My Personal Prayer after Receiving Holy Communion

Over the last twelve years, my understanding of the Holy Eucharist has developed and changed drastically from the many preceding years. Most importantly, I learned that the Holy Mass is about giving thanksgiving to God rather than me getting something specific out of it. I also learned that each time we go to Mass we are renewing the Covenant that Christ established for us in Luke 22…the Mass is covenant renewal!

I think many of us have the wrong idea about Mass when we say – I didn’t get anything out of Mass, the homily was boring, I didn’t receive anything for this week, or the message wasn’t good. Where do these questions and attitudes stem from?

I think they come from the perspective that Mass should give us something instead of us giving back our thanksgiving to God, because as I stated above already – Going to Mass is us giving thanks to God, not about us getting something from God. Furthermore, I also think these attitudes stem from our view of what church is according to many non-Catholic circles these days. We are saturated with the big stadium, non-denominational gospel message, which seems to be about what God is going to give you to help you get through the week (I once lived next door to two girls in Austin who told me this is why they go to church).

The reason I am writing about this today is because tomorrow we celebrate Holy Thursday and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The night we commemorate Jesus giving us his Body and his Blood in the Holy Eucharist. Furthermore, this subject has been on my heart for some time now and I have wanted to write about it, because once I learned that Holy Mass was about thanksgiving and not about receiving something, my prayer after receiving Holy Communion also changed.

For years, after receiving Holy Communion, I would return to my pew and begin this litany of petitions of things that I wanted God to answer for me – family, friends, my own wants and needs, prayers for the sick, for the dead, etc. Don’t get me wrong – prayers of petition are important, there’s a reason we ask the Blessed Mother and all the Saints to pray with us, but I thought to myself at one point – is after receiving Holy Communion the best time for me to ask for all these prayers or it is about giving thanksgiving to God for allowing me to receive his Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist?

Although the second stanza of my personal prayer asks for petitions from the Angels and Saints in Heaven, I simply ask that I may be drawn into a deeper and more profound relationship with the Holy Eucharist. It’s not about asking for my particular petitions, but about falling more in love with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Furthermore, my disposition is directed and focused on the Eucharist, not on my individual petitions. At this time in the Mass, it’s all about Jesus in the Eucharist!

I first “wrote” this prayer about 5-6 years ago in my head, although it has developed a bit since that time. Today is actually the first time I typed it out “on paper”, if you can believe it. If you are familiar with St. Thomas Aquinas’ Prayer After Mass, you will see some of his elements in my prayer.

Sign of the Cross

O Lord Jesus Christ, I give you praise and thanksgiving for allowing me to receive your Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in this Holy Eucharist today. I pray that this Holy Eucharist is not a condemnation on my soul but will give me the grace and strength to live a life of heroic virtue. I ask for the intercession of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament to pray for me and to always lead me closer to this Sacrament of All Sacraments.

I pray to the Angels, who have perpetually adored you for all eternity, for their prayers and constant intercession which may lead me closer to you in this holy Sacrament. I also ask that the Saints in heaven, who once received you in this Holy Eucharist here on earth, and are now in your Heavenly presence, for their prayers and intercessions.

 Hail Mary…

 Amen.  

May we all grow closer and fall more in love with Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament…Pray for Us. 

Our Lady of the Host by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Quick Lessons from the Catechism: The Sacrament of the Eucharist

This week at the parish I work at in Arizona, my Pastor and I began a five-week study on the Catholic Mass for the parents in our Family Faith Formation Program. Because of the large number of children that attend Religious Education, we divide the sessions into four different groups made up of 2 groups per night for two weeks. This means that each group meets every other week.

Knowing the importance of the Catholic Mass and wanting to teach our parents its significance, Fr. Will and I found a great series facilitated by Dr. Edward Sri of the Augustine Institute titled, A Biblical Walk through the Mass. Over the next 3 1/2 months, Fr. Will and I have cleared our calendars and committed to being present at each night with the parents. We will show the video and then take questions in order to help our families have a deeper and more complete understanding of the Catholic Mass. Please say a prayer for all involved.

With this being said, I found this week’s Quick Lessons from the Catechism the perfect opportunity to explain to you what the CCC teaches on the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Catholic Mass. For a Catholic, the highest form of prayer and worship is the Catholic Mass. I would encourage you to experience the Catholic Liturgy in both the Western and the Eastern Rites.

