Eucharistic Reflections

Eucharist logo image with text

This page supplements the St. Mary Parish page on The Eucharist.

“The Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self-oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of his self-giving.”
—Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

“The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Jesus Christ. Indeed, the Lord said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” (John 6:56)
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1391

“ It seems to me that nothing better expresses the love in God’s Heart than the Eucharist; it is union, consummation, He in us, we in Him, and isn’t that Heaven on earth?”
—Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Consecration of the host

“The Mass makes present the sacrifice of the Cross; it does not add to that sacrifice nor does it multiply it. What is repeated is its memorial celebration, its ‘commemorative representation’ which makes Christ’s one, definitive redemptive sacrifice always present in time. The sacrificial nature of the Eucharistic mystery cannot therefore be understood as something separate, independent of the Cross or only indirectly referring to the sacrifice of Calvary.”
—Saint John Paul II

“I ask you to abide in the adoration of Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. I ask you to enter into conversation with him, to bring before him your questions and to listen to his voice.”
—Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

“Where on earth shall we find Jesus but in the arms of Mary! Was it not she who gave us the Eucharist? It was her consent to the Incarnation of the Word that inaugurated the great mystery of reparation to God and union with us which Jesus accomplished during His mortal life, and that he continues in the Eucharist.”
—Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“If we wish to discover in all its richness the profound relationship between the Church and the Eucharist, we cannot neglect Mary, Mother and model of the Church… Mary can guide us toward this most holy sacrament because she herself has a profound relationship with it.”
—Saint John Paul II

“In the Eucharist our God has shown love in the extreme, overturning all those criteria of power which too often govern human relations and radically affirming the criterion of service: ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all’ (Mark 9:35). It is not by chance that the Gospel of John contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist, but instead relates the ‘washing of feet’ (cf. John 13:1-20): by bending down to wash the feet of his disciples, Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist unequivocally.”
—Saint John Paul II: Mane Nobiscum Domine, 28

“The Eucharist is the heart of the Church. Where Eucharistic life flourishes, there the life of the church will blossom.”
—Saint John Paul II

“Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that Adoration.”
—Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“The Eucharist is truly the source of the other Sacraments, since it is from there, as from a divine fountain, that the Blood of Jesus Christ flows in perpetuity down to the consummation of the ages; since it is there that the Infinite Victim is perpetually sacrificed for us.”
—Venerable Pauline Jaricot

“The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Jesus Christ. Indeed, the Lord said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” (John 6:56)
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1391

“Eucharistic adorers share Mary’s life and mission of prayer at the foot of the Most Blessed Sacrament.”
—Saint Peter Julian Eymard

Altar with Angels at Consecration

“Only God could leave me and stay with me at the same time. His physical presence ascended into heaven but (he) gives me his Body, Blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. Every time I receive this sacrament, whose power is beyond my comprehension, I receive more of God. The pool of my soul becomes brighter and his divine reflection more radiant.”
—Mother Angelica of the Annunciation, P.C.P.A.

“We may … fix our thoughts upon Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and reflect, as faith teaches us, that in it our Lord in his Sacred Humanity abides and that this same Humanity is seated on the right hand of the Eternal Father.”
—Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

“We should not exclude ourselves from the Lord’s Communion because we confess ourselves to be sinners, but should more eagerly hasten to it in order to heal our soul, purify our spirit, and to seek a remedy for our wounds with humility of mind and faith, considering ourselves unworthy to receive so great a grace.”
—Saint John Cassian

The Eucharist is God’s invention. It manifests the ingenuity of a wisdom that at the same time is the foolishness of love.”
—Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap., at the Archdiocese of Boston’s Eucharistic Congress, June 18, 2022

“…this sacrament contains the true body and immaculate flesh of Christ, in such a way that it penetrates our being, unites us to one another, and transforms us into Him through that burning love by which He gave Himself to us in the incarnation, offered Himself up for us in the passion, and now gives Himself back to us, to remain with us until the end of the world.”
—Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor (1221-1274)

