Friday, 16 September 2016



Now it is the Eucharist which will give you at the same time the virtues of the child and those of the man. You will ask of It simplicity and purity. From It you will receive a piety, tender as that of the child, solid as that of the man. This is the first counsel which It will give you. "Be as a new-born babe to desire My Divine milk."* The child only begins to live when it receives the milk of its mother; the Christian only increases in strength when it receives the milk of the Eucharist. But like the child on its mother's breast, so should you be in the arms of God, Who deigns to unite Himself to you. Happy is the soul which at all ages, and every time it communicates, renews its first communion. Happy is the soul which, like David, renews its youth at the feet of the altar !

No doubt your duties of every day will exact of you a maturity of conduct and of judgment, a wisdom in counsel, a gravity of conduct, which are not characteristics of childhood. But if the Eucharist is the milk of the new-born child, It is also the bread of the strong; and this it is which will make you " grow and increase unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Jesus Christ.

It may be though, as I before remarked, 0 Christian soul, that Divine Providence may have elected you to exercise His most maternal office, that of forming the heart of the child, and of initiating him into the Christian life. Remember, then, that your first duty will be, according to the words of the Gospel, to suffer him to draw nigh to the Lord, that before even pronouncing your name the child may lisp the Name of Jesus; that his still trembling feet may already know the path to the Church, and that his hands may be folded in prayer as soon as they are stretched out to you. 

But I have already said that the day of the first communion is especially the day when the Lord demands that little children shall be suffered to come to Him. Therefore it is this great day that you will have constantly in your mind. The early education of the' child, in my opinion, is, and can only be, an assiduous preparation for the great act of the first communion. Sweet teaching is that which takes for its rule that the first communion is to be made well. Such a virtue must be practised, because Jesus Christ expects it of the child who prepares to receive Him rightly. Such a fault must be corrected, because it would defile the sanctuary to which the Lord will come ere long. Thus you will calculate by the disposition and progress of the child the time when he should communicate. If the faults he commits oblige you to keep him longer away from the Holy Table, let him feel that this delay is a grief to you, and a severe punishment to him. But if he is pious, good, and docile, hasten the happy moment when this pure soul will approach his God. You can never too early obey the command of the Divine Master, " Suffer the little children to come to Me." But if the first communion has served as the foundation of the education of the child, forget not that this cannot be continued and finished, but by the communions which will follow. Cause your son to communicate devoutly during his youth, and you will have saved him.