Today’s Daily Eucharist Quote summarizes my mission and core belief that led to the Eucharistic Virtue website. Although many of the quotes are extremely inspirational, and a number touch on this same idea, this quote stands out for me. St. Peter Julian Eymard wrote:
“You must perform your actions under the eye of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament that you may do them courageously, holily, and with pleasure.”
Within this short quote is contained everything we need to live as God created us to live. It is the plan for being fully alive. Matthew Kelly often speaks of becoming the best version of yourself. St. Peter Julian Eymard in one sentence explains how we can do this. It is reminiscent of Brother Lawrence’s “Practicing the Presence of the God,” where he talks about fostering a constant awareness of God’s presence. St. Eymard takes this further and reminds us that God’s presence is real, tangible and substantial. God is with us in the Eucharist, with His body, blood, soul and divinity. Remembering that God is truly with us and within us is incredibly important.
This is a challenge for me. It is so easy to get busy at work with tasks and completely forget about God. It is tough at home and other places to get wrapped in what I’m doing or what I want, forgetting that God right there with me.
How do we act in Church during the Mass, before the tabernacle, or before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration? If I have received the Eucharist, I am a living tabernacle, a living monstrance, carrying God within me. In this, I should reveal God to others in everything I do. John writes that Jesus said people will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. Regretfully, I doubt I’ve left the impression with others that love like Christ loved. Following Christ is not passive and we cannot be a follower by being idle.
St. Eymard’s quote calls us to action. We must act in a way consistent with the Eucharist. This is the virtue side of the website. When we encounter Christ, particularly in the Blessed Sacrament, we must act accordingly. We are before our God who loves us infinitely, who created us from nothing and who died for us so that we might live eternally with Him. Although we may feel like our Eucharistic encounter is something that happens for a few short minutes on Sunday morning, for God who lives outside of time in eternity, even one encounter with with through the Eucharist is an eternal encounter.
How can we forget this encounter so quickly and easily? How can leave Mass and not be changed? Our encounter with Christ is a call to action and necessitates a response on our part. We must be changed.
The quote also relays the core of the Gospel. By reminding us to not just live in the presence of God, but live before Christ in the Eucharist, St. Peter Julian Eymard is reminding us of the entire story of salvation. Jesus, the Son of God, was sent by the Father who loves us, to become flesh and walk among us. In the Eucharist, we see the incarnation. Then, Jesus went further and gave us His body and blood to eat and drink. This is the Pascal Sacrifice and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. All of our faith is tied up in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist embodies everything in our faith because it literally embodies our Lord and Savior.
We are called to remember this miracle, this gift, this source of grace, and encountered with the risen Jesus in the Eucharist and live as He calls us to live.