by John A. Kane
I purchased this book directly from the publisher years ago, probably when it was one of their $5 books. Languishing on my bookshelf, I finally noticed it when considering Second Daughter's First Communion year. I like the idea of reading a book on the Eucharist myself during the preparation year, though I think I have only succeeded once in three attempts. Either it was worth the wait to find this particular book, or I missed out on a tremendous opportunity for a growth in faith (probably the latter).
How much, therefore, depends on our preparation! For although we receive Christ fully, He unfolds His life according to the measure of our cooperation. Unlimited are the possibilities of the eucharistic indwelling, but our resultant spiritual development is slow, because the reception of the fullness of grace in Holy Communion demands our full accord with the Savior's eternal yearning to be one with us.Kane's book was like a revelation, guiding me through a deeper understanding of the Eucharist in adoration, at Mass, and in reception.
Thus restraining His communication, thus concealing His unimaginable beauty, He makes our reception of Him silent, peaceful, gentle, and restful. Advance as we may in holiness, however, we shall never unravel the mystery of this amazing union.The author contends we will continue to contemplate with wonder the miracle of Christ's real presence in the Eucharist.
Inseparable union with man was the goal of the Incarnation and is the reason for Christ's life in the tabernacle. On the altar, He watches over us with love unquenchable.It's all too easy to take communion at Mass as a matter of course, distracted by our children, who's missing from Mass, or an itchy sweater. The statements in this book helped me focus, not just by berating myself to pay attention but by pointing my thoughts to particular ideas and showing me how to beg Christ to ready my soul for the great miracle of taking communion.
Although Christ dwells in us with His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in order that His life may develop, may permeate our souls, and may direct our thoughts, words, and actions, the sacramental life must have circumstances favorable for its development, just as the plant needs sun and rain to grow to maturity. Without such circumstances and conditions suited to its growth, that life will never enrich us with its heavenly store; it will abide in us with the mere possibility of its infinite power, and we will be unconscious, not only of its greatness, but of its very existence.We are not to despair, however, when we do not discern progress in our spiritual life, when we feel the Eucharist is not effecting change within us, or developing our relationship with Christ.
Holiness is most beautiful in the midst of the most uneventful. Few are called to do the extraordinary for God. All are called to be faithful in that which is least...
The minute care by which we restrain our looks, words, and actions; the vigilant supervision that compels us to check the effusions of our nature; the unobtrusive acts of self-suppression--these apparent trifles perfect the soul by completing in it the likeness of God.This would be a perfect book to read during time of Adoration with frequent breaks to pray and sit quietly in the presence of the Lord. For those who are recent converts to the Catholic faith, it can elucidate the theology of the Eucharist.
As He transfigures us with His grace, we, too, must elevate and ennoble all who come within the sphere of our influence.It may also be an excellent book for someone who is not Catholic but wants to better understand what Catholics really believe about the Eucharist and how the theology of transubstantiation supports a rich faith, with the understanding that it is directed to Catholics.
I wish I had read this book years ago and I hope to make time to read it again in future years. I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone interested in learning more about the Eucharist, how to approach the Eucharist at Mass, and how to purposefully devote the reception of the Eucharist to growth in the life of Christ.