The present elaboration was published here in 2006.
The English version was published in Jun 16, 2010, just after the end of the Year of Priests.
The table of contents:
Second Vatican Council renewed our Christian life, among others, through the renovation of the liturgy and, in this, the Missal, i.e. a book which is used by priests during the celebrating of Holy Mass. In the renewed Missal is found a significant text, which informs us about the meaning of the teaching of Church Fathers for this work of renovation:
“Moreover, continuing progress in the study of the holy Fathers has also shed light upon the theology of the mystery of the Eucharist through the teachings of such illustrious Fathers of Christian antiquity as Saint Irenaeus, Saint Ambrose, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, and Saint John Chrysostom” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 8, in: Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition, 2002. → see GIRM on the Internet)
Below are published fragments of homilies of Church Fathers, speaking about the thanksgiving after Holy Mass and Holy Communion
Almost every of these statements is taken from the Internet, so at every such fragment there is given a link to the webside where it can be find on the Internet.
(Here is → the link to the whole text of “Didache” on the Internet)
9. At the Eucharist, offer the eucharistic prayer in this way […]
No one is to eat or drink of your Eucharist but those who have been baptized in the Name of the Lord…
10. When all have partaken sufficiently, give thanks in these words […]
Prophets, however, should be free to give thanks as they please.
The Greek text* of the last sentence (i.e., 10:7) is:
Τοῖς δε προφήταις επιτρέπετε εὐχαριστεῖν όσα θέλουσιν.
*Cf. Ch. A. Swainson, The Greek Liturgies Chiefly from Original Authorities, edited and translated by C. Bezold, Hildesheim–New York 1971, p. XLIX. See on the Internet – here is → the link.
(XIII) […] And after that, let the bishop partake, then the presbyters, and deacons, and sub-deacons, and the readers, and the singers, and the ascetics; and then of the women, the deaconesses, and the virgins, and the widows; then the children; and then all the people in order, with reverence and godly fear, without tumult. And let the bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receiveth say, Amen. And let the deacon take the cup; and when he gives it, say, The blood of Christ, the cup of life; and let him that drinketh say, Amen. And let the thirty-third psalm be said, while the rest are partaking; and when all, both men and women, have partaken, let the deacons carry what remains into the vestry. And when the singer has done, let the deacon say:
(The Bidding Prayer After the Participation)
(XIV) Now we have received the precious body and the precious blood of Christ, let us give thanks to Him who has thought us worthy to partake of these His holy mysteries; and let us beseech Him that it may not be to us for condemnation, but for salvation, to the advantage of soul and body, to the preservation of piety, to the remission of sins, and to the life of the world to come. Let us arise, and by the grace of Christ let us dedicate ourselves to God, to the only unbegotten God, and to His Christ.
And let the bishop give thanks.
(here is → the link to the whole text of Mystagogical catechesis on the Internet.
See also the Greek and English texts on the website of The Catholic Library Project.)
22. Then after thou hast partaken of the Body of Christ, draw near also to the Cup of His Blood; not stretching forth thine hands, but bending, and saying with an air of worship and reverence, Amen […]. Then wait for the prayer, and give thanks unto God, who hath accounted thee worthy of so great mysteries .
23. Hold fast these traditions undefiled and, keep yourselves free from offence. Sever not yourselves from the Communion; deprive not yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries.
Approach with fear and trembling, with fasting and prayer, not making an uproar, hustling and jostling one another: consider, O man, what kind of sacrifice you are about to handle; consider that you, who are dust and ashes, do receive the body and blood of Christ (…)
Having cleaned our own conscience before, let us come near to it with the concentration and modesty. We approach now to King of Heaven! And when we have already received that Holy and Immaculate Sacrificial Food, let us kiss Him with honour and embrace Him with full of love, and let us burn our hearts, so that we accede not to the court and condemnation but to Him, who helps us to achieve the redemption of the soul, love and virtue, the reconciliation with God and the durable peace, the participation in innumerable goods; so that we may sanctify ourselves and edify our neighbours.
This text is also called On the Baptism of Christ or De baptismo Christi (PG 49, 363-372).
The Greek text is here → on the Internet.
