Eucharistic Reflection: Sacramental Mysticism

by Diocese of Des Moines | October 12, 2021

The Eucharist

Sacramental Mysticism[1]

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Jesus gave this act of oblation an enduring presence through his institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. He anticipated his death and resurrection by giving his disciples, in the bread and wine, his very self, his body and blood as the new manna (cf. Jn 6:31-33). The ancient world had dimly perceived that man’s real food—what truly nourishes him as man—is ultimately the Logos, eternal wisdom:  this same Logos now truly becomes food for us—as love. The Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self-oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of his self-giving. The imagery of marriage between God and Israel is now realized in a way previously inconceivable:  it had meant standing in God’s presence, but now it becomes union with God through sharing in Jesus’ self-gift, sharing in his body and blood. The sacramental “mysticism,” grounded in God’s condescension towards us, operates at a radically different level and lifts us to far greater heights than anything that any human mystical elevation could ever accomplish.


Reflection Questions:

  • Do I recognize Jesus as my real food, who nourishes and sustains me, or do I seek satisfaction someplace else?
  • How has Jesus invited me into the “very dynamic of his self-giving”, so that my acts of love become intertwined with his love?

Petitionary Prayers:

  • For a greater recognition of God’s condescension towards us, and for the grace to always give of ourselves to others, we pray…
  • That we may always seek our fulfilment in God, who alone can truly satisfy our hearts, we pray…


[1]This text is taken from “Mystery of the Altar:  Daily Meditations on the Eucharist” Ed. Kenneth J. Howell and Joseph Crownwood, Emmaus Road Publishing, 2020.


Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.