The month of April is dedicated to devotion to the Holy Eucharist. This tradition has developed because Easter Sunday often falls in April, and when it does fall in March, the Easter season continues on through all of April. In essence, April is a month of Easter, and during the Easter celebration we remember the Eucharistic sacrifice Christ gave us and the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which would come after Jesus’s resurrection.
At the Last Supper, surrounded by His Apostles, Jesus gave to the world the most sublime gift of His Real Presence by instituting the Sacrament of the Eucharist – His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Jesus took bread and pronounced the words: “Take and eat, this is my Body”; then He took a cup of wine and said: “Take and drink, this is my Blood. Do this in memory of me.” With these words Jesus instituted the greatest of all of the Sacraments, the Sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist.
Our eternal salvation depends on our reception of the most Holy Eucharist. In the sixth Chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus preaches one of His most sublime discourses that we call the “Bread of Life Discourse.” In this discourse Jesus states many times that our salvation depends on our eating His Body and drinking His Blood. The fact that Jesus repeated this message time and time again accentuates the indispensable character of our reception of Him so that we will be saved for all eternity.
Indeed, the greatest action that we can carry out on earth is to receive Jesus into our hearts, minds, and souls in Holy Communion. Even the angels, including the highest choir of angels, cannot receive Jesus into themselves in Holy Communion, but we can. For this reason, the angels experience a holy envy towards us!
How, therefore, can we enhance our faith, love and devotion to Jesus who is truly present in the Eucharist, in Holy Communion and in every Mass that is celebrated throughout the world until the end of time?
Ten Ways We Can Grow in Love with the Eucharist
It is all too common to simply take Jesus for granted and fail to appreciate who He is, what He has done for us and where He is to be found. This nonchalant, flippant, “take for granted” type of attitude pierces the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the very core and center of His loving Heart. Let us never fail to appreciate this most sublime gift of Jesus in Mass and Holy Communion. Receive every Holy Communion as if it were your first, your last and your only Holy Communion!
- Visit Him Often
One characteristic of true friendship is a desire to visit each other on a frequent basis. Frequent visits and friendly conversations can truly foster a deeper friendship. Likewise, when passing by a church, we should stop, enter, and greet the Lord. We should tell Him that we love Him and sincerely desire to grow in our love for Him.
- Spiritual Communion
During these 21 days of lockdown and more, since we are unable to attend Mass or to receive Holy Communion, we are encouraged to unite ourselves to Christ in prayer through what is known as spiritual communion. This can be done at any time, without expenditure of much time and in an easy manner. Simply tell the Lord that you believe in Him and love Him and that you want Him to come and visit your home, your soul; that you want him as your best friend and Lord. He will come and fill you with peace and joy. Pope St. John Paul II explains that it is beneficial to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the Sacrament.
- Read about the Mass and the Eucharist
Spiritual reading can prove to be an invaluable tool for growing in our faith, and especially in our love for Jesus present in the most Holy Eucharist. It can truly serve as a guide and stimulus to help you to participate more fully, actively and consciously in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive Holy Communion with a better disposition.
- Daily Mass
Aim at attending daily Mass, if this is within your possibilities. When Our Lord gave us the prayer Our Father, He told us to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” The most obvious interpretation is physical bread. However, shrouded within these words is the spiritual interpretation—“Give us this day our daily bread” meaning Jesus, the Bread of life in Holy Mass and Holy Communion. Form the habit of daily Holy Mass and Holy Communion and you will never regret it!
- Confession and Holy Communion
Saint Ignatius of Loyola points out that by making a general confession of the sins of one’s whole life, one of the most positive fruits of this confession is making better Communions afterward. It stands to reason: the more pure the soul, the more the Lord of all purity desires to enter into that soul.
- Mass Intentions
In Parish Masses, normally the priest has an intention that someone has requested weeks or months before the actual celebration of the Mass. This specific intention of the Mass, however, does not exclude us from offering our own personal and private intentions. In fact, the more we offer intentions for ourselves, for others and for the whole world, the more pleased Jesus is and the more powerful will be the effects of our Holy Communions. Indeed you can offer as many intentions as your heart desires and the Heart of Jesus will rejoice all the more.
- Active Participation
In many cases people come physically to Holy Mass but they are mentally, emotionally and spiritually absent from the Mass. In other words, their minds are in another world. Sacramental theology teaches unequivocally that the better the disposition, the preparation, and participation in the Sacraments, the more abundant will be the flow of graces. Arrive early! Ask for the help of your Guardian angel. Pray when you should; sing at the right time; listen attentively to the Word of God and the priest who represents Jesus, and you will truly grow in holiness of life.
- Ask Mary for Her Immaculate Heart
Another very important spiritual aid is to ask for the presence of Mary in your daily walk towards heaven. However, most especially we should ask Mary to give us her Immaculate Heart to receive Jesus with great faith, devotion and love every time we receive Holy Communion.
How very important it is that we cultivate an attitude of gratitude. May we never be lacking or remiss in thanking God for all that He has given to us. In fact, all that we have is a gift from God with one exception: the sins that we have freely chosen to commit.
After Mass spend some time in thanking Jesus for coming to visit the humble abode of your heart. You might even take advantage of an acronym that summarizes the four basic ends or purposes of Holy Mass: A.C.T.S.
A—stands for adoration. Adore and praise the Lord whom you have as the Sweet Guest of your soul.
C—stands for contrition. Tell the Lord that you are sorry for your sins, those of your family and the sins of the whole world.
T—stands for thanksgiving. Abound in thanksgiving, but especially for the great gift of the Eucharist. The word “Eucharist” means Thanksgiving. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, eternal is His mercy.”
S—stands for Supplication. This simply means we ask the Lord for what we truly need. We are all dependent on and in desperate need of God’s help at all times and in all places.
Source – catholicexchange.com