By Saint Peter Julian Eymard.
AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC TRUTH SOCIETY No. 969a (1944).
Compiled by Sister Emmanuel, O.S.B.
JESUS, MODEL OF POVERTY.
“Beati pauperes spiritu.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.” (Matthew 5:3.)
THE spirit, virtue, and life of Jesus are a spirit, virtue, and life of poverty, and of an absolute and perpetual poverty. The Eternal Word adopted it at Bethlehem on His becoming Man. He took what was most humiliating about poverty, the abode of beasts and what was most difficult about it, the stable, the manger, the straw, the cold, the night. He was born far from the homes of men, who offered Him no assistance in His need. In order to be poorer still, the Word made flesh willed to be born during a journey and refused hospitality on account of the poverty of His Parents.
He then spent a portion of His childhood in Egypt, a foreign land hostile to the Jews, so that His parents might be still poorer and more forsaken if that could be. At Nazareth He spent thirty years in the practice of poverty. His home was poor; to be convinced of this, it is enough to see the poverty of that home at Loreto. His furniture was poor; He had only what was strictly necessary, and that was very plain, the kind poor people use; Our Lady’s wooden dish, still preserved at Loreto, is a good proof of it. His clothes were poor; His tunic, which we may see at Argenteuil, was of common wool; His swaddling clothes were of coarse cloth. His food was that of the poor; it was the fruit of the labour of a poor carpenter, who could earn only the necessaries of life. Jesus wanted to appear poor in all He did. He considered Himself the poorest of all, and always took the last place. He honoured and respected everybody, just as the poor do. He was silent and listened humbly to the instructions in the synagogue. He never made a show of wisdom or of extraordinary knowledge, but lived the life common to those of His rank. He lived like a poor man and went along unnoticed and forgotten like one. In everything He did and procured for Himself, He sought what was poorest.
See Him during His apostolic life. He kept on wearing working clothes and continued living like the poor. He knelt on the bare ground for prayer. He ate barley bread, the bread of the poor. He lived on charity. He travelled like the poor and, like them, experienced hunger and thirst without being able to satisfy it as He pleased. His poverty made Him contemptible in the eyes of the rich and the great; in spite of that, He did not hesitate to tell them: Vae vobis divitibus “Woe to you, O ye rich men of the earth!”
He chose disciples poor like Himself, and forbade them to have two coats, or provisions for the future, or money, or a staff wherewith to defend themselves. He died forsaken and stripped even of His poor garments. He was buried in a borrowed shroud and laid in a sepulchre offered by the charity of friends. Even after His Resurrection He appeared to His Apostles in the trappings of poverty.
Lastly, in the Most Blessed Sacrament His love of poverty leads Him to veil the glory of His divinity and the splendour of His glorified humanity. He deprives Himself therein of all freedom and of exterior action, as well as of all ownership in order to have nothing He can call His own. In a way, He is in the Eucharist as in His Mother’s womb, wrapped up in the sacred species and hidden beneath them, awaiting from the charity of man the matter of His Sacrament and the articles required for worship. Such is the poverty of Jesus: He has loved it and made it His inseparable companion. Why did Jesus Christ choose this constant state of poverty?
In the first place, because as a child of Adam He had adopted the state of our exiled nature, which had been stripped of its rights over inferior creatures;
in the second place, because He wanted to sanctify by His poverty all the acts of poverty to be performed in His Church.
He became poor in order that through His not caring about earthly possessions He might detach us from them and impart to us the riches of Heaven. He became poor so that poverty, which is our condition, our penance, and our means of reparation, might through Him, become honourable, desirable and lovable. He remains poor to show us and prove us His love. He remains poor in the Sacrament, in spite of His glorified state, in order always to be our living and visible mode. And thus poverty, which in itself is not likable, since it is a punishment and a privation, becomes noble and full of charm through Jesus Christ, Who adopted it as His form of life, based His Gospel upon it, and made it the first of the Beatitudes and His divine heiress.
