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Early Fathers on the Holy Eucharist

      "The holy Eucharist is the center and focal point of the spiritual lives of Christians. It is the inexhaustible source and unalterable goal of all that we are and all that we do as servants of God and members of Christ’s Church. It is our unique and certain means of communion with God the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, with the Holy Theotokos Virgin Mary and all the angels and saints. It is our deepest and most perfect means of communion with one another and with the whole Church of God, with all mankind and the whole of creation. May the Divine Liturgy be for us always our entrance into the Kingdom of God, our participation in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, as envisaged by the beloved apostle John in the Book of Revelation."

      "Participation in the holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of sacraments, must become normal and regular for all of the members of the Church. It must be the rule and not the exception, that the faithful come forward at the Divine Liturgy, with fear and with love, to receive the Body and Blood of Christ for the sake of their salvation and inspiration in the faith. It is the Lord Himself Who invites, for He Himself has said: Take, eat, this is My Body! Drink of it, all of you, this is My Blood! He who does not eat of the Lord’s Body and drink of His Blood with faith and devotion does not have Eternal Life abiding in him."  - by the Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America.

    110 A.D. St. Ignatius of Antioch: "I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ, Who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire His blood, which is love incorruptible.
    Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ."
    150 A.D. St. Justin Martyr: "We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins annd for regeneration, and is thereby living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread nor as common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our flesh and blood is nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that incarnated Jesus."
    390 A.D. St. John Chrysostom: “Therefore, in order that we may become of His Body, not in desire only, but also in very fact, let us become commingled with that Body. This, in truth, takes place by means of the food which He has given us as a gift, because He desire to prove the love which He has for us. It is for this reason that He shared Himself with us and has brought His Body down to our level, namely, that we might be one with Him as the body is joined with the head.”
    350 A.D. St. Cyril of Jerusalem: "On the night He was betrayed out Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to his disciples and said: ``Take, eat: this is My Body.'' He took the cup, gave thanks and said: ``Take, drink: this is My Blood.'' Since Christ Himself has declared the bread to be his Body, who can have any further doubt? Since He Himself has said quite categorically, This is My Blood, who would dare to question and say that it is not His Blood?
    Do not, then, regard the eucharistic elements as ordinary bread and wine: they are in fact the Body and Blood of the Lord, as He Himself has declared. Whatever your senses may tell you, be strong in faith. You have been taught and you are firmly convinced that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is not bread and wine but the Body and Blood of Christ. You know also how David referred to this long ago when he sang: Bread gives strength to man's heart and makes his face shine with the oil of gladness. Strengthen your heart, then, by receiving this bread as spriritual bread, and bring joy to the face of your soul.
    May purity of conscience remove the veil from the face of your soul so that by contemplating the glory of the Lord, as in a mirror, you may be transformed from glory to glory in Christ Jesus our Lord. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

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