The Holy Bread of Eternal Life

Restoring Eucharistic Reverence in an Age of Impiety

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Recent decades have been marred by pervasive Eucharistic abuse, from violations of liturgical norms and rubrics to practices that encourage irreverence and facilitate habitual sacrilege. The coronavirus crisis in 2020 has occasioned a further wave of sacramental manipulation, desacralization, and deprivation that has left almost no Catholic in the world unharmed. 

These disturbing “signs of the times” call for an unsparing reassessment of official and unofficial policies, practices, customs, and attitudes, along with fresh appreciation for “creative minorities” that are taking a different, more difficult, and more successful path to reverence. 

The Holy Bread of Eternal Life is a powerful and timely book by scholar Peter Kwasniewski that exalts the divine gift of the Blessed Sacrament, which can never be too much adored, too much loved, too much cared for, or too much sacrificed for. 

Drawing on both Testaments, the Fathers of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Magisterium, Kwasniewski describes the fitting veneration and handling of this “mystery of faith” past and present, the dispositions we need to cultivate for a fruitful reception of the Lord, and the blessings that follow from a life centered on Holy Communion. At the same time, the book critiques many novelties in modern Catholic worship and shows why they must be set aside for the health of souls and the Church. 

There is far more at stake in today’s debates concerning Holy Communion than what preferences should be indulged or slip-ups tolerated. At stake is whether we truly believe in Jesus Christ, our God, our Savior, our Friend, and our Judge, really present in the Eucharist; whether we acknowledge and accept His lordship over us in every aspect of what we do and say; and whether we will act, react, worship, and pray in a manner consistent with true belief.

Michael D.  O'Brien photo

"This luminous and lucid book should be given to every bishop and pastor in the world; indeed, it would be of immense benefit to every Catholic believer, if he would but read it with prayerful attentiveness."

Michael D. O'Brien
Scott Hahn photo

"This book is admirable biblical theology after the pattern of St. Thomas Aquinas."

Scott Hahn
Peter Kreeft photo

"What a beautiful book about the ‘Beauty so ancient yet ever new’! It surprised me by showing me, in a way that was powerfully new by being powerfully old, the centrality of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist; that nothing could be a more potent hidden weapon for revitalizing the Church, the culture, and the world than revitalized Eucharistic devotion; and that nothing could weaken these mission fields of the ‘new evangelization’ more than its weakening. "

Peter Kreeft
Fr. Gerald E. Murray, JCD photo

"Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has written an important book that sets forth in clear and compelling arguments the need, and the way, to restore in the Church the due reverence and honor that we owe to Our Lord Jesus Christ, really, truly, and substantially present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. "

Fr. Gerald E. Murray, JCD
Dan  Burke photo

"My prayer is that you will read and absorb the wisdom in Dr. Kwasniewski’s passionate and illuminating book, and then act with all the vigilance and personal commitment possible to fight against this most grave evil of our time. If we do this together, we will see a renewal of the Church and the societies in which faithful Catholics live and worship. "

