Wednesday 27 January 2021

The Eucharist with the Saints - J.B. Midgley - Meditations and Prayers

The Eucharist with the Saints:
Meditations and Prayers
J.B. Midgley
Fr Thomas Weinandy OMF, Cap (Introduction)
Catholic Truth Society
CTS Booklet D668

A few years back I discovered the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society, at first I was trying to track down and read everything written by Alice Curtayne (a task I have yet to complete). But from the first book I read by Midgley I was hooked on his works.  I have a friend who calls me a ‘completionist’ in that when I find an author that I really like I try to read everything they have written. This is now the case with Midgley, I believe he has published 28 books, and 26 of them are with the Catholic Truth Society. Most of those books are either in the ‘Great Saints Series’ or like this one the ‘Companions Series’. I have managed to track down all by one of Midgley’s works. And have now read over 175 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. This is one of 4 volumes written by Midgley titled “… with the Saints.”. And the third that I have read. The description on the back of the book is:

“The Eucharist has sustained countless saints and martyrs from apostolic times until the present day. This collection of prayers and meditations will help every Catholic to enter more fully into the Eucharistic mystery. Not only a companion to private reflection and prayer (ideally in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament) the booklet also includes a brief history of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and a summary of Pope John Paul’s recent Letter on the Eucharist. This collection has been compiled for the CTS by J.B. Midgley.”

The sections in the book are:

The Church and the Eucharist
Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament
Biblical Figures
Early Church and Fathers
Saints through the Centuries
Modern Saints
Index of Saints

The index is four pages it breaks it down by source of who or which biblical book. Each of the ‘Call to’ sections contain sub sections of some of the following:

Biblical Figures
The Early Church and Fathers
Saints Through the Ages
Modern Saints
Modern Writers

The book contains quotes from 64 sources. Most of the quotes are from saints and many of the saints I had encountered before. There were a few new saints, and some excellent quotes. A few are drawn from the bible both the old and New Testaments. A few of the saints that were unfamiliar to me, I now have on my list to find out more about. And a few were quotes or sayings I was familiar with already.
A few of the quotes that really had an impact upon me my first read through were:

“Be convinced that there is no better time in all your life than the time of Holy Communion and that which follows, during which you have the happiness of talking mouth to mouth, and heart to heart with Jesus” 
     -St. John Baptist De La Salle

“God has given us bread for our bodies, he has given us HIS Body for our souls. You are very pleased to have the bread He gives. Why do you refuse HIS Body? Sunday is God’s property, His own day, the Lord’s Day. He has made all the days of the week. He might have kept them all, but He has given you six and has reserved for Himself only the seventh. By what right do you touch what does not belong to you?”
     -St John Vianney

“Nowhere on earth are you more welcome. Nowhere on earth are you more loved than by Jesus living and truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth.”
     -St Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Some of the excerpts in this volume are only a few lines and a few are a couple of pages. Some sources only have 1 quote and others many. But the whole book is filled with a love for the lord in the Eucharist and learning to love and experience that ourselves.

I read this book early in 2021. During most of 2020 the mass and receiving the Eucharist was not available where I lived because of the pandemic. This book was read at my son’s bedside in the hospital after spinal surgery. Each day for the last few weeks I have walked back and forth between Ronald McDonald House and the hospital. During that walk I pass the Canadian Martyrs Church, in the Diocese of Hamilton. I have passed the church upwards of 8 times a day. Each time no matter how early or late I paused and prayed. This book helped me realize how deeply I miss communion. And how even just drawing near to a tabernacle and pausing to pray is nourishing to the soul.  

But even if was not read when I did I would consider it an excellent volume and one that any Catholic would benefit from reading. It is easy to read. Can be read from cover to cover or randomly flipped open and read at any point and read a few points. This is a book I will be keeping close by for the foreseeable future. I just wish there was an electronic edition available. It is another excellent read from CTS, and great book from the pen of the late J.B. Midgley. I encourage you to give it a read and anything else from Midgley you can lay your hands on.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic

Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 

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