Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Eucharistic Life

1. The Eucharist in our spiritual life could be compared to the sun in the physical life of the world. The sun gives light, heat and life. We can imagine what a terrible thing it would be if the sun set one evening and never rose again! Darkness would envelop the earth once more as at the beginning of creation. The cold would become relentless and life would be gradually extinguished everywhere. Men could for some time depend on their reserves of artificial light to illuminate their creeping agony, but life would slowly decline until it ended in death for everything and for everybody. Such would be the spiritual life without Jesus, especially without Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist, Who lives amongst us as our only true Friend, Who hears, helps and nourishes us.

He is the sun of our souls, the source of our enlightenment, fervour and consolation. Are we weary and discouraged beneath the weight of our daily cross and of our sins? Let us go to Jesus and He will help us to carry our cross. He will wash away our sins and give us the supernatural strength never to sin again.

Let us unite ourselves to Jesus by frequent Communion, by a daily visit to Him in the Tabernacle, and by making a spiritual Communion whenever we cannot receive Him in the Blessed Eucharist. Let us make fervent ejaculations whenever we find our cross too heavy for us or when we are strongly tempted.

Many people go on long pilgrimages to famous Sanctuaries, such as Lourdes, Fatima and the Holy Places of Palestine. These are certainly worth while, but we should not forget that the greatest sanctuary of all is close at hand. It is in every church which contains Jesus in the Tabernacle. Here we have Jesus Himself, really present and anxious to listen to us and to help us. The Saints could find no greater joy on earth than to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

2. The Eucharistic life, which is the life of union with Jesus especially by means of daily Communion, transforms us and makes us holy. It preserves and increases in us the grace which is the supernatural life of the soul. The Eucharist of itself does not bestow grace, because it is a Sacrament of the living. It is our food, and food is not given to the dead, but to the living. For this reason we should receive Holy Communion free from the stain of sin. The Eucharist, moreover, remits venial sins, strengthens us in our resolutions, and increases our charity. Venial sin is a sickness of the soul. Just as natural food banishes listlessness and vulnerability to disease, our Eucharistic nourishment has the same effect on our spiritual life.

It is because the Blessed Eucharist increases our love for Jesus that it weakens our evil inclinations. The Eucharist and sin are mutually exclusive of one another, because the Eucharist is Jesus and sin is the devil. Our Eucharistic food, moreover, produces in our souls a spiritual consolation which is a foretaste of the happiness of Heaven. Let us listen to Jesus living within us. He will enable us to forget our worldly cares and will raise us to a higher plane where by God's infinite goodness we shall continue to grow in virtue.

3. May the Most Blessed Sacrament be for ever praised and adored.