The Holy Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist
Who here on earth himself hath given?
VISITS TO THE BLESSED SACRAMENT AND TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN
The Visit to the Most Holy Sacrament
Our holy faith teaches us, and we are bound to believe, that in the consecrated Host Jesus Christ is really present under the species of bread. But we must also understand that he is thus present on our altars as on a throne of love and mercy, to dispense graces and there to show us the love which he bears us, by being pleased to dwell night and day hidden in the midst of us.
It is well known that the Holy Church instituted the festival of Corpus Christi with a solemn octave, and that she celebrates it with the many usual processions, and so frequent expositions of this Most Holy Sacrament, that men may thereby be moved gratefully to acknowledge and honor this loving presence and dwelling of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, by their devotions, thanksgivings, and the tender affections of their souls. O God! how many insults and outrages has not this amiable Redeemer had, and has he not daily, to endure in this sacrament on the part of those very men for whose love he remains upon their altars on earth! Of this he indeed complained to his dear servant Sister Margaret Alacoque, as the author of the Book of Devotion to the Heart of Jesus relates. One day, as she was in prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament, Jesus showed her his heart on a throne of flames, crowned with thorns, and surmounted by a cross, and thus addressed her: "Behold that heart which has loved men so much, and which has spared itself nothing; and has even gone so far as to consume itself, thereby to show them its love; but in return the greater part of men only show me in gratitude, and this by the irreverences, tepidity, sacrileges, and contempt which they offer me in this sacrament of love; and that which I feel the most acutely is, that they are hearts consecrated to me." Jesus then expressed his wish, that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi should be dedicated as a particular festival in honor of his adorable heart; and that on that day all souls who loved him should endeavor, by their homage, and by the affections of their souls, to make amends for the insults which men have offered him in this sacrament of the Altar; and at the same time he promised abundant graces to all who should thus honor him.
We can thus understand what our Lord said of, old by his prophet, that his delight is to be with the children of men; since he is unable to tear himself from them even when they abandon and despise him. This also shows us how agreeable all those souls are to the heart of Jesus who frequently visit him, and remain in his company in the churches in which he is, under the sacramental species. He desired St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi to visit him in the Most Blessed Sacrament thirty three times a day; and this beloved spouse of his faith fully obeyed him, and in all her visits to the altar approached it as near as she possibly could, as we read in her life.
But let all those devout souls who often go to spend their time with the Most Blessed Sacrament speak; let them tell us the gifts, the inspirations which they have received, the flames of love which are there enkindled in their souls, the paradise which they enjoy in the presence of this hidden God.
The servant of God and great Sicilian missionary Father, Louis La Nusa, was, even in his youth and as a layman, so enamored of Jesus Christ, that he seemed unable to tear himself from the presence of his beloved Lord. Such were the joys which he there experienced, that his director commanded him, in virtue of obedience, not to remain there for more than an hour. The time having elapsed, he showed in obeying (says the author of his life), that in tearing himself from the bosom of Jesus Christ he had to do himself just such violence as a child that has to detach itself from its m