Tag Archives: Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Waterbury CT

Our true adoration — of God Himself.

“O Jesus, you instituted this Sacrament, not through any desire to draw some advantage from it for yourself, but solely moved by love which has no other measure than to be without measure. You instituted this Sacrament because your love exceeds all words. Burning with love for us, you desired to give yourself to us and took up your dwelling in the consecrated Host, entirely and forever, until the end of time. And you did this, not only to give us a memorial of your death which is our salvation, but you did it also, to remain with us entirely and forever.”

St. Angela of Foligno

Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it, Flannery O’Connor’s insight into eucharistic coherence

Flannery O'Connor2.jpg

One of the authors that I believe we have to look to for insight when it comes to sacramentality is the great southern woman, Flannery O’Connor. The great feast of Corpus Christi is this weekend. 

Here is a reflection for us on the Vigil of Corpus et Sanguis Christi:

“I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, A Charmed Life). She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. 

We went at eight and at one, I hadn’t opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. The people who took me were Robert Lowell and his now wife, Elizabeth Hardwick. Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them. 

Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the ‘most portable’ person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. 

I then said, in a very shaky voice, ‘Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.’ That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”

Washed in Christ’s blood St Catherine’s parishioners take to NYC streets for Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi wc.jpgYesterday was the great feast of The Solemnity of the
Body and Blood of Christ. At Saint Catherine of Siena Church in New York City
the parish community with the Dominican Friars led by Father Jordan Kelly
celebrated a Solemn Mass for the feast and then took to the streets with the Monstrance containing Our Lord and Savior. For the
first time in years Our Lord in His Eucharistic Presence was carried in
procession in the neighborhood of the church. Imagine the faces of Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims and those who do not share our Eucharistic faith seeing such display of faith and devotion! 

Graces beyond imagining:
beautiful weather, lots of people, terrific sacred music given to our worship
by Daniel B. Sañez and his superb choir, an insightful homily and a rededication to the Sacred Heart with Benediction after an extended period of adoration. 

came across this reflection from Saint John Chrysostom: 

If we wish to
understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient
account of its prefiguration in Egypt. ‘Sacrifice a lamb without blemish’,
commanded Moses, ‘and sprinkle its blood on your doors’. If we were to ask him
what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save
people endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not
in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In
those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not
dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not
that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of
believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.

Indeed, washed in Chris’s blood,
and not that of a animal is what saves, and we ought to scream this from the
roof tops. Well, we actually didn’t yell anything but we walked together in
professing our faith.

The Church of Saint Catherine of Siena NYC will never be the same! Thanks be to God.

Lauda Sion Salvatorem: Corpus Christi a Mysterical renunion

Corpus Christi procession.jpg

The feast of Corpus Christi has a rich fare to savor: prayers, Bible readings, music, and poetic texts. The point of the Church offering us this opportunity to honor the Eucharistic Presence is to extend in our lives a deeper grace given in Communion theology, to have a closer with the Lord in His promised hundredfold. It is, of course, a deepening in our lives what the Lord Himself did and gave to us on Holy Thursday with Eucharist and the priesthood.

The Sequence (the poetry which follows the second lesson at Mass and directly precedes the Alleluia verse), Lauda Sion Salvatorem, is ideally fitting for the sacred Liturgy. Google this masterpiece of poetry expressing theology in a way that stimulates prayer and deepens one’s faith.

The English priest Father Ronald Knox offers a perspective on what we’re doing in observing the great feast of the Lord’s Body and Blood. The following is taken from his meditation on Corpus Christi:

Like the Jewish Temple, the Christian altar is the rallying point of God’s people. The whole notion of Christian solidarity grows out of, and is centered in, the common participation of a common Table. The primitive Church in Jerusalem broke bread day be day from house to house; its stronghold of peace was not any local centre, but a common meal. Christian people, however separated by long distances of land or sea, still meet together in full force, by a mystical reunion, whenever and wherever the Bread is broken and the Cup blessed.

Corpus Christi 2012

Benedict before monstance June 7 2012.jpg

The observance of Corpus Christi, sometimes called Corpus Domini (The Body of the Lord). In places like Rome, the traditional day to observe this feast is Thursday, connecting with Holy Thursday. A portion of the Pope’s homily is noted below (the full text is here).

… the sacredness of the Eucharist. Also here we heard in the recent past of a certain misunderstanding of the authentic message of Sacred Scripture. The Christian novelty in regard to worship was influenced by a certain secularist mentality of the 60s and 70s of the past century. It is true, and it remains always valid, that the center of worship is now no longer in the rites and ancient sacrifices, but in Christ himself, in his person, in his life, in his paschal mystery. And yet, from this fundamental novelty it must not be concluded that the sacred no longer exists, but that it has found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, incarnate divine Love. The Letter to the Hebrews, which we heard this evening in the Second Reading, speaks to us precisely of the novelty of the priesthood of Christ, “high priest of the good things that have come” (Hebrews 9:11), but it does not say that the priesthood is finished. Christ “is the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15), established in his blood, which purifies our “conscience from dead works” (Hebrews 9:14). He did not abolish the sacred, but brought it to fulfillment, inaugurating a new worship, which is, yes, fully spiritual but which however, so long as we are journeying in time, makes use again of signs and rites, of which there will be no need only at the end, in the heavenly Jerusalem, where there will no longer be a temple (cf. Revelation 21:22). Thanks to Christ, the sacred is more true, more intense and, as happens with the Commandments, also more exacting! Ritual observance is not enough, but what is required is the purification of the heart and the involvement of life.

Pope Benedict XVI

Corpus Christi at the Basilica of St. John Lateran

7 June 2012

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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