TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF MONSEIGNEUR DE LA BOUILLERIE, Archbishop of Perga, Coadjutor of Bordeaux.
So it seems that the Eucharist is placed against labour in order that It may serve as a balance to it. Do not try to escape labour, but, to enable you to bear it, have recourse to the Eucharist.
Not labour without the Eucharist; not the Eucharist without labour. This is the counsel which I venture to give you.
Not labour without the Eucharist. Our flesh is not made of bronze, nor our limbs of brass. The Eucharist will lighten your labours. Alas! each day has its evil to bear; its works to undertake; its obstacles to overcome. Make use of the Eucharist; very soon you will perceive that the communion of yesterday, or that of the morrow, will make your labour easier.
Easier, but especially more fruitful. When the apostles cast their nets into the sea far from the presence of the Saviour, they laboured all night and took nothing; but Jesus Christ appeared on the shore, He spake one word and the nets were filled. So with us, O Christian soul. If we wander from Jesus Christ, we labour in the dark and on an ever-stormy sea: we shall do nothing. But Jesus Christ comes to us: He is in the tabernacle as on the shore of time and eternity; let Him say one word and we shall work wonders.
Not labour without the Eucharist, O Christian soul, but neither the Eucharist without labour. How many Christian souls imagine that when they have communicated in the morning, their day, however idle it may be, will be pleasing to God. What a mistake! The idleness of the day will soon have faded and withered those holy flowers of the morning. The first thing which the Eucharist teaches you is that devotion to It should never cause you to neglect any duty. The Eucharist is the Bread of the strong; It cannot be the nourishment of idlers. It is the Manna of the desert, and It must be gathered before sunrise, in order that the whole day may be consecrated to the accomplishment of our duties.
Not labour without the Eucharist, not the Eucharist without labour. Unite them rather in one thought and in one love.
The Spouse of the Canticles pressed to her heart the bundle of myrrh. Myrrh signifies labour, because it is the type of the labour and Passion of the Saviour; the bundle of myrrh recalls to our minds Jesus Christ, Whose Perfume wafts to us from the Divine Eucharist. Let us act as the Spouse of the Canticles; let us press to our heart the bundle of myrrh; let us unite the Eucharist and labour. Then we shall labour courageously ; then our yoke will be easy, and our burden light; then we shall easily accomplish all our duties; then we shall be really Christians ; for—I again repeat it—labour and the Eucharist form the whole Christian life.