Quote of the day, 2 April: Antoine-Marie Leduc, ocd

“The true life, the life that is worth living and that leaves a profound joy is a life in which one surrenders, in which one protects a pure, powerful soul in constant friendship with God.” 

Père Jacques de Jésus
Letter, 15 December 1939

At the threshold of this Holy Week, we are invited to contemplate Jesus within the Paschal Mystery, always to better understand the love with which he loved us and how he saved us.

Now, Jesus’ life, with his incarnation and resurrection, is wholly a Eucharist through the offering of himself that he makes to his Father. All of his life is an act of grace and accomplishment of the works of God and the acceptance and achievement of the will of his Father, which he has faithfully represented since his temptations in the desert.

St. Paul confirms this: “For in him every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes.’ For this reason it is through him that we say the ‘Amen’, to the glory of God” (2 Cor 1:20). This is why the Eucharist is inseparable from Jesus’ life itself and especially from his paschal mystery.

Besides that, the institution of the Eucharist occurs on the eve of the Easter offering, where it anticipates sacramentally the gift of his body and his blood, through the offering of bread and wine. Within the institution of the Eucharist, Jesus gathers together all the content of gestures and words that he is going to present during Easter; the content of the Eucharist condenses and anticipates the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

For if Jesus follows the Judaic law regarding the celebration of a Passover feast, it follows that the Last Supper on Holy Thursday takes on a new meaning:

“Together with the disciples he celebrated the Passover of Israel, the memorial of God’s liberating action that led Israel from slavery to freedom. Jesus follows the rites of Israel. He recites over the bread the prayer of praise and blessing. But then something new happens. He thanks God not only for the great works of the past; he thanks him for his own exaltation, soon to be accomplished through the Cross and Resurrection, and he speaks to the disciples in words that sum up the whole of the Law and the Prophets: ‘This is my Body, given in sacrifice for you. This cup is the New Covenant in my Blood’” (Benedict XVI, final homily of World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne).

And the Holy Father specified that which is mysteriously made manifest in the institution of the Eucharist:

“By making the bread into his Body and the wine into his Blood, he anticipates his death, he accepts it in his heart, and he transforms it into an action of love. What on the outside is simply brutal violence – the Crucifixion – from within becomes an act of total self-giving love. This is the substantial transformation which was accomplished at the Last Supper and was destined to set in motion a series of transformations leading ultimately to the transformation of the world when God will be all in all” (cf. I Cor 15:28).

Beyond the process of the transformation of the bread and wine into his body and his blood, Christ achieves the transformation of inhuman violence into a gift of love, so that the Resurrection will achieve the transformation of death into life.

“To use an image well known to us today,” Benedict XVI tells us, “this is like inducing nuclear fission in the very heart of being—the victory of love over hatred, the victory of love over death. Only this intimate explosion of good conquering evil can then trigger off the series of transformations that little by little will change the world.”

The transformation within our hearts of all the energies of violence, hatred, and death into an act of love: that’s the real revolution, the real liberation of our humanity.

Father Antoine-Marie Leduc, ocd

Discalced Carmelite Online Lenten Retreat
Meditation for Week 6 (excerpt)

Translation from the French text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

Featured image: The Last Supper is an oil on panel artwork that was executed between 1555–1562 for the base of the main altarpiece of the Church of San Esteban in Valencia, Spain by Spanish artist Juan de Juanes (Vicente Juan Masip, 1503–1579). We provide a detailed image of the painting. The gallery label from the Prado Museum in Seville provides the following information: 

Inspired by Leonardo, both in the definition of the space and in the eloquent expressiveness of the apostles, it also shows Juanes’s close relationship with Raphael. In keeping with traditional iconography in Spain, he focussed the scene on Jesus, serene and triumphant at the moment of consecrating the Sacred Host. The chalice which appears in the centre of the table reproduces the one kept in Valencia Cathedral, considered to be the one used by Christ at the Last Supper. The jug and basin in the foreground allude to the foot washing that took place before the supper. All of the Apostles bear halos with their names except Judas Iscariot, whose name appears on the bench where he sits. His beard and hair are red and, in keeping with tradition, he wears yellow -the color that symbolizes envy- and hides a bag of money from his companions. 

Photo credit: © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, used by permission.

2 thoughts on “Quote of the day, 2 April: Antoine-Marie Leduc, ocd

Add yours

  1. How really marvellous! Totally agree that is what life is all about. This sets me up beautifully for what in England is the first couple of hours of Palm Sunday!

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