This passage begins with Βούλεσθε εἴπω τίνος ἔργον ποιοῦσιν οἱ πρὸ τῆς συμπληρώσεως ἀναχωροῦντες, καὶ τὰς εὐχαριστηρίους ᾠδὰς οὐκ ἐπιφέροντες τῷ τέλει τῆς τραπέζης; It is precisely translated as follows: Let me tell you whose work is done by those who leave before the fulfillment and do not raise the thanksgiving hymns to complete the meal.
If you want, I can show you in whose footsteps follow those who leave before the end of the Holy Banquet and do not pray thanksgivings after it. I must say something which may be unpleasant for you to hear, but I have to do so because of the negligence arising in the behavior of many of you. Judas walked away and went out just after participating in the Last Supper that night when all of them were still seated at the table. He is imitated by those who go out before the last thanksgiving. If he had not gone out, he would not have committed treason; if he had not left table companions, he would not have been killed; if he had not found himself outside the sheep-fold, the wolf would not devour him; if he had not gone away from the Shepherd, he would not have become the prey of wild beasts. Judas went to Jews earlier, whereas apostles, together with the Lord, left after singing the psalms. You see, it is what happened then that happens every time here during the last prayer after the Holy Sacrifice.
Now let us think about this, let us consider this for fear of punishment. Christ gives you His own Body, but you do not want to express Him your gratitude with any words? Don’t you thank Him for what you have received? When you ate the usual food, having got up from the table you pray thanksgiving, but when the spiritual food is given to you which much surpasses all visible and invisible creations, though you are a man that is a poor creature, you don’t want to express Him your gratitude with any words and act? It deserves a heavy penalty.
(Here is → the link to the whole text of “Homily XXVII – 1Co 11:17” on the Internet)
[7.] And yet if thou hast by chance made thy morning meal on any thing good, thou keepest thyself lest by any other unsavory viand thou spoil the taste of the former: and now that thou hast been feasting on the Spirit thou bringest in a satanical luxury. Consider, when the Apostles partook of that holy Supper, what they did: did they not betake themselves to prayers and singing of hymns? to sacred vigils? to that long work of teaching, so full of all self-denial? For then He related and delivered to them those great and wonderful things, when Judas had gone out to call them who were about to crucify Him. Hast thou not heard how the three thousand also who partook of the Communion continued even in prayer and teaching, not in drunken feasts and revellings? But thou before thou hast partaken fastest, that in a certain way thou mayest appear worthy of the Communion: but when thou hast partaken, and thou oughtest to increase thy temperance, thou undoest all. And yet surely it is not the same to fast before this and after it. Since although it is our duty to be temperate at both times, yet most particularly after we have received the Bridegroom. Before, that thou mayest become worthy of receiving: after, that thou mayest not be found unworthy of what thou hast received.
Remarkably important utterances of the Apostolic See on the subject, considered in our common meditation, were placed below. These enunciations will permit us to strengthen our belief that God wants us to make this personal decision: after the Mass I will remain in closest familiarity on the thankful conversation with Lord Jesus Christ; I will exhort the other persons to do the same.
Almost every of these statements is taken from the Internet, so at every such fragment there is given a link to the webside where it can be find on the Internet.
One ought to strive for Holy Communion is preceded by the diligent preparation and followed by the thanksgiving, suitable to dignity of this Sacrament, in compliance with vigor, status and conditions of the receiving person.
(Click here, please, if you want to see an important reference to this text in “Mediator Dei”,)
(and here is → the link to the whole Encyclical Letter on the Internet)
123. When the Mass, which is subject to special rules of the liturgy, is over, the person who has received holy communion is not thereby freed from his duty of thanksgiving; rather, it is most becoming that, when the Mass is finished, the person who has received the Eucharist should recollect himself, and in intimate union with the divine Master hold loving and fruitful converse with Him. Hence they have departed from the straight way of truth, who, adhering to the letter rather than the sense, assert and teach that, when Mass has ended, no such thanksgiving should be added, not only because the Mass is itself a thanksgiving, but also because this pertains to a private and personal act of piety and not to the good of the community.
