The Eucharist Gladdens the Soul

This sacrament confers grace spiritually together with the virtue of charity. Hence Damascene (De Fide Orth. iv) compares this sacrament to the burning coal which Isaiah saw (Isaiah 6:6): “For a live ember is not simply wood, but wood united to fire; so also the bread of communion is not simple bread but bread united with the Godhead.” But as Gregory observes in a Homily for Pentecost, “God’s love is never idle; for, wherever it is it does great works.” And consequently through this sacrament, as far as its power is concerned, not only is the habit of grace and of virtue bestowed, but it is furthermore aroused to act, according to 2 Corinthians 5:14: “The charity of Christ presseth us.” Hence it is that the soul is spiritually nourished through the power of this sacrament, by being spiritually gladdened, and as it were inebriated with the sweetness of the Divine goodness, according to Canticles 5:1: “Eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas