The Bread of Angels

The Council of Trent occasionally takes rhetorical flight, so to speak:

And finally this holy Synod with true fatherly affection admonishes, exhorts, begs, and beseeches, through the bowels of the mercy of our God, that all and each of those who bear the Christian name would now at length agree and be of one mind in this sign of unity, in this bond of charity, in this symbol of concord; and that mindful of the so great majesty, and the so exceeding love of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His own beloved soul as the price of our salvation, and gave us His own flesh to eat, they would believe and venerate these sacred mysteries of His body and blood with such constancy and firmness of faith, with such devotion of soul, with such piety and worship as to be able frequently to receive that supersubstantial bread, and that it may be to them truly the life of the soul, and the perpetual health of their mind; that being invigorated by the strength thereof, they may, after the journeying of this miserable pilgrimage, be able to arrive at their heavenly country, there to eat, without any veil, that same bread of angels which they now eat under the sacred veils. (Decree Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist


(Demum autem paterno affectu admonet sancta Synodus, hortatur, rogat et obsecrat »per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri« [Lc 1,78], ut omnes et singuli, qui christiano nomine censentur, in hoc »unitatis signo«, in hoc »vinculo caritatis«1, in hoc concordiae symbolo iam tandem aliquando conveniant et concordent, memoresque tantae maiestatis et tam eximii amoris Iesu Christi Domini nostri, qui dilectam animam suam in nostrae salutis pretium, et carnem suam nobis dedit ad manducandum [cf. Io 6,48–58], haec sacra mysteria corporis et sanguinis eius ea fidei constantia et firmitate, ea animi devotione, ea pietate et cultu credant et venerentur, ut panem illum supersubstantialem [cf. Mt 6,11] frequenter suscipere possint, et is vere eis sit animae vita et perpetua sanitas mentis, cuius vigore confortati [cf. 3 Rg 19,8] ex huius miserae peregrinationis itinere ad caelestem patriam pervenire valeant, eundem »panem Angelorum« [Ps 77,25], quem modo sub sacris velaminibus edunt, absque ullo velamine manducaturi.)

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