It is holy through Jesus since it was His great virtue, and since it repairs God’s glory, destroyed by original sin and our own personal sins. It gives rise to the virtue of penance by the privations, which it entails. It furnishes a natural occasion for the practice of patience, which is quite indispensable for the completing and perfecting of our undertakings. It sustains humility, which it feeds with the humiliations that are its unfailing companions. It supposes that one has enough meekness and strength of character to face a long siege of suffering; for suffering without consolation of friendly assistance usually follows upon it. It must be meek, for one does not give anything to an insolent beggar. It must be full of deference and respect towards all those who give it help.
It must be grateful, for that is its power. It must pray, for that is its life. And what glory poverty gives to God! No matter what happens, poverty is content with its condition because it comes from God. It offers as homage to God everything that makes up its condition. It is grateful for trials as well as for good fortune. It adores God in all things and prefers Him to any condition. Its wealth is in the holy will of God. It places itself in the hands of His paternal providence whether this is manifested through mercy, or kindness, or even justice.
Jacta super Dominum curam tuam, et ipse te enutriet. “Cast your care upon the Lord, and He (Himself) shall sustain you.” Those that are poor supernaturally are God’s property. Oh! How enrapturing is the poverty, which makes us love God above all else!
Christian poverty is beautiful, but more beautiful still religious poverty, which honours God by giving up everything and abandoning itself in all things to His goodness. The love of pleasure ruined man; poverty rehabilitates him and restores him to happiness.
But above all how admirable is the poverty of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament where He deprives Himself of all glory, of all freedom, of every kind of natural good, and where He depends on the charity of man and is at his mercy! That is true love!
Accordingly, all those who wish to be saints must love poverty, and to become a great saint, one must both love poverty and live in the state of poverty. Perfection or sanctity consists in our always preferring to have less than more, in simplifying our life by cutting down the number of its pleasures, in pauperising ourselves for the love of Our Lord, in imitating His poverty and in making it the law of our interior and exterior life, the form of the life of Jesus in us.
Let us consider the spiritual poverty of Jesus Christ; it is the crown and the life of the virtue of poverty.
We are ignorant; consequently, we ought to keep quiet and listen. Our Lord, Who knew all things since He was the Word or Intellect of the Father, was silent the greater part of His life, as if He had been totally uninformed .How difficult it is to persuade ourselves we should have that kind of poverty! We are full of spiritual vanity! Jesus was endowed with all the virtues to the highest degree, and He declared that of Himself He had nothing. We have really nothing worthwhile in our heart. In the presence of God, we are dry and barren like a stone or a beast of burden. Our heart does not know what to say to God; it can produce nothing but thorns and thistles. Is that anything of which to be proud? It is a poor soil that can grow only weeds. Our Lord’s power for good was limitless; He nevertheless relied for everything on the power of His Father. We are powerless for good. Our poverty is still more destitute in that than in anything else; for we have done a great deal of evil and very little good, and to make matters worse, we have spoiled with imperfection what little good we have done.
Such is the poverty of our soul. We must make a virtue of it. But to do this, we must go to our Lord through this state of poverty and perform acts of it like the child that is weak, ignorant, clumsy, and spoils everything, but is nevertheless at peace with itself and happy near its mother. Its mother takes the place of everything; in like manner, let the poverty of Jesus be all our riches!
A poor man is usually without resources, without learning, without power; nevertheless, he lives at peace in his condition. He is fond of his rags, since they entitle him to a share in the charities of the rich. If he has any sores, he takes pleasure in showing them; he earns his bread with them. But is not our Lord more kind and tender than a mother? Is He not our sweet providence, our light, our all? Let us then serve Him in a spirit of poverty and in true humility of heart. Let us remain in the world without any protection; Jesus in the Sacrament has none, and neither have the poor.
