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Admonitions of our Seraphic Father St Francis – Of the Body of Christ

‘The Last Supper’ 1555-1562 Juan de Juanes

From The Writings of St. Francis of Assisi

The Lord Jesus said to His disciples: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me. If you had known Me, you would without doubt have known My Father also ; and from henceforth you shall know Him, and you have seen Him. Philip saith to Him: Lord, shew us the Father, and it is enough for us. Jesus saith to him: So long a time have I been with you, and have you not known Me? Philip, he that seeth Me, seeth the Father also.” The Father “inhabiteth light inaccessible, ” and “God is spirit,” and “no man hath seen God at any time.”

Because God is spirit, spirit alone can see God; for it “is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.” But the Son, inasmuch as He is equal to the Father, cannot be seen by anyone except the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thus all those who since our Lord Jesus Christ have seen humanity without seeing His spirit and His divinity and without believing that He is the true Son of God, were condemned. Likewise all those who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ, consecrated by the words of the Lord on the altar in the hands of the priest under the appearance of bread and wine, and who do not see His spirit and His divinity and do not believe it to be truly the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, those also are condemned, on the testimony of the Almighty Himself, who says: “This is My Body” and “the Blood of the New Testament,” and, “He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood hath everlasting life.”

The Eucharist‘ by Francisco de Zurbaran

Thus he who has the spirit of God which dwells in those who are faithful to Him, he it is who receives [with fruit] the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord; all others who have no part in this spirit and yet dare to communicate, eat and drink judgement to themselves. “O ye sons of men, how long will ye be hard of heart? “Why do you not know the truth and believe in the Son of God? He every day humiliates Himself as at the time when descending from His royal throne He came into the womb of a Virgin. Each day He Himself comes to you under a lowly appearance. Each day He descends from the bosom of His Father to the altar in the hands of the priest. Even as He shewed Himself to the holy Apostles in His true flesh, so He shews Himself to us in the sacred Bread. And even as in His flesh they saw only His humanity, although believing in and contemplating His divinity itself; so we, seeing the bread and wine with our bodily eyes, firmly believe that there are His most holy Body and His true and living Blood. It is in this way that the Lord is always with His disciples, as He Himself says: “Behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. “

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