Friday, June 24, 2011

The Institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi (Part 2)

From the Breviary of Prague, 1502, the continuation of the Bull “Transiturus” of Pope Urban IV, promulgating the feast of Corpus Christi, read in the Divine Office for the lessons of Matins during the octave.
In spirit do we embrace all the other things whose memory we keep, but we do not obtain their real presence because of this; but in this sacramental commemoration, Jesus Christ, though present under another form, is nevertheless with us in His own substance. For when He was about to ascend into Heaven, He said to the Apostles and their followers, “Behold I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world,” strengthening them with this kindly promise, that He would remain and be with them even in His bodily presence. O worthy memorial, that must never be interrupted, in which we recall that our death died, that our destruction was destroyed, and the tree of life, being marked with the sign of the Cross, bore the fruit of salvation for us. This is the glorious commemoration, which fills the minds of the faithful with saving joy, and with an outpouring of gladness brings also tears of devotion. Let us rejoice indeed as we remember our liberation, and recall the Lord’s passion… O the immensity of God’s love, the superabundance of His compassion, the profusion of His bounty! For the Lord has given us all things, He has subjected them beneath our feet, and over all the creatures of the earth has given us dominion. Even by His ministers among the higher spirits He has ennobled and raised up the dignity of man; for they are all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation.

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