“…The gaze of the Church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the full manifestation of his boundless love.”
—Saint John Paul II: Ecclesia De Eucharistia

“For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”
—Saint Irenaeus: Against Heresies, 4.18.5

“O boundless fire of love! You have given us your flesh as food and your blood as drink! You are the Lamb roasted in the fire of blazing charity!”
—Saint Catherine of Siena

“The last degree of love is when He gave Himself to us to be our Food; because He gave Himself to be united with us in every way.”
—Saint Bernardine of Siena

“It is only because of the crucifixion, the death of our divine Lord, that we have his Body and Blood in Holy Communion. It was only because of that Last Supper that we have the sacrifice of the Mass today. And it is only because of his crucifixion and death that eternal life is possible for us. Christ always raises the natural up to the supernatural. When we receive his Body and Blood we are swept up into his divinity.”
—John Cardinal O’Connor

“Indeed, we are to hold back nothing, but in turn, give ourselves completely to the Lord who has given Himself entirely to us in the Eucharist. The only appropriate response to this great gift is to order our whole life, first, on receiving the gift and then imitating it, offering our own body and blood, our sweat and tears, our whole heart, all we have and are to Jesus in the service and love for our brothers and sisters as Jesus has done for us.”
—The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix: Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling.

"The first fruit of Eucharistic contemplation is to fix, to recollect the soul in our Lord, to discover the mystery of his perfections and the love of the ineffable gift of the Eucharist.”
—Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“…nowhere are you more hidden than in the Eucharist. When I approach your tabernacle, my senses seek in vain for a sign of your sovereign presence, and I behold you there—silent as in Mary’s womb, motionless as in the sepulcher, immolated as on the cross.”
—Servant of God Luis Maria Martinez

“The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white host.”
—Fulton J. Sheen, Venerable Servant of God

“It is urgent and vital to ask ourselves how much time we spend before the Eucharistic presence of Jesus in the tabernacle …
The humble, silent presence of Jesus in our midst calls for our humble, silent, presence.”
—Robert Cardinal Sarah

Monstrance before a crucifix

“By living the Mass we become more and more one with Christ. That is our whole destiny, for Christ is all.”
—Dom M. Eugene Boylan, O.C.R.

“Through this personal relationship with the Risen Jesus in the Eucharist, we experience the self-sacrificing love of Jesus, who invites us to imitate His love and to bring that love to everyone and every situation of our daily life.”
—The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix: Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling.

“The purpose of this communion, of this partaking, is the assimilation of my life with his, my transformation and conformation into he who is living Love. Therefore, this communion implies adoration, it implies the will to follow Christ, to follow the One who goes ahead of us.”
—Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: Homily, Corpus Domini, 2005, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“Because Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity, His offering of His Blood is in a real sense an act of God, transcending time and place. Thus, in every Mass, we feast on the flesh of the Lamb of God offered once for all in expiation for our sins.”
—The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix: Veneremur Cernui–Down in Adoration Falling.

“The Heart of Mary is the living altar upon which the sacrifice is offered.”
—Fr. Frederick William Faber (1814-1863)

“Do you want the Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit Him rarely. Do you want the devil to attack you? Visit Jesus rarely in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want him to flee from you? Visit Jesus often.”
—Saint John Bosco

“Every time we ardently turn to the divine mystery in adoration, we turn away from crippling self-sufficiency.”
—Father Peter John Cameron, O.P., from Magnificat, February 2022. Copyright Magnificat, used with permission.

Mass Altar

“Adoration is a way of submitting to divine love – a submission that liberates us deep within.”
—Father Peter John Cameron, O.P., from Magnificat, February 2022. Copyright Magnificat, used with permission.

