“The Blessed Sacrament has always been supreme”, he wrote in his last personal retreat, thus characterising in an incisive way the form of Christian life he proposed. At the center stands the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Faithful to the post-tridentine theology, Eymard strongly emphasized the fact of this presence and its unique character: the Eucharist is the person of the Lord. This gave rise to the concise affirmations with which he expressed his faith: “The holy Eucharist is Jesus past, present and future… It is Jesus sacramentalized… Blessed is the soul that knows how to find Jesus in the divine Eucharist, and in Jesus Hostia everything else”.
However, while emphasizing this “personalist” aspect, Father Eymard understood that this presence is the source of a dynamism, that it is related to a mission: “The grace of the apostolate: faith in Jesus. Jesus is there, therefore to Him, through Him, in Him”. This faith in the Eucharist is nourished by meditation of the Word of God. Adoration, which he proposed as the particular type of prayer for his religious and, in a general way, for the faithful, is a means of allowing ourselves to become penetrated by the love of Christ. This prayer takes its inspiration from the Mass. For this reason he proposed to his religious that they pray according to the method of the “four ends of the eucharistic sacrifice” with the purpose of “actualizing, as it were, all the mysteries of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most eminent worship of the Holy Eucharist”, in attentiveness and docility to the Holy Spirit in order to “advance in recollection and in the virtue of holy love at the feet of the Lord” (cf. Constitutions, nos. 16-17). Therefore, far from being sufficient by itself, adoration tends towards sacramental communion.
AN IMPASSIONED APOSTLE OF THE EUCHARIST
EUCHARIST: SACRAMENT OF LIFE
THE NOURISHMENT OF DAILY LIFE
THE SOURCE OF A NEW WORLD