Meditations of the Curé d’Ars
Second Impression 1971
d’Ars: John Baptist Mary Vianney was born in Dardilly in France
in 1786. He was ordained priest in 1815 and appointed cure of
Ars – a village near Lyons – in 1818. He completely immersed
himself in the work of his parish but soon gained a reputation
right across Europe as a confessor and spiritual guide. He also
the gift of healing and of hidden knowledge but he was also
tormented in life by evil spirits. He gave all he had to the
poor and needy and went about in ragged clothes, eat poorly, and
slept little. In the twelve months before he died in 1859 he was
visited by over one hundred thousand people. He was canonized in
1925 and declared Patron of Parish Clergy in 1929.
Meditation 1: Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist
At the moment when the Mother of St. Alexis recognised her son
in the dead body of the beggar, who had lived for thirty years
under the stairs in her palace, she exclaimed:
“O my son! too late have I known thee!” The soul leaving this
life will see at last Him, whom it possessed in the Eucharist,
and at the sight of the consolations, beauties and riches that
she had ignored, she will likewise cry out:
“O Jesus! O my Life! O my Treasure!
O my Love! too late have I known Thee!”
Divine Saviour, while I meditate on the proofs of your presence
under the sacramental veils, enlighten my mind, influence my
heart, inspire me with the lively, ardent faith, which is
already a vision of your eternal beauty.
Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist with His Body and
Blood, His Soul and Divinity. Do you wish for proofs clear and
1. Our Lord has said it.
The evening of the Last Supper, He took bread, blessed it, broke
it and gave it to the Apostles, and said: “Take and eat. This is
My Body.” Then He took the chalice containing wine, and said:
“Drink ye all of this. This is My Blood. Do this in memory of
“This is My Body” - then it is no longer bread. “This is My
Blood” - then it is no longer wine. Jesus Christ has said it. I
believe because He is the Truth, who does not deceive, the Power
that all things obey.
But why reason, O my soul? Believe and adore. Believe that Jesus
Christ is in this sacrament as truly as He was nine months in
the womb of Mary, as really as He was nailed to the Cross. Adore
in humility and gratitude.
2. It is a fact that is in accord with reason.
Our Lord has said: “All that you ask the Father in My Name He
will give it to you.” Never would we have thought of asking God
to give us His own Son. But what man could not have even
imagined, God has done. What man could not say or think, and
what he could not have dared to desire, God, in His love has
said it, planned it and carried His design into execution.
Would we have dared to ask God to deliver His Son to death for
us: to give us His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink? If all
this is not true, then man has been able to imagine things
greater than God can do. He would have gone further than God in
the inventions of love. This is not possible. In other words,
what man could not even conceive, God has executed.
If the Eucharist, mystery of an infinite love, was an invention
of the human spirit we would have a greater idea of the love of
God for men than that which God has realized.
But God does not let Himself be outdone in love, and we are
compelled to say with St. Ambrose, who applies to the Eucharist
the words of St. Paul, “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither
hath it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for
those who love Him.” May He be blessed forever.
3. It is a fact made evident by a kind of intuition.
There is no room for doubting that Our Lord is in the Holy
Eucharist. One knows well that He is there. One feels it.
In receiving Holy Communion one feels something extraordinary, a
sense of well-being which pervades his whole body. What is this
sense of well-being? It is Our Lord who communicates Himself to
all parts of our bodies, and makes them thrill with joy. We are
compelled to cry out with St. John: “It is the Lord.”
O Jesus, without wishing to aspire after the favours granted to
your saints, give me, I pray, the proof of your presence in Holy
Communion by the unction of your grace, by the spiritual joy and
generous enthusiasm in the practice of virtue.
4. It is a fact attested by history.
A priest was saying Mass in a church of Bolsene and after
pronouncing the words of Consecration doubted the Host. At that
instant the Sacred Host was quite covered with Blood. Jesus
Christ seemed to wish to reproach His minister for his
infidelity, and to make him ashamed, and at the same time to
show us by this great miracle how convinced we ought to be of
His holy Presence in the Eucharist. This holy Host poured forth
blood in such abundance that the corporal, altar cloth and even
the altar itself were covered. The Pope, who was informed of the
miracle, ordered that the corporal all saturated with blood
should be brought to him. When it reached the town of Orvieto it
was received with the greatest ceremony, and exposed in the
church. Each year, this precious relic is carried in procession
on Corpus Christi.
Another proof, this time personal.
“Do you believe that a piece of bread could detach itself and go
on its own and place itself on the tongue of one who was coming
to receive it?” I asked this one day of two Protestant ministers
who did not believe in the Real Presence of Our Lord. “No.” Then
it is not bread. Here is a story of which I myself am a witness.
A man had temptations against faith in the Real Presence. How
does one know it? It is not certain. The Consecration, what is
it? What happens on the altar at that moment? But he wished to
be delivered from these temptations, and he prayed to the
Blessed Virgin to obtain for him a faith simple and peaceful.
Listen now. I do not say that this happened somewhere. I say
that it happened to me. At the moment when this man came to
receive Communion, the Sacred Host left my fingers while I was
yet a good distance away. It went of Itself and placed Itself on
the tongue of this man.
See how that ought to strengthen our faith! But, my God, what
need have we of proofs after the words of Jesus Christ Himself.
5. How does Our Lord dwell in the Eucharist?
In an invisible manner, hidden under the species of bread. He
accommodates Himself to our weakness. In heaven, when we will be
triumphant and glorious, we shall see Him in His glory. If He
showed Himself now before us with this glory, we would not dare
to approach Him, but He hides Himself as someone in prison and
says to us: You do not see Me, but this does not matter: ask Me
all that you wish, I will give it to you.
