The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Today, in many parts of the Western world, Catholics celebrate Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Body of Christ. It is the celebration of the holy Eucharist and its commemoration. Here are a few Church Fathers quotes on communion, showing the importance of the sacrament of the body and blood, often called in Patristic writings “the medicine of immortality”:

For He says Himself, My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us. Is not this true? Yet they who affirm that Christ Jesus is not truly God are welcome to find it false. He therefore Himself is in us through the flesh and we in Him, whilst together with Him our own selves are in God.

Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, AD 360

The Word is all to the child, both father and mother and tutor and nurse. “Eat ye my flesh,” He says, “and drink my blood.” Such is the suitable food which the Lord ministers, and He offers His flesh and pours forth His blood, and nothing is wanting for the children’s growth. O amazing mystery.

Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, AD 200

I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.

Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, AD 105

Of course, no post on Corpus Christi would be complete without a Eucharistic prayer. The following prayer is an Eastern prayer from the canon of preparation for Holy Communion. This and other Communion prayers may be found at Catholic Communion, Eucharist, and Mass Prayers.

May Thy most precious Body and Blood
be to me as fire and light,
O my Saviour, consuming the substance of sin
and burning the thorns of my passions,
and enlightening the whole of me
to worship the Divinity.