The Holy Eucharist is Not Loved

Only a few years ago it was revealed that 69 percent of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This disturbing statistic led the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to initiate a Eucharistic Revival. This July 17th to July 21st, thousands of Catholics will flock to Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress. Although the above statistic is shocking to many, it would not have been to St. Peter Julian Eymard, “the Apostle of the Eucharist.” He also lived in a time of Eucharistic disbelief, during nineteenth-century France. Here is what he had to say:

Alas! It is but too true: our Lord in the most Blessed Sacrament is not loved! He is not loved by the millions of pagans, by the millions of Jews and infidels, by the millions of schismatics and heretics who either know nothing of the Eucharist or have wrong notions of it.

Even among Catholics, few, very few love Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. How many think of Him frequently, speak of Him, come to adore Him and receive Him? What is the reason for this forgetfulness and coldness? Oh! They have never tasted the Eucharist, its sweetness, the delights of its love!1

French Catholic Philosopher León Bloy once said that “the only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life is not to become a saint.” This is really the second greatest tragedy. The greatest tragedy in life is that Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is not loved. Yes, very few Catholics love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Even St. Francis of Assisi, one of the greatest lovers of the Holy Eucharist, recognized this truth in his day. He proclaimed frequently throughout the countryside, “Love is not loved! Love is not loved!” Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is not loved by the world and is not loved enough by us!

One of the root causes for our Eucharist indifference is that “we ignore or do not sufficiently look into the sacrifices made by His love for our sake,”2 according to St. Peter Julian Eymard. To spur us onto gratitude, we must remember that “it cost our Savior the whole Passion to institute the Eucharist.”3 Let me repeat that it again…it cost Jesus every drop of blood to give us the Holy Eucharist!  “What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!”

Specifically, Jesus’ agony in the garden, His crowning of thorns, His scourging at the pillar, His carrying of the Cross, His abandonment by His closest friends, and His most brutal hanging on the Cross were done to show me His love, which is perpetuated in the Holy Eucharist until the end of the world. Our Lord died for each of us, so that we could receive Him in the Holy Eucharist. He sought nothing for Himself and yet we have loved Him so little.

If we treated our human friends the way we treated the Holy Eucharist, we would have very few. We rarely visit or think about the Holy Eucharist because we don’t have time. When we are before our Eucharistic Lord, we seldom listen, but always do the talking. We ask Him to give us things, but rarely do we ask Him what He needs. Sadly, we do not seek to console His wounds but instead ask that He consoles ours. Our love is cold, impatient, and selfish. During Mass or our Holy Hour, we are frequently distracted and anxious about our future tasks. And yet, our best friend, our Eucharistic Lord, never leaves us and blesses our imperfect love. He looks with infinite love on us, lavishes copious graces, and makes excuses for us before the Heavenly Father by offering His wounds.

Jesus remains a prisoner in the tabernacle, waiting at every moment for our visits. The length of time does not matter to the Lord—He just wants to see us. And yet, we are the ones who are truly imprisoned. We are imprisoned by our own fears, insecurities, sufferings, sorrows, selfishness, and sins. If only we would visit Jesus more often, we would begin to taste the sweetness and delights of Heaven, for only the Holy Eucharist can fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts. Only the Holy Eucharist can answer the deepest questions and problems that our world faces.

Although millions of souls do not love the Holy Eucharist, our love can make reparation for them. Let us love the Holy Eucharist with an even greater ardor for those whose hearts have become forgetful and cold toward Him.

Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash

1St. Peter Julian Eymard, The Real Presence: Eucharistic Meditations (New York: The Sentinel Press, 1938), 148.

2St. Peter Julian Eymard, The Real Presence: Eucharistic Meditations (New York: The Sentinel Press, 1938), 150-151.

3St. Peter Julian Eymard, The Real Presence: Eucharistic Meditations (New York: The Sentinel Press, 1938), 151.

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Patrick O'Hearn is a husband and father. He has authored seven books including the Parents of the Saints, The Shepherd at the Crib and the Cross, Courtship of the Saints, The Grief of Dads, Go and Fear Nothing, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Nursery of Heaven (available this August from Sophia Institute Press). He was a contributor to Fr. Don Calloway’s latest book, 30 Day Eucharistic Revival. His subjects of interest include the lives of the saints and the interior life. He holds a Master's in Education from Franciscan University. You can visit his website at

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