Oh! if we had the faith . . . if we were really persuaded of the
Real Presence of Him who thus hides Himself out of love, and who
is there, His hands full of graces, longing to distribute them,
with what reverence we would come before Him, with what
confidence we should invoke Him.
Meditation 2: The Love of Jesus Christ in the institution of
Jesus Christ having loved His own, loved them to the end (John
xiii, 1). Is it not indeed an excess of love which makes Jesus
perpetuate His presence in the midst of His disciples? He makes
them an inestimable gift; He assures them of an all-powerful
remedy for all the tribulations of the world; He opens to them a
source of special graces. Let us meditate on the wonders of the
The love of Jesus Christ in the institution of the Eucharist
1. By the gift that He gives us.
By the Eucharist He feeds His children, not with the Manna with
which the Jewish people were fed in the desert, but with His
adorable Body and His precious Blood. Who could have ever
thought of it, if He Himself had not told us and done it at the
Has anyone ever seen the tenderness of a father, the liberality
of a king for his subjects, go so far as that of Jesus Christ in
the Sacrament of our altars. Parents in their wills leave their
goods to their children: but in the testament of Jesus Christ it
is not temporal goods that He bequeaths to us, it is Himself He
gives us with His divine riches. Is not this truly wonderful
generosity on the part of God for His creatures?
Oh! how worthy these marvels are of our admiration and our love!
A God after taking on Himself our weakness makes Himself the
food of our souls! O, Christian people, how happy you are to
have a God so good and so rich!
2. The motive for which He gives this gift.
Knowing that the time had come for Him to return to His Father,
He could not make up His mind to leave us alone among so many
enemies, all seeking our destruction. He wanted us to have the
happiness of being able to find Him always whenever we wished,
and by this great sacrament, He pledges Himself to remain with
us day and night, to be our Father, Consoler and our food.
More happy than those who were alive during His earthly life,
when He was only in one place, we find Him today with His Body,
His Soul and His Divinity in every corner of the world, and this
happiness is promised to us until the end of the world. O
immense love of God for His creatures! How great is His fatherly
3. Of the graces He gives us in this gift.
In the Eucharist Jesus Christ is God Our Saviour, who, each day,
offers Himself for us to the justice of His Father, and who, not
satisfied with becoming man for our salvation, gives Himself to
each of us in particular, urged to this by His love. And He
desires that in Him we should find all our happiness. If we are
in trouble or distress, He will comfort and relieve us. If we
are ill, He will cure us or will give us strength to suffer in
such a way as to merit heaven. If the devil, the world and our
inclinations make war on us, He will give us arms to fight, to
resist and to come off victorious. If we are poor, He will
enrich us with all kinds of riches for time and for eternity.
Is all this enough, think you? Indeed no, He has still other
gifts to bestow on us that His immense love has formed in His
Heart burning with love for the world. But, let us pause, let us
open, rather, the door of this sacred and adorable Heart; let us
enclose ourselves, for an instant, in its flames, and we shall
see what a God who loves us can do! O my God, who will be able
to understand it!
Meditation 3: The Love of Jesus Christ in the institution of
“The greatest proof of love is to give one’s life for those one
loves.” It is of you yourself that you speak, O Jesus, when You
say these words.
In order to give me your life in the Eucharist you have left
your sacrament open to the profanations of the wicked, and you
come to me across these irreverences and mockeries. It is at the
moment when your enemies prepare for you a crown of thorns, the
nails, the cross, that you prepare for me a chalice of
benedictions, and bread from heaven. O how eloquently you show
me by this the strength of your love. Grant that I may be all on
fire during this meditation.
Three things make the love of Jesus Christ shine forth for us in
the institution of the Eucharist.
1. The contempt to which lie exposes Himself.
Before instituting this sacrament of love, He knew very well to
how much scorn and contempt He was exposing Himself. O my
Saviour, why not remain in heaven after your return there!
There, at least, the Angels will love you with a pure and
perfect love: but in the Eucharist, the Jews will pierce you
again with nails, wicked Christians will receive you unworthily,
some without contrition, others without the wish to correct
themselves, others perhaps with crime in their hearts. He knows
it: but all that does not hinder His love. “O city of Sion,
exclaims the Lord, by the mouth of the prophet Isaias (xii, 6)
cry out, thrill with joy, because your God dwells in the midst
of you.” Jesus Christ has chosen for Himself the humiliations
and at this price has assured to us forever the happiness and
benefit of His presence.
2. The day on which lie instituted this sacrament.
What love is there like to that of Jesus Christ? He chose for
the institution of the Eucharist the eve of the day on which He
was to be put to death! At this moment all Jerusalem is in a
fever. The whole people are angry, and all conspire to bring
about His death, and it is precisely at this moment that He
prepares for them the most ineffable pledge of His love. Men
weave the darkest plots against Him, and He thinks only what is
the most precious gift He can give them! They think only of
lifting Him on an infamous cross to die:. He thinks only of
raising an altar on which to immolate Himself each day for us.
They prepare to shed His Blood, and Jesus Christ wishes this
same Blood to be for us the wine of immortality for the
consolation and happiness of our souls. Yes, we can truly say
Jesus Christ has loved us and has exhausted the wealth of His
love, sacrificing Himself in every way that His wisdom and His
power could inspire. O tender and generous love of a God for
vile creatures like us, how unworthy we are of it!
3. Some circumstances even of the institution.
He chose for instituting the Eucharist bread and wine, the food
of all, both rich and poor, of strong or weak, to show us that
his heavenly nourishment is for all Christians - little and
great, subjects and kings: “Come to me all you who wish to
preserve the life of grace and to have strength to fight the
evil spirit. Come to the feast I have prepared for you. I
exclude no one.”