“There is a mystery, the greatest of all mysteries; not that my adored Lord is in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar – his word has said it, and what is so simple as to take that word which is truth itself? – but that souls of his own creation, whom he gave his life to save, should remain blind, insensible.”
—Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

“The Eucharist, both as a sacrifice and as a sacrament, is a great gift to man. In the Eucharist, man achieves that perfect union with God for which he was made.”
—Saint Thomas Aquinas

“The immediate reality of the Church is expressed and fulfilled in the Holy Eucharist where the love and life of God are poured upon creation, and where our union with God is enacted and made manifest in a bodily embrace.”
—Archbishop Joseph M. Raya

“The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle must be a kind of magnetic pole attracting an ever greater number of souls enamoured of him, ready to wait patiently to hear his voice and, as it were, to sense the beating of his heart. ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good!’ (Ps 34:8).”
—Saint John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine. Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Monstrance

“We are constantly tempted to reduce the Eucharist to our own dimensions, while in reality it is we who must open ourselves up to the dimensions of the Mystery. “The Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia).
—Saint John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine. Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“… in the Eucharist the glory of Christ remains veiled. The Eucharist is preeminently a mysterium fidei. Through the mystery of his complete hiddenness, Christ becomes a mystery of light, thanks to which believers are led into the depths of the divine life.”
—Saint John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine. Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“Faith demands that we approach the Eucharist fully aware that we are approaching Christ himself.”
—Saint John Paul II: Mane Nobiscum Domine, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

"The Mass is Christ who evangelizes. The Mass is Christ who offers his body and blood for the life of the world. These two realities are the Mass."
—Saint Oscar Romero

"Jesus Christ gave you all; he left nothing for himself."
—Saint John Chrysostom

"Let everyone be struck with fear, let the whole world tremble, and let the heavens exult, when Christ, the Son of the living God, is present on the altar in the hands of a priest. Oh stupendous dignity! O humble sublimity, that the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles himself that for our salvation he hides himself under an ordinary piece of bread!"
—Saint Francis of Assisi

“When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.”
—Saint John Chrysostom

Priest at altar

“The words we pray at Mass, “Say the Word and My Soul Shall be Healed”, have the power to remind us of, to open our eyes to, the healing that Jesus offers us in the Eucharist which is essential, eternal, and ever open to us. We humbly ask him to say the word, and with that prayer, we have faith that, with the fantastic and improbable prospect of Jesus entering under our roof, our souls shall be healed.”
—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“When you behold the Lord immolated and lying on the altar, and the priest standing over the sacrifice and praying, and all the people purpled by that precious blood, do you imagine that you are still on earth among men, and not rather rapt in heaven? … He that sits above with the Father … gives himself to all who desire to embrace and receive him. At that moment all do this with the eyes of faith.”
—Saint John Chrysostom

“Let us be led by the liturgy to the heart of the event of salvation, which unites Christ's Death and Resurrection with our lives and with the world's history. This miracle of mercy has radically changed humanity's destiny. It is a miracle in which is unfolded the fullness of the love of the Father who, for our redemption, does not even draw back before the sacrifice of His Only-begotten Son.”
—Saint John Paul II, Homily on the first universal celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2001

Eucharist Adoration

“The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being…”
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1325

“I fear that people are wandering too far from the Holy Eucharist, that this mystery of love par excellence is not sufficiently proclaimed. So souls are suffering, becoming more sensual and materialistic and inordinately attached to human beings. It is because they don't know how to find their consolation and strength in the Lord.”
—Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“In exposition, adoration, and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, we have the contemplative extension or prolongation of the Eucharistic sacrifice itself.”
—Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P.

