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The Eucharistic Heart Of Jesus & The Love That Begets Christian Culture

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Above: La bénédiction des blés en Artois by Jules Breton (1827-1906).

The chief reason of this feast is to commemorate the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist.

— Pope Benedict XV, On the institution of the feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

It is not enough to keep the Commandments, though we must; it is not enough to love one another as ourselves, though we must. The one thing needful, the unum necessarium of the Kingdom, is to love as He loves us, which is the love of joy in suffering and sacrifice, like Roland and Oliver charging into battle to their death defending those they love as they cry “Mon joie”; that is the music of Christian Culture.

— John Senior, The Restoration of Christian Culture

In his seminal work, The Restoration of Christian Culture, John Senior argues, and rather brilliantly demonstrates, that Christian culture essentially arises from the Mass. From this cosmic center point, he insists, emanate all the treasures of art, architecture, music, literature, politics, economics, social forms, customs and the entire cultural patrimony of Western Civilization (as the secularists like to call it) — or what we more properly refer to as Christendom. If this indeed be the case — and I unhesitatingly affirm that it is — then one can also say that the very heart of Christian culture, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, itself issues forth from the literal heart of its sacrificial victim. That is, the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.

In the 12th century, in order to combat heresies that refused to acknowledge Our Lord’s substantial presence — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity — in the Most Holy Eucharist, Pope Urban IV instituted the majestic Feast of Corpus Christi.

Although this sacred sacrament is celebrated every day in the solemn rite of mass, nevertheless we believe it useful and worthy that a more solemn feast be celebrated at least once a year, especially to confuse and refute the hostility of the heretics.

— Pope Urban IV, Transiturus de hoc mundo

Along with the renewed emphasis on the theology of transubstantiation came magnificent processions that with great pomp and heraldry gloriously exclaimed to the world the real presence of Our Eucharistic Lord; and, by extension, affirmed the centrality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the very source from which flowed forth all of Christian civilization.

Allegory of the Holy Eucharist by Mexican painter Miguel Cabrera (1695–1768)

Similarly, a hundred years ago, when the hearts of men had grown cold and weary following the ongoing universal apostasy that had then culminated in an apocalyptic world war, another pope, Benedict XV, instituted another feast in defense of the Eucharist. This time the emphasis being on the great love of Our Lord in that most august of sacraments.

The chief reason of this feast is to commemorate the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. By this means the Church wishes more and more to excite the faithful to approach this sacred mystery with confidence, and to inflame their hearts with that divine charity which consumed the Sacred Heart of Jesus when in His infinite love He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, wherein the Divine Heart guards and loves them by living with them, as they live and abide in Him.

— Pope Benedict XV

Celebrated on the Thursday within the octave of the feast of the Sacred Heart, which is immediately preceded by the octave of the feast of the Most Holy Body of Christ (Corpus Christi), the Feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus explicitly brings to our consciousness the union between the Holy Eucharist and its literal core, the Sacred Heart. It serves as an indispensable reminder that the interior source of love (the Sacred Heart) and its exterior manifestation (the Holy Eucharist) can never be absent one from the other.

In the same way, love for Our Lord, although springing from within the silence of the innermost hidden recesses of our hearts, can never remain hidden if it is to be love at all. Love’s superabundance is self-giving. It is directed outwards. It cannot help but proclaim to all creation the praises of its beloved. “And at the touch of [love] everyone becomes a poet, even though he had no music in him before”, exclaims Agathon in Plato’s Symposium. As anyone with a bit of the brightness of youth still in him, or even just its faintest memory, knows: the lover sings! (And this too can even be said of the wounded or bereaved lover, though his happen to be the bittersweet songs of loss and sorrow —  or at times, the exquisite pregnant silences of mature reflection —  that soon become the companions of us all in the autumnal years of our terrestrial pilgrimage.)


In an age both formed and dominated by the ideology of Liberalism, characterized by the imposition of secular hedges in society, as well as within our own hearts and minds (for, as Aristotle along with the entire tradition of the Church has insisted, we are political animals, namely, social beings whose interior lives necessarily manifest outwards to shape the world around us); erected for the purpose of containing and neutering religious truth, and the devotion that springs from it, lest it spill out from its assigned private realm and into the political community at large – this feast can act as a reminder of the necessary link between interior piety and its natural and organic cultural, i.e. public, expressions.

