Church FathersThe eucharistic sacrifice is offered to proclaim the death of the Lord and to be a commemoration of him who laid down his life for us.

He himself has said: A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.

So, since Christ died for us, out of love, it follows that, when we offer the sacrifice in commemoration of his death, we are asking for love to be given us by the coming of the Holy Spirit.

We beg and we pray that just as through love Christ deigned to be crucified for us, so we may receive the grace of the Holy Spirit.

And we ask that by that grace the world should be a dead thing in our eyes and we should be dead to the world, crucified and dead.

We pray that we should imitate the death of our Lord. Christ, when he died, died, once for all, to sin, so his life now is life with God.

We pray, therefore, that in imitating the death of our Lord we should walk in newness of life, dead to sin and living for God.

The love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been sent to us.

When we share in the Lord’s body and blood, when we eat his bread and drink his cup, this truly means that we die to the world and have our hidden life with Christ in God, crucifying our flesh and its weaknesses and its desires.

Thus it is that all the faithful who love God and their neighbour drink the cup of the Lord’s love even if they do not drink the cup of bodily suffering.

Soaked through with that drink, they mortify the flesh in which they walk this earth. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ like a cloak, their desires are no longer those of the body.

They do not contemplate what can be seen but what is invisible to the eyes.

This is how the cup of the Lord is drunk when divine love is present. But, without that love, you may even give your body to be burned and still it will do you no good.

What the gift of love gives us is the chance to become in truth what we celebrate as a mystery in the sacrifice.

Fulgentius of Ruspe (462/467—527/533): Against Fabian, from the Office of Readings for Monday in the 28th week in Ordinary Time @ Crossroads Initiative.