“Man should tremble, the world should quake, all Heaven should be deeply moved when the Son of God appears on the altar in the hands of the priest.”
—St. Francis of Assisi

“We must quickly get to work to save souls by the divine Eucharist, to awaken a world numbed in dormant apathy because they don’t know the gift of God, Jesus, the Eucharistic Emmanuel.”
—Saint Peter Julian Eymard

Monstrance

“Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.”
—Saint Alphonsus Liguori

“The faithful ‘should not omit making visits during the day to the Most Holy Sacrament, as a proof of gratitude, a pledge of love, and a debt of the adoration due to Christ the Lord who is present in it.’* For the contemplation of Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament, as a communion of desire, powerfully joins the faithful to Christ, as is splendidly evident in the example of so many Saints.”
Redemptionis Sacramentum, Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Saint Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also, our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”
—Saint Irenaeus

“The sacramental character of faith finds its highest expression in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a precious nourishment for faith: an encounter with Christ truly present in the supreme act of his love, the life-giving gift of himself … In the Eucharist we learn to see the heights and depths of reality. The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, who becomes present in his passover to the Father: this movement draws us, body and soul, into the movement of all creation towards its fulfillment in God.”
—Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.
—Benediction Prayer

“In the Eucharistic Sacrifice the Church venerates the memory of Mary the ever Virgin Mother of God and the memory of Saint Joseph, because he fed him whom the faithful must eat as the bread of eternal life.”
—Saint John Paul II

“The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The presence of Christ under the sacred species reserved after Mass–a presence that lasts as long as the species of bread and wine remain–derives from the celebration of the sacrifice and is directed towards communion, both sacramental and spiritual… The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace.”
—Saint John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Pope Host

“If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ’s love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude.”
—St. Angela of Foligno

“Mary before the Eucharist was in contemplation such as neither human nor angelic tongue could express. Jesus Christ alone, the object of it, knew its value… We love her and confide ourselves to her as the Mother of Adorers, which is the title most dear to her heart and most glorious to Jesus.”
—Saint Peter Julian Eymard

“The last degree of love is when He gave Himself to us to be our Food; because He gave Himself to be united with us in every way.”
—Saint Bernardine of Siena

“Let us adore Jesus in the Eucharistic silence. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. We must endeavor to live alone with Jesus in the sanctuary of our inmost heart. In reality there is only one substantial prayer, Christ himself. One voice which unites in itself all the voices raised in prayer.”
—Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“When you look at a crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Eucharist you understand how much Jesus loves you now.”
—Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without the holy Mass.”
—Saint Padre Pio

Priest with Christ

“In the Sacrifice of the Mass he presents himself before the world, as well as before the eyes of the Eternal Father, in the same significance as that in which he hung upon the cross, performing the same act which he did once for all, the same act by which he displayed that passion of friendship in whose name he claims our hearts, the climax of that Greatest Love of all by which he laid down his life for his friends.”
—Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. From the 2021 Magnificat April 2021 issue. Copyright Magnificat; used with permission.

“At the moment of elevation, here is the Lord bending down to us, opening his arms to us, embracing us, incorporating us in the offering of his life to his Father, to our Father, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of the world.”
—Pierre-Marie Dumont. From the 2021 Magnificat Holy Week issue. Copyright Magnificat; used with permission.

“When we realize that God’s love for us does not cease in the face of our sin or recoil before our offenses, but becomes even more attentive and generous; when we realize that this love went so far as to cause the passion and death of the word made flesh who consented to redeem us at the price of his own blood, then we exclaim in gratitude: ‘Yes, the Lord is rich in mercy,’ and even: ‘The Lord is mercy.’”
—Saint John Paul II, Reconciliation and Penance © Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity.
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1359

“The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice. Saint John Chrysostom put it well: ‘We always offer the same Lamb, not one today and another tomorrow, but always the same one. For this reason, the sacrifice is always only one... Even now we offer that victim who was once offered and who will never be consumed.’ The Mass makes present the sacrifice of the Cross; it does not add to that sacrifice nor does it multiply it. What is repeated is its memorial celebration, … which makes Christ's one, definitive redemptive sacrifice always present in time.”
—Saint John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia (EE, 12) © Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

