Tuesday, 11 October 2016




But the Holy Eucharist does not restrict Itself to preserving in us the Christian virtues. It increases them, It strengthens them, It impresses upon them the seal of perfection. When we receive the Eucharist, it is no longer we who live, it is Jesus Christ Who lives in us. But, with His life, He at the same time communicates to us His virtues! Ah! how much more confidence have I in the virtues of Jesus Christ than in mine! These partake of the infirmity of my nature; they are feeble like my will, timid like my mind, fragile like my heart, human and carnal as myself. But, 0 Jesus, Thy virtues are only one with Thine adorable Person. I receive with the sacred Host Thy purity, Thy humility, Thy charity, Thy gentleness. I become, according to the expression of S. Peter, "partaker of Thine own nature!" (2 Peter i. 4.) Enter into me, Lord Jesus, and may Thy virtues, as well as Thy life, be in future my own.
However, I acknowledge it, the life of Jesus Christ does not destroy our life, and His virtues, alas ! do not at first entirely correct our faults. Every day, to the divine purity of the Saviour, is superadded our concupiscence; to His humility, our pride; to His gentleness, our impatience. Never mind ; against the frequency of our faults we are permitted to fight by frequent communion. Every fresh communion, in its turn, adds to the corruption of our soul the pure gold of Jesus Christ! Soon it is the gold which predominates, and the impure breath of sin dares no longer tarnish it.

But how! does not a very sad experience come in here to contradict my words ?
I have communicated for a long time, you will tell me: alas! I am at present neither better nor more virtuous.

How many answers could I not give to this so common objection, which so often saddens and discourages souls !

And, firstly, I should not fear to answer some : you communicate, and you think that, nevertheless, you have made no progress. This very humble judgment which you pass on yourself is, to me, the surest witness of your spiritual advancement. I assure you that you are mistaken. You owe much to the Eucharist; do not be ungrateful to It. I praise you for your humility, but I entreat you to communicate always as you have done hitherto.
Then, to other souls I should hold a different language: you communicate, and you remain the same. But why ? Is it the communion that you must blame ? Is it not rather yourself ? The God of the tabernacle, does He cease for you alone to be the source and model of the most sublime virtues ? And the Eucharist which you receive, is It no longer that which the saints receive ?

You wish to communicate no more; but I, on my part, advise you to communicate better. Alas! original sin has only left us strength in one instance—the strength to resist grace. We employ it against the Eucharist! Take away the impediment, and your rapid progress will prove, even to yourself, that It is as powerful in you as in the saints.
Finally, to all Christian souls who complain of seeking in vain, by frequenting the sacrament of the altar, the perfection to which they aspire, I would recall these two fixed principles. On one side it is unquestionable that in keeping away from the Holy Table, far from advancing on the path of virtue, they will necessarily recede every day. Their vigilance will be less active, the grace of God less abundant, their evil inclinations more at ease. On the other side, it is faith itself which teaches that a communion well made produces always in us a marvellous effect. The more, then, that we partake of the Divine Eucharist, the more are we assured that It will continue in us the divine work which It operates there. And on this point do not fear, I pray you, the abuse of grace. Men resist it much oftener than they abuse it. The servant who received but one talent hides it and makes it sterile. He whom his master more richly endowed, and who has in his hands five talents, knows at once how to gain other five. The more abundant is the grace of God, the more easily may we be faithful to it. How many hide the precious talent of one Easter communion! How many know how to profit by frequent communion in order to practise admirable virtues!