124. But, on the contrary, the very nature of the sacrament demands that its reception should produce rich fruits of Christian sanctity. Admittedly the congregation has been officially dismissed, but each individual, since he is united with Christ, should not interrupt the hymn of praise in his own soul, “always returning thanks for all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” [Eph. 5:20.] The sacred liturgy of the Mass also exhorts us to do this when it bids us pray in these words, “Grant, we beseech thee, that we may always continue to offer thanks [Roman Missal, Postcommunion for Sunday within the Octave of Ascension.]… and may never cease from praising thee.” [Roman Missal, Postcommunion for First Sunday after Pentecost.] Wherefore, if there is no time when we must not offer God thanks, and if we must never cease from praising Him, who would dare to reprehend or find fault with the Church, because she advises her priests [Code of Canon Law, can. 810.] and faithful to converse with the divine Redeemer for at least a short while after holy communion, and inserts in her liturgical books, fitting prayers, enriched with indulgences, by which the sacred ministers may make suitable preparation before Mass and holy communion or may return thanks afterwards? So far is the sacred liturgy from restricting the interior devotion of individual Christians, that it actually fosters and promotes it so that they may be rendered like to Jesus Christ and through Him be brought to the heavenly Father; wherefore this same discipline of the liturgy demands that whoever has partaken of the sacrifice of the altar should return fitting thanks to God. For it is the good pleasure of the divine Redeemer to hearken to us when we pray, to converse with us intimately and to offer us a refuge in His loving Heart.
125. Moreover, such personal colloquies are very necessary that we may all enjoy more fully the supernatural treasures that are contained in the Eucharist and according to our means, share them with others, so that Christ our Lord may exert the greatest possible influence on the souls of all.
126. Why then, Venerable Brethren, should we not approve of those who, when they receive holy communion, remain on in closest familiarity with their divine Redeemer even after the congregation has been officially dismissed, and that not only for the consolation of conversing with Him, but also to render Him due thanks and praise and especially to ask help to defend their souls against anything that may lessen the efficacy of the sacrament and to do everything in their power to cooperate with the action of Christ who is so intimately present. We exhort them to do so in a special manner by carrying out their resolutions, by exercising the Christian virtues, as also by applying to their own necessities the riches they have received with royal Liberality. The author of that golden book The Imitation of Christ certainly speaks in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the liturgy, when he gives the following advice to the person who approaches the altar, “Remain on in secret and take delight in your God; for He is yours whom the whole world cannot take away from you.” [Book IV, c. 12.]
127. Therefore, let us all enter into closest union with Christ and strive to lose ourselves, as it were, in His most holy soul and so be united to Him that we may have a share in those acts with which He adores the Blessed Trinity with a homage that is most acceptable, and by which He offers to the eternal Father supreme praise and thanks which find an harmonious echo throughout the heavens and the earth, according to the words of the prophet, “All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord.” [Dan. 3:57.] Finally, in union with these sentiments of Christ, let us ask for heavenly aid at that moment in which it is supremely fitting to pray for and obtain help in His name. [Cf. John 16: 3.] For it is especially in virtue of these sentiments that we offer and immolate ourselves as a victim, saying, “make of us thy eternal offering.” [Roman Missal, Secret for Mass of the Most Blessed Trinity.]
128. The divine Redeemer is ever repeating His pressing invitation, “Abide in Me.” [John, 15:4.] Now by the sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ remains in us and we in Him, and just as Christ, remaining in us, lives and works, so should we remain in Christ and live and work through Him.
(Here is → the link to the whole Encyclical Letter on the Internet)
Exhortation to Fostering Eucharistic Devotion
66. It is desirable to have the faithful in large numbers take an active part in the sacrifice of the Mass each and every day and receive the nourishment of Holy Communion with a pure and holy mind and offer fitting thanks to Christ the Lord for such a great gift. They should remember these words: “The desire of Jesus Christ and of the Church to see all the faithful approach the sacred banquet each and every day is based on a wish to have them all united to God through the Sacrament and to have them draw from it the strength to master their passions, to wash away the lesser sins that are committed every day and to prevent the serious sins to which human frailty is subject.” [Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Council, December 20, 1905, approved by St. Pius X; AAS XXXVIII (1905), 401.] And they should not forget about paying a visit during the day to the Most Blessed Sacrament in the very special place of honor where it is reserved in churches in keeping with the liturgical laws, since this is a proof of gratitude and a pledge of love and a display of the adoration that is owed to Christ the Lord who is present there.
