Saint Paul commands us: “Put on the mind of Christ.” He also says: “You have the mind of Christ.” Of course the mind of Christ was the most pure, holy innocent, humble, wise and intelligent, retentive, and noble that ever existed—nobody with a right mind could deny this.
How then can I implement this imperative of the great Apostle Saint Paul who could say in all sincerity: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me!”
Of course a daily meditation on the Word of God, especially the heart of the Bible the Gospels, can transform our way of thinking. The saying you are what you eat is true. Even more to the point is you are what you think!
Still we would like to propose another way to put on the mind of Christ; indeed another way to actually have the mind of Christ. The most efficacious way to actually put on the mind of Christ is a well-prepared, humble, fervent, faith-filled reception of Holy Communion.
Holy Communion is truly and substantially the Body, Blood, and Substance of Christ. The noblest members of the Body of Christ is His Heart and His mind.
Indeed when we receive Holy Communion worthily then we have a “Spiritual Heart-transplant”. The Sacred Heart of Jesus beats within our heart upon receiving Holy Communion with the proper dispositions.
Furthermore, when we receive Holy Communion we receive the whole and entire Body of Jesus and that of course includes His mind. With this knowledge we can indeed put into practice the mandate of St. Paul: “Put on the mind of Christ.” Then after Holy Communion has been received worthily we indeed truly have the Mind of Christ. Praise the Lord!
Many suffer torments of the mind and in many different ways. Ugly memories from the past pursue us like ugly nightmares. Past hurts from our youth pursue us like vicious wolves. Immodest images of past viewings and actions never seem to leave our mind at peace. Memories of past hurts of our childhood due to bad family experiences seem to leave almost indelible scars. Even the devil maneuvers and manipulates his way into our mind accusing us, blaming us and condemning us. Even something as simple as the failure of memory; the memory seems to have been transformed into a leaky bucket, retaining only a few drops of information.
How can this sad state of affairs, all related to my mind, memory, understanding, and imagination be purified, enlightened and raised on high? Once again the answer is receiving Jesus in Holy Communion with lively faith and a burning love.
The mind is one of the most noble gifts and faculties that God has bestowed on every human person. The mind contains memory, understanding and imagination. These are the three specific faculties present in the mind.
Holy Communion can transform the whole mind, each of these three different faculties! Holy Communion is not a symbol that represents Jesus. Holy Communion truly and substantially is JESUS!!!! Let us analyze briefly what Holy Communion can do to transform our mind into the mind of Christ.
Our memory is weak, short-lived, tormented with past ugly memories that never seems to leave us at peace. Why not try this! Next time you receive Jesus in Holy Communion beg the Lord to purify your memory of past hurts and ugly images; beg the Lord to fill you with a bright light in your memory. Beg the Lord that with this Holy Communion your memory will only retain the good and repel and reject the evil. In other words, beg the Lord that all the good influences would be absorbed and retained like a sponge; and beg the Lord that all evil influences would be repelled like water bouncing off a rock!
How often have we read something, heard a lecture or conference, or even listened to a conversation and our understanding did not kick into gear? The message seemed to be murky, unclear and confused! Why? Due to the simple fact that as a result of Original Sin our mind and understanding have been damaged— not destroyed but impaired! In Holy Communion we receive the “Total Christ”. Why not beg Jesus next time you receive Holy Communion to give you His Mind with His understanding. One of the effects that this will produce in us is a more keen and penetrating understanding of the truth. You will notice, as a result of frequent and well-prepared Holy Communions, that a light bulb will be turned on in your mind giving you certain insights that you never had before. Why? Because Holy Communion truly gives you the Mind of Jesus, with His brilliant understanding.
In the Marian classic, True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort expresses an earnest appeal to Our Lady related to the imagination: “O Mary, check our wandering imagination…” Saint Teresa of Avila calls the imagination “La loca de la casa.” — Literally, the “Mad woman of the house”.Why? Very simply, the imagination can run wild in any time and in any place. It can be compared to a spoiled and untrained child or even a wild animal left at large! Our imagination is neutral! It can be used for great evil—as in the case of willfully recalling and pondering pornographic images. However, on the contrary, St. Ignatius exhorts us to use our imagination to enter into the lives of Mary and Jesus and to become part of His life — all be means of training the imagination! St. Ignatius calls this the prayer of “Contemplation”.
This being said, upon receiving Holy Communion, not only do we receive the Mind of Jesus, the Understanding of Jesus, but also we receive the IMAGINATION of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Indeed only Jesus can help us to overcome our sinfulness in thought, word, deed and omission. Upon receiving Holy Communion the “mad man of the house calms down” and a more peaceful and controlled thought process in the imagination takes over!
The greatest action that the human person can do on earth is to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. Saint Paul says: “Put on the mind of Christ; you have the mind of Christ.” Why not start today to aim at the habit of frequent, well-prepared and fervent reception of Holy Communion. Holy Communion is truly the total Christ— His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
This includes His Sacred Mind, with the three specific faculties: memory, understanding and will. Try it! You will never regret it! Not only will you put on the mind of Christ; rather, you actually will have the mind of Christ. As St. Augustine highlights, Our Lady first conceived Jesus in her mind and then in her body. May Our Lady, who pondered the word of God in her mind, attain for us an ardent yearning to receive her Beloved Son so as to have truly the Sacred mind of Jesus!
image: Empress Zoe Mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul/ Shutterstock