He consecrated the wine in a cup. We read in the Apocalypse of
St. John that this apostle saw an angel to whom the Eternal
Father gave the vessel of His wrath to pour out on all the
nations; but here we see quite the contrary. The Eternal Father
puts in the hands of His Son the vessel of His mercy to be
poured out on all the nations of the earth.
In speaking to us of His adorable Blood, He says to us as to His
apostles: “Drink you all of this and you will find remission of
your sins and life eternal.” O ineffable blessing! O, happy
fountainhead! The Blood of Jesus Christ will implore grace for
When Jesus Christ worked this great miracle (of the
Consecration) He lifted His eyes to heaven, and gave thanks to
His heavenly Father, showing us thus how this happy moment for
us was desired by Him. Yes, my children, this divine Saviour
seems then to say: My Blood is impatient to flow for you; My
Body burns with desire to be wounded to cure your wounds; the
thought of My sufferings and death fill Me with joy, because
through them you will find a remedy for all your ills. O, what a
love of a God for His creatures!
Meditation 4: Excellence of the Sacrament of the Eucharist
Lord, I will praise Thee with all my heart in the assembly of
the just (Ps. 110. 1-5).
Creation, the government of the universe are great works showing
forth your power, wisdom and goodness; but nowhere are they more
resplendent than in the Eucharist, memorial of all the wonders
you have wrought upon the earth. I devote my voice, my heart, my
soul to bless you; give me the love and reverence of the
Cherubim and Seraphim who adore you with a holy fear.
1. The power and the goodness of God are shown forth in the
Eucharist better than in creation.
If we consider all that God has made: the heavens, the earth,
the wonderful order that reigns in this vast universe, all
declare to us an infinite power that created all things. an
admirable wisdom which governs all, a supreme goodness which
provides for all with the same care, as if it was concerned only
with one single being — so many wonders must fill us with
amazement and admiration.
But if we speak of the adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist, we
can say that here is the prodigy of the love of a God for us; it
is here that His power, grace, and goodness shine in a
marvellous manner. Here is the bread come down from heaven, the
bread of Angels which is given to us to be the food of our
souls; the bread of the strong to comfort and sweeten our
sorrows; here is the bread of the wayfarers; it is the key which
opens heaven for us; so said the Saviour: “whosoever will
receive Me will have life eternal.” To give us this bread, Jesus
multiplies miracles, inverts the order of nature and suspends
2. His liberality and His mercy are more vividly shown here than
in the other sacraments.
None can be compared to the Eucharist. By Baptism we receive, it
is true, the character of children of God, and, in consequence.
heaven is open to us and we share in all the treasures of the
Church; by Penance, the wounds of our souls are healed and the
friendship of God is restored to us; by Confirmation, Jesus
Christ gives us the spirit of light and strength; by Extreme
Unction He covers us with the merits of His Death and His
Passion; by Holy Orders He gives to priests all His powers; by
Marriage He sanctifies all our actions, even those that seem
only to follow the inclinations of nature. Mercies truly of a
God who is infinite. But all this seems to be only an
apprenticeship to His love for men. In the adorable Sacrament of
the Eucharist He goes much further. We receive not only the
application of His precious Blood, but Christ Himself, the
Author of all Grace, who has Himself merited it for us by His
Passion and Death. He is there as living as in Paradise. He
communicates Himself to us with His glorious wounds, shining
eternal witnesses of His love, source inexhaustible of all
supernatural life. O my God, may you be blessed! I bow down and
Meditation 5: The Eucharist the Food of Our Souls
There is in every house a place where the provisions of the
family are kept: the storeroom. The church is the house of
souls. This house belongs to us who are Christians. Well, in
this house there is a storeroom. Do you see this tabernacle? If
one asks Christian souls, what is that? Your souls answer: “it
is the storeroom. It is there that the Body and Blood of Jesus
is, and this good Saviour says to us: ‘Take and eat . . . take
A mortal man, a creature, feeds himself, satiates himself with
his God, making of Him his daily food and drink! O miracle of
miracles! O love beyond all love! O happiness beyond all
happiness! I thank you, O my God, and I ask of you the grace to
hunger always for this heavenly food.
1. The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ feeds our souls in the
All creatures have need of food in order to live, that is why
God has made the trees and plants. It is a table well served
where all the animals come to take the food which suits each
But the soul also must be fed. Where then is its food? When God
wished to give food to our soul to sustain it in the pilgrimage
of this life, He looked over all the creation and found nothing
worthy of it. Then He fell back on Himself and resolved to give
O my soul, how great thou art since only a God can satisfy thee!
The food of the soul is the Body and Blood of a God! What
beautiful nourishment! The soul can only feed on a God! No other
than God can suffice. Only God can satisfy its hunger. It needs
O my soul, bless this God who is so magnificent. Come often to
this divine banquet to satiate thyself with justice and
holiness. Those who refuse to sit down here or who partake of it
only at long intervals, condemn themselves to certain death or
to weakness, because one cannot live without food nor enjoy
vigorous health without eating frequently.
2. Jesus, our food, glory of the Christian soul and witness of
the divine condescension.
Jesus our food, incomparable glory of the Christian soul. What
the Angels behold only with awe, the radiant splendour of which
they cannot sustain, we make our food, we receive it into us, we
become with Jesus Christ one same Body one sole Flesh. Who shall
declare the works of the Lord, and who shall declare all His
praises (Ps. cv. 2).