To once again quote Agathon,“he whom love touches not walks in darkness”. What better way to describe the joyless night that is our own age, a loveless epoch, wherein the old music of Christendom has been supplanted by the dull mechanical clangs of utility, comfort and avarice — marvelously arranged so as to simultaneously serve both the capricious base desires of individuals as much as the tyrannical whims of their masters?

One need only look out at the bleak vistas that make up our drab living environments — with their architecturally impoverished buildings and crude billboards replacing the old majestic church spires that once so gracefully broke through the flat spiritual horizon that was the old pagan world — only to be now  replaced by a new and anemic mechanized idolatry that does not even rise to the dignity of the violent grasping and naked despair of the men of the ancient superstitions. To say nothing of the mass-produced, homogenized, dispiriting and placeless suburbs that, one might imagine, will someday serve as exhibits showing where the slave classes of our day were once so comfortably caged. What is the lot of such a cold, passionless society? What must we do to escape this new era of darkness to once more have the bright sun of charity cast its warmth on our frigid civilization?

El corazón de Jesús by Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz (1713-1772)

BEHOLD THIS HEART! which has so loved men as to spare Itself nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, to testify to them Its love.

— Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

If the Feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus was instituted as a commemoration of that all-consuming love that the Sacred Heart has for us in the Holy Eucharist, how are we then to reciprocate that love?  What signs and pledges of our love can we in return give to the love He offers us? If our age is marked by a universal conspiracy of silence — wherein the instruments of celestial music have been beaten into plowshares in exchange for weapons of war and mass annihilation without so much as the offering of a funeral dirge for Him whom we have so smugly proclaimed as dead — how can we make up for and fill what’s lacking? How do we compensate for the nearly complete and all-embracing neglect wherein the tabernacles emanating the sacred fire of divine love are met time and again with cold and indifferent abandonment? From the world’s mockery to the horrors of communion in the hand and the reception of the sacrament in unbelief and by public and obstinate sinners — how do we even begin to proportionately respond to the scorn and outright sacrileges which he in turn receives in exchange for so sublime an offering?

If the twelfth century saw brilliant public processions proclaiming to the heretics the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, should not our own times witness similar public acts that demonstrate, in the face of callous indifference and sheer hatred, the sacrificial love, and even joy in suffering, that reflect the self-offering of His Eucharistic Heart?


My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee.

— Prayer of the Angel at Fatima

In 2020, his excellency, Bishop Athanasius Schneider called for an international Crusade of Eucharistic Reparation and, with it, a specific day dedicated to making reparation for the crimes against the Most Holy Eucharist.

It would be a pastorally urgent and spiritually fruitful measure for the Church to establish in all dioceses of the world an annual “Day of Reparation for the crimes against the Most Holy Eucharist.” Such a day could be the octave day of the Feast of Corpus Christi. The Holy Spirit will give special graces of renewal to the Church in our days when, and only when, the Eucharistic Body of Christ will be adored with all Divine honors, will be loved, will be carefully treated and defended as really the Holiest of Holies. 

In response to the bishops’ call, I would suggest that — if I may be so bold — in addition to the Octave day of Corpus Christi that he recommends, the Feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, which, as I mentioned, finds itself both immediately on the heels of Corpus Christi as well as within the octave of the Sacred Heart, could mark another occasion for such reparation. This time the emphasis, in light of our considerations about the expressive and visible nature of love personified in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, could be on the specifically corporate and public expressions of such penitential acts of devotion.

Semana Santa procession in Sevilla, Photo by Juan Lopez

Inspiration may be taken from some of the still living Catholic hermandades (lay fraternities) throughout the Hispanic world that remain, to this day, in their baroque Semana Santa processions, a visually striking stumbling block and sign of contradiction to our Liberal sensibilities — as much for the comfort-seeking sentimentalism of modern spirituality as for the contemptuous aggression of the more explicitly anti-Christian forces of our times.

