Sunday, 6 November 2016



But how, amidst the duties and occupations of the external life, can one procure this retreat where to live alone with the Eucharist ? I have told you, O Christian soul, it is especially the solitude of the heart which you must carefully practise, and the holy Eucharist possesses admirable secrets for Itself creating this solitude in us. Yes, when It has succeeded in taking full and entire possession of our heart, it causes all vain sounds to cease there; It appeases all troubles from without; It brings there recollection and calm; then It speaks to that heart to which It has given peace; It inspires it with repentance for its sins; It dictates the holiest resolutions to it. O sweet and charming retreat which thus continues every day, and which never wearies! It separates us from the world better than do deserts and convents, and often it instructs our soul better than preachers and books.

Solitude with the Eucharist! I ask myself, O Christian soul, if there is a surer path to lead you to heaven.

The Lord, in His Gospel, takes care to warn us that the road which leads to life is narrow, while that which leads to destruction is broad. O very broad in fact; for it has to contain all this innumerable multitude of men who press and push, who agitate and lose themselves therein. Where, then, is the narrow road? There where the crowd is not, there where very few consent to walk, there where one is in solitude.

But this road, adds the Saviour, leads to life; and how should it lead us there if we were not accompanied by Him who is at the same time the Way and the Life! Jesus Christ presents Himself to us under the Eucharistic species, and it is thus that He wills to be our Guide in the narrow path.

Follow Him, O Christian soul, and you will be sure not to wander from the road. There, in fact, firstly, fewer perils will surround you. It was by the broad road of the world that the pilgrim of the Gospel was going down to Jericho when he was spoiled and wounded by the thieves; and if the Divine Samaritan had not left His solitude in order to run to him and dress his wounds with oil and wine, what would have become of the unhappy traveller? For you, O Christian soul, the solitary road is very safe, the treasure which you will carry is one which thieves will not steal, and if you ask of the Divine Samaritan wine and oil, He will never refuse you them.

The Eucharist will always be near you to bestow upon you every hour Its strength and Its unction. Fewer perils and more grace. He who has chosen, in order to attain to Heaven, solitude and the company of the Eucharist, will never faint upon the road. It is to him that the words of the holy Canticles apply :  I sat down under His shadow, Whom I desired, and His fruit was sweet to my palate."

The Eucharist promises him all that lightens a long journey, repose and nourishment. O wonder of the sacrament of love!

In the solitary shadow of the Eucharistic tree one advances and yet one reposes. One advances, for the Eucharist can inspire the heart with those admirable bursts of love which take it nearer heaven. One reposes, for the Eucharist keeps far from us all that wearies and all that troubles. The grace of spiritual progress and the grace of peace, such are the first gifts which the Eucharist has in reserve for the soul which unites itself to It in solitude. But at the same time It serves it for nourishment. It was in the wilderness that the Saviour willed to multiply the loaves, in order that the crowd which followed Him might not perish of exhaustion. But what is Jesus Christ multiplying the loaves in the wilderness, if not the Eucharist nourishing the soul in solitude ? One would say that It multiplies Itself more for him who receives It with the more complete recollection, and the bread which It presents to him becomes for him a delicious fruit.

O Christian soul, remain faithful both to solitude and to the Eucharist. The one will give you its shade, the other Its fruit. With fruit and shade, you will never faint on the road which leads to the heavenly country.