(Here is → the link to the whole text of “Dominicae Cenae” on the Internet)
Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery
3. This worship is directed towards God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. […] It is also directed, in the Holy Spirit, to the incarnate Son, in the economy of salvation, especially at that moment of supreme dedication and total abandonment of Himself to which the words uttered in the Upper Room refer: […]
And this adoration of ours contains yet another special characteristic. It is compenetrated by the greatness of that human death, in which the world, that is to say each one of us, has been loved “to the end.” (Jn. 13:1) Thus it is also a response that tries to repay that love immolated even to the death on the cross: it is our “Eucharist”, that is to say our giving Him thanks, our praise of Him for having redeemed us by His death and made us sharers in immortal life through His resurrection.
This worship […] above all accompanies and permeates the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy. But it must fill our churches also outside the timetable of Masses. Indeed, since the Eucharistic Mystery was instituted out of love, and makes Christ sacramentally present, it is worthy of thanksgiving and worship.
The encouragement and the deepening of eucharistic worship are proofs of that authentic renewal which the council set itself as an aim and of which they are the central point. And the venerable and dear brothers, deserves separate reflection. The Church and the world have a great need of eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world by our adoration never cease.
8. […] Church has a special duty to safeguard and strengthen the sacredness of the Eucharist. In our pluralistic and often deliberately secularized society, the living faith of the Christian community-a faith always aware of its rights vis-a-vis those who do not share that faith-ensures respect for this sacredness. The duty to respect each person’s faith is the complement of the natural and civil right to freedom of conscience and of religion.
The sacred character of the Eucharist has found and continues to find expression in the terminology of theology and the liturgy. […] This sense of the objective sacred character of the Eucharistic Mystery is so much part of the faith of the People of God that their faith is enriched and strengthened by it. […] Therefore the ministers of the Eucharist must, especially today, be illumined by the fullness of this living faith, and in its light they must understand and perform all that is part, by Christ’s will and the will of His Church, of their priestly ministry.
(Here is → the link to the whole text of “Eucharisticum Mysterium” on the Internet)
38. PRIVATE PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
On those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ, the gift of the Spirit is poured out abundantly like living water (cf. John 7: 37-39), provided that this Body and Blood have been received sacramentally and spiritually, namely, by that faith which operates through charity (Cf. Council of Trent Session XIII, Decree on the Eucharist, Chap. 8 - Denz. 881 (1648)).
But union with Christ, to which the sacrament itself is directed, is not to be limited to the duration of the celebration of the Eucharist; it is to be prolonged into the entire Christian life, in such a way that the Christian faithful, contemplating unceasingly the gift they have received, may make their life a continual thanksgiving under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and may produce fruits of greater charity.
In order to remain more easily in this thanksgiving which is offered to God in an eminent way in the Mass, those who have been nourished by holy Communion should be encouraged to remain for a while in prayer (cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter “Mediator Dei” AAS 39 (1947), p. 566).
(Here is → the link to the whole text of “The Priest and the Third Christian Millennium Teacher…” on the Internet)
In this respect, the example of the priest-celebrant is fundamentally important: “celebrating the Eucharist well is an important form of primary catechesis on the Holy Sacrifice” (Congregation for the Clergy, Directory for the Ministry and Life of Priests, Tota Ecclesia, 49). While this is not the immediate intention of the priest, it is important for the faithful to see him prepare well by recollecting himself before celebrating the Holy Sacrifice. They should be able to witness the love and devotion that he has for the Eucharist and, following his example, they should learn to remain, for a while, in thanksgiving after Holy Communion.
In different diocesan papers, Bishops refer also to the statements of Magisterium of the Catholic Church. For example, in “Biuletyn Katechetyczny Diecezji Bielsko-Żywieckiej” (Catechetical Bulletin of Bielsko-Żywiecka Diocese), No. 26/97 February, 1998, p. 22, there is the following admonition:
“Thanksgiving after Holy Communion.
