TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF MONSEIGNEUR DE LA BOUILLERIE, Archbishop of Perga, Coadjutor of Bordeaux.
Happy is the soul which thus triumphs! It is this happiness which I covet for you, O Christian soul. Can I desire that your whole life should he divided between these two extremes—between the Eucharist and the world! Oh, certainly not! I have wished, it is true, to furnish you against the seductions of the world with the sacred armour which the soul that communicates puts on at the altar. But especially I am persuaded that in thus remaining faithful to the divine Eucharist you will draw from It enough strength to break off finally all your connection with the world.
With respect to this, constant experience comes to confirm my previsions. Who may tell the numberless victories gained by the Eucharist over the most worldly souls ? The God of the tabernacle was very patient with them; but He did not remain inactive. He sought to draw them by the bands of His love, and to arouse them from their negligence by the most, tender reproaches. If I am your Master, He said to them, where is the honour which you render Me when you only think of gaining vain glory from all the gifts which you have received from Me ? If I am your Father, where is the love which you show me when you give your heart to such frivolous amusements ?
Little by little they better understood these words of a Master and a Father. They entered seriously into themselves. They saw that the living Fountain was better for them than the broken cisterns, and, thirsting only for the water of the spring, they long for thee alone, O my God! (Psalm xli. 8.) And now, far from the noise of the world, they love to dwell in solitude near the tabernacle. How they repose there! How happy they are there! They remember past dangers. " If the Lord had not helped us," they cry, "we had nearly fallen down to hell." But every time that our footsteps slipped, the sacrament of mercy supported our failing strength. They taste their present joys, incomparably the sweetest. Before the torch which burns on the altar the pale lights of the world are soon extinguished; and, joyous at having chosen the house of the Lord for their habitation in future, they say, with David: " How lovely are thy tabernacles, thou Lord of hosts! Better is one day with thee than thousands in the tabernacles of sinners."