3. Jesus our food, witness of a love more than maternal. Where,
then, is the shepherd who feeds his sheep with
his own flesh? But why do I say shepherd! Some mothers there are
who give their children to strangers to be nourished. Our Lord
does not act thus. He feeds us with His own Blood and unites us
to Himself in every way. By His Incarnation He has willed to be
born of our race, to come to all. By the Eucharist He comes to
each one of us, and those to whom He gives life He feeds on
It is without doubt very humiliating for the good God to come
into our hearts, but it is to find there a soul that He loves,
that He has bought at the cost of His Blood. Do not let us then
be indifferent since we have been favoured with such love and
such glory. Have you ever noticed how eagerly an infant sucks at
his mother’s breast? Let us come with the same eagerness to this
Holy Table to this breast whence we draw a spiritual drink. Let
us draw with greater strength still than the little ones, the
grace of the Holy Spirit. Let us only have one regret — to be
deprived of this heavenly nourishment. (St. John Chrysostom,
Horn. 82 in Math.)
Meditation 6: The Sunday Feast
The Council of Trent wishes that at each Mass the faithful who
are present may communicate in order to draw more abundant fruit
from the Holy Mass (Sess. xxii. cap. vi). The faithful being
obliged to assist at Mass on Sunday should then enter into the
spirit of the Church and receive Holy Communion. That is why the
saint recommends so earnestly “that we give our souls this
special feast on Sunday.”
Let us thank the Holy Spirit for the light that he gives us by
His Church and let us strive to conform our conduct to it.
1. The suitability for an immortal soul of a good banquet once a
The Third Commandment is a great affair — “You will spend the
Sunday serving God devotedly.” Weekdays are for the matter,
Sunday is for the spirit.
The body made from the earth can be destroyed; the soul image of
God is imperishable, and it is this which sustains the body. It
is to this then that we owe the most care, and, nevertheless, we
always neglect the soul and care only for the body.
See, all the week one gathers, one spends, one buys, one sells;
but all that is for the body. Arrange things then to make once a
week a feast for the immortal soul: O delicious banquet! O
heavenly Bread! Oh! what a privilege! to be able to feed his
soul and to feed it with God!
2. When ought one to communicate?
On Sunday at least, it is true that we are obliged to do this
only once a year — at Easter; but should we deny ourselves the
happiness we may have by communicating often? The wise men of
old could not understand this extraordinary thing. They said God
was too great to become incarnate to give Himself’. That is
because they did not know how good God is. We know it.
How much better off we are; God has come amongst us, we can go
up to Him. Ah, if we will, we will be as Angels on earth.
O beautiful life! O happy life! To live for God. Live for God at
least on Sunday. Take care, without God you are lost. Has one
then to hunger for God? Is it too much one day in seven to
nourish oneself on God?
My body eats when it is hungry, but my soul? If it is not
hungry, then it is that it is very ill. Oh! let us love God,
live for God, serve God. There is happiness.
3. We should prepare for this feast of the soul by purity of
We must take some trouble to purify our souls. Look at the
pictures of the holy Virgin, of St. Philomena, the painter has
worked hard to adorn them, that is why they are so beautiful.
They are pleasing to look at. Let us work as hard to adorn our
souls to please men and Angels and the good God.
Nothing is so beautiful as the pure soul that is nourished by
its God. Purify yourself then by a good Confession, and each
Sunday receive God the food of your soul. You know that one only
relishes the good odour and taste of fruits in proportion to the
health of the body; thus the soul penetrates the wonders of God
in the measure of its purity.
Ah! we do not relish God because of lack of purity. Oh! what a
misfortune not to taste the good God. Let us purify ourselves,
let us receive our God, let us merit heaven; in heaven we shall
see our beauty, and we shall feel all the taste of God.
4. To desire it ardently.
See, if we reflected . . . this priest holds God to feed my
soul! O! we should die of joy . . . but we do not love the good
Behold the good God is so good, so great that we must fly
joyously and very high like a bird to come to Him. How we shall
sing for joy when we have attained to Him! See then what joy it
is to have this great God for food.
What has this soul done to merit it? O my soul, whom do you go
to receive? Thy God, thy Creator, thy Saviour.
Ah, my children, if you understood this clearly, you would die
5. The effects of this Banquet on the soul and the body.
We have seen good Christians who are unmindful of their bodies.
Isn’t that better than to be like those bad Christians who
forget their souls, like people in the world who think only of
material things, who fill their stomachs with plentiful and
delicious food. Well, what is the fruit of it? At the end a body
which will go to the graveyard. For us Christians the fruit of
our spiritual food is our salvation, and in heaven even our
bodies will be transfigured.
Do you understand? To go up to heaven, to be filled with God!
Man is so great, so great, that he is carried there on the
shoulders of God.
See to what the fruit of partaking of this food leads; the Holy
Communion nourished St. Simeon in his body as well as in his
soul. His soul bathed in the joy of the love of God sustained
Meditation 7: Daily Communion
Take and eat: bread is not made to be put behind a glass or kept
in an urn, but to be food and daily food. The greatest
compliment you can pay good bread, is it not to eat it?
O Flesh and Blood of Jesus, true food and drink of souls, I
adore you. I hunger and thirst for you. Come each day to
inundate with heavenly life this sad life of exile, to enrich it
and to make shine in it a ray from the joys of our heavenly
1. Give us this day our daily bread.
There are two kinds of food - that of the soul - and that of the
body which the earth brings forth. Our body which is only dust
lives on the earth, but the food of the soul is the Body and
Blood of a God. O beautiful food! it is enough, if one thinks of
it to make one lose oneself in this abyss of love. My Father is
God! my good is heaven! my food the Body and Blood of God
Himself! O man, how happy thou art! Thou are made to adore, to
love and to receive God!
