Book Review: Divine Love made Flesh: The Eucharist as the Sacrament of Charity by Raymond Cardinal Burke

From the opening words of this inspirational book it is clear that Cardinal Burke wants the reader to comprehend the most wondrous aspects of the most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.  He helps us understand why the Eucharist is so important to our faith, being as Pope John Paul II defined it, the “source and summit” of what it means to be Catholic.  But at a more profound level, Cardinal Burke captures the immensity of Christ’s love, poured out on the Cross at Calvary and repeated on the altar as we partake of the most precious body and blood of Our Lord.

Cardinal Burke tells us that the sacrament is both the unity of the Church and Its charity because, in the final analysis, the sacrament is Christ who is unity, divine love and mercy.  Cardinal Burke helps us plumb the depths of this truth to an extent I would never have imagined possible.

This small book is a love story shared from the heart of a man who exemplifies devotion to Christ in the Eucharist in a way few American prelates have ever exhibited.  While he shares his thoughts about  the meaning of two of the Church’s most inspiring encyclical letters, Pope John Paul II’s Ecclesia de Eucharistia and Pope Benedict VI’s Sacramentum Caritatis, the point is that without a profound inner experience of the divine, nobody could have treated this subject with such devout love as that which Cardinal Burke conveys on every page.

For example, the Cardinal tells us “I can honestly say that the day of my First Holy Communion has been the point of reference for my whole life in the Church.”  This is made manifest as Cardinal Burke shares the truth that, if not for the Body and Blood of Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, there would be no need for the sacrament of Holy Orders.  He explains how important it is for a man considering the priesthood to fully discern the meaning of his vocation. Only then can he fully participate in the enormous responsibility of taking Christ’s place on the altar during Mass and tending the flock consigned to his loving care by Christ.

This volume is rich in inspiring quotes that should be absorbed and reflected upon frequently.  It inspired in me a renewal of my own commitment to Christ.  Contemplating the true meaning of the Eucharist reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice for us  as well as His call to be His witnesses in this life, no matter what the cost.

Cardinal Burke shares  Pope Benedict’s wisdom, reminding the reader that while we do not anticipate being put to death for our faith, “we know that worship pleasing to God demands that we should be inwardly prepared for it.”

This book is a testimony to the insights of a man of God who loves Christ more than life itself.  In times like these when so much is uncertain, there is no doubt about the truth contained in and made manifest in the Blessed Sacrament.

Cardinal Burke’s testimony to the love of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is desperately needed today.  Read this book! Contemplate the love Christ has for you alone, and you too will be moved to tears.  We are the most fortunate people in the whole world; we are Catholics who experience Christ, receive Christ and adore Christ as our own source and summit of faith, the divine solution to every problem ever imagined by mortal human beings.

God bless Cardinal Burke for bringing this message to life in such an inspiring way.