Who would not wonder at the interior and exterior poverty of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph? A poor man has nothing; clings to nothing; can do nothing by himself, and knows he means nothing to others. If the opposite were the truth, he would be very rich; for the goods of the mind are much more valuable than the goods of the body, and there is more glory in our being able to give advice than to give a few pieces of silver.
Interior poverty understood in this sense, becomes a remedy for the three concupiscences within us. It attacks vanity, the desire to know always more, and the sensuality of the mind; we are convinced that we are lacking in mind, in heart, in energy, in constancy, and in strength. We shall practise poverty quite naturally and make it our condition. We shall want to depend on God for everything: on His light for our mind, on His grace for our will, on His love for our heart, on His Cross for our body.
But if we are to love this poverty, we must see it and love it in our Lord, Who is so poor in the Sacrament and is forever repeating to us: Sine Me nihil potestis facere. “Without Me, you can do nothing, you have nothing. I am your only wealth. Do not seek any other either in yourself or around you.”
If we are bound to be poor by our state of life, what is the source of our sins against it? And if we are not in the religious life, what is the source of the antipathy we experience against being poor out of love?
The first source of it is vanity. We want to have beautiful things among our personal belongings. We pick out what is best and precious, and dazzling, under the pretext that things last longer. It would be better to consult Our Lord and the spirit of poverty; one act of this virtue would be more profitable to us than all that would-be economy. Sensuality also leads us to transgress poverty by the extreme care we take of ourselves. What expensive measures we resort to against the slightest indisposition! Ah! Many of us are more afraid of poverty than of humility or modesty or any other virtue. We must therefore take to poverty resolutely if we want to resemble our Lord. Let each one of us, according to his condition, aim at having fewer and less expensive things. Let every thing that we buy or receive be a tribute to the holy poverty of our Master Jesus Christ.
CHRISTMAS AND THE EUCHARIST.
“Parvulus natus est nobis.”
“A child is born to us.” (Isaias [Isaiah] 9:6.)
CHRISTMAS is a lovely feast. We always greet it with joy. Our love gives it a new life, and the Eucharist is its continuation. Bethlehem and the Cenacle are inseparably linked together; they complete each other. Let us study the relations that exist between the two.
THE Eucharist was sown at Bethlehem. What is the Eucharist but “the wheat of the elect” and “the living bread”? Now, wheat must be sown. It must fall into the soil, and spring up, and ripen, and be harvested, and be ground before it can be made into good bread.
When He was born on the straw of the stable, the Word was preparing His Eucharist, which He considered the complement of all His other mysteries. He was coming to be united to man. During His life, He would establish with man a union of grace, a union of examples and of merit; but only in the Eucharist would He consummate the most perfect union of which man is capable here below. If we want to understand the divine plan, we must not lose sight of the divine idea, of the purpose our Lord had in mind: a union of grace through the mysteries of His life and death; a physical and personal union through the Eucharist. Both unions were to prepare the consummation of union in glory. Just as a traveller never loses sight of the goal of his journey and directs every step towards it, so throughout His whole life our Lord secretly prepared the Eucharist and brought it ever nearer.
This heavenly wheat was, as it were, sown at Bethlehem the “House of bread.” See the wheat on the straw. Trodden down and crushed, this straw represents poor humanity. Of itself, it is barren. But Jesus will lift it into position in Himself, will restore it to life, and will make it fruitful.
Nisi granum frumenti cadens in terram.
“Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground. . ."
This divine grain has been sown. The tears of Jesus are the moisture that will make it grow into beautiful wheat. Bethlehem is built on a hill facing Jerusalem. When this ear of wheat has ripened, it shall lean towards Calvary where it shall be ground and shall be set on the fire of suffering to become a living bread.
Kings will come to eat of it and find it delicious: Praebebit delicias regibus. “It shall yield dainties to kings.”
It is fit for the royal nuptials of the Lamb: Currunt Magi ad regales nuptias. The Wise Men hasten . . . to the marriage supper of the King.” The Wise Men at that supper represented the kingly and self-possessed souls who today feed on this Bread of the Sacrament.
