Monday, June 29, 2009

The Twenty-Ninth Day of June

Second Means of Obtaining a Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Frequent Communion.

Devotion towards the Sacred Heart of Jesus is properly an exercise of love. It is enough, then to know what Holy Communion is to understand that there is no surer means of being soon inflamed with love for Jesus Christ than by frequently approaching to this divine Sacrament. The wise man knows it is impossible to carry fire in one’s bosom and not be burnt. This sacred fire is the adorable Eucharist which, as St. Bernard calls it, is the love of loves. Oh, did the soul but consider attentively what passes in this Divine Sacrament, says St. Angela of Foligno, it is certain that seeing herself so strangely loved all the iciness of her heart would be changed into flames of love and gratitude.

Let us frequently approach this source of all good. There, united and incorporated with Jesus Christ the author of grace, we shall daily receive its streams in fresh profusion. Our evil passions imperceptibly weakened will at length wholly disappear. That inclination for evil which we carry about with us will be changed into a sweet attraction towards every virtue of which the Heart of Jesus is the sanctuary, and of which He gives us an example in this adorable sacrament. There, possessing the treasure of Heaven, though hidden from our eyes, we shall receive the pledge of everlasting happiness, promised to those who worthily approach this Sacrament of love. For whoever possesses Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament can want nothing for his perfection and eternal salvation, so that, after Communion the faithful soul may say with St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi: All is accomplished. For indeed this heavenly food contains in itself every good and lays up in the soul every grace, gift, and virtue, so that the faithful soul that enjoys it has nothing more to desire.

Alas, how many graces do we lose by not placing ourselves in a condition to communicate more frequently. The Faithful of the primitive Church communicated every day, and how great in consequence was their faith and fervor! Alas, did we but know what pain we inflict on the Heart of Jesus by our indifference towards the Blessed Eucharist! One day our divine Lord said to St. Margaret Mary: "I have a burning thirst to be honored and loved by men in the Blessed Sacrament, and yet I find scarce any one who tries to allay this thirst, as I desire, by making me some return."

Let us be no longer of the number of these ungrateful souls. Let us often approach the. Holy Table with due dispositions. It is the surest means of giving consolation to Jesus Christ and gaining His Heart. But, if we already have the happiness of communicating often then why do we not make a better use of so powerful a means of perfection and salvation? Why, after so many communions do we continue still the same, still tepid, cold, and without energy to conquer our defects? Is it not because we go to Jesus Christ with a heart attached to creatures, filled with an esteem for the goods, the honors, the enjoyments of this world, with a heart impenetrably barred against the shafts of divine love? Is it not because, though Jesus willingly receives our hearts within His own, we on the contrary close our hearts against Him? For as He has Himself said, he alone that abides in me and I in him can bring forth abundant fruit. Qui manet in me, et ego in eo, hie fert fructum multum (St. John xv. 5).

Why then do we not cast ourselves with faith and confidence at the feet of Jesus Christ, really present within us, and say to Him from the bottom of our hearts: "No, Lord, I will not let You go until You have blessed me. I will not rise until You have given me strength to overcome those inclinations which separate me so frequently from You, and an efficacious and insatiable desire of doing and suffering all for Your love and always and on every occasion accomplishing Your holy will." Let us remind Him that His own glory requires Him to make a heart which has become His sanctuary worthy of Himself. And what is there that He can refuse us after haying given Himself wholly to us?

Practice: Endeavour to make yourself worthy, as far as is possible, to communicate frequently, and do not forget that all it’s fruit depends on the preparation and thanksgiving which should accompany this great action. St. Theresa says that one of the reasons why we receive so scanty a supply of grace, is that we do not turn to sufficient account those moments during which Jesus Christ is really present within us, and that He has hardly entered our hearts when we turn our back, as it were, upon Him and entertain ourselves with other thoughts.

Ejaculatory Prayer: When shall I come and appear before the face of my God? When shall I be allowed to possess Him within my heart?

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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