The bread of souls is in the tabernacle. The tabernacle is the
storeroom of Christians. Oh! how wonderful it is my children!
when the priest holds up the Host and you see It, your soul can
say: “there is my food.” 0! my children, we are too well off. We
shall only understand it in heaven. What a pity! If we could
conceive a little of the grandeur and happiness of Communion, we
would desire life only to have the happiness of making Jesus
Christ our daily bread. All created things would be as nothing.
We should despise them in order to cling to God alone, and all
our actions would tend only to make us more worthy to receive
it. When one can have a divine banquet every day, is it not bad
taste not to take it?
2. Go, then, to Communion.
My children, go to Jesus with love and confidence. Go, to live
by Him in order to live for Him. Do not say that you have too
much to do. Has not the divine Saviour said:
“Come to Me all you who work and are heavily laden; come to Me
and I will comfort you”? Can you resist an invitation so full of
tenderness and friendship? You work each day. Communicate then
each day. Do not say that you are not worthy. What nonsense! It
is true you are not worthy, but you are in need. If our Saviour
had had our worthiness in view He would never have instituted
His beautiful Sacrament of love, because no one in the world,
not even the Saints nor the Angels, nor the Archangels, not even
the Blessed Virgin, are worthy of it. Since He wishes to abase
Himself to our misery, let us work then to merit to receive Him
every day. This is what the Christians did in the early Church.
Meditation 8: Disregard for the Bread from Heaven
“I AM with you said Jesus, the living Bread come down from
heaven. He who eats this Bread shall live forever.”
I believe, I adore, because you have the words of eternal life.
No one else can give it to me, and I know that apart from you
there is only feebleness and decay. Grant, O Jesus, that I may
fear above all things the indifference which, keeping me at a
distance from the Holy Table, would deprive me of an increase of
life divine and lead me progressively to death.
1. Indifference to Holy Communion is sometimes a sign of
You who only communicate rarely are like someone between two
sleeps. You know that Jesus Christ is truly in the Sacrament of
the Eucharist, that this food is absolutely necessary for your
poor soul. Nevertheless, one sees in you little desire.
There are long intervals between your Confessions and
Communions. You decide to go because of a great feast or a
jubilee or a mission, or because others are going, and not
because your poor soul needs it. Not only do you not try to
merit this happiness, but you do not even envy those who taste
it more often. Thus you imitate the Jews. They are reproached
for refusing shelter to Jesus Christ on the first Christmas
night although they did not know Him. You treat Him with the
same discourtesy, you who neglect to receive Him into your
hearts in Holy Communion. Do not forget that at the Particular
Judgment Jesus Christ will judge us on all the good we could
have done. He will show you all the sacraments that you could
have received during your life. How many more times you could
have received His Body and His Blood if you had wished to lead a
better life. Ah, great God!
2. Indifference towards Holy Communion puts our salvation in
Here are Christians who are poor in spiritual goods, who are
subject to a thousand infirmities, who are weak and languishing.
My God! how then can they remain three, four or five and six
months without giving this heavenly food to their souls.
Beside the beautiful Sacrament, they are like someone who is
dying of thirst beside a river, and would only have to bend his
head to drink, or like a man who remains poor beside a treasure,
who need only stretch out his hand.
Having a remedy so efficacious for curing their soul and a food
so capable of conserving its health, how is it that they let it
die of misery? My God! what misfortune and what blindness!
Alas! let us say it groaning. One spares nothing for a body
which sooner or later will be destroyed and eaten by worms, and
a soul created to the image of God, a soul that is immortal, is
despised and treated with the greatest cruelty. Is it not, in
effect, to treat it without pity, to let it die of starvation,
refusing it the bread of life which alone can sustain it?
But, we are peaceful and happy in this state. Yet you risk being
surprised by death and cast into hell.
Is it because the devil is your master? If your faith was not
dead, what confusion you would feel at seeing your father, or
mother or brother or sister, or one of your neighbours go to the
Holy Table to be fed with the adorable Body of Jesus Christ, and
you, yourself, abstaining from it! O my God! what a misfortune!
So great that one cannot understand it!
Meditation 9: The Eucharist unites us to Jesus Christ
A saint used to say that we were God-bearers. It is really true
because at the moment of receiving the Blessed Eucharist, and as
long as the Sacred Species subsist, Jesus Christ is
substantially present with His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity
in our body and our soul. We are thus tabernacles, living
ciboria of Jesus Christ. What are You doing, O my Saviour,
during this quarter of an hour, when You deign to dwell in me;
when You are in contact with my body and my soul? I cure you of
your spiritual laziness, strive to draw you into My Heart; I set
you on fire with flames of love for God and for your brethren. O
mystery of condescension and of divine love! Give me O Jesus, an
understanding and relish of it.
1. Union of spirit with Christ.
Jesus, whilst He remains after Holy Communion under the
Eucharistic Species, unites Himself intimately to the Christian
soul, by animating it with the most lively sentiments of love
and fervour; this is the chief end for which He comes into our
hearts. The union of the Flesh of Christ with our flesh has its
consummation and its perfection only in this union of spirit
which it brings about and symbolises. In the Eucharist, the
Flesh of Our Lord is in some way the instrument by which the
Divinity touches us even to the most intimate depths of our
being in order to give us life.
Let us listen to the servant of God telling us, after the manner
of the saints, this wonderful effect of this adorable Sacrament.
One Communion is to the soul what a breath of wind is to a fire
that is dying out, but where there are still many embers. It
blows on them and the fire is rekindled.
One Communion well made is sufficient to inflame a soul with the
love of God and to make him disregard the world.