The relations between our Saviour’s birth at Bethlehem and the Eucharist considered as Sacrament exist also between our Saviour`s birth and the Eucharist considered as Sacrifice. It was truly a lambkin that was born at Bethlehem. Jesus was born like a lamb in a stable, and like a lamb knew no one but His mother.
He was already offering Himself for the sacrifice; it was His first cry: Hostiam et oblationem noluisti: corpus autem aptasti mihi. “Father, You no longer desire the sacrifices and oblations of the Law, but a body have You given Me. Here I am.” Jesus needed that body in order to be immolated; He offered it to His Father.
This little Lamb was to grow up close to its Mother; in forty days she would learn the secret of its immolation. She would feed it with her pure and virginal milk, and would preserve it for the day of sacrifice.
This characteristic of victim was so evident in our Lord that when Saint John the Baptist saw Him in the early days of His public life, he had no other name for Him than that of “Lamb of God.” Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccatum mundi. “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sin of the world.”
The sacrifice begun at Bethlehem is consummated on the altar at Holy Mass. Oh! How touching is the Midnight Mass in the Christian world! We greet it long beforehand and are always glad to see it come around again. What is it that gives to our feast of Christmas its charm and that pours joy into our carols and rapture into our hearts, if not that on the altar Jesus is really born again, although in a different state? Do not our carols and our homages go straight to His very Person? The object of our festive celebration as of our love present. We really go to Bethlehem and we find there, not a memory, not a picture, but the divine Infant Himself.
And see how the Eucharist began at Bethlehem. He was even then the Emmanuel, “God with us,” Who was come to dwell among His people. On the first Christmas Day He began to live in our midst; the Eucharist perpetuates His presence.
At Bethlehem, the Word was made flesh; in the Sacrament He is made bread in order to give us His flesh without stirring any feeling of repugnance in us. At Bethlehem He also began practising the virtues of His sacramental state. He concealed His divinity in order to familiarise man with God. He veiled His divine glory as a first step to the veiling of His humanity. He bound His power in the weakness of a child’s body; later He would bind it beneath the Sacred species. He was poor; He stripped Himself of every possession; He, the Creator and Sovereign Master of all things. The stable was not His own; charity let Him have the use of it. He lived with His Mother on the offerings of the shepherds and the gifts of the Magi; later in the Eucharist, He would ask man for a shelter for Himself, the matter for His Sacrament, vestments for His priest and His altar. This is how Bethlehem heralds the Eucharist. We even find there the inauguration of Eucharistic worship in its chief form, adoration.
Mary and Joseph were the first adorers of the Word Incarnate. They believed firmly; their faith was their virtue: Beata, quae credidisti. “Blessed are you that have believed”
They adored Him by the virtue of their faith. The shepherds and the Magi also adored Him in union with Mary and Joseph. Mary was entirely devoted to the service of Her Son. She was all intent on His service, anticipating His least wishes to satisfy them. The shepherds offered their plain and simple presents, and the Magi their magnificent gifts. They adored Him by the homage of their gifts. The Eucharist also is the meeting-place for persons of all conditions; it is the centre of the Catholic world. It is the object of that twofold worship of adoration: the interior adoration of faith and love; the exterior adoration through the magnificence of gifts, of churches, and of the thrones on which the divine Host will be posed.
The birth of our Lord suggests another thought to me. The angels announced the Saviour to the shepherds in these words: Natus est vobis hodie Salvator. “This day is born to you a Saviour.”
A new era was beginning. Adam’s work was about to be overthrown and replaced by a work of divine restoration. There are two Adams, each one the father of a great people: the first Adam, “of the earth, earthly,” de terra terrenus, father of the degenerated world; and the second Adam, “from heaven, heavenly,” de coelo coelestis, father of the regenerated world.
