The Most Holy Eucharist

Today, I’m writing a long overdue review of the book, The Most Holy Eucharist. It’s been off and on my shelf for at least three months,4906 and other commitments have kept me from it. That’s not a good excuse, I know. However, since I work with so many publishers, I try to spread out the reviews and only review one book per publisher per month. Sometimes, that’s not feasible or possible, but it’s the only fair solution I have come up with. That’s enough excuses, though. Let’s review this book!

The Most Holy Eucharist is a near 300 page tome aimed at increasing the readers’ love of both the Mass and the Eucharist. Though this book can be read like a textbook, it is not Fr. McGovern’s desire that you do so. You will also not glean as much beauty from the book that way either. Apart from the expected topics of Adoration and the Real Presence, the author also includes chapters on Eucharistic teachings from our two previous Holy Fathers, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. In these two chapters, it is very clear how central the Eucharist was to each of their lives. In fact, Pope John Paul II’s first encyclical stated that, “The Church lives by the Eucharist.”

Also of interest in this book is the mission of priesthood in Chapter 4. Though this is the shortest chapter in the book, it contains a powerful message to both the clergy and the laity. The chapter starts by talking about the priesthood of Jesus, and then it shifts to ministerial priesthood. It explains how the Eucharist is central to a priest’s life and how their main mission is to bring the Eucharist to the people. The chapter then quickly shifts to discussing the priesthood of the laity. This concept is either ignored or not understood by many in the Church, but it states that we too have a part in Christ’s redemptive mission. We must attend Mass reverently and participate fully. By doing so, we can offer our work and daily lives in reparation for the sins of the world.

After the chapter on priesthood, Chapter 6: “Devotion as Mass and Holy Communion” was the one which spoke to me the most. The chapter starts off by explaining why Sunday is holy and offering suggestions on ways to keep it holy. “John Paul II affirmed that Sunday should be arranged in such a way that it ‘allows people to take part in the Eucharist, refraining from work and activities, which are incompatible with the sanctification of the Lord’s Day, with its characteristic joy and necessary rest for spirit and body.’” I am guilty of not always resting on Sundays like I should, and I hope to improve that area in my life. This chapter also points out that the Eucharistic Celebration doesn’t end when Mass is over. We are called to evangelize the world like the Apostles did.

This was a profound book, which deepened both my love and understanding of the Eucharist. It is a book that I hope to visit again in more detail in the future and one that clergy and laity alike should read. If you are looking for a comprehensive reading on the Eucharist, this Fr. McGovern delivers. I only regret that I let it sit on my shelf this long and didn’t read it sooner. Don’t make the same mistake I did by letting the length of this book intimidate you, pick up a copy and dive in immediately. You won’t regret it!

 

By

Stuart Dunn is a native of Mobile, AL. He is a husband, father, convert, catechist, bookworm, and blogger. At his blog, Stuart’s Study, you will find him reviewing Catholic products of all types, but mainly books. He is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration.

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  • Lee

    Wouldn’t it be great if our churches created their own libraries with good Catholic reading for their parish members and students?Perhaps the laity would have better and less expensive access to literature that can open their eyes and hearts with better understanding of the Church history.

  • Michael J. Lichens

    The parish I was confirmed in had a fantastic little library. I think it shrank over time, but I always thought this would be a great idea. There are so many good and helpful books for it

  • Lee

    I guess I will have to start one in our churches! So much to appreciate in Catholic literature, specially our older reads.Thanks for your response.

  • JMC

    Sadly, not every parish has the space and/or funding to create such libraries. That being so, I highly recommend the e-library at the Crusaders of the Immaculate Heart website: op54rosary.ning.com. While some of the contributors to this site can be a bit “rad-trad” (the site is clearly down on the Novus Ordo Missae, but emphatically NOT sedevacantist), the library has some classics like “The Imitation of Christ” and the “Spiritual Exercises.” Another good source is NewAdvent.com, which has all the Church Fathers and a complete Catholic Encyclopedia, and I don’t mean the watered-down latest edition you can get at the bookstore. This site also has links to other sources. Yes, many of these books are old enough to be in the public domain, so as for any of the real gems that are being published today, we just have to save our pennies to buy them…if at all possible, in e-form, or I know I, for one, would be run out of my house by the stacks of books! ;D

  • Lee

    Thank you for your response.

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