Blessed sacrament

Daily Reading for May 14

Whatsoever the Spirit can convey to the body of the church, we may expect from this sacrament; for as the Spirit is the instrument of life and action, so the blood of Christ is the conveyance of His Spirit. And let all the mysterious places of holy scripture concerning the effects of Christ communicated in the blessed sacrament be drawn together in one scheme, we cannot but observe that . . . it is mysterious in the expression, . . . no words being apt and proportionate to signify this spiritual secret, and excellent effects of the Spirit. A veil is drawn before all these testimonies, because the people were not able to behold the glory which they cover with their curtain; and “Christ dwelling in us,” and “giving us His flesh to eat, and His blood to drink,” and “the hiding of our life with God”. . . are such secret glories that, as the fruition of them is the portion of the other world, so also is the full perception and understanding of them. . . .

This holy sacrament does enlighten the spirit of man, and clarify it with spiritual discerning; and as He was to the two disciples at Emmaus, so also to other faithful people, “Christ is known in the breaking of bread”; . . . it is the relief of our sorrows, the antidote and preservative of souls, the viand of our journey, the guard and passport of our death, the wine of angels. . . . When we remember that the body of our Lord and His blood is communicated to us in the bread and the chalice of blessing, we must sit down and rest ourselves, for this is “the mountain of the Lord,” and we can go no farther.

From Discourse XIX, “Of the institution and reception of the holy sacrament of the Lord’s supper,” in The Great Exemplar, or Sanctity and Holy Life according to the Christian Institution by Jeremy Taylor (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1847).

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