The Catechism teaches us…

CCC 1406: Jesus said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).

CCC 1407: The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.

CCC 1408: The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord’s body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.

CCC 1409: The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.

CCC 1410: It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

CCC 1411: Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

CCC 1412: The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: “This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . .”

Jesus & Eucharist - EWTN

CCC 1413: By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).

CCC 1414: As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

CCC 1415: Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

CCC 1416: Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant’s union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

CCC 1417: The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.

CCC 1418: Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul VI, MF 66).

CCC 1419: Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.

For an even more extensive understanding of what the Catechism teaches on the Sacrament of all Sacraments, I would encourage you to read CCC 1322-1405.

The video below has been used in some of my other blog posts before focusing on the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood, but it never gets old. If you need a video to fire you up about the Catholic Mass, this would be it. Please take the time to share this blog post and video with your family and friends on your social media sites.

Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar…Protect us and Keep us Safe. Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament…Pray for us. Amen.

12 Words from St. John Vianney to the 21st Century on Corpus Christi

Today, in the Western lung of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the great Solemnity of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. We commemorate the great sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, a sacrament that Jesus Christ gave to us on the night before he died during the Last Supper with the Apostles. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of all sacraments!

Jesus & Eucharist - EWTN

Drawing from Lumen Gentium 11, the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324 states,

“The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ ‘The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are orientated toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.’”

Knowing the importance the Saints have played in the life of the Catholic Church throughout the centuries, it has always been a goal of this blog to provide my readers with the lives and words of the saints. Because of the great love many parish priests I know today have for the Holy Eucharist, I give you the Patron of Parish Priests, Saint John Vianney and 12 words of his to the 21st century on Corpus Christi.

Please share these with your family and friends on your social media sites. As Catholics, we must never be ashamed to be CATHOLIC. Tell the world how much we love Jesus Christ and how much we love, adore, and defend the Holy Eucharist. Sign-up for Eucharistic Adoration if your parish has it and if your parish does not have it, encourage your Pastor to begin Eucharistic Adoration.

1. “Although the good God does not allow us to see Him, He is nonetheless present in the Blessed Sacrament; nonetheless ready to grant us all we ask.” – Sermon for Corpus Christi

2. “Everyone is ready to run after the latest novelty. …But as for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, He is deserted and forsaken…” – Sermon for Corpus Christi

3. “Could one find a great honor than to be allowed to make reparation to Jesus Christ for the outrages which He receives in the Sacrament of His love? – Sermon for Corpus Christi

4. “When we go to Communion, we experience an extraordinary feeling of comfort which seems to envelop us entirely. What is this but Our Lord communicating Himself to every part of our being, and making us thrill with joy? We are obliged to exclaim like St. John: ‘It is the Lord!’” – Inner Life of the Cure d’ Ars

5. “People talk about Lazarus who had the joy of entertaining the Divine Savior in his home; but Lazarus only had Him by his side, while we, if we will, may have Him in our heart just as often as we wish.” – On Communion

6. “Jesus Christ found a way by which He could ascend into Heaven and yet remain on the earth. He instituted the adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist so that He might stay with us, and be the Food of our soul; that He might console us and be our Companion.” – Sermon on Communion

7. “Ah! if we had the eyes of Angels with which to see Our Lord Jesus Christ present on the Altar and looking at us, how we love Him! – Catechism on the Real Presence

8. “We ought to ask the Blessed Virgin, the Angels, and the Saints to pray for us that we may receive the good God as worthily as it is possible for us to receive Him. – Sermon on Communion

9. “When we receive Holy Communion, we receive our joy and our happiness.” – Catechism on Communion

10. “If you keep your thoughts fixed on Our Lord after Communion, you will feel for a long time that consuming fire which will inspire in your heart the desire for good and a shrinking from evil.” – Catechism on Holy Communion

11. “To receive the Blessed Sacrament worthily, one must have a great desire for union with Jesus Christ.” – Sermon on Communion

12. “One’s everyday life ought to be both a preparation and a thanksgiving for Communion. By one Communion you give glory to God than if you gave away one hundred thousand francs.” – On Communion

For more catechesis on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and the Holy Eucharist, I would encourage you to read my posts from 20122013, 12 Words from St. John Vianney on the Blessed Sacrament, and “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Jesus, in the Most Precious and Holy Sacrament of the Altar…Pray For Us!

Holy Eucharist