St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom testify to having seen at the time of Mass, or when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, many hosts of Angels in human form, clothed with white garments and standing round the altar as soldiers stand before their king. But what was their attitude and deportment? Their heads were bowed, their faces covered, their hands crossed, and the whole body so profoundly inclined as to express the deepest sense of their own unworthiness to appear before the Divine Majesty. Oh, would we but think of this! The Angels, those pure spirits, shrink before the infinite Holiness of God, and we allow vain, worldly and even sinful thoughts to insinuate themselves into our minds in His Presence!

The Angels tremble before His Greatness, and we fear not to talk and laugh in His Presence! The Angels, those princes of Heaven, are all humility and modesty, and we, the dust of the earth and miserable sinners, all impertinence and pride! The Angels veil their faces before His splendor, and we do not even so much as cast down our eyes, but rudely stare and gaze around! The Angels bow down to the earth, and we will not bend our knee! The Angels, full of awe, fold their hands upon their breasts, and we allow ourselves every freedom of attitude and movement! Oh, what a subject of confusion! What humiliating reflections! What an impressive lesson!

It is Jesus our Saviour who remains enclosed in the tabernacle, and who is lifted on high in the monstrance. It is the true Eternal God whom we receive in Communion. We must show by our works that we believe this.

We are bound at least to avoid offending our Divine Lord and dishonoring Him to His face. We are bound, when about to receive Holy Communion, carefully to prepare ourselves by a good Confession and thus avoid the dreadful peril of receiving Him in a state of mortal sin. We are bound to lay aside all unbecoming attire and scandalous behavior, especially in the House of God, and to be modest, reverent, and humble in attitude and deportment. We ought to regard all our members as in some way consecrated by Jesus Christ, whom we so often receive, or at least to whom we visit in the Church.

One day He will throw off His disguise and appear in His heavenly might and splendor. Oh, how happy will they be then who have kept Him company in His humiliation! They will not be confounded, but will "stand before Him with great constancy." They will "see His face" and rejoice forevermore.

(Excerpts from: The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure; by Fr. Michael Müller, C.S.S.R.)