Confirmation and Holy Communion - Page 3
Communicants – the Body of Christ
The communicants who faithfully kneel at the altar Sunday by Sunday, and perhaps in the week as well, are the real power in the Church’s life. For by receiving the Body of Christ, they become the Body of Christ. As St Augustine the Great said, “If you have received well, you are that which you have received”. (2) It is not surprising that in the persecutions the penalty for making one’s Communion was death. The government knew that they did not have to worry about the non-communicants and they could safely be left at large, but not so with the communicants. Therefore it was the communicants, or rather Our Lord in the communicants, who were the rock against which the whole might of the Roman Empire was flung – and broken. So today it is the regular communicants who are the inner strength of the Church and who provide the prayers and work and gifts on which the Church depends (3).
We should always prepare carefully before every Communion we make; first of all, by making our self-examination, that is, going over our life since our last Communion and seeing what sins we have committed, and then telling God we are sorry. Secondly, we must make up our minds to turn over a new leaf and try to be the kind of person that Jesus is. Thirdly, we must offer ourselves to God to be his and his alone. And lastly we must have good will towards everybody, no hatred, no grudges.
Remember to make your Communion all through your life, until you receive the Blessed Sacrament for the last time – what the Church calls the Viaticum, the Food for the soul’s last journey out of this world. Then, having been part of Jesus throughout your life, you will still be part of him when you leave it. For when we receive the Blessed Sacrament, we receive not something but Someone, Jesus Christ himself, our Lord and our God.