Friday, February 28, 2014

Food of the strong

 I am the living bread which came down from heaven;  if any one eats
of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give
for the life of the world is my flesh. - John 6: 51 
"All created life needs to be fed:  plants draw their nourishment from the secretions of the earth; animals feed on plants or other living creatures; man nourishes his body with material and appropriate food; he nourishes his mind with truth, especially divine truth; he should nourish his will with the divine will to be accomplished daily in order to reach eternal life.  In other words, man ought to find his nourishment especially in faith, hope and love.  The acts of these virtues obtain for him, through merit, an increase in supernatural life.

But the Savior offers him still another and more divine food; He offers Himself as the food of souls.  To St Augustine, Christ said:  'I am the food of the strong; grow and thou shalt feed on Me.  But thou shalt not convert Me into thyself as the nourishment of thy body, but thou shalt be changed into Me' (Confessions, Bk VII, chap. 10).

In Communion, the Savior has nothing to gain: it is the soul that receives, that is vivified, supernaturalized; the virtues of Jesus Christ pass into it; it is, as it were, incorporated in Him and becomes a more living member of His mystical body.  ... Christ, present in the Eucharist, leads the soul to a purer and stronger love of God."

Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O. P.
The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Vol I (pg 415)

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