A few years ago, in the diocese of Avignon, in France, a pious practice was instituted, called the Communion of Reparation. Eagerly adopted by fervent Christians, and sanctioned by the greater number of the bishops of France, it was made known to the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX, who deigned to approve and enrich it with many indulgences. "The Communion of Reparation," he said, "is a divine work, destined to save society." More than a hundred thousand persons are enrolled as associates, and divided into sections of seven members; they communicate once in every week on a day assigned to each. These fervent souls offer to the King of kings, hidden under the Eucharistie veils, the tribute of homage and adoration which is refused Him by so many ungrateful men, and make reparation for the outrages committed against His love and majesty. They assume the office of comforter to Him who is the comforter of all the afflicted, and their mission is not limited to this, for, imitators of the boundless charity of that divine Master, they act as mediators between Him and guilty souls; they plead the cause of sinners, and offer themselves to Him as victims of expiation, to obtain their conversion and salvation. They are truly apostles and mediators, and by averting from the guilty the punishments of God’s justice, they draw down on their own hearts graces of divine mercy. How holy and glorious is this twofold mission, how it must console the adorable Heart of Jesus! Is it not what He asked Himself of His humble servant, Margaret Mary: "I enter into this heart of thine which I have given thee, so that by thy ardent love thou mayest make reparation for the injuries I receive from lukewarm and cowardly hearts, which dishonor me in the Blessed Sacrament."
Christians, let us joyfully enrol ourselves in this fervent band of the Communion of Reparation. Let us weep over the wounds inflicted on the Heart of our Master. Let us bewail the little love which is shown to Him, and on the day assigned to each, let us go to the holy table as victims consecrated to the glory of our Lord in the Sacrament of His love. Let us say to Him: Jesus! Thou art disowned by many, but I adore Thee; Thy sacred Body and Blood are despised, but I make them my nourishment, my drink, my delight. I beg forgiveness, my God, for those who love Thee not. Could I hold in my hands the hearts of men, I would cast them all into the furnace of Thy holy love. "Father, forgive them: spare, Lord, spare Thy people." It is Thy children s cry, the cry of love. Lord, Thou wilt hear it and grant pardon.
A zealous priest wrote as follows:
Our work of the Communion of Reparation makes rapid progress and produces abundant fruit. The communions of the associates are most efficacious in obtaining the conversion of sinners. An Englishman, a Protestant, who, on account of ill health, had taken up his abode in my parish, was reduced to the last extremity. I visited him and endeavored to persuade him to embrace the Catholic faith and thus secure his salvation. "I was born a Protestant," he replied, "and I will die a Protestant." Despairing of converting him by arguments, I assembled the associates of the Communion of Reparation, and I implored them to ask most earnestly of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the conversion of this poor invalid, who was on the point of dying in heresy and impenitence. The associates offered their communions and prayed much for him during that day, and when I went again to see him, he said, with a sweet smile : "I am convinced of the truth, I will become a Catholic." He made his abjuration in the presence of several witnesses, and received the Sacrament of Baptism with tears of joy. "Father," he said to me afterwards, "how happy and peaceful I feel; it seems as if I were returning to life." A few days later he received the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction with sentiments of the tenderest piety, and the archbishop administered to him the Sacrament of Confirmation. Is not this an example of the consoling fruits of the Communion of Reparation? Oh! may this admirable work be known and propagated everywhere.
O good and loving Heart of Jesus, we understand full well Thy sadness and sorrow! We will strive, henceforth, to offer Thee, by our fervent communions, our acts of reparation and our daily sacrifices, some small amends for the outrages Thou receivest from those who have been redeemed at the cost of Thy blood. Amen.
Make a Communion of Reparation each week on the same day other than Sunday. This is in addition to Sunday Mass.