"The Mass represents life. The Last Supper of Jesus Christ is itself his very sacrifice. If it is offered with proportionate devotion, we are absolved from all our faults as if we had never committed them. We should imagine ourselves to be in heaven, not on earth, together with thousands of angels, adoring Jesus and esteeming greatly the hands of the priest. Offer Jesus to the Most Holy Virgin."
—Venerable Bruno Lanteri

"The Eucharist is the very source of Christian marriage. The Eucharistic Sacrifice, in fact, represents Christ's covenant of love with the Church, sealed with his blood on the Cross” (cf. Jn. 19:34).
—Saint John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, no. 57, © Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Altar with crucifix

Each morn you come to me as early Mass,
Your flesh and blood become my food and drink;
And wonders are accomplished.
Your body permeates mine mysteriously,
I feel your soul becoming one with mine:
I am no longer what I used to be.
—St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

To free this heavenly realm from hostile hand,
God’s Son descended as the Son of Man.
He gave his blood as ransom.
Within the heart of Jesus pierced with lances,
The realms of heaven and earth become united,
And here we find the spring of life itself.
—St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

The Council of Trent, basing itself on this faith of the Church, "openly and sincerely professes that after the consecration of the bread and wine, Our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is really, truly and substantially contained in the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist under the outward appearances of sensible things." And so, Our Savior is present in His humanity not only in His natural manner of existence at the right hand of the Father, but also at the same time in the sacrament of the Eucharist "in a manner of existing that we can hardly express in words but that our minds, illumined by faith, can come to see as possible to God and that we must most firmly believe."
—Saint Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, 45, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

"It is not man who makes what is put before him the Body and Blood of Christ, but Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words, but their power and grace are from God. This is my Body, he says, and these words transform what lies before him."
—Saint John Chrysostom

“The manger is the place where animals find their food. But now, lying in the manger, is he who called himself the true bread come down from heaven, the true nourishment that we need in order to be fully ourselves. This is the food that gives us true life, eternal life. Thus, the manger becomes a reference to the table of God, to which we are invited so as to receive the bread of God. From the poverty of Jesus’ birth emerges the miracle in which man’s redemption is mysteriously accomplished.”
—Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, the Infancy Narratives

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, dealing with the Eucharistic change, says: “Let us be assured that this is not what nature formed, but what the blessing consecrated, and that greater efficacy resides in the blessing than in nature, for by the blessing nature is changed.” To confirm the truth of this mystery, he recounts many of the miracles described in the Scriptures, including Christ’s birth of the Virgin Mary, and then, turning to the work of creation, concludes thus: “Surely the word of Christ, which could make out of nothing that which did not exist, can change things already in existence into what they were not. For it is no less extraordinary to give things new natures than to change their natures.”
—Saint Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“…the sacrifice is offered to proclaim the death of the Lord and to be a commemoration of him who laid down his life for us. He himself has said: A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. So, since Christ died for us, out of love, it follows that when we offer the sacrifice in commemoration of his death, we are asking for love to be given us by the coming of the Holy Spirit.”
—Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe

“It seems to me that nothing better expresses the love in God’s heart than the Eucharist: it is union, consummation, he in us, we in him, and isn’t that heaven on earth?”
—Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

“Has not the divine Savior said: Come to me all you that labor and are exhausted: come to me, I will relieve you. Can you resist an invitation so full of love and tenderness? Do not say that you are not worthy of it. It is true you are not worthy, but you have need of it. If our Lord had been thinking of our worthiness, he would never have instituted his glorious sacrament of love, for no one in the world is worthy of it – not the saints, nor the angels, nor archangels, nor the Blessed Virgin … but he was thinking of our needs.”
—Saint John Vianney