Participation in the Eucharist and all the more reception of Christ in Holy Communion – requires the thanksgiving of everybody. The attitude of thanksgiving has been neglected in recent times. We ask all catechizing not to forget about this duty and teach by word and example the children and young people to make the thanksgiving after Holy Communion.”
The statements of the saints are a precious supplement to two preceding sections of this webside. The preparing of comprehensive collection of such sentences is a task which one ought to carry out. Here give I a little portion of them.
The below-put text it is my own translation of the text written in the book: Św. Alfons Maria de Liguori, “Umiłowanie Jezusa Chrystusa w życiu codziennym”. Translation and redaction: M. Pierzchała OSsR, Z. Klafka CSsR, Kraków 1996, p. 117.
St. Alphonse Maria de Liguori, the patron of moralists, in the book entitled “The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ,” called up the witnesses of three saints who underlined the exceptional value of the time after the receiving the Holy Communion:
“So that the Eucharistical participation may be fruitful, each disciple must practice a long thanksgiving.
Father John from Avila spoke that the time after Holy Communion is “the time of receiving the treasures of mercy” (blessed John from Avila, Lettere spirituali, part I, p. 77, Firenze 1601).
Furthermore, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi said that “no time can be more calculated to inflame us with Divine love than the time immediately after our Communion” (V. Puccini, Vita, part I, ch. 65, Firenze 1611).
And St. Theresa wrote: “After Holy Communion, do not lose such a precious opportunity to negotiate with God. Almighty God will not want to pay badly for the flat, where He was hospitably undertaken” (St. Theresa, Camino de perfección, ch. 34, in: Obras, III, Burgos 1916, pp. 164-165)”.
The below-put text is from the book: The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, Bishop of Saint Agatha, and Founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Translated from the Italian; edited by Rev. Eugene Grimm. The Ascetical Works. Volume XIII. The Holy Mass, London 1889, p. 441–444.
Finally, a priest, after having celebrated Mass, must make a thanksgiving. St. John Chrysostom says that if men expect us to be grateful for every little favor that they do us, and to recompense them, how much more grateful ought we to be to God for the great benefits (p. 442) that he bestows upon us, since without any view to recompense, but only for our advantage, he would have us be grateful to him (“Si homines parvum beneficium praestiterint, exspectant a nobis gratitudinem; quanto magis id nobis faciendum in iis quae a Deo accipimus, qui hoc solum ob nostram utilitatem vult fieri!” – In Gen. hom. 26). If we, continues the saint, can not thank God as he deserves, at least let us thank him as much as we are able.
But what a misery, what an abuse, to see priests, as soon as Mass is finished, after having received from God the honor of offering up in sacrifice to him his own beloved Son, and after having partaken of his most sacred body, scarcely entered into the sacristy, with their lips still purpled with his blood, but after a short prayer muttered between their teeth, without devotion, and without attention, immediately begin to talk of useless things, or of the affairs of the world, and leave the church to pass through the streets, with Jesus Christ still present within them in the sacramental species!
It would be well to do with such what Father Avila once did. Seeing a priest leaving the church immediately after celebrating Mass, he sent two clerics with lights to accompany him; on which the priest inquiring what priest they were going to attend, they answered: We are accompanying the Blessed Sacrament which you carry within you. To such might be said what St. Bernard wrote to the archdeacon Fulcone: “Alas! how can you so soon grow tired of Jesus Christ!” (“Heu! quomodo Christum tam cito fastidis!” – Epist. 2).
Many are the devout books that inculcate and enforce thanksgiving after Mass; but how many priests are there who make it? Those who do make it may be easily distinguished. The wonder is, that while some are indeed diligent in meditation, and in other devotions, few or none remain after Mass to commune with Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving after Mass ought to terminate only with (p. 443) the day.