A great personage of this world not long since came here to Holy
Communion: he had a fortune of 300,000 francs. He gave 100,000
to build a church, 100,000 to the poor, and 100,000 to his
parents, and he entered La Trappe. A lawyer came after him; he
made a good Communion, and set out determined to put himself
under the direction of Père Lacordaire. Oh! One Holy Communion,
one only, it is enough to given man a distaste for earth and to
give him a foretaste of heavenly delights.
When one has received Communion, the soul revels in the embraces
of love as a bee in the flowers. He who communicates loses
himself in God as a drop of water in the ocean. They cannot be
He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, said Jesus Christ,
abides in Me and I in him. My Flesh is meat indeed and My Blood
is drink indeed; so that by Holy Communion, the adorable Blood
of Jesus Christ flows in our veins, His Flesh is truly mingled
with ours. We are united to His Person as food is to our flesh.
St. Paul expressed this union very well when he says: “It is no
longer I that live, but Jesus Christ Who lives in me.” It is no
longer I who act, who think, but it is Jesus Christ who acts and
thinks in me. If we communicate often and worthily, our
thoughts, our desires, and also all our actions and our
proceedings have the same end as Jesus Christ had whilst He was
on earth. We love God, we do not attach ourselves to any of the
things here below. Our hearts and minds aspire only for heaven.
O what happiness! No, no, it will only be in heaven that we
shall understand it. O my God! a creature enriched by such a
He, says St. Cyril, who receives Jesus Christ in Holy Communion,
is so united to Him that they are like to two pieces of wax that
are melted together, and end by becoming only one.
When you have received Our Lord, you feel your soul purified and
bathed in the love of God.
When we have the good God in our heart, it ought to be on fire.
The hearts of the disciples on the way to Emmaus were burning,
and they only heard Him speak.
What does Our Lord do in the Sacrament of His love? He has taken
His good Heart in order to love us. There goes out from this
Heart a flood of tenderness and mercy to cleanse the sins of the
world. O Heart of Jesus, loving Heart! Flower of love! If we do
not love the Heart of Jesus what then will we love? There is
only love in this Heart. How is it possible not to love what is
2. Holy Communion is the sign of unity and the bond of charity.
Jesus, whilst He remains after Holy Communion under the Sacred
Species, unites us intimately to our neighbours by charity.
It is at this moment that He says again His prayer. “Holy
Father, that all these may be one as Thou Father in Me and I in
You, that they may be one in Us.” “This Sacrament is the sign of
unity, the bond of charity, the symbol of concord,” says the
Council of Trent. What it signifies, that it effects. He is
generous to us with Actual Graces, to help us to love our
brothers sincerely, and generously, and to make with them one
body with Jesus Christ. That is why this sacrament is called by
the name Supper and Table of the Lord. These names express the
union of a family, the union of friends who gather at the same
feast, around the same table.
But this union is the fruit of the sacrament. One can tell, said
one saint, when a soul has worthily received the Eucharist. It
is so bathed in love, penetrated and changed, that one no longer
recognises it by its actions, in its words. It is charitable it
is on good terms with everyone.
If you communicate often and worthily, you will be touched by
the spiritual and temporal miseries of your neighbour. Do not
suffer any ill-will or bitterness in your heart against your
neighbour. This would be contrary to the work of Jesus in you.
But this is not enough. At the moment of Communion, and during
the time after receiving, pray for the conversion of sinners,
for fervour for the tepid, the salvation of the dying, and the
relief of the dead. When infinite love comes to you, He can
refuse you nothing for the souls He loves so dearly.
Meditation 10: The Holy Eucharist increases Sanctifying Grace
He who eats My Flesh shall live by Me. It is You, O my God, Who
will be his life. What a transformation life works where it
meets with no obstacle. From inert dust, from a little mud, it
brings forth a flower which delights us with its perfume and
colour; it communicates to it its nature and its properties. It
is thus You treat my soul by Holy Communion, O Jesus. You bow
down even to me, You, the substantial and uncreated life. You
divinize the dust of my nothingness, and this nothingness, when
divinized, produces fruits worthy of You, of infinite value
because it is a divine sap which makes it fertile. O Jesus, be
my life, my holiness, my love.
1. Holy Communion increases Sanctifying Grace in us.
This is easy to understand, because when we receive Jesus
Christ, we receive the source of all sorts of spiritual
Jesus Christ is the light.
When we receive Him, we feel our faith reanimated. We see more
clearly the truths of our holy religion. We realize more the
gravity of sin, and its dangers. The thought of the judgment
frightens us more, and the thought of the loss of God becomes a
Jesus Christ is the life.
In receiving Him, our soul is strengthened: we are firmer in the
fight; more unyielding in trials and temptations. Food is not
changed into our substance immediately, says St. John Chrysostom,
but the action of the divine Blood on our soul is instantaneous,
and the soul feels at once its marvellous effects.
Jesus Christ is love.
When we receive Him, our intentions are more pure in all we do.
Our love is inflamed more and more. The thought that we have
Jesus Christ in our hearts, the joy that we experience in this
happy moment seems to unite us and bind us in such a way to God
that our hearts can think of and desire only God.
Jesus Christ is the sovereign good.
In receiving Him, the thought of the perfect possession of God
fills us in such a way that our life appears long. We envy not
those who live a long time, but those who set out soon to be
reunited with God forever. All that tells us of the dissolution
of our bodies fills us with joy.
By increasing Grace, the Blessed Sacrament enlightens our faith,
revives our hope and inflames our love, and spreads abroad in
our souls with greater abundance, the gifts of Fortitude, Fear
of the Lord and Piety.
2. Sanctifying Grace in Holy Communion adorns the soul and
communicates to it a fecundity which is the wealth and ornament
of the spiritual life.
