Only of Angels and the Strong?

Who is worthy to receive the Blessed Eucharist? It may seem, at first sight, that the Bread of the Angels and of the strong is not suited to our misery. We can, however, be worthy recipients of the Eucharistic Jesus.

Everything was going well. Until one day their lives changed completely. For one insane action, they lost a world of wonders and found themselves cast into a terrible vale of tears… Yes, dear reader, I am referring to the story of Adam and Eve, or rather, to our own history. Expelled from Terrestrial Paradise, several curses fell upon both of them, which would unfold in their descendants over the millennia. One of them is expressed thus in Sacred Scripture: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Gn 3:19).

It is understood that these words allude to the effort that man would henceforth have to make to obtain his own sustenance. But leaving aside this tragic scenario, the divine words arouse a certain curiosity: if God mentions bread so naturally in this passage, was it already known from the beginning of human existence? And then another question arises: “Adam and Eve, was it you who made bread? Or did the Eternal Father give it to you, as ‘bread come down from Heaven’ (cf. Ps 77:24)?” I leave the answer to your imagination, dear reader, to move on to a more transcendent question.

Some theologians raise the hypothesis that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity would have become incarnate even in the absence of original sin, in order to crown the work of creation with the hypostatic union.1 If this is true, can we not conjecture that the Most Holy Eucharist would also have been instituted?

Perhaps this is why bread had been present at meals since Eden, making its use customary, predisposing humanity it to desire an inconceivably superior bread, as is Holy Communion.

In any case, the moment of the institution of this august Sacrament arrived when, on Holy Thursday, Our Lord proclaimed: “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you” (Lk 22:15). The Heart of Jesus thrilled to give Himself at last as food for human nature, and to remain with us until the end of the world (cf. Mt 28:20)!

Behold the Bread of Angels, become food for pilgrims; true bread for God’s children.”2 The generations have followed one another since the Last Supper, and the fervour of the faithful has never ceased to seek new expressions to praise the Eucharist. And one of the titles found was Bread of the strong.

Bread of Angels, Bread of the strong… “The consecrated Host is not a food fit for me, I am neither a strong person nor an angelic spirit,” someone might conclude. How much cowardice and vacillation in the faith, how many shameful capitulations before the temptations of the enemy! If the Eucharist had been given to the inhabitants of Terrestrial Paradise, there would have been some proportion. But to us?

Far be it from us to fall into this lie of the devil! In promoting frequent Communion, St. Pius X taught that the reception of the Blessed Sacrament is not a prize for the perfect, but an aid for our weakness. The secret is in how, and by what means, we present ourselves to receive the Sacrament of the Altar.

Even if our conscience does not accuse us of mortal sin, we feel a certain unworthiness before the Eucharistic Jesus. How can we overcome this and draw from the heavenly banquet its most sublime effects? There is only one way: receive Him through the Blessed Virgin. She, the most perfect devotee of the Eucharist, prepares our soul by clothing it with her virtues to make us worthy recipients of her Son. She then receives and adores Him in our name. Therefore, “Nowhere do we creatures find Him nearer to us and more adapted to our weakness than in Mary, since it was for that end that He came and dwelt in Her.”3

We will only fully avail ourselves of this rich banquet through Our Lady’s intercession, since everywhere else Jesus will always be the Bread of Angels and the strong; but in Mary He becomes for us the “Bread of children.”4 



1 Most theologians believe that the Incarnation took place only to remedy sin. Others, like St. Rupert of Salzburg, St. Albert the Great, Duns Scotus and St. Francis de Sales, take a different view. St. Thomas Aquinas is in the first group, but he ends his explanation on the subject by recognizing that, for the power of God, nothing would prevent the Eternal Word from becoming incarnate without the existence of sin (cf. ROYO MARÍN, OP, Antonio. Jesus Cristo e a vida cristã. Campinas: Ecclesiæ, 2020, p.54-57; ST. THOMAS AQUINAS. Summa Theologiæ. III, q.1, a.3).

2 From the sequence Lauda Sion, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

3 ST. LOUIS-MARIE GRIGNION DE MONTFORT. The Secret of Mary, Charlotte NC: TAN, 2012, n.20.

4 Cf. Idem, ibidem.



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