This Sacrament should be received fasting. 3. Counc. of Carthag. can. 29. And so was the practice of the universal Church, sayes S. Aug. Epist. 118. which is authority enough, (in things of this nature, namely, circumstances of time, &c.) to satisfie any that do not love contention, 1 Cor. 11. 16. Yet it will not be amiss in a word to shew the reasonableness of this Catholick usage. And the first reason may be this, because our minds are clearest, our devotion quickest, and so we fittest to perform this most high service, when we are in our Virgin spittle, as Tertullian expresses it. A Second is this; it is for the honour of so high a Sacrament, that the precious body of Christ should first enter into the Christians mouth before any other meat. S. Aug. Ep. 118.
It is true, that our Saviour gave it to his Disciples after Supper; but dare any man quarrel the universal Church of Christ, for receiving it fasting? This also pleased the holy Ghost, that, for the honour of so great a Sacrament, the body of Christ should first enter into the Christians mouth, before all other meats. Neither, because our Saviour gave it to his Disciples after Supper, will it necessarily follow that we should receive it so, mingling the Sacrament with our other meats: a thing which the Apostle seems to reprehend, 1 Cor. 11. there was a special reason for our Saviours doing so, his Supper was to succeed immediately to the Passeover; and therefore as soon as that was over, he instituted his; and that he might the more deeply imprint the excellency of this mystery into the minds and hearts of his Disciples, he would give it them the last thing he did, before he went from them to his Passion, knowing that dying mens words move much: but he no where appointed what hour and time it should afterward be received; but left that to be ordered by them that were after his departure, to settle the Churches, namely, the Apostles, and accordingly we find S. Paul 1 Cor. 11. rectifying some abuses, and prescribing some rules for the better ordering of some Rites and Ceremonies about the Sacrament, and promising when he should come, to settle an order for the rest, verse 34. from whom S. Aug. seems to think that the Catholick Church received this custom of receiving the Sacrament fasting, Ep. 118.