If anyone could put his hand into liquid gold, says St. John
Chrysostom, he would draw it out covered with gold. The
Eucharist does more for our souls. He who buys a slave, buys him
with gold, and if he wishes to adorn him he does it also with
gold. Jesus Christ has bought us with His Blood, and He adorns
us with His Blood. You who receive this Blood are clothed with
the Royal Robe of Jesus Christ.
What do I say? They are clothed with the King Himself.
This Blood makes shine in us the royal image of Christ. It
produces an incredible beauty, and when the soul is often
watered and nourished, its nobility is never tarnished.
From the earthly Paradise there burst out a spring which
produced rivers; from this table there pours forth a stream
which is the source of all grace — grace overflowing without
stint or limit.
Near this source spring up, not sterile willows, but trees which
mount up to Heaven producing their fruits in their time, fruits
which will never wither. These fruits are abundant, of great
variety, delicious. “They are,” said the Curé d’Ars, “humility,
gentleness, mortification, modesty, charity, virginity.” A soul
that communicates worthily becomes inexhaustibly fruitful, and
one no longer recognizes it.
Meditation 11: The Blessed Eucharist lessens in us our
tendency to evil
WE read in the Gospel that when Jesus Christ went into St.
Peter’s house, he asked Him to cure his mother-in-law who was
sick of a violent fever. Jesus Christ commanded the fever to
leave her, and instantly she was so completely cured that she
was able to serve them at table.
The fever, says St. Ambrose, is our avarice, our anger, our
sensuality. These passions boil up in our flesh, and agitate the
soul, the spirit and the senses. They have their remedy in the
Blessed Eucharist, the food and strength of the Christian soul.
Let us thank Our Lord for this healing and sanctifying gift.
The Holy Eucharist weakens our inclinations to evil.
The precious Blood of Jesus Christ which flows in our veins, and
His adorable Body which is blended with ours, can it do less
than destroy, or at least greatly diminish the attraction
towards forbidden pleasures that the sin of Adam has left in us.
This is so true that when one receives Jesus Christ one feels a
new taste for the things of Heaven, and a new contempt for
Tell me, how could you let pride find its way into a heart that
is about to receive a God, humiliated even to annihilation? Can
one consent to think anything of one’s self! On the contrary,
would he not find matter enough to cause him to abase and
despise himself? A heart that is about to receive a God who is
so pure, who is holiness itself, will it not feel born in it an
invincible horror of all sins of impurity, and would it not
rather let itself be cut in pieces rather than consent, I do not
say to a bad action, but even to a bad thought?
A tongue which a short time ago has been so happy as to bear its
Creator and Saviour, could it dare to lend itself to lascivious
words, to sensual kisses? No, without doubt, it would never dare
to act thus.
Eyes which just now desired so earnestly to contemplate their
Creator, who is more pure than the sun’s rays, could they after
such happiness, look on indecent objects? That would seem to be
Meditation 12: The Blessed Eucharist, Pledge of Life Eternal
and of The Glorious Resurrection
What was the cause of the resurrection of Lazarus? It was
because he had often received Our Lord into his house. The
Saviour loved him so much that He shed tears when He saw that he
was dead. How then could He leave in the humiliation of the
grave, those whom He has honoured by His visit in Holy
Communion, who have longed for Him and who have received Him
into a pure heart inflamed with love. He has said: “I am the
Resurrection and the Life. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My
Blood shall live eternally, and I will raise him up at the last
1. The pledge of eternal life.
Holy Communion is for us the pledge of eternal life, so that it
guarantees heaven to us. It is a pledge sent from Heaven to tell
us that it will one day be our dwelling place.
Oh I if we could really understand how much Jesus Christ loves
to come into our hearts! Once He is there, He would wish never
to leave it. He can no longer separate Himself from us during
our life nor after our death.
Consider St. Teresa, she received Holy Communion frequently and
fervently. By this means, she became so pleasing to God that one
day Jesus Christ appeared to her, and said to her that she
pleased Him so much that if there was not a heaven already, He
would create one for her alone.
She appeared one day accompanied by Jesus Christ to a religious.
This religious was astonished and she asked:
“Why, O Jesus, is Teresa with You?” The Saviour answered that
Teresa during her life had been so united to Him by Holy
Communion that He could not separate Himself from her.
Oh, how beautiful will be a soul that has often and worthily
received the good God! It will be united to the soul of Our
Lord. Then it will enjoy a happiness pure and perfect. It will
shine like a beautiful diamond, because God will be reflected in
When the soul of a Christian who has received Our Lord enters
Paradise, it adds to the joy of heaven. The Angels and the Queen
of Angels come to meet it because they recognise the Son of God
in this soul. Those who receive. Holy Communion at the moment of
death are very fortunate. At the particular judgment which takes
place immediately after death God the Father sees His Son in
them! He cannot condemn them, Oh! no.
2. Holy Communion - principle of the Glorious Resurrection.
Jesus Christ will raise up our bodies as much more glorious as
we shall have more often and more worthily received Him. There
is nothing we do which adorns the body more for Heaven than Holy
At the day of Judgment, the body of Our Lord will shine through
our glorified body. His adorable Blood through our blood, as we
see gold shine in copper and silver in lead.
Can one doubt it when we realise how close is the union effected
between Jesus and the devout communicant? If then, whilst He was
still passible and mortal, Jesus Christ raised the dead by His
mere touch, how will He not raise us up, we, who have eaten His
Flesh and drunk His Blood.
What happiness for the just when at the last day the soul all
embalmed with the fragrance of Heaven will come to seek its body
to enjoy God for all eternity! Then our bodies will come out of
the earth as linen which has been washed in dye. The bodies of
the just will shine as beautiful diamonds, as globes of love.
