is the greatest obstacle to friendship with God. Pride was the sin of Satan and of Adam and Eve. It is the root cause of evil and suffering in the world.
Pride impoverishes many people and deprives them of grace. St. Peter tells us in his first letter: God gives his grace to the humble. God finds no room for His gifts in a heart that is full of itself.
Humility is the foundation of the other virtues. It is the soil in which all virtues take root and grow. This is why the word humility was taken from the Latin word meaning
'earth' or 'ground.' When we hear the word humility we should be reminded that from dust we came and to dust we will return. St. John Vianney, a paragon of humility, said that humility is as necessary for salvation as the sacraments of Baptism and Penance.
A humble person is also peaceful because he does not dispute with others. Rather he yields to them in everything that is not contrary to his conscience. He puts his own tastes and opinions aside.
A humble person is not overbearing because he has overcome the desire to be loved. Humility empties a person of self-love, leaving room to love God and others. And being loved in return is its unsought reward.
In the Eucharist Jesus gives us the greatest example of self-effacing love. He gives Himself freely and completely to His friends. He hides His glory and power and splendor in the Eucharist so that He does not overwhelm our senses. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once said,
"The God whom the whole universe cannot contain, contains Himself in the small
The humble person is quite content with his station in life, as long as it conforms to God's will. He does not resent that others surpass him or her in wealth, honors, prestige, intelligence, physical beauty, virtue and other things. Saints like Theresa of Lisieux, who were perfected in the virtue of humility, actually desired that others be preferred to them. They even wished that others be holier than they, provided they became as holy as they should.
Humility leads one to refrain from boasting. St. Paul said of Jesus: "Though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at." In the Eucharist, Jesus hides His divinity under the appearances of mere bread and wine, a magnificent act of humility. In recognition of this, Pope John Paul II said, "Eucharistic worship is not so much worship of the inaccessible transcendence as worship of the divine condescension."
Frequent and worthy reception of Jesus in Holy Communion and worship of Him in the Blessed Sacrament gives peace of mind, self-knowledge, and contentment.
The Eucharist teaches us humility. St. Cyril of Alexandria pointed this out saying: "If the power of pride is swelling up in you, turn to the Eucharist; and that Bread, Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself, will teach you humility."
We should do all we can to avoid the sin of pride. But we should also keep in mind that each one of us is a very important person. We are important because God loves us. This is what makes every human person very special.
And each of us was given special talents to help build up God's kingdom, talents tailored to the unique mission God has planned for each human person. Reflection on this should help us see both our importance and our nothingness in contrast.
Just as God created the universe from nothing, He can accomplish great things with our nothingness. We need only cooperate with Him. The virtue of humility enables us to do so.
Finally, the Roman Missal succinctly connects the humility of Christ with mystery of the Eucharist. When the priest pours water into the wine at Mass he says,
"By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of
Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity."
Paradoxes of Catholicism
A review of Paradoxes of Catholicism
This book is a collection of abbreviated sermons given by Fr. Robert Hugh Benson
during Lent of 1912. Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) was the youngest son of the
Archbishop of Canterbury. He was ordained as a priest of the Church of England
but later converted to the Catholic faith and was ordained a Catholic priest in
1904. He wrote a number of books, the most popular being Lord of the World,
which is an apocalyptic novel set several generations in the future.
APEA Activity in 2009
In 2009 the priests of the Apostolate for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration visited the following parishes to help start or maintain perpetual Eucharistic adoration (or as close to it as possible):
Changing of the Guard
We would like to extend our sincere thanks and good wishes to Mrs. Angeline Sgro, who has retired as mission coordinator for Fr. Joseph De Luca, M.S.S. She has been serving the apostolate admirably in that position for the past nine years and has also served as co-head coordinator and division leader for perpetual adoration in her parish, Saint Casimir in Elmira, NY. She will be sorely missed. Angie is being succeeded by Mr. Pratt Landry of Slidell, LA. Welcome aboard Pratt. Fr Joseph can still be reached at his apostolate telephone, (607) 737-7022.
Pope Benedict XVI on Belief in the Lord's Eucharistic Presence
The more lively the Eucharistic faith of the People of God, the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples. The Church's very history bears witness to this. Every great reform has in some way been linked to the rediscovery of belief in the Lord's Eucharistic presence among his people.
Missionary Priests of the Blessed Sacrament
P.O. Box 1428 • Bensalem, Pa 19020
Tel: 215.244.9211 Fax: 215.244.9211