Father Avila says that the time after Mass ought to be considered as of the greatest value. The time after Mass is a most precious time, in which we may treat with God and obtain from him treasures of grace. St. Teresa says, Let us not lose after Communion so fine an opportunity of treating with God: his divine Majesty is not accustomed to repay those ill with whom he takes up his abode when they afford him a suitable entertainment. In another place she says that Jesus Christ, after Communion, sits within us as upon the throne of graces, and says to each of us, as to the blind man whom he restored to sight, What wilt Thou that I should do for Thee? (“Quid tibi vis faciam?” – Mark, x. 51). As though he said, I am here, O devout soul, to bestow upon thee my choicest graces: tell me, what wouldst thou that I should do for thee?
Moreover, it is the opinion of many learned writers, of Suarez (De Sacram. disp. 63, § 7), of Gonet (Man. Thom. p. 3, tr. 4, c. 9.), and of others, that the more the soul, after Communion, during the time that the sacramental species remain, disposes herself by fervent acts of devotion, the greater are the fruits which she reaps from it; because the Blessed Sacrament is in the nature of food, and as corporal food, so long as it remains in the stomach, nourishes the body: so with this spiritual and heavenly food so long as it remains in the body, so long does it nourish the soul with divine graces, and the more plentifully in proportion as the soul disposes her self to receive them by continued acts of suitable devotion. Besides, during this time, every pious act is of greater value and merit, inasmuch as the communicant is united to Jesus Christ according to his own words: He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in (p. 444) Me and I in him. (“Qui manducat meam carnem, et bibit meum sanguinem, in me manet, et ego in illo.” – Jo. vi. 57.) And as St. John Chrysostom says, Jesus Christ makes us then one with himself (“Ipsa re nos suum efficit corpus.”). And hence acts of piety and devotion are more meritorious then than at any other time, because they proceed from the soul in union with Jesus Christ.
On the contrary, our Lord will not waste his graces on the ungrateful, as St. Bernard says (“Numquid non perit, quod donatur ingrato?” – In Cant. s. 51.).
Father Avila used to spend two hours in prayer and in communing with Jesus Christ after celebrating Mass. Oh, with what tenderness and affection does Jesus Christ speak to the soul after Communion! with what endearing love does he treat her! It would not be much for a priest to spend an hour with Jesus Christ after Mass. At least, I beseech every priest to spend half an hour, or at the very least, a quarter. But, O God! a quarter is too little!
St. Ambrose says: “A true minister of the altar is born for God, not for himself.” 4 (4 “Verus minister altaris Deo, non sibi natus est.” – In Ps. cxviii. s. 8.). If, then, a priest, from the time of his ordination, belongs no more to himself, nor to the world, nor to his relatives, but only to God, for whom ought he to spend his whole life, but for God, and particularly after Communion, by uniting himself with Jesus Christ.
The following text about St. Alphonsus was written in the introduction to the book The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, Bishop of Saint Agatha, and Founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Translated from the Italian. Edited by Rev. Eugene Grimm, Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. The Ascetical Works. Volume XIII. The Holy Mass, New York, Cincinnati, Chicago 1889, p. 12-15:
From his childhood he was admired for the tender devotion with which he attended Mass, received Communion, or spent his time in adoring the Blessed Sacrament.
Such were his dispositions in the world; but one cannot imagine with what respect, with what care, with what dignity and with what fervor he celebrated the holy mysteries when he had the happiness of ascending the altar as a priest of the Most High, to consecrate and to hold in his hands the body and the blood of his well-beloved Jesus, and to be nourished every day with this heavenly food. Moreover, we can hardly picture to (s. 13) ourselves what was his preparation for an act of which he had so sublime an idea, and what was his conversation with his God living in him after Communion and during his long thanksgiving.
He never failed to celebrate Mass every day, unless he was obliged by an absolute necessity to omit doing so; in this case it was to him a very great privation. […] Pressed by an accumulation of work, he labored every evening till a very advanced hour, and instead of taking supper he contented himself with taking a glass of water before going to bed. Once, however, he noticed that he had drunk the water a little after midnight. Being quite annoyed by this mishap, he at once sent for his servant and had him to bring him different watches to find out the exact time; but finding that they all agreed, he had to make up his mind to do without saying Mass as well as without receiving Communion, which was his resource whenever he was too ill to celebrate Mass. This accident was the cause of great affliction to him for several days.