If the boundless love he offers us in the Eucharist is unrequited by so many countless souls, what better way to make up for it than by offering our penances on behalf of them whose response he so eagerly awaits? And what better way to show sinners the love of his Eucharistic Heart than by making dramatic and public displays of corporal penances offered on their behalf and in reparation for their very offenses and failures to respond in kind to so generous a lover? If we intend to energetically meet the challenge of civilizational apostasy set before us, we must jar and startle ourselves, as much as the public, from the stupor of our cold, calculated comfort.

For the forgetfulness and ingratitude of men, we will console you, O Lord.
For the way you are deserted in your holy tabernacle, we will console you, O Lord.
For the crimes of sinners, we will console you, O Lord.
For the hatred of the impious, we will console you, O Lord.
For the blasphemies uttered against you, we will console you, O Lord.
For the sacrileges that profane your sacrament of love, we will console you, O Lord

— From Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart

At minimum, the suggestion deserves some earnest reflection. Whatever may be its merits, or lack thereof, let us at least be on guard that we never exchange a holy and supernatural prudence for a safe and calculating worldly counterfeit that shrinks at the least expression of disparaging sentiments that will inevitably emanate from the tepid souls of some of our co-religionists.


There must be initiated a world-wide crusade of reparation to and consolation of the Eucharistic Lord. …The Holy Scripture says: “Where sin abounded, grace did more abound” (Rm. 5:20) and we can add analogously: “Where Eucharistic abuses abounded, acts of reparation will more abound.”

— Bishop Athanasius Schneider

At this moment, a firm and ecclesiastically sanctioned foundation from which we can at least begin some of our initial efforts can be found in The Crusade of Eucharistic Reparation, as specifically organized by OnePeterFive. If we are to regain our virility as Catholics and once more become a force to contend with in the public sphere, we must first diligently strive to increase our interior devotion. In this respect, this initiative offers us the opportunity to join an already tangible lay movement that gives us a clear devotional means from which we can begin to launch our initial attempts at the reconquest of our culture. In this, it forms a necessary and essential, if insufficient, response to the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. I say insufficient, not because it is in any way intrinsically deficient in itself, but, because it merely forms a foundation upon which must be erected many a unique and particular corporate edifice that interrupts the skyline of our public spaces and slowly begins to transform the entire landscape of the body politic.

 To paraphrase Mr. Flanders in one of his recent pieces, for a Catholic to think “larger” means for him to think in terms of subsidiarity. For us to truly tap into and experience the richness and vitality of our tradition will mean us first having to stoop down to cultivate the provincial soils we already happen to find hidden beneath our very feet.That is to say, we must organize at the parochial level and from therein form the necessary associations (sodalities, confraternities, etc.) that will be required, for us to then be able to literally take things to the streets. Let us hope and pray that this lay initiative, formed as an answer to the good bishops’ call, be but the first preliminary fruit of an abundant harvest of Eucharistic devotion.

La bendición del campo en 1800 by Salvador Viniegra (1862-1915)


The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

— Lorenzo from The Merchant of Venice (Act V, Scene 1)

As we have seen, the lover sings. The language of love is music and that music, when joined together in the harmony of baptized souls, is the song of Christian culture. However, not only does the lover sing, but only the lover sings.  

As St Augustine tells us, “only he who loves can sing”. It is not only that you cannot have love without finding with it the manifestations that create a Christian culture but, conversely, you cannot have Christian civilization and culture without first having that “love that moves the sun and stars” itself moving within the hearts of men.

To this end, let us increase our devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Our King by cultivating our interior lives, that our love may overflow and spill out into our homes, neighborhoods, cities and nations, and into every corner of our now captive lands, so that He may reign. Further, let us consecrate ourselves and our efforts to Our Lady, the Most Blessed Virgin, “who carried His Body and His Blood in her womb, Body of her body, Blood of her blood”[1], so that inflamed with the love of her Spouse, the Holy Ghost, we may go out and set the world ablaze until all things be restored in Christ and God be all in all.

[1] John Senior, The Restoration of Christian Culture

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