Monsignor Charles M. Mangan asked his friend, Father Zuhlsdorf, to share these Ten Commandments of Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament with his readers. They have been reposted below with the hope and prayer that they may reach and inspire as many hearts as possible. The original post with Fr Z’s comments can be read here.
1. Attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, even daily if possible.
2. Prepare well for every Mass by: abstaining from food and drink (medicine and water may be taken) for at least one hour before receiving Holy Communion; going to Confession to a priest and stating any and all mortal sins that you have not confessed before (a mortal sin is a thought, word, desire or action that concerns grave matter carried out with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will); praying before Holy Mass and performing acts of charity and self-denial Furthermore, only those persons who are practicing Catholics, who believe as the Church does regarding the Most Holy Eucharist and whose marriages are recognized as valid by the Holy Catholic Church may receive Holy Communion.
3. Genuflect when entering and leaving the Church and whenever passing before the Tabernacle or the Altar on which the Body and Blood of Christ rest. Dress modestly—avoiding revealing and sloppy clothes—and do not chew gum. Speak accurately about the Most Holy Eucharist, never referring to It as “bread and wine.” And if you assist with the sacred music in your parish, do all you can to ensure that the texts reflect the truth about the Real Presence.
4. Refrain from useless chattering before the Tabernacle before, during and after the Holy Mass in order to adore Him and to concentrate attention on the Risen Lord Jesus. Talking unnecessarily in the holy presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament destroys a golden occasion to learn at the Feet of the Master.
5. Receive Holy Communion with joy and fervor. We receive Jesus on our tongues or, in a country where it is permitted by the Episcopal Conference, in our hands (a profound bow before receiving Holy Communion is very appropriate). When we receive Jesus on our tongues, we simply say “Amen” and permit the priest, deacon or installed acolyte to place Christ there. If we receive in the hand, then we make a throne for the Lord, placing our “stronger” hand on the bottom and our “weaker” hand on top. Proclaiming “Amen,” we receive the Host (rather than lunging for It), take a step to the side, stop and place the Host in our mouth using the stronger hand underneath. We must never receive the Sacred Host “on the run.”
6. Pass time with the Eucharistic Jesus outside of the Holy Mass. The Eucharist is always to be adored—before, during and after the Mass, whether exposed in the Monstrance or reposed in the Tabernacle.
7. Make frequent Spiritual Communions in which we invite the Lord into our souls in a similar manner as when we sacramentally receive Holy Communion. These may be made anytime and anywhere.
8. Cultivate a special relationship with Mary, the Woman of the Eucharist. Pray her Most Holy Rosary. Wear her Brown Scapular and her Miraculous Medal. Ask her for the virtue of chastity for yourself and in all your dealings with your neighbors. Purity is vital. If you fall grievously, go to Confession before receiving Holy Communion.
9. Develop a friendship with the Saints who are remembered for their incredible love for the Holy Eucharist. To become aware of their affection for Holy Communion stimulates our capacity to develop in love for and adoration of Our Eucharistic Jesus.
10. Request the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be offered for the living and the dead. There is no gift more beautiful and effective than the Holy Mass.