From the archives:
Lest We Forget, The Ultimate Value Of Eucharist Is The Attainment Of Heaven
By Michael H. Brown
[from Secrets of the Eucharist]
The ultimate value of the Eucharist is attainment of heaven.
In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II says the Eucharist and other sacraments create in man "the seed of eternal life." When we receive Christ in Communion we are exerting the ultimate faith in His ability to manifest among us, and opening the door to realization that it is Heaven and only Heaven we must aspire to!
Nothing else in life matters. The afterlife is all-important. It's the reason for life on earth, which is a test and preparation.
St. Margaret Mary said that a soul in purgatory once appeared to her enveloped in fire and explained that the greatest cause for his suffering (he was a Benedictine) was that in life he had preferred his own interests to those of God. He had been overly attached to his good reputation. His second defect was lack of charity to his brethren, and a third was his all too natural attachment to creatures.
But after St. Margaret Mary prayed and suffered for that soul, he was freed of his bondage. She saw him radiant with joy and glory. He had finished his purgation.
Each time we receive Holy Communion, according to St. Gertrude, something good happens to every being in Heaven, on earth, and in purgatory. The Curs de Ars once added that a Communion well received is worth more than a small fortune given to the poor. Each time we receive Communion our place in heaven is permanently raised and our stay in purgatory is shortened. While on earth, with limited vision, we will never be able to appreciate the greatness of the Eucharist. We will never be able to comprehend the real fact of reliving Christ's crucifixion.
But we know the importance from places like Medjugorje. "Unceasingly adore the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar," said Our Blessed Mother. "Special graces are then being received. Be kind to come to Mass without looking for an excuse. Pray, pray, pray only. Prayer should be for you not only a habit, but also a source of happiness. Abandon yourselves to God without any restrictions. Love your enemies. Banish from your heart hatred, bitterness, preconceived judgments. If you knew what grace and what gifts you receive, you would prepare yourselves for (the Eucharist) each day for an hour at least. Pray, dear children, so that God's plan may be accomplished, and all the works of Satan be changed in favor of the glory of God.
"When I say `pray, pray, pray,' I do not only want to say to increase the number of hours of prayer, but also to reinforce the desire for prayer, and to be in contact with God. Place yourself permanently in a state of spirit bathed in prayer. Dear children, I want you to comprehend that God has chosen each one of you in order to use you in a great plan for the salvation of mankind. You are not able to comprehend how great your role is in God's design. The Mass is the greatest prayer of God. You will never be able to understand its greatness. That is why you must be perfect and humble at Mass. I beseech you, pray to Jesus! I am His mother, and I intercede for you with Him, but everything does not depend solely on me, but also on your strength and the strength of those who pray. The Mass is the most important and the most holy moment in your lives. If you abandon yourselves to me, you will not even feel the passage from this life to the next life. You will begin to live the life of heaven from this earth."
[resources: Secrets of the Eucharist]
[September 29 retreat: Chicago: our prophetic times]
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