Monday, 10 October 2016




Thus the Christian virtues are necessary to the soul which will approach the Eucharist, and the faithful practice of them will be the best preparation for It. One prepares oneself to communicate well by acts of love, of praise, of adoration, and of desire.

O Christian soul, do you not think that repeated acts of such and such a virtue would be dearer still to the God of the Eucharist ?

Tomorrow I hope to communicate, to-day I will be more humble, I will accept more willingly my sufferings and my sorrows, I will not permit my lips to speak one single word which will be a wound to love.

These are the acts which I counsel you to make before communion! Acts of sincere love, for he only truly loves his God who obeys His commands. Excellent hymns of praise, for we cannot better praise the Lord than by our works. Unerring witnesses of our ardent longings, for all our longings to behave better prove to the Eucharist that we sigh for It.
Here is then, O Christian soul, a first and close connection between the Christian virtues and the Eucharist: the Eucharist demands of us the practice of all the virtues. But I add that these, in their turn, have great need of the Eucharist. It alone indeed can preserve and increase them in us.


Firstly, the Eucharist preserves in us the Christian virtues.

I will use a figure in order to enable you the better to understand my thought. I suppose the habitation of a Prince, a palace which he who dwells in has filled profusely with all splendid luxuries. His presence, his cares, the obedience which every one renders to him, all the homage paid to him suffice to keep his dwelling in all the freshness of its first splendour. But the Prince departs, and abandons the place where he held his court, and the palace which he has left empty is soon nothing else than a desert. Alas ! the absence of the master will, little by little, and year by year, produce immense ravages. Firstly the gilding tarnishes, then the beautiful furniture loses its gloss, then the beams tremble, then the roof falls in, the walls give way, and the palace is nothing more than ruin. O Christian soul, the heart of man without the Eucharist a deserted palace and a forsaken house. The day when for the first time the Eucharist came to you, what was not your zeal to receive this Celestial Guest! With the help of grace you had constructed for Him within yourself a house supported by seven columns, which were none other than your Christian virtues. As long as your faithfulness to the God of the tabernacle lasted, the columns remained firm and the house retained all its lustre. But one day your guilty passions banished from your heart the Divine Eucharist, and you quickly perceived that your virtues departed with It. It can alone preserve them in us. In truth even an acquired Christian virtue is not exclusively our work.

 The best disposition cannot make a soul chaste or humble; the help of grace is needed. Now the Eucharist is in us the most excellent grace, and never does It visit us without strengthening our will towards what is good. When Jesus Christ visits us in Holy Communion, what He chiefly desires to find in us is virtue. His Divine Eye scrutinises our soul. He searches there for chastity, humility, gentleness, charity, patience. If He discovers these virtues in us, He rests and takes delight there. If one of them appears weak, He gives His divine support to it. It is the eye of the Master which within the house causes the smallest stains to disappear, and Who by His presence can keep in every place symmetry and order.