TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF MONSEIGNEUR DE LA BOUILLERIE, Archbishop of Perga, Coadjutor of Bordeaux.
The experience of centuries comes to confirm this wonderful effect of the sacrament of the altar.
When Jesus Christ founded religion, He evidently had in view to transform the heart of man, to purify his life, and, by the exact observance of the law, to cause him to attain the highest moral perfection of which a human creature is capable. Now this object, which philosophy in every age has vainly proposed to itself, the Christian religion has faithfully accomplished. Thanks to it, the humble peasant child, taught by its pastor, knows the divine law of which the Philosophers of Greece were ignorant; and the perfect keeping of this law multiplies the practice of the most sublime virtues.
The Christian world, notwithstanding many undeniable shortcomings, has raised itself to a moral level which Paganism never suspected.
Certainly a multitude of divine causes have concurred to produce this result; but at the head of all these causes I like to place the Eucharist.
Yes, it is It which, from the institution of the Last Supper, always present and always living, has never ceased to maintain in the world the integrity of the Christian life. Everywhere It has made duty to be held in honour. Everywhere It has inspired prayer and facilitated devotion; and still in our day, exposed in all our churches, adored by the angels of earth as well as by the Angels of heaven, received with love by millions of pious souls, it is It which keeps amongst us the purity of Christian manners, which resists the invasion of the most brutal passions, and assures to the law of the Gospel an immortal future.
You also, O Christian soul, you will reckon upon the Eucharist in order to remain faithful to your duties. The commandments are a burden, but the Eucharist lightens it. If you know how to have recourse to It, the keeping of the divine law will be the honour and the delight of your life.