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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Jesus Our Eucharistic Love: Perfection Series VII: Part III

I am reading the title of the book put in the heading of this post. The book, by Father Stefano M.Manelli, F.I., reviews that saints' writings on the Eucharist, the Mass, and Adoration. 

The book dovetails my new perfection series on the Incarnation and the Indwelling of the Trinity. I am borrowing this book from a friend, but it is online here.  The online version is older and the one I am reading in book form is revised slightly.

Let me share some bits which overlap with the discussion on perfection.

First of all, I want to highlight the insights of St. Gemma Galgani, a favorite of mine, who I have quoted in the long perfection series.

To the Eucharist, then, we should go. To Jesus we should turn — to Jesus, Who wishes to make Himself ours in order to make us His by rendering us “godlike”. “Jesus, Food of strong souls,” St. Gemma Galgani used to say, “strengthen me, purify me, make me godlike.” Let us receive the Eucharist with a pure and ardent heart. This is as the Saints have done. It should never be too much trouble for us to grow familiar with this unspeakable mystery. Meditation, study and reflection on the Eucharist should have an important place each day on our timetable. It will be the time of our day richest in blessings.

How daring of Gemma to tell us that we shall become godlike in receiving and adoring the Eucharist. St. Bernard tells us the same thing, that we become like God, as we were intended to be before the Fall.

Holy Communion represents the loftiest point of this exercise of love, Whose consuming flames unite the heart of a creature and Jesus. St. Gemma Galgani could exclaim in this regard, “I can no longer avoid the thought that in the wonderful scope of His Love, Jesus makes Himself perceptible and shows Himself to His lowliest creature in all the splendors of His Heart.” And what may we say about the “exercises” of the heart of St. Gemma, who desired to be a “tent of love” in which she would keep Jesus always with her? She longed to have a “little place in the ciborium” to be able to stay always with Jesus. She asked that she could become “a flaming ball afire with love” for Jesus.

Daily or even weekly Adortation can heal and even deliver souls from evil. Receiving Holy Communion should not merely be a weekly exercise without reflection, but a uniting of the soul with the Crucified Savior. 

Second, God is among us daily. Do we realize this? He dwells "in our midst" and within us if we remain in sanctifying grace.

“The faith of the Church,” Pope Pius XII teaches us, “is this: That one and identical is the Word of God and the Son of Mary Who suffered on the Cross, Who is present in the Eucharist, and Who rules in Heaven.”
Let us ask the question: What is the Eucharist? It is God among us. It is the Lord Jesus present in the tabernacles of our churches with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is Jesus veiled under the appearance of bread, but really and physically present in the consecrated Host, so that He dwells in our midst, works within us and for us, and is at our disposal. The Eucharistic Jesus is the true Emmanuel, the “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)
Third, the Mass sustains the world, which would have been destroyed by sin if God's Sacrifice was not daily offered at the altar.

Indeed, inasmuch as it renews the Sacrifice of Jesus' Passion and Death, the Holy Mass, even taken alone, is great enough to restrain divine justice. St. Teresa of Jesus said to her daughters, “Without the Holy Mass, what would become of us? All here below would perish, because that alone can hold back God's arm.” Without it the Church certainly would not last and the world would become hopelessly lost. “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass,” said Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. He was following St. Leonard of Port Maurice who had said, “I believe that if there were no Mass, the world would by now have sunk into the abyss under the weight of its wickedness. The Mass is the powerful support which sustains it.”
Most Catholics forget or do not know that the Mass is the Sacrifice at Calvary, occurring over and over and over daily, in most places in the world.
Fourth, for most of us, unless we live miles away from a daily Mass as I did in Upper State NY, the Mass is overlooked as something worthy of making an effort to attend.
We ought to prefer Holy Mass all the more to mere amusements that waste our time and bring no profit to our soul. St. Louis IX, King of France, attended several Masses every day. A minister of the government complained, remarking that he could devote that time to the affairs of the kingdom. The saintly king remarked, “If I spent twice the time in amusements, like hunting, no one would have any objection.”
Let us be generous and willingly make sacrifices so as not to lose so great a good. 
The graces given at Mass and in Adoration cannot be fully explained. God works on the heart, the mind, and the soul, bringing a person to perfection in and with and through the Eucharist...

to be continued.