TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF MONSEIGNEUR DE LA BOUILLERIE, Archbishop of Perga, Coadjutor of Bordeaux.
Then it considers itself, and casting a look upon its past life, it perceives that it has risen from communion to communion, as by a mysterious ladder, even unto heaven. And now that it draws from the Source divine delights, now that it possesses all the good things which make it happy, it exclaims with transport: "All good things come to me together with It."
The Eucharist will have been in heaven the source of our beatitude; It will be also as the consummation!
But what! in heaven the Eucharist exists no longer, for heaven- has no sacraments. The Eucharist without veils is no longer the Eucharist. Most certainly, 0 Christian soul, and yet, however, in the same way that the sacred character of Baptism, of Confirmation, and of Orders continues in the elect; in the same way that the holy friendship of conjugal union continues between Christian spouses; so I imagine that a kind of Eucharistic union is prolonged between God and the soul which has been more especially devoted to the sacrament of the altar. In heaven the soul continues the sweet converse which it began at the foot of the tabernacle.
Here below it was distracted from this loving intercourse, both by cares, and by the noise of the world and the ever-present remembrance of its own faults : now nothing distracts and nothing afflicts it! Let it remember the sweetest moment of its most fervent communion, and let it add to it an eternal duration, — this is heaven ! Very often at the Holy Table it has said, like Peter on Mount Tabor, " It is good to be here," but instantly a thick cloud surrounded it with its shade, and it had to descend the mountain ! Now it repeats these words: "It is good to be here." And it remains there for eternity, 0 holy souls, which prolong in Heaven the Eucharistic union, have I not had reason to teach that the entire Christian life formed, developed, and consummated itself in the shadow of the altar ? But I fear to have said too little on a subject so vast, and to have remained far below it.
O holy souls, supply my imperfections, and suffer to come even to our ears a feeble echo of your feelings and your thoughts. You who see clearly, tell us if I have caught a glimpse. You who are satisfied, tell us if it is not true that one dies of hunger when away from the Eucharist.
O holy souls who have arrived at the End, teach us whether the road to heaven is not that which this little book indicates,— The Eucharist and the Christian Life.