Consider that an innocent soul is the dwelling-place of God, and that in Comunion it becomes in a particular manner the abode of Jesus Christ. In the words of St. Paul it can exclaim: "I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. ii. 20). Yes, Jesus is at home in an innocent soul, there He finds His delight and there He desires to remain for ever. To commit a sin, a mortal sin, and voluntarily to continue in this dreadful state is to admit the devil into our soul, it is to make him our master in the place of Jesus, who at once departs, driven out ignominiously and complaining in the words of Isaias: "To whom have you likened me and made me equal, and compared me?" And whilst Satan chains down this poor soul and makes it his slave, Jesus stands at the door, lovingly knocks, and breathes forth these touching reproaches: "What more could I do for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee a most beautiful vine; and thou hast proved exceeding bitter to me." "I shed for thee my blood even to the last drop, and what has it profited thee? I nourished thee with my own flesh, and thou hast despised, persecuted, and betrayed me. O all you that pass by the way of life, attend and see, if there be any sorrow like to the sorrow that my Heart feels at such base ingratitude. Guilty soul, if thou didst know the gift of God, if thou didst know who I am, and what I give to those who open their hearts to me." "No;" answers the sinful soul, "no, I will not have Thee to reign over me." Oh! what a cause of anguish for the tender Heart of Jesus! How this cruel thorn must make His divine Heart to bleed. "Is there no one," does He exclaim, "who will take pity on me, and will compassionate my grief, in the miserable state to which sinners have reduced me, above all in these present times?"
To this cry of distress, Christians, let us answer with words of love and reparation. Let us hasten to our Savior’s aid, let us by our prayers, our alms, and our communions, convert sinners. St. Teresa never ceased to pray for them; she continually asked Jesus Christ for souls; and we read in her life that one day when she was praying with greater fervor, she uttered so powerful a cry, so vehement a prayer from the depths of her heart, that the heavenly Spouse was touched, and revealed to her that by her petition she had just saved six thousand souls, who owed to her their salvation and whom she would one day see in heaven. Let us also ask the Heart of Jesus for souls: Give me souls. If we could but save one, only one, ours also would be saved, we should give joy to the angels, we should console the Heart of Jesus. What a happiness and what a reward! Souls, my God! give me souls, and keep all things else. Eternal Father, look on the face of Jesus, and transform all poor sinners into saints!
During the siege of Metz in 1870, a brave captain of artillery was carried wounded to the ambulance. "Surgeon," he said, "do with me what you will, but save my life. I have a wife and children, I cannot, I will not die!" Alas! all was of no use, and it was necessary to prepare for that last great journey; but the poor man was obdurate and would not put his conscience in order. Who was there to have pity on this soul and save it from the eternal abyss? Another captain of artillery, a fervent Christian, determined to render him this important service. He put on his uniform as if to pay him a visit, and approaching the bed of the dying man, said to him with tears in his eyes: "Come, my dear fellow, a soldier ought to know how to die; give your poor wife and children the only comfort which is left to them, namely, that of knowing you died as a good Christian." He then insisted that the dying man should no longer put off his religious duties, and remained with him until the priest arrived to hear his confession. Reconciled to God, and fortified with the sacraments of the Church, the dying man exclaimed in the fulness of his joy: "I am happy, I am ready for the great review. I shall go up there unburdened and decorated; all is in order." He then kissed with a lively faith a medal of the Sacred Heart, which he had received at Rome from the hands of the sovereign Pontiff, saying: "I have never left off wearing this medal, Father; when I am dead, be so good as to send it to my wife, it will be my last remembrance, my last fare well." Thus was a sinner saved by a pious friend having pity on him, and bringing him back to the fold of Christ. Oh! if we did but know the value of souls, if we did but know the desires of the Heart of Jesus!
Lord Jesus, pardon the numberless Christians who disown Thy love, refuse to serve Thee, and despise Thy commandments and those of Thy Church. Pardon the unhappy sinners who voluntarily remain in this wretched state, forget their ingratitude and hard-heartedness open Thy adorable Heart, so that copious streams of grace, mercy, and pardon may flow from It. Amen.
Make a diligent examination of conscience and confess your sins as soon as possible.