Mostrance procession

The Catholic Church in the United States is currently in the midst of an exciting 3-year Eucharistic Revival
program sponsored by the US Bishops, to culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress in 2024. The goal
of the movement is to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery in our country by
helping us renew our worship of Jesus truly present with us in the Eucharist. This week we do our part,
as abbot emeritus Fr. Thomas shares some striking thoughts on the wonder of Holy Communion via our
Cistercian spirituality:
“In his sermon 71 on the Song of Songs, Bernard of Clairvaux offers a beautiful teaching on the Most
Holy Eucharist. Jesus nourishes us in this wonderful gift of His Body and Blood. Conversely, for Jesus to
nourish is for Him to be nourished by us. Such is our progress or growth into an intimate union with Him.
We are His food and as He is ours. A wonderful exchange! Let us rejoice!
As His food, we are masticated by Him when He reproves us. He swallows us when He teaches us. He
digests us when we make a change for the better. He assimilates us as we are gradually transformed
into Him. We become one with Him as we are conformed to Him.
Bernard continues to develop a phrase St. Paul uses so frequently in his Epistles – “in Christ.” If we eat
the Eucharist and are not eaten by Him, He is in us but we are not in Him. If we are eaten but do not eat,
then He has us in Him but we seem not to have Him in us. The concern here is that our perfect bonding
or intimate union is in some manner deficient.”