The second was come to build what the first had destroyed. Note that this restoration is carried out here below only through the Eucharist. The capital point about Adam’s fault, as also the main argument of the diabolical temptation was contained in these words, “You shall be as gods,” and in the feeling of pride they aroused in Adam. “You shall become like to God!” Alas! They became like to the beasts! Well, our Lord came not only to ‘take up Satan’s promises’ and repeat them to us, but to fulfil them.
Satan was caught in his own snares. Yes, we shall become like to God by eating of His Flesh and Blood. “You shall not die.” In Communion, we receive an unfailing pledge of immortality. “He that eats My flesh, and drinks My Blood, has everlasting eternal life”. We lose our temporal life. But it is not a life worthy of the name; it is only a halt on the journey to true life.
“You shall become like to God.” Marrying into a family of higher social rank changes one’s condition; by marrying a king, a commoner becomes queen, Our Lord shares His divinity with us by communicating Himself to us. We become His flesh and His blood. We receive something of the Creator’s divine and heavenly kingship. Human nature was intimately united to the Godhead through the hypostatic union; so does Communion elevate us to union with God and make us partakers of his nature. A less perfect food is transformed into us, but we are transformed into our Lord, Who absorbs us.
We become members of God. And in heaven, our glory shall be in proportion to our transformation into Jesus Christ through a frequent partaking of His adorable Body. “You shall know all things.” All that is evil, yes; all that is good, by no means. Where, to His Apostles after having given them Communion: “I will not now call you servants; . . . but My friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of My Father, I have made known to you.”
Knowledge is imparted to us in the Eucharist by God Himself, Who constitutes Himself our special and personal teacher. Et erunt omnes docibiles Dei.” And they shall all be taught of God.” He no longer sends us prophets; He is Himself our teacher.
“You shall know all things,” for His is divine Knowledge itself, uncreated and infinite. That is how the Eucharist completes the restoration begun in the Crib. Make merry therefore on this beautiful day, on which the sun of the Eucharist is rising. Let your gratitude never separate the Crib from the altar, the Word made flesh from the God-Man made bread of life in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
THE MONTH OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT.
Mensis iste, vobis principium mensium.
This month shall be to you the beginning of months. (Exodus 12:2.)
A great number of devout persons consecrate the Month of June in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For this reason, it is called the month of the Sacred Heart. We wish to consecrate it to the Most Blessed Sacrament, and I think that the name of the month of the Blessed Sacrament is more justified than the other.
Both feasts, that of the Sacred Heart and that of the Blessed Sacrament, (Corpus Christi) usually fall during this month; but the latter is the more solemn and of a superior rite. It is also much more ancient in the Church and should be dearer to us. It is a very good thing to honour the Sacred Heart as the seat of the infinite love of Jesus Christ; but Eucharistic souls should honour it in the Most Blessed Sacrament. For where is the Heart of Jesus truly and substantially living if not in the Eucharist and in heaven?
Many persons honour the Sacred Heart on pictures and make these representations the object of their devotion. This kind of worship is good: but it is only relative. We ought to go beyond the image to the reality. In the Blessed Sacrament, this Heart is living and beating for us. Let then this living and pulsating Heart be the centre of our life. Let us learn to honour the Sacred Heart in the Eucharist. Let us never separate the Sacred Heart from the Eucharist.
In the course of the year, the entire thirty days of several months are consecrated to special devotions. For example, there is the month of Mary, which is nothing other than a feast of thirty days in honour of the Most Blessed Virgin. During that month, we honour all her virtues and all the mysteries of her life; and we never fail to receive some new favour or other. There is also the month of Saint Joseph. A special month will soon be dedicated to the fostering of every important devotion. So much the better! It is an excellent thing of great consequence to Catholic piety. For we have the time in a month to cover the entire object of the devotion, to consider, it from every angle, and to acquire a correct and thorough knowledge of it. By making daily and appropriate meditations and by centering our acts, virtues, and prayers on the same object for a whole month, we soon get a true and solid devotion to the mystery we are honouring. When everything is focused on one thought, such a thought is powerful and exhaustive.