Monstrance

“Indeed, a sacrament so great and so rich in all manner of blessings can never be extolled as it deserves by human eloquence, nor adequately venerated by the worship of man. This sacrament, whether as the theme of devout meditation, or as the object of public adoration, or best of all as a food to be received in the utmost purity of conscience, is to be regarded as the center towards which the spiritual life of a Christian in all its ambit gravitates; for all other forms of devotion, whatsoever they may be, lead up to it, and in it find their point of rest. In this mystery more than in any other that gracious invitation and still more gracious promise of Christ is realized and finds its daily fulfillment: ‘Come to me all ye that labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you.’ (Mt 11:28)”
—Pope Leo XIII

“You hear (attend) Mass …; but do you understand the nature of that tremendous sacrifice? In the old law, oxen, lambs, and other animals were offered to God; but in the sacrifice of the Mass, we offer to him the true body and the true blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, along with his soul and divinity. We offer Jesus entirely, true God and true man; and we repeat the very same action which was once performed on Calvary, with this difference, that on Calvary the most precious blood of Jesus was really shed, but, on our altars, it is shed only in a mystical manner.”
—Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, A Method of Devoutly Hearing Mass

“Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love.”
—Saint John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae, no.3, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“Behold daily he humbles himself as when from his ‘royal throne’ (Wisdom 18:15) he came into the womb of the Virgin; daily he himself comes to us with like humility; daily he descends from the bosom of his Father upon the altar in the hands of the priest. And as he appeared in true flesh to the holy Apostles, so now he shows himself to us in the sacred Bread; and as they by means of their fleshly eyes saw only his flesh, yet contemplating him with their spiritual eyes, believed him to be God, so we, seeing bread and wine with bodily eyes, see and firmly believe it to be his most holy Body and true and living Blood. And in this way our Lord is ever with his faithful, as he Himself says: ‘Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world’ (Matthew 28:20).”
—Saint Francis, Admonitions

“In the Eucharist our God has shown love in the extreme, overturning all those criteria of power which too often govern human relations and radically affirming the criterion of service: ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all’ (Mark 9:35). It is not by chance that the Gospel of John contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist, but instead relates the ‘washing of feet’ (cf. John 13:1-20): by bending down to wash the feet of his disciples, Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist unequivocally.”
—Saint John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine, 28, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“When we are overwhelmed by the remembrance of our sins and seek wherewith to repair our offenses and satisfy Divine justice more fully, so that the penalty of sin may be remitted, we cannot find a more efficacious and reassuring means than the Mass … When the remembrance of our sins troubles us, let us offer this sacrifice: it is Christ who is offered for us, the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,’ and renews ‘as often as the commemoration of this victim is celebrated, the work of our redemption.’ What confidence we ought to have in this sacrifice of expiation! Whatever our offenses and ingratitude, one Mass gives more glory to God than all our wrongs, so to speak, take from him.”
—Blessed Columba Marmion, OSB, Christ the Life of the Soul

“In this world, for as long as it remains, no act of repentance is too late … The path of approach to God’s pardon remains open and, to those who seek it and understand its truth, access is easy … Christ imparts this grace, this gift of his mercy he bestows from his subjection to death in the victory of the cross, by his redemption of the believer at the price of his own blood, by his reconciliation of humanity to his God and Father, by his restoration of mortal man to life through being born again from heaven.”
—Saint Cyprian

“In recommending heartfelt prayer to you, I am including all practices of piety, first of all the most Holy Eucharist … I urge you with all the strength of my soul to approach the Eucharistic Table as often as possible. Feed on this Bread of Angels from which you will draw the strength to fight inner struggles, the struggles against passions and against all adversities, because Jesus Christ has promised to those who feed themselves with the most Holy Eucharist eternal life and the necessary graces to obtain it.
“And when you become totally consumed by this Eucharistic Fire, then you will be able to thank with greater awareness the Lord God who has called you to be part of his flock and you will enjoy that peace which those who are happy according to the world have never tasted. Because true happiness, young people, does not consist in the pleasures of the world and in earthly things, but in peace of conscience which we can have only if we are pure in heart and in mind.”
—Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

