Saint Ioannis Chrysostomos
When the time for the Holy Communion comes and you are close to the altar, you should firmly believe that Christ, King of the Universe, is present there. When the priest is about to offer you the body and blood of Jesus, you should not think that the priest does so, but you should believe that the hand that offers you the Eucharist is Jesus’ hand. He is the One who glows brightly with His presence the table of the Last Supper, He now decorates the Altar of Divine Liturgy.
He is actually present and examines everybody’s will and observes which one receives the Eucharist with reverence equivalent to the Holy Mystery, which one has a wicked conscience, with filthy and unclean thoughts, and with infamous acts.
You should consider which defect you have corrected, what virtue you have acquired, which sin you have erased through confession, what you have achieved and made you better. If your consciousness tells you that you have taken care of enough to heal your internal wounds, if you did more than fasting, you should receive the Eucharist with fear of God. Otherwise, stay away from the Holy Sacraments. And when you are cleansed of all your sins, then you should come closer.
You should come to the church to receive the Holy Communion with fear and terror, with pure consciousness, with fasting and prayer. Without making noise, without stamping and elbowing your neighbors. Because this is the greatest madness and the worst contempt of the Holy Sacraments.
Tell me why are you making noise? Why are you in a hurry? Do you need to fulfill your duties? At the moment of the Holy Communion, are you thinking of the duties you need to fulfill? Do you feel that you are on the earth? Do you think you are with people and not with the angels? But this is person with a cold heart…
*The article was originally published in Greek in ikivotos.gr