St. Bonaventure tells how Francis of Assisi "burned with love for the Sacrament of our Lord's Body with all his heart, and was lost in wonder at the thought of such condescending love, such loving condescension. He received Holy Communion often and so devoutly that he roused others to devotion too. The presence of the Immaculate Lamb used to take him out of himself, so that he was often lost in ecstasy."

Of this continuing condescension Francis says, "Every day he humbles himself just as he did when he came from his heavenly throne into the Virgin's womb; every day he comes to us and lets us see his abjection, when he descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar. He shows himself to us in this sacred bread just as he once appeared to his apostles in real flesh. With their own eyes they saw only flesh, but they believed that he was God, because they contemplated him with the eyes of the spirit. We, too, with our own eyes, see only bread and wine, but we must see further and firmly believe that this is his most holy Body and Blood, living and true."

For Francis his love for the Eucharist was intimately connected to his love for the incarnation of God through Jesus Christ. To believe in one led ultimately to the belief in the other. This belief was centered on the assurance that God loves us so much that He comes into the world He created to save it. He took on flesh to save all flesh. This belief was not mere speculation for Francis. It was a mystical fire that burned within his whole soul, and this fire did not destroy, it saved.

The Fire of God
John Michael Talbot