Our devotion must be strong and valid, and must tend to a single object. Why do not a greater number of devout persons attain noteworthy sanctity? Because they have no unity in their piety. They have not enough food to provide for the nourishment and growth of their spirit of piety. They do not know how to draw up for themselves a set of truths to live by. You are aware what excellent results a mission produces in a parish which had hitherto remained deaf to the pressing exhortations and the heroic example of its pastor. The reason is that a mission is nothing other than an uninterrupted succession of exercises. It makes use of all the means capable of touching the heart, striking the imagination and forcing one to serious reflection. A mission is a torrent of grace formed by a gathering together of all the means of salvation. Is it surprising that it triumphs over the most hardened hearts? When all our thoughts and exercises of piety are brought together and concentrated on a single object, they lead us to the highest virtue and overthrow every obstacle. Let us then have a devotion that is concentrated and continuous.
It is said that to correct a bad habit or an ingrained vice, we must first be vigilant and fight against ourselves for some time before starting a movement of progress toward the opposite virtue. Once this initial start is given, we move ahead with giant strides. The same holds good for the subject in which we are presently interested. It will take us some time before we succeed in loving with a strong and enlightened love the Most Blessed Sacrament, the mother and queen of all other devotions and the sunlight of piety.
Devotion to Mary is good and excellent, but it must tend and be related to devotion to the Eucharist, just as Mary herself tends and is wholly related to Jesus Christ. Scripture fittingly compares her to the moon, which receives all its light from the sun and reflects it back to the sun. Well, since the month of Mary effects so many conversions, produces so much good in souls, and obtains so many graces of every kind, what will not the month of the Most Blessed Sacrament do, since you are asked to honour the virtues, the sacrifices, and the very Person of Jesus Eucharistic? If you know how to direct your readings, aspirations, and virtues to the Eucharist, you shall have won some great victory over yourself by the end of the month. Your love shall have grown; and your grace will be more powerful.
Our Lord has said that he who eats His Flesh and drinks His Blood shall have life in him. What will it be if you supplement your sacramental Communion by a continuous communion of thirty days to His love, His virtues, His holiness; and His life in the Most Blessed Sacrament? That is what we mean by unity in piety. Without it, you can have good thoughts, but you will not have a real principle of life. A passing rainstorm merely skims over the soil, but a fine, persistent rain soaks into the earth and makes fertile.
The thought, of the Eucharist, fostered consistently for a whole month, will become a rich fountainhead that will make your virtues thrive, a divine force that will make you advance rapidly on the road to holiness. Basing our stand on pure reason and natural philosophy, we can assure you that if you train your mind for one month on the same subject, you will have acquired the habit of it. Do not fear lest concentration on a single thought narrow your outlook. The Eucharist contains all the mysteries and all the virtues; it offers you the means of making them live anew and of considering them in action in their living exponent, present before you. This greatly facilitates meditation.
For you see Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; you see His sacramental garment; you know through your very senses that He is there. The Host speaks to you; it rivets your attention; it presents our Lord to your senses. May this month then be a month of happiness for you, during which you can live in close intimacy with Jesus.
You know His conversation is never boresome. Non habet amaritudinem conversatio Illius. “His conversation has no bitterness.” May He make you take a giant stride toward sanctity!
HOW should you spend this month in order to derive real profit from it?
You must in the first place have some book on the Blessed Sacrament and read a little of it every day. Do not be afraid of exhausting the subject matter; the depths of the love of Jesus are unfathomable. Jesus is the same in the Eucharist as in heaven; He is ever beautiful, ever new, ever infinite. You need not, fear lest this Infinite source should run dry; Jesus has so many graces, so much glory to give us! Take a book, therefore, that treats of the Eucharist. I am fully aware that books do not make a saint, and that on the contrary it is saints that make good books. For this reason, I recommend books only as a means to instruct you and awaken thoughts in you, which you are to develop and use as food for meditation.