“When we realize that God’s love for us does not cease in the face of our sin or recoil before our offenses, but becomes even more attentive and generous; when we realize that this love went so far as to cause the passion and death of the word made flesh who consented to redeem us at the price of his own blood, then we exclaim in gratitude: ‘Yes, the Lord is rich in mercy,’ and even: ‘The Lord is mercy.’”
—Saint John Paul II, Reconciliation and Penance, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“In order for our life to be Christian, it must be a continual renunciation, a continual sacrifice, which however is not burdensome when only we think about what these few years passed in sorrow are, compared with a happy eternity, where joy will have no measure nor end, and where we will enjoy a peace beyond anything we could imagine. And so, young people, learn how to sacrifice from our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to atone for our horrible sins, he sacrificed himself as an Innocent Victim on Calvary, and he renews this wonderful sacrifice every day in part of the world during Holy Mass.”
—Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Monstrance

“The sacramental character of faith finds its highest expression in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a precious nourishment for faith: an encounter with Christ truly present in the supreme act of his love, the life-giving gift of himself … In the Eucharist we learn to see the heights and depths of reality. The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, who becomes present in his passover to the Father: this movement draws us, body and soul, into the movement of all creation towards its fulfillment in God.”
—Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“The Kingdom of God becomes present above all in the celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the Lord's Sacrifice. In that celebration the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands - the bread and wine - are transformed mysteriously, but really and substantially, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of the minister, into the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Mary, through whom the Kingdom of the Father has been made present in our midst.”
—Saint John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 48, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.”
—St. John Vianney

“No one can fail to understand that the Divine Eucharist bestows upon the Christian people an incomparable dignity. Not only while the sacrifice is offered and the sacrament is received, but as long as the Eucharist is kept in our churches and oratories, Christ is truly the Emmanuel, that is, “God with us.” Day and night He is in our midst, He dwells with us, full of grace and truth. He restores morality, nourishes virtues, consoles the afflicted, strengthens the weak. He proposes His own example to those who come to Him that all may learn to be, like Himself, meek and humble of heart and to seek not their own interests but those of God.”
—Saint Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, 67, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“As often as the sacrifice of the cross in which Christ our Passover was sacrificed, is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried on, and, in the sacrament of the eucharistic bread, the unity of all believers who form one body in Christ is both expressed and brought about. All men are called to this union with Christ, who is the light of the world, from whom we go forth, through whom we live, and toward whom our whole life strains.”
—Saint Paul VI, Lumen Gentium, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“In the Incarnation, the Word associated all humanity to His mysteries and to His Person, but a mystical union. All humanity constitutes a mystical body of which Christ is the Head and we the members. The members cannot, in principle, separate themselves from the head nor remain strangers to its action. The supreme action of Jesus, the one that sums up and crowns His life, is His Sacrifice. In the same way that He took upon Himself our human nature, excepting sin, so He wills to make us partakers of the chief mystery of His life. Certainly, we were not present in the body on Calvary when He was immolated for us, after having substituted Himself for us; but He has willed … that His sacrifice should be perpetuated, with its inexhaustible virtue, by the Church and her ministers.”
—Blessed Columba Marmion, OSB, Christ the Life of the Soul

“The usefulness of the Blessed Sacrament is great and universal. It is great because it produces spiritual life within us now, and will later produce eternal life. Since this is the sacrament of our Lord’s Passion, it contains in itself Christ who suffered. Thus, whatever is an effect of our Lord’s Passion is also an effect of this sacrament. Hence it is clear that the destruction of death, which Christ accomplished by his death, and the restoration of life, which he accomplished by his resurrection, are effects of this sacrament. The usefulness of this sacrament is universal because the life it gives is not only the life of one person, but the life of the entire world: and for this the death of Christ is fully sufficient. 'He is the offering for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the entire world' (1 Jn 2:2).”
—Saint Thomas Aquinas

