Music is a way to express emotion when words are otherwise limited. As I have always found prayer difficult, I’ve been trying to better develop my relationship with God through various aids. One recent example is investing in piano lessons for my children, with the hope that this will result in a skillset that they can use to praise God. Have you ever stopped to take in just how important music is in the Church? How many beautiful hymns can you recall word for word? 

Panis Angelicus is one of my favorite hymns about the Eucharist. I remember growing up listening to the version by then 10-year-old Charlotte Church. In English, the hymn is translated as “The Bread of Angels”, and originates from a longer hymn by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ). 

Bread of Angels, made the bread of men; The Bread of heaven puts an end to all symbols: A thing wonderful! The Lord becomes our food: poor, a servant, and humble. We beseech Thee, Godhead One in Three That Thou wilt visit us, as we worship Thee, lead us through Thy ways, We who wish to reach the light in which Thou dwellest. Amen.

The Feast of Corpus Christi is about understanding the importance of the Eucharist, that which can only happen through the Mass.  Understanding the value and importance of the Mass is so important, especially since it is so often taken for granted. It is a battle against the distractions of this world to prioritize Mass, particularly when multiple family members need convincing.

Becoming one with Jesus when receiving Communion is a mystery that can be hard to grasp. But as Saint John Vianney declared, “If we truly understood the Mass, we would die of joy!Jesus gave us this most awe-inspiring Gift of Himself. It is difficult to capture with human emotion, but is a reminder that He is always with us, nourishing us in times of both prosperity and weakness, until the end of the age.

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