Monday, 14 November 2016



Happy, then, is the family where all the members communicate. Truly it is the people of which the Kingly Prophet celebrates the happiness: " Happy is that people whose God is the Lord." But it is very rare now to find an entire family in which all who compose it are equally Christian, in which all love and receive the Eucharist with unanimous piety.
The father has long since grown old, apart from Christian habits, and the son, already carried away by the vain turmoil of the world, has very soon forgotten the principles of his childhood.

However, God has known how to keep for Himself in this less Christian household tabernacles which He visits and where He loves to rest. The mother is Christian; she communicates. Her pious daughters follow her example; and, notwithstanding the obstacles of every kind which arise often in the midst of them, they continue to nourish themselves on the Corn of the elect and to quench their thirst with the Wine which brings forth virgins.

This family which I have been describing, will it remain united? Will the mutual affection suffer no diminution, and will nothing come to disturb the domestic felicity ? With respect to this, as I have said above, my security is far from being complete.

Perhaps, in favour to the souls which have remained faithful to Him, God may will that peace and happiness should be maintained at the domestic hearth. Perhaps—and this happens more often—the diversity of habits and principles will bring about, by degrees, amongst those who dwell under the same roof, differences which are to be regretted. How can one always be of one accord if one does not agree upon the chief point ? How love one another perfectly, if God is not the bond of love ? How live together of the same life, if one eat not together of the Bread which Alone gives true life ?

Besides, those who keep away from the sacrament of the altar deprive themselves by that act both of that elevation of feeling which raises above nature family affections, and of the surest guarantee against the tendencies which ceaselessly menace to trouble its interior life.

Can one then be astonished that coldness and disaffection come sometimes to trouble the relationship which is no longer cemented by the Divine Presence ?

However, 0 Christian soul, I am far from despairing. The Eucharist has kept Its place in the family; It continues present and living in the souls which are faithful to It. As It unites closely all the members of the same family when they have the happiness of being Christians, so It will have the power of bringing back those who have wandered from It. It will be able to influence hearts, to overcome prejudices, to supply deficiencies, and to re-establish, in fact, the relations which seemed on the point of being interrupted. This is the second benefit which family life will owe to the Eucharist.

O pious souls, who keep alight in the family, with so tender a care, the holy flame of Eucharistic love, be confident and courageous.

The work which you have undertaken will be long and difficult, but how beautiful and how meritorious is it! You will that those who are united to you by the ties of blood, those whom Providence has made especially dear to you, should make only one heart and one soul at the foot of the tabernacle, and that, loving God, they may love you and each other better. Now, to attain this noble end, I know no more powerful means than that which your piety has made choice of: communicate well and communicate often.

The Eucharist is the Victim which offered Itself on Calvary for the salvation of the world. Offering Itself again on the altar of your heart, It will salve those whom you love.
The Eucharist is this same Jesus Christ who, at the request of Mary and of Martha, made Lazarus come out of the grave. At your prayer could He not restore to life a brother, a father, a spouse, a son, whom you have lost since they strayed away from God ?

But you have communicated already, and those whose conversion you had in view remain the same. Do not lose courage, and, above all, persevere. When the two sisters, Mary and Martha, sent to the Saviour to tell Him that their brother was dying, Jesus did not at once go to Bethany, but He remained two days in the place where He was—two long days of waiting, which represent your past communions. Do not lose courage, but persist with the Eucharist.

Your perseverance will obtain what your prayers have not yet merited. A day will come when there will flow from the tabernacle upon your whole family the grace of resurrection and of life.

But forget not to add to your persevering communions the sweet practice of the virtues which are dear to the Eucharist. Those whom you would touch and convert will be much more sensible of the attraction of your virtues than of all the pious customs which have for object their salvation. When the Eucharist reveals Itself in a soul by goodness, by sweetness, by an inexhaustible patience, It appears to raise the veil and to be mysterious no longer. The least Christian hearts feel Its charm. Often the example of an Eucharistic life has sufficed to inspire the love and the desire of the Eucharist.

Ah! if it is given you to co-operate with your surroundings, and to witness some of these returns to the God of the tabernacle, you will then understand more easily the influence of the Eucharist on the union and happiness of families; you will see that to return to the Lord is to return to all one's duties; it is to restore oneself to the affection and tenderness, of those belonging to one ; it is to bring back joy and calm to the domestic hearth.