More on How to Get More Out of Holy Communion
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
This week I continue with the instruction from St. Peter Julian Eymard from his book: How to Get More Out of Holy Communion. The goal of this series is to help every Catholic to be continually renewed in the love of Jesus truly present in the Holy Eucharist each time the soul receives Him in this Sacrament of His Love. What wonderful encouragement St. Peter offers us to draw close to Our Lord Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, each week, or more often!
One inspiring teaching from St. Peter is that each Holy Communion lets each of us surrender ourselves to Jesus. St. Peter writes, “God’s union with us crowns the divine work of rehabilitation accomplished by Communion… Communion is the perfect development, the full unfoldment of the Incarnation, as it is likewise the completion of the sublime Sacrifice of Calvary, renewed each day in the (Holy) Mass. It is in order to be united with His priest and the faithful that Jesus Christ descends to the altar at the Consecration… It is our Lord’s desire to communicate Himself to us as abundantly as possible. But each one receives Him according to his capacity and preparation. To the soul that is well prepared, He gives a strength of life, a generous resolution that causes it to vow eternal fidelity to its Spouse. Henceforth it studies His wishes, tries to find ways of pleasing Him. It receives from our Lord that delicate sense by which He discerns the things that are to His Father’s glory, the faculty of judging everything from the divine viewpoint. A soul that lacks this delicate perception seeks itself in all things and, even in receiving Communion, thinks only of the sweetness it may draw from our Lord’s presence. Delicacy of feeling is the flower of love. To a soul so finely attuned, Jesus Christ gives, moreover, the grace of self-forgetfulness and entire self-surrender. A soul that receives Communion must come to the point of loving our Lord for Himself; must be able to give itself without asking what it will receive in return. He loves little who demands a recompense for everything he does. To live by Jesus for oneself is well and good, but to live by Him and for Him is better… Our Lord wants us to forget about ourselves… So let Communion be the center of our life, of our actions. Live in order to receive Communion, and receive Communion in order to live a holy life and give glory to God within you. He will one day give you glory beyond telling in the blissful eternity that is His.”
Another helpful principal offered by St. Peter is that prayer is essential to fruitful Communion. St. Peter wrote: “We must live on the Eucharist. The Eucharist is love, nothing but love; therefore, we must perfect this love within us, continually renewing its fire, so that we ourselves may be enkindled by it. Love must be made strong in our hearts before we may expect to make it manifest in good works. Since we receive Incarnate Love (Jesus in the Eucharist) so often, our whole life should be simply the development and unfoldment of this love. But if we do not take pains tobring love to perfection in our hearts, we shall never make any progress. Let us be true disciples of Jesus Christ and live by love. The Holy Spirit has breathed the spirit of love into our hearts; let us love, then, bounteously, generously, and royally!... The Eucharist is the fruit of the love of Jesus Christ, and the heart is the seat of love. In order to make us realize this truth, our Lord does not let us see Him but remains in the Holy Eucharist, imperceptible to the senses; we neither perceive His Body nor taste His Blood. He wants us to go on and find His love in the depths of His Heart… Only in prayer do the fruits of virtue ripen; only in prayer are they harvested. By prayer, a soul may save the world, because it is united with Jesus Christ, who prays within His tabernacle… Never think the time you pass in front of the tabernacle is time taken from good works; not until the grain is covered by the furrow does its fecundity appear. Intimacy with the Holy Eucharist is the seed of virtue.” One benefit of Holy Communion, as taught by St. Peter, is that union with Christ sanctifies our actions. St. Peter wrote: “By Communion, Jesus comes to take possession of us and make us His. To enter into His plan, we must abandon to Him all rights over and all ownership in ourselves; we must leave to Him the direction and initiative of our all our acts; we must do nothing by ourselves nor for ourselves, but everything by and for Him. By this union, there takes place within us a new incarnation of the Word, who then continues in us for the glory of God what He did in the human nature of Jesus… In this union with our Lord consists man’s dignity. I do not become part of the Divinity, something to be adored; yet I become something consecrated, holy. My nature is still nothing in the eyes of God and, of itself, may fall back into the abyss. But God, by His grace, by His presence within me, raises it to union with Him… In short, relationship with our Lord is simply participation in His sanctity, according to His words: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, who is in Heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother (Matthew 12:50)… This life of union may be expressed, therefore, in two terms: sacramenta Communion and a life of recollection.”
My brothers and sisters, let us seek our Lord Jesus with our whole hearts each day. With the help of, Mary, the Mother of the Eucharist, may our hearts be inspired to seek union with Jesus and experience His continual love and closeness!
Through the love of the Heart of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the Virgin Mary, with St. Columbkill, may God bless you, your families and our parish!
In Christ through Mary, Fr. Kasel