When he was at the altar one had more than one occasion to admire the marvellous effects of his fervor, without speaking of the trembling, the palpitation, the extraordinary movements that he felt. At Modugno, in February, 1745, he was seen after the Consecration raised in the air at the height of several feet. At another time, at Nocera, while he was reciting the psalm Judica me, he all of a sudden stopped. A Father who was serving his Mass, thinking that his memory had failed him, without looking at him suggested several times the words to him; but all to no purpose: then raising his eyes, he saw the saint in an ecstasy.
At the altar he resembled an angel rather than a human being; after Communion his countenance appeared transformed, and all on fire.
He made it a rule for the priests of his religious Institute to celebrate Mass every day, and to employ in saying it half an hour, after having devoutly prepared themselves; they had then to make at least half an hour’s thanksgiving. He permitted the shortening of the time of thanksgiving only in case of necessity, as when many confessions had to be heard, and there were only a few confessors; they had, however, to make at least a quarter of an hour’s thanksgiving. He required that on retreat days, besides the half-hour’s ordinary meditation, the proximate preparation for Mass should last at least half an hour, and the thanksgiving a whole hour. He enjoined upon the members of his Institute the exact observance of the ceremonies of Mass, and in order that they might not fail in this, he wished them carefully to study the Rubrics; for this purpose he established a special conference for the exercise of the Rubrics to be held on the first Monday of every month.
Obliged by obedience to assume the office of bishop in 1762, when he was sixty-six years of age, and bowed down by the weight of innumerable labors and grave infirmities, he at once made exact inquiries regarding the manner in which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated in his diocese; he himself examined the priests on the subject about which he had his serious doubts, and he did not hesitate to suspend from the celebration of Mass those whom he found deficient in this respect, until they had duly corrected themselves. He moreover watched specially over the manner in which the churches were kept. In the course of his first pastoral visit he fell dangerously ill, received Extreme Unction, and hovered for several weeks between life and death. When he was hardly convalescent and still bedridden, an altar was erected in his room, where every day Mass was said, during which he communicated; he would then send for the priests whom he wished to examine, and made them go through the exercises of the Rubrics in his presence.
As for priests newly ordained, he did not grant them permission to say Mass till he became certain that they were perfectly able to observe all the prescribed ceremonies. He used to say: “When a man has once become a cripple there is no longer any remedy for him.” He earnestly recommended to them never to neglect to make a suitable preparation and thanksgiving. “By the acts that precede the Mass,” he said, “especially by the act of contrition, one empties and purifies the vessel of one’s heart, and by those acts that follow Mass one fills this vessel with graces and heavenly gifts.” Such conduct did not fail to produce happy effects in his diocese, the state of which left much to be desired; thenceforward priests were seen carefully applying themselves to the celebration of Mass in an irreproachable and edifying manner.
The below-put text is my translation of the text written in the book: A. Monnin Zapiski z Ars. Notatki naocznego świadka kazań, homilii i rozmów św. Jana Marii Vianneya[Notes from Ars. Eyewitness notes of the sermons, homilies, and talks of St. John Mary Vianney], translated by L. Danilecka, Warszawa 2009, p. 66-67.
Is there anything more beautiful and anything more moving and solemn than the interpretation that Rev. Vianney gave to the legend of St. Alex, in which he saw a parable of Christ hidden in the Eucharist?
When St. Alex’s mother finally saw that it was her son that had been living under the steps of the family home as the beggar for thirty years, she exclaimed:
– My son, why did I not recognize you before?
The soul, leaving the body, will finally recognize the One whom it had all its life so close in the Eucharist, and at the sight of the consolations, beauty, and riches it despised, it will exclaim like this woman:
– O Jesus, my life, my treasure, my love, why do I recognize You so late!
The below-put text is my translation of the text written in the book: R. Boudens, J. Katzer, Eugeniusz de Mazenod. Miał serce wielkie jak świat, Poznań 1995, p. 164.
“I never will surrender to convince that the service to the neighbor can supplant the daily contemplation or preparation to the Holy Mass, thanksgiving after the Holy Mass or visiting the Holy Sacrament.”
See the link: St. Maximilian towards the Eucharist ← click, please!
