A great book that explains many of the mysteries of the Eucharist that the average layman might not know. This is a great book for anyone who wants to increase in their spiritual life, an get the msot out of Holy Communion. There are not much books that speak so eloquently, precisely, and back up statements through the book by using both new and old Catholic references. These include the Holy Bible, The Council of Trent, Vatican II, The Early Church Fathers, The Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, and many more.
This is by far one of the best books I have read regarding the Holy Eucharist, besides probably Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper. The 7 secrets of the Eucharist is not precisely an apologetical book, nor a concise treatise on the Eucharist, and for that reason might not be the ideal book to give to a Non-Catholic.
Rather the book is a spiritual book on living out the mysteries of Holy Communion. For that reason altogether, the book is not about seven actual “secrets”, but rather 7 mysteries that the average layman might not know.
In chapter 5 ” We Don’t Just Receive”, Vinney Flynn states that we don’t just receive the host when we eat it, we become the host. This is the theological process of divinization, the partaking of the divinity of Christ. What this means is that Christ comes to us through Holy Communion, but we also come to him by a sacred union through the Eucharist. For this it only makes sense that we become more like Christ.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (JN 6:56)
Although I had learned the basics of divinization a while back, this chapter helped emphasize what divinization (deification) means.
Chapter 6 was also really good, as it put light on the fact that we ought to examine ourselves before we receive Holy Communion. Vinney flynn quotes Church Fathers, saints, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Holy Bible, and the council of Trent to illustrate the necessity of examining one’s conscience before partaking in Holy Communion. A couple of them include:
Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A pereson should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. (1 Cor 11:27-29)
I bessech, beg, and implore that one one draw near to this sacred table with a sullied and corrupt conscience. Such an act, in fact, can never be called “communion”, not eve nwere we to touch the Lord’s body a thousand times over, but “condemnation”, “torment,”, and “increase of punishment.”
The last Chapter 7 was personally my favorite, and I think it was stellar. It describes the fact that although the church only allows us two times a day to receive Holy Communion sacramentally, that does not mean that we can’t take Holy Communion spiritually. This includes the desire of receiving the Eucharist, and of constantly going before the Blessed Sacrament. This practice of spiritual communion builds up our sacramental Communion.
I like the fact that the book uses a lot of different references, including The Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, The Council of Trent, Thomas Aquinas, the Church Fathers, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as that of Vatican II. Many recent Catholic apologists have recently only referred back to the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as Vatican II. It’s not that this is a bad thing, but rather it is a great thing that Vinny Flyyn adds a lot more variety of references including the early Church Fathers, as well as Thomas Aquinas.