Though in each mystery of Christ there is enough “shade” to make our faith meritorious, there is also enough light shining to aid our faith. In all of them we see manifested the ineffable union of the divinity with the humanity.
But there is one mystery where both the divinity and the humanity, far from revealing themselves, disappear to our senses. It is the mystery of the Eucharist.
What is there on the altar before the Consecration? A bit of bread, a little wine. And after the Consecration? For the senses– for touch, sight, taste– bread and wine still. Faith, only faith, penetrates beneath those veils, to reach the divine reality that is totally hidden there. Without faith, we shall never see anything but bread and wine; we shall not see God; He does not reveal Himself there as He does in the Gospel. We do not see even the man:
On the cross was hid thy Godhead’s splendor;
Here they manhood lieth hidden too.
When, during His life on earth, Christ declared Himself to be the Son of God, He gave proof of what He said. One could certainly see that He was a man; but a man whose teaching could only come from God… a man who performed miracles that only God could work… Faith was necessary, but the miracles of Jesus and the sublimity of His doctrine aided the faith of the Jews– the faith of simple men as well as that of the learned.
In the case of the Eucharist, there is room only for pure faith; faith founded solely on the words of Jesus: “This is my body, this is my blood.” The Eucharist is, above all, a “mystery of faith”: Mysterium fidei.
That is why in this mystery, more than in all those we have considered up to now, we ought to listen solely to Jesus. Reason is so confounded that those who, in this, do not listen to Christ must say, like the Jews to whom Our Lord promised the Eucharist: “This saying is hard, and who can hear it?” And they went away from Christ’s presence. Let us, on the other hand, go to Jesus as did the faithful apostles whom Christ asked on that occasion, “Will you also go away?” and let us say to Him, with Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Therefore, let us consult Christ on the subject of this mystery. Christ Jesus is Infallible Truth, Eternal Wisdom, Omnipotence. That which He promised– why should He not have carried it out?
–From Christ in His Mysteries, by Blessed Columba Marmion