“Hoc est Corpus meum, quod pro vobis tradetur.”



“I have found it helpful to use four words:

   taken, blessed, broken and given. 

These words summarize my life as a priest because each day,

when I come together around the table with members of my community,

I take bread, bless it, break it and give it. 

These words also summarize my life as a Christian because,

as a Christian, I am called to become bread for the world:

bread that is taken, blessed, broken and given. 

Most importantly, however, they summarize my life as a human being because in every moment of my life

   somewhere, somehow the taking., the blessing,

   the breaking and the giving are happening.... 

(H Nouwen, Life of the Beloved)


“For us, the words of institution

   must be more than a formula of consecration,

   they must be a ‘formula of life.’

(John Paul II, Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 2005, 1)


“We are chosen, blessed and broken to be given,

   not only in life, but in death as well. ...

You and I would dance for joy were we to know truly that we,

   little people,

are chosen, blessed, and broken

to become the bread that will multiply itself in the giving.

The unfathomable mystery of God

   is that God is a Lover who wants to be loved. 

The one who created us

   is waiting for our response to the love that gave us our being. 

God not only says: "You are my Beloved." 

God also asks: "Do you love me?"

   and offers us countless chances to say "Yes."

Once you are able to catch a glimpse of this spiritual vision,

you can see how the many distinctions that are so central in our daily living

lose their meaning. 

When joy and pain

   are both opportunities to say "yes" to our divine childhood,

   then they are more alike than they are different. 

When, finally, both living and dying bring us closer

   to the full realization of our spiritual selfhood,

   they are not the great opposites the world would have us believe;

   they are, instead, two sides of the same mystery of God's love. 

Living the spiritual life means living life as one unified reality. 

The forces of darkness

   are the forces that split, divide, and set in opposition. 

The forces of light unite. 

Literally, the word "diabolic" means dividing. 

The demon divides; the Spirit unites.”

(H Nouwen, Life of the Beloved)



“The Eucharist is the source of the Christian life

because whoever shares in it

   receives the motivation and strength to live as a true Christian.

Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross

   imparts to the believer the dynamism of his generous love;

the Eucharistic banquet nourishes the faithful

   with the Body and Blood of the Divine Lamb sacrificed for them,

   and it gives them strength to follow in his footsteps.”

“The Eucharist … is its fountainhead.

The Eucharist feeds and forms the Church.”

“The Church lives by the Eucharist.”

(John Paul II, Go in Peace, 128, 129, 134)



“The Eucharist is the summit of the whole Christian life

because the faithful bring to it

   all their prayers and good works,

   their joys and sufferings.

Our modest offerings are then united

   to the perfect sacrifice of Christ,

   and are thus completely sanctified

   and lifted up to God in an act of perfect worship

      that brings the faithful into divine intimacy.”

(John Paul II, Go in Peace, 129)

“In this celebration, the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands—

   the bread and wine—

   are transformed mysteriously, but really and substantially…

   into the  Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ…”

(John Paul II, Go in Peace, 135)

“At Mass, the offerings of all converge:

   of happiness and suffering,

   of apostolic efforts and fraternal services of all kinds.

The Lord associates the sacrifices of his brothers and sisters

   with his own sacrifice.”

(John Paul II, Go in Peace, 132)

“[T]he Lord …takes them up into himself

   in order to offer himself to the Father

   and to offer us with himself

   in the renewal of his one sacrifice….”

(John Paul II, Go in Peace, 135)

“Once the assembly disperses,

Christ’s disciples return to their everyday surroundings

   with the commitment to make their whole life a gift,

   a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God.”

(John Paul II, Go in Peace, 131)



“There must be a certain sadness in his love,

as he regards my own self-centered coldness,

   my imperfections and my infidelities.

Yet in spite of my cheap smugness,

in spite of the fact that my own mother couldn’t love me

   if she saw me as Christ sees me,

He is reaching out to me with a prodigality of love

   that must leave the angels breathless as they contemplate it;

a love as real, as palpable (could I but feel it)

   as an arm about my shoulders.

And there I kneel,

   absently biting at a callous on my thumb,

   idly noticing a worn spot on the sanctuary carpet,

   glancing at my watch to see

      if I’ve put in a passable amount of time and can leave now.

If only he would lean out and slap me in the face,

   instead of enfolding me so gently with his love!”

(L Trese, A Man Approved, 128-129)



“Sunday is our weekly Easter. …

[I]t cuts through human time—

   the months, the years, the centuries—

   like a directional arrow that points them towards their target:

   Christ’s Second Coming.

Sunday foreshadows the last day,

   the day of the Parousia.”

“Christians know

   that there is no need to wait for another time of salvation,

   since, however long the world may last,

   they are already living in the last times.”

(John Paul II, Go in Peace, 130,131)


Mary, Ark of the New Covenant,

make me hunger for the company of your Son Jesus in the Eucharist.


O good and gentle Jesus,

teach me to love you in the Eucharist!

Credo et amo et adoro te devote, latens Deitas.



C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\RETREAT\crt_16LastSupper&Eucharist.rtf

Revised 24  March 2005