“The Eucharist brings us ever nearer to that love which is more powerful than death: “For as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup,” we proclaim not only the death of the Redeemer but also His resurrection “until he comes” in glory (1Cor 11:26). The same Eucharistic rite, celebrated in memory of Him who in His messianic mission revealed the Father to us by means of His words and His cross, attests to the inexhaustible love by virtue of which He desires always to be united with us and present in our midst, coming to meet every human heart.”
—Saint John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia, no. 13, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“To me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses forever and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words, it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is, not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and evils tremble.”
—Saint John Henry Newman

“It is true that of all the good works you can perform, the principal, the most efficacious, and the most satisfactory is the Holy Mass; for, by this alone, you make more satisfaction to God, on account of the infinite dignity of the Victim, than all the martyrs have rendered to him by their blood, and all penitents, by their austerities.”
—Saint Leonard of Port Maurice

“The most complete sacramental expression of the 'departure' of Christ through the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection is the Eucharist. In every celebration of the Eucharist his coming, his salvific presence, is sacramentally realized: in the Sacrifice and in Communion. It is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit, as part of his own mission (This is what the 'Epiclesis' before the Consecration expresses: 'Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ' (Eucharistic Prayer II).”
—Saint John Paul II, Dominum Et Vivificantem, On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“For even though a priest should offer Mass in private, that Mass is not something private; it is an act of Christ and of the Church. In offering this Sacrifice, the Church learns to offer herself as a sacrifice for all. Moreover, for the salvation of the entire world she applies the single, boundless, redemptive power of the Sacrifice of the Cross. For every Mass is offered not for the salvation of ourselves alone, but also for that of the whole world.”
—Saint Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, Mystery of Faith – On the Doctrine and Worship of the Eucharist, 1965, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“I believe that were it not for the Holy Mass, at this moment the world would be in the abyss, unable to bear up under the mighty load of its iniquities. Mass is the potent prop that holds the world on its base.”
—Saint Leonard of Port Maurice

“Even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world. It unites heaven and earth. It embraces and permeates all creation. The Son of God became man in order to restore all creation, in one supreme act of praise, to the One who made it from nothing. He, the Eternal High Priest who by the blood of his Cross entered the eternal sanctuary, thus gives back to the Creator and Father all creation redeemed. He does so through the priestly ministry of the Church, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Truly this is the mysterium fidei which is accomplished in the Eucharist: the world which came forth from the hands of God the Creator now returns to him redeemed by Christ.”
—Saint John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Consecration before the crucifixion

“The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice”. Saint John Chrysostom put it well: 'We always offer the same Lamb, not one today and another tomorrow, but always the same one. For this reason the sacrifice is always only one… Even now we offer that victim who was once offered and who will never be consumed.' The Mass makes present the sacrifice of the Cross; it does not add to that sacrifice nor does it multiply it. What is repeated is its memorial celebration … which makes Christ's one, definitive redemptive sacrifice always present in time.”
—Pope Saint John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, © Copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana

That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that “cannot be apprehended by the senses,” says St. Thomas (Aquinas), “but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.” For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 (“This is my body which is given for you.”), St. Cyril (of Alexandria) says: “Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.”
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1381

“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world.”
—Prayer from The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity.
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1359

“My mother and father held the evening meal as a priority for our family; attendance was not optional. It was an institution in our house to gather around the table and it was there that we bonded with one another. We shared our experiences of the day. We would laugh together, would even argue with each other. The evening family meal was essential to our formation and it was where we discovered our identity.The same can be said of the celebration of the Eucharist. As Catholics, it is in the Eucharist that we learn our identity. At the table of the Lord, Jesus makes a gift of Himself to us because God loves us so much. Just as we discover our identity at the family table, it is in the Eucharist that we discover who we are, why we are here, and what is our mission as disciples of Christ.”
—Excerpt from Cardinal Seán O’Malley’s letter to all dated December 10, 2019