Dan Burke
  • Pages: 336
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook, Sale-priced set
  • ISBN: 978-1-64413-433-7
  • Product Code: 4337
  • Availability: In Stock
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A program for restoration
I expect only scholarly - yet accessible - work from Dr. Kwasniewski and this book does not disappoint. It is also a book in which the author's deep love for the Sacred Liturgy and, in particular, his faith in the Real Presence are expressed persuasively. Many good catholics are not aware of the damage done to their faith by the liturgical practices in, perhaps, the majority of their parishes. If they were to read this book, it would educate them and transform the way they attend Mass, and perhaps lead them to be more discerning in where they attend. This is an essential read for priests who wish to lead their parishioners in the restoration of Eucharistic reverence.
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A Catholic Treasure
Dr. Kwasniewski is indefatigable; easily one of the most prolific, and necessary, Catholic writers today. In this recent work Dr. Kwasniewski has offered a profound elucidation on a most profound subject: The Holy Eucharist. This book is relentless in applying Eucharistic teaching to a litany of modern crises encountered. It is filled with personal challenges – such as bidding us not give in to consequentialism (e.g. accepting improper ways of receiving Holy Communion in order to “get” the Sacrament). It is heartbreaking – such as the chilling chapter detailing observed profanations made by extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. And it is heartwarming – such as the section expressing how Jesus, hidden away in yet another locked church, pines for us to visit Him and to find rest. One can use this book to learn (a great deal) about the Holy Eucharist. And then, one can use this book as a devotional for adoring the Holy Eucharist. I wholeheartedly recommend The Holy Bread of Eternal Life: Restoring Eucharistic Reverence in an Age of Impiety.
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A Must Read
Impressive in its intellectual depth and range, and imbued throughout with wisdom and keen insight, this brilliant book is one of the most important contributions to its subject in at least a generation. There is simply no modern equal to Professor Kwasniewski's THE HOLY BREAD OF ETERNAL LIFE. It is a unique and comprehensive treatise on the restoration of Eucharistic reverence in our present age of catechetical ambiguity and spiritual laziness. This book will long be recognized as an important opus that makes a genuine contribution to the science of this study, making it indispensable for anyone concerned about confronting the present day "uglification of the liturgy" and "minimalistic piety" shown towards the Blessed Eucharistic. I found the book an easy read, most enjoyable while giving clear and rigorous argument, with many golden nuggets to ponder and share with others. In short, I highly recommend this brilliant, imaginative and illuminating book. As long as the subject is discussed, I believe this book is a must on every Catholic shelf. Hopefully it will be translated into multiple languages, including Italian, French and German. Catholics need to continue this important discussion now, before we lose another generation. Many thanks to the author for this admirable book, which comes at the opportune time in which we live, a time of genuine restoration and authentic spiritual and liturgical renewal, a time of great discernment and hope.
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Send a copy to every German bishop
As with Dr Kwaśniewski's previous works, this book hits it out of the park. He's written extensively on the need for holy and reverent liturgy, but this latest book goes directly to the heart of the matter: WHY, precisely, all of that matters: because the Mass is the once and eternal sacrifice of Cavalry, the unbloody re-presentation of Christ's bloody sacrifice on the Cross. If our liturgies were nothing more than Protestant praise and worship services, perhaps the fog machines and wacky antics wouldn't be so out of place, nor so objectionable. But the Holy Mass is not just one other denominational "worship service" among many: it is the highest of the sacraments, and the most real manifestation of the physical Lord to us in the Church Militant. Truly, this is a book that Pope Pius X, devoted promoter of Eucharistic piety, would recommend if he were reigning today (though if he were, I suspect this kind of book would be superfluous!). As always, Dr. Kwaśniewski masterfully blends "high" theology with "low" popular piety, both being essential to a full and complete theoretical understanding, and practical treatment, of the Eucharist. In a number of chapters, the author makes a convincing case that because we believe X (the True Presence, with all its wonderful implications), we must put into practice the devotional custom of Y (say, kneeling and receiving on the tongue). A great pairing of theory and practice. The book's message is aimed not only at those Catholics who have an incomplete understanding of the Eucharist, but also at traditionalists, probably all of whom are fully cognizant of, and unreservedly assent to, the Church's perennial teaching on the Eucharist. Nevertheless, Dr. Kwaśniewski challenges even these Catholics: do your actions, demeanor, and interior spiritual life reflect your understanding of what the Eucharist is? There is a call here to go even beyond the kneeling-and-tongue, which he presents as the bare minimum, the sine qua non. We must go beyond that, and reflect on the extent to which we are making proper use of the designated periods of offertory and thanksgiving during, before, and after Mass. I myself have been receiving on the tongue for years even before finding the Latin Mass, but this book challenged me to go beyond that, and to really focus on what it is I am doing at each and every Mass where I receive. He mentions practices such as Eucharistic fasting (recommended by Pope Benedict XVI), reverting to a three-hour or post-midnight fast before Mass, and especially, in perhaps the most beautiful chapter of the book, regular visits to our Lord in Adoration. Not all of the book is easy reading, however. The chapter on so-called "extraordinary ministers" was frankly bone-chilling and nauseating. I won't repeat any of the horror stories he details, but please know that for Catholics who love our Lord in the Eucharist, his descriptions of post-conciliar liturgical abuse are physically difficult to read. In only one area would I respectfully disagree with the author, and that is on the question of mask-wearing at church. I agree EMPHATICALLY that the government has no right whatsoever to restrict, in any way, the public worship of the Catholic Church, and encourage everyone to read the fantastic defenses of underground Masses, etc., that many integralist writers have penned over the last year. I also agree, to the fullest extent, that the indefinite suspension of Mass on the part of the episcopacy was a mortal crime against the faithful that will not go unnoticed when these faithless bishops go their judgments. But it's a bridge too far for me to follow the author's logic that wearing masks in church (to be fair, he only explicitly mentions the MANDATORY wearing of masks, but the train of thought can be extrapolated) is somehow evil or antithetical to our notion of a community, especially when it is, in my opinion, a reasonable request from a lawful ecclesial authority. This isn't the place to discuss the efficacy, etc., of masks, as neither I nor Dr Kwaśniewski are scientists, but I will say that I thought the attack on masks was a bit overstated. But I once again emphasize my supreme and utter repugnance at the very idea of keeping the faithful out of churches, or at limited sizes, worst of all when these crimes are perpetrated not by governors, but by bishops. The author makes the fantastic point that if we do not mandate the closing of the grocery stores whence we procure our physical food, how can we even imagine closing the churches where we procure our heavenly food? Dr. Kwaśniewski's book is a needed antidote to that kind of thinking.
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Life-Giving Book
Always makes us authentic disciples when we know why we do what we do. A great book to properly dispose our heart, mind and body before the Living Bread. Thanks Peter!
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Holy Bread of Eternal Life Set bundle

Holy Bread of Eternal Life Set

Learn more about the battles raging around you- some against the Eucharist and your own soul.

$24.99

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