The below-put text is my translation of the text of Blessed Michał Sopoćko, List z Czarnego Boru z dnia 6 VIII 1942 r. do pierwszych kandydatek tworzącego się w Wilnie Zgromadzenia Jezusa Miłosiernego [Letter from Czarny Bór, dated 6 August 1942, to the first candidates of the emerging Congregation of the Merciful Jesus in Vilnius], which was published on the website of the Sisters of the Merciful Jesus ← click, please!
[…] Our duty to the Blessed Sacrament is frequent and dignified Communion, which has a salutary effect on both soul and body. […]
Holy Communion restrains the passions, subdues the fire of lust, and thus slowly cures our spiritual impotence. [...] In order to receive these blissful effects, one must receive the Blessed Sacrament with dignity. Above all, it is necessary to prepare properly for this, both for the sake of the Lord Jesus and for ourselves: for the Lord Jesus, since we receive into our souls the King of kings; for ourselves, since Communion without proper preparation becomes fatal to us. One cannot read without trepidation the Gospel parable of the guest at the feast without a wedding garment, who was thrown with bound hands and feet into the outer darkness for weeping and gnashing of teeth. This wedding garment for us is to be sanctifying grace, that is, freedom from mortal sin and pure intention.
Immediately after Communion, let us say nothing but listen in concentration to what Jesus Christ will say to us in such a precious moment and follow the drawing of grace. Then let us arouse acts of adoration, admiration, and love. Let us humble ourselves before the infinite greatness of the Savior. Let us offer the praises of the angels and saints to complete our unworthy homages. Let us admire the Mercy of God, descending to the miserable creature. Let us desire only to belong to Jesus, renouncing all that is in the world.
Then let us arouse acts of thanksgiving for this unspeakable Mercy and ask the Savior to thank the Heavenly Father from us, unworthy ones. Let us, therefore, ask with simplicity and trust, presenting to Him sincerely various our miseries and deficiencies, the needs of our neighbors, countrymen scattered around the world today and suffering, and the needs even of our enemies and the whole world. It is the moment when we can ask for everything and receive everything. Then we can offer ourselves, sacrificing to Him all that we have and all that we are so that He may guide us according to His will. Finally, let us make appropriate resolutions that should be the fruit of Holy Communion.
These acts can take about half an hour of the time in which, according to the last opinion of the physiologists, the forms of bread remain in us for final digestion, and – under them – the true and living body and blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus.
This time could be shortened only if necessary, but even then, the acts mentioned can and should be continued on the way back from church or even at work or in necessary conversation with others. We attach great importance to such thanksgiving after Communion because religion, gratitude, and self-interest demand it, for the soul feels the greatest sweetness in Communion with the Lord Jesus in these moments. At that time, He is most willing to enlighten it, warm it, move it; this sacrament has an effect at that time mainly.
He who neglects thanksgiving puts obstacles in the way of grace and imitates the poor man who refuses to wait for the alms the rich man is about to give him.
Without preparation and due thanksgiving, Communion is not only ineffective but sometimes harmful, causing the soul’s culpable coldness.Then the recipient does not mend from his vices, does not make progress in virtue, and abuses God’s graces for which responsibility awaits. For such a soul, religion no longer has anything that could move it; it becomes cold as marble, insensitive as stone, hard as a rock. Such a person does not mortify himself in anything, seeks consolation in creatures, does not think about his sanctification, and inclines himself to fall. “I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Rev 3:15-16), says the Holy Spirit in Revelation.
See also texts for adoration after the Holy Mass following the link: Texts of Blessed Candida and Blessed Michał Sopoćko, testifying to the great value of prayer after the Eucharist.
Charakterystyka zawartości niniejszej strony, jej słów kluczowych:
Teaching of Church Fathers, Popes of XX century and saints about the thanksgiving after Holy Communion Church Fathers, Popes of XX century and saints convince us that it is proper and necessary to pray persistently – Wojciech Kosek, doctor of theology, Biblist, writes. And here are the words, binding the present side with main problems: God, Jesus, Christ, Holy Communion, Mass, Eucharist, Popes, bishops, Didache, saints, prophets, prayer, adoration, thanksgiving, contemplation, meeting, faith, Christianity, Jericho.