Thrusday after the feast of the most Holy Trinity
Let us prepare for union
Presence of God
O Jesus, grant that I may derive great prof it from the grace of union with You, which You offer me daily in Holy Communion.
I. The Eucharist unites us to Christ directly; this physical union is the same for all who partake of His Body and Blood. However, it does not produce the same effects in everyone. This is so true that the Sacrament may even become a cause of damnation for those who approach it unworthily : Whosoever shall eat this bread or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, says St. Paul, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself (1Co. 11, 27-29). But even in those who receive worthily, the effects of the Eucharist are different, for they are always proportioned to the excellence and perfection of one’s interior dispositions.
Jesus penetrates me, transforming me into Himself only in the measure that I place no obstacles in His way, and insofar as I am disposed to receive the special grace of the Eucharist, the grace of union with Christ. Although the physical union with Jesus offered to me in Holy Communion is a tremendous gift, it is, nonetheless, directed to my spiritual union with Him and to my transformation in Him by love. The more perfect the dispositions with which I approach the Holy Table, the more complete this union and transformation will be. These dispositions consist in preparing my heart for an ever greater union with the Lord, a union which requires conformity of aspirations, tastes, sentiments, and wills. How can I enjoy the visit of a friend and spend moments of sweet intimacy with him, moments of real union, if differences of desires, affections, and will separate us? This, then, will be the best preparation for my Communion : to rid myself of everything in my life, no matter how trivial it may be, that might be in disagreement with the divine will, with the sentiments and dispositions of the heart of Jesus. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Fp. 2, 5), St. Paul tells me; this must be the program of my remote preparation for Holy Communion.
II. In order that the Eucharist may produce its full fruit in me and be the occasion of very close, intimate union with Jesus, it is not enough, as St. Augustine says, for me to eat His Body materially; I also need to eat it spiritually, that is, my spirit must be well disposed and prepared to receive the Body of Christ, to let itself be invaded and transformed by Christ. If when Jesus comes to me, He finds my heart, will, affections and sentiments entirely conformed to His own, nothing can prevent Him from giving Himself to me in the most complete manner. His spirit. His life, His divinity will penetrate the innermost fibres of my being and transform me into Him. Then I shall be able to say in all truth with St. Paul : I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me (Gl. 2, 20).
When I receive Holy Communion, my heart must be enlarged by love, so that it will be wide open for the coming of Jesus, and ready to let itself be penetrated and transformed by Him. In addition to the physical presence of Jesus, and because of this presence, each Communion brings me a new increase of grace and charity, but even this increase will be in proportion to my capacity for receiving it. If my heart is closed by selfishness and pride, if it is bound by attachment to creatures, or is too much engrossed by worldly affections and affairs, it will be unable to make room for an increase of divine love, and Jesus will be, so to speak, forced to lessen the outpouring of His charity and to diminish His gifts. Yes, in Holy Communion, Jesus gives Himselfcompletely—His entire Person as God and Man—and He unites Himself entirely to me; but, if I do not give myself entirely to Him, He cannot wholly pour Himself into me, as a friend into the heart of a faithful friend. Every day Jesus offers me in Holy Communion an actual grace to love Him more, to unite myself more closely to Him. Every day I must offer Him a heart always more open to love and union. Intense acts of faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist will help to arouse my love and make me actually love Him, and precisely during this actuality of love, Jesus will pour out the increase of His charity, the living flame of His infinite love.
O my soul, when you receive Holy Communion, try to reanimate your faith, do all you can to detach yourself from exterior things and retire with the Lord into the interior of your being where you know He is abiding. Collect your senses and make them understand the great good they are enjoying, or rather, try to recollect them so that they may not hinder you from understanding it. Imagine yourself at Our Lord’s feet, and weep with Magdalen exactly as if you were seeing Him with your bodily eyes in the house of the Pharisee. These moments are very precious; the Master is teaching you now; listen to Him, kiss His feet in gratitude for all He has condescended to do for you, and beg Him to remain always with you. Even should you be deprived of sensible devotion, faith will not fail to assure you that Our Lord is truly within you.
If I do not want to act like a senseless person who shuts his eyes to the light, I can have no doubt on this point. O my Jesus, this is not a work of the imagination, as when I imagine You on the Cross or in some other mystery of Your Passion, where I picture the scene as it took place. Here, it concerns Your real presence; it is an undeniable truth. O Lord, when I receive Holy Communion, I do not have to go far to find You; as long as the accidents of bread are not consumed, You are within me! And if, during Your mortal life, You healed the sick by a mere touch of Your garments, how, if I have faith, can I doubt that You will work miracles, when You are really present within me? Oh, yes! when You are in my house You will listen to all my requests, for it is not Your custom to pay badly for the lodging given You, if I offer you good hospitality!
O Lord, if a soul receives Communion with good dispositions, and if, wishing to drive out all coldness, it remains for some time with You, great love for You will burn within it and it will retain its warmth for many hours (T.J. Way, 34-35).
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