Take for example the fourth book of ‘the Imitation of Christ’. It is so beautiful! It must certainly have been an angel that composed it! Take the Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri. When this book was first published, it revolutionised piety. It has produced and continues every day to produce the most abundant fruits of salvation. There are so many others from which to choose. Pick one out that pleases you.
Drop your other devotions during this month; you will loose nothing by plunging wholly into the sun. Pay more frequent and longer visits to Blessed Sacrament. Receive Communion with greater fervour. Practise some virtue that is related to the state of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: silence, or His meekness, especially His life of prayer in His Father, and His self-abasement.
Make some special sacrifice for the Blessed Sacrament. Have some fresh flower to offer Him every day. He deigns to let us draw near His adorable Person to present our offering to Him. Indeed, the great ones of earth are not so easy to approach. Let us not reject his favour or His love and our right as children of the family.
I sum up what I said: To spend this month well you must practise a Eucharistic virtue and do some reading on the Blessed Sacrament. That is more necessary than you think. With a book, you will have new ideas. Without a book, you will fall into spiritual dryness, saying the same things over and over again . . . . . . . . ut jumentum. (“I am become as a beast before You.”) The book alone is nothing; but if you draw it close to your heart, you will give it life. Holy Writ itself must be read with the heart; if it is read without faith or love, it will be a source of ruin for us just as it hardens the heart of certain unbelievers who read it every day.
Perhaps you will say: “I do not like books because I do not find in them everything my soul is seeking for. They do not satisfy me.” It is fortunate they do not. It would be a great pity if books were to constitute our whole prayer and be exhaustive of all we have to say; we would become mere talking machines. Our Saviour will not let books satisfy us altogether in prayer. We must earn His grace by our own labour, at the sweat of our brow. Never will the life of a saint, be he the greatest in the Church, entirely suit you. And why? Because you are not that saint; because you have a personal grace adapted to your nature; because you possess a personality of your own which you cannot completely ignore. Read, therefore, but expect the full fruit of your reading only from your own meditation.
“I would indeed make my adoration, or a visit, but I cannot come to the church during the day.” Do not let that stop you. Our Lord sees as far as your home; He listens to you from His tabernacle. He can see us from heaven; why could He not see us from the Sacred Host? Adore Him from where you are; you will make a good adoration of love, and our Lord will understand your desire. It would indeed be unfortunate if we could be in touch with Jesus Eucharistic only in His churches. The light of the sun envelops and illumines us even when we do not stand directly beneath its rays. In the same way, from His Host our Lord will find the means to send some rays of His love into your home to bring you warmth and strength.
There are currents in the supernatural order as in the natural. Do you not at times feel unexpectedly recollected and transported with love? The reason is you have come upon a beneficent ray, a current of grace. Have confidence in these currents, in these relations that can be had with Jesus, even from a distance. It would be a sad thing were Jesus to receive adorations from us only when we come to visit Him in church. No, no! He sees everywhere, He blesses everywhere, He unites Himself everywhere to those who want to communicate with Him. Adore Him therefore from everywhere; turn in spirit toward His tabernacles. Let your thoughts, therefore, be for Him during this month! Let your virtues and your love remain in this divine centre, and this month will be one of blessings and graces.
The Eucharistic Vocation.
“If Christians continue abandoning Jesus Christ in His temple, will not the Heavenly Father withdraw from them His Beloved Son, Whom they thus despise? Has He not already so withdrawn Him from many kings and peoples, now bewailing their lot sitting in the very shadow of death? To ward off this greatest of all calamities, let faithful souls arise and unite! Let them become adorers in spirit and in truth of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament! Let them form a guard of honour around the Sovereign of Kings. And a devoted court around the God of love.”
--- St Peter Julian Eymard.