Throughout the centuries, this great sacrament, truly being the Presence of God within the Holy Church inspired many saints to speak out against unworthy reception of the Holy Eucharist. Saint John Chrysostom states “I beseech, beg, and implore that no one draw near to this sacred table with a sullied and corrupt conscience” and he goes on to say that if so it ‘can never be called communion’… Therefore if we are conscious of a grave sin in our lives it is important to utilize the confessional, which is another sacred sacrament instituted by Christ himself. The reason for this rule is that the soul is in true communion with God through contact with the Holy Eucharist, and Jesus Christ’s desire to purify us that we may be made true disciples of his Holy Name. Also the act of confession binds us to the Body of Christ ever anew and reminds us that ‘His mercy endures forever’ (Ps. 136:1).
Furthermore the Holy Eucharist must be adored with great reverence. In this life adoring Christ in the Holy Eucharist is a practice which brought much consolation to both the saints and those striving to be saints. In this exercise of adoration our hearts and minds find much needed support and comfort by simply being with God. From my own experience, often I am left in wonder by how much love I feel in His presence, and truly this is ‘love’s desire’ – to experience the love which is poured out from the Other and to know that love is concrete. Being with Jesus is essential if we desire to follow the first commandment, to Love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind. For the more we practice loving God in the Holy Eucharist, the more we come to know, “You are all-beautiful, beloved, and there is no blemish in you” (Song of Songs 4: 7).