Since January this year has five Sundays, we get a sort of bonus Sunday to reflect on the Eucharist! Because the Eucharist is the central liturgy of the Catholic Church, many hymns have been written in honor of this Most Blessed Sacrament. One of the most famous Eucharistic hymns was written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) in honor of the new feast day of the Body and Blood of Jesus (Corpus Christi). There is a beautiful poetic English translation by Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ, and the English text of this translation is below. It is also a great resource for personal prayer.
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth Himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.
On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.
I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.
O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ran
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with Thy glory’s sight. Amen.
I recommend reading along with this text while listening to it sung at the same time. Scan the below QR link for a listen! I hope that you have found this month of reflection and study on the Eucharist to be helpful for your faith and spiritual life. Fr. Alford, Fr. Rankin, and I hope that these weekly columns are not only informative but also help to nourish your faith life. This is why I’m including this beautiful prayer resource to conclude our reflection on the Eucharist. The Eucharist is so much more than a topic for academic study. In the Eucharist, Jesus gives the Church all of his love and his entire self.
Jesus is always waiting for us in the tabernacle at Church. Whenever you pass by a Church, make the sign of the cross to acknowledge his presence. I am always inspired by how many visitors we have during the day at the Cathedral. Many people, both local and travelers passing through, stop at the Cathedral to light a votive candle for a special intention or pray for a few moments before continuing their day. Such visits can lighten the load on our weary hearts and give us encouragement to stay faithful to our responsibilities for another day.
May we one day be with God forever in heaven, not only hidden in the Eucharist, but unveiled for our eyes to see his glory.