The CAPG's Blog
Day 12 – March 7 - Catechism on Communion
To sustain the soul in the pilgrimage of life, God looked over creation, and found nothing that was worthy of it. He then turned to Himself, and resolved to give Himself. O my soul, how great you are, since nothing less than God can satisfy you! The food of the soul is the Body and Blood of God! Oh, admirable Food! If we considered it, it would make us lose ourselves in that abyss of love for all eternity! How happy are the pure souls that have the happiness of being united to Our Lord by Communion! They will shine like beautiful diamonds in Heaven, because God will be seen in them.
Our Lord has said, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. We should never have thought of asking of God His own Son. But God has done what man could not have imagined. What man cannot express nor conceive, and what he never would have dared to desire, God in His love has said, has conceived, and has executed. Should we ever have dared to ask of God to put His Son to death for us, to give us His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink? If all this were not true, then man might have imagined things that God cannot do; he would have gone further than God in inventions of love! That is impossible. Without the Holy Eucharist there would be no happiness in this world; life would be insupportable. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive our joy and our happiness. The good God, wishing to give Himself to us in the Sacrament of His love, gave us a vast and great desire, which He alone can satisfy. In the presence of this beautiful Sacrament, we are like a person dying of thirst by the side of a river – he would only need to bend his head; like a person still remaining poor, close to a great treasure – he need only stretch out his hand. He who communicates loses himself in God like a drop of water in the ocean. They can no more be separated.
At the Day of Judgment we shall see the Flesh of Our Lord shine through the glorified body of those who have received Him worthily on earth, as we see gold shine in copper, or silver in lead. When we have just communicated, if we were asked, "What are you carrying away to your home?" we might answer, "I am carrying away Heaven." A saint said that we were Christ-bearers. It is very true; but we have not enough faith. We do not comprehend our dignity. When we leave the holy banquet, we are as happy as the Wise Men would have been, if they could have carried away the Infant Jesus. Take a vessel full of liquor, and cork it well – you will keep the liquor as long as you please. So if you were to keep Our Lord well and re-collectedly after Communion, you would long feel that devouring fire which would inspire your heart with an inclination to good and a repugnance to evil. When we have the good God in our heart, it ought to be very burning. The heart of the disciples of Emmaus burnt within them from merely listening to His voice.
I do not like people to begin to read directly when they come from the holy table. Oh no! what is the use of the words of men when God is speaking? We must do as one who is very curious, and listens at the door. We must listen to all that God says at the door of our heart. When you have received Our Lord, you feel your soul purified, because it bathes itself in the love of God. When we go to Holy Communion, we feel something extraordinary, a comfort which pervades the whole body, and penetrates to the extremities. What is this comfort? It is Our Lord, who communicates Himself to all parts of our bodies, and makes them thrill. We are obliged to say, like St. John, "It is the Lord!" Those who feel absolutely nothing are very much to be pitied.
Source: Lenten Reading plan: Daily readings from St. John Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests, by Fr. Bryan W. Jerabek
Saturday March 7, in Ember-Week
On the Spiritual Works of Mercy:
Consider first, that the spiritual works of mercy, by which we relieve our neighbors in the necessities of their souls, are of far greater value in the sight of God, than such as merely relate to their bodies. if then he is please to promise such ample rewards to the feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and such-like good worlds, which relate only to these corruptible carcases, and to the short time of our mortal pilgrimage: how much more will he esteem and reward those works of mercy and charity, by which immortal souls, made after God's on image, and redeemed by the blood of Christ, are drawn out of darkness and sin, rescued from Satan and hell, and brought to God and a happy eternity? He that causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, saith the scripture, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins, St. James V.20. Ant they that instruct many to justice, shall sine as stars for all eternity, Daniel xii.3.
Consider secondly, that the spiritual works of mercy are principally exercised: by reclaiming sinners from their evil ways, even the ways of death and hell, by admonitions, remonstrances, fraternal corrections, ect. by enlightening and instructing such as, through ignorance, are in danger of losing their precious soul; of by procuring them this light and instruction from other proper persons: by comforting the afflicted; encouraging the pusillanimous; upholding and assisting them that are under temptations; reconciling such as are at variance; bearing with all, forgiving all, every overcoming evil with good, and praying for all.
O how happy; how precious in the sight of God, is a life spent in such works of mercy and charity as these are! And how happy will that death be, that shall conclude such a life! O my soul, that we may lead such a life! O that we may die such a death!
Consider thirdly, that these spiritual works of mercy are not only the most acceptable of all, and the most meritorious in the sight of God, but also are of strict obligation: and this not only to pastors, but to all other Christians, according to their circumstances and abilities. Charity is a virtue of universal obligation: and the principal object of that love, which charity obliges us to have for our neighbors, is the eternal welfare of their immortal souls. If the, we can unconcernedly see numbers of souls crowding into hell, without affording them all the help that lies in our power, in order to rescue them from that extremity of endless misery: is it not evident, that we have no charity for them? and if not, may not our case one day be as bad as theirs? What then must we do? we must gladly lay hold of every opportunity of contributing what lies in us to the conversion and salvation of any one of these poor unhappy souls: and we shall quickly find that opportunities of this nature will not be wanting, if we take the matter to heart. At least there are two ways, and those the most effectual of all, of reclaiming sinners, and bringing them to God; which are certainly in the power of every one, and from which no one can be excused: and these are, the example of a holy life, and the efficacy of fervent prayer poured out to God in behalf of poor sinners.
Conclude ever to make use of these two, the most effectual, ways of bringing sinners to God: yet so as not to neglect any other means that lie in thy power. What a comfort will it be to thee; what an honor, what a happiness, to be the instrument of God in the salvation of souls: that same great work, which brought the Son of God from heaven! But what dreadful punishments mayest thou not justly apprehend, if for want of this charity, any of these souls should perish, because thou wouldst not lent them a helping hand, to withdraw them from the precipice to which they were running. Ah! will not their blood one day cry to heaven for vengeance against thee!
Source: Considerations upon Christian truths and Christian duties, Fr. Richard Challoner.