What a cry of delight when the soul comes to unite itself with
the glorified body, to this body which will be no longer for it
an instrument of sin nor a cause of suffering.
It will revel in the sweetness of love as the bee does in the
If a little leaven, says St. Francis of Sales, makes a great
mass of dough to rise, if a spark suffices to set a house on
fire, if a seed put into the earth makes it fertile and
productive of other seeds, have I not reason to hope that your
Holy Body coming into mine, when the time comes, will raise it
up from its corruption, will glorify it and bring it forth again
immortal, impassible, agile, subtle, resplendent, and furnished
with all the glorious qualities that it can hope for.
Meditation 13: The Blessed Eucharist the source of Joy
What must have been the joy of the aged Simeon when pressed to
his heart, overflowing with love, the Infant Jesus who still
more inflamed his love so that he cried out:
“Now Lord, let me die.” Assuredly, he was in an ecstasy. it we,
are we not more happy than Simeon? He could only keep Jesus for
a short time, we can keep Him always we will. He comes not only
into our arms, but into our art.
1. The Eucharist, source of joy and sweetness.
Oh, who will ever understand the happiness of the Christian who
receives Jesus Christ into his heart, who us becomes a little
heaven. He alone is as rich as all heaven put together.
Qh! happy home where these Christians live. What reverence ought
we to have for them during the whole Ly! To have in this house a
second tabernacle where the good God has been present in Body
O Man, how happy thou art, but how little thou dost understand
this happiness. Didst thou but understand it, you could not
live. Oh! no. Truly you would not be able live! You would die of
love! That God gives Himself thee, thou canst carry Him away
with thee if thou wilt, whither thou wilt. He is one with thee.
Ah! a heart that is once been seized in the holy embrace of its
Saviour can never find happiness out of Him.
One Easter Sunday, after Holy Communion, St. Teresa is rapt in
God. Having come to herself, she found her mouth full of the
precious Blood of Our Lord, which communicated so much sweetness
to her that she thought she would die of love. I saw my divine
Saviour, she writes, who said to me: “My daughter, I wish that
this adorable Blood which causes thee so much love, may be
employed save you. Never fear that My mercy will be wanting to
you. When I shed this previous Blood, I only experienced pain
and bitterness, but to you it will only bring sweetness and
Several times when she had the great happiness of receiving Holy
Communion, the Angels came down in a crowd from heaven, and
seemed to delight in uniting with her to praise Our Lord whom
she bore in her heart.
2. Effects of this spiritual sweetness.
It repairs the strength and appeases the hunger of the soul, and
enables it to carry out joyfully and with fervour all the duties
of the Christian life.
When you have had the happiness of receiving the good God, you
feel, for some time, a joy and comfort in your heart. Pure souls
are always in that state, this union is their strength and their
happiness. Oh! how sweet is this life of union with the good
God! It is heaven on earth. There are no more troubles, no
longer any crosses!
Without the Blessed Eucharist there would no longer be any
happiness in this world, life would be unbearable. When we
receive Holy Communion we receive our joy and all our good.
O, my children! the Blessed Victoire used to say why do you
crawl along in the way salvation? Why have you so little courage
to work to merit the great happiness of going to the Holy Table,
and to eat there the Bread of Angels, which gives such strength
to the weak. Oh! if you knew how this heavenly Bread sweetens
the sorrows of life! Oh! If once you had tasted how kind and
generous Jesus Christ is to those who receive Him in Holy
Communion! . . . Go, my children, eat this Bread of the strong
and you will return filled with joy and courage, you will desire
more sufferings, pains and combats in order to please Jesus
When Our Lord comes to a pure soul, He is pleased. He fills it
with joy and gladness. He bestows on it this generous love which
makes it do and suffer all to please Him. If one could
understand all the blessings contained in Holy Communion nothing
else would content the heart of man. The miser would no longer
run after his treasures, nor the ambitious after glory. Everyone
would shake the dust of earth from their feet and would fly
Meditation 14: Dispositions of Soul for Holy Communion
When Jesus Christ instituted the Blessed Eucharist, it was in a
room well furnished, to teach us how we ought to take care to
adorn our soul’; with virtues in order to receive Him in Holy
Communion. Let us thank Our Lord for this instruction.
The first ornament of the soul who wishes to communicate is the
state of Grace, the next is freedom from any affection for
1. To be in a state of grace to receive Communion worthily.
(a) Let a man prove himself, says St. Paul, before coming to the
Holy Table: and then let him eat and drink of this chalice.
Because he who eats and drinks this chalice unworthily, eats and
drinks his own condemnation not discerning the Body of the Lord.
We must, before going to the Holy Table, be sure that we have
spent sufficient time in examination of conscience in order to
discover our mortal sins, and that we have a great sorrow also,
that our confession has thus been entire. We must have a firm
determination to do, by the grace of God, all that we can, not
to fall into sin again.
If we have not confessed entirely or sincerely, in receiving
Holy Communion we would put Jesus Christ at the feet of the
devil. What an enormity!
When we go to receive the Body of Jesus Christ in Holy
Communion, we should be ready for death and ready to appear with
confidence before the tribunal of Jesus Christ.
(b) Those who go to Holy Communion without having purified their
hearts, ought to be afraid of incurring the chastisement of the
servant who dared to sit at table without a wedding garment. The
Master ordered his officials to bind his hands and feet, and to
cast him into the outer darkness. Even thus Jesus Christ will
say at the hour of death to those who have the misfortune of
receiving Him into their hearts unworthily. “Why have you had
the audacity to receive Me when you were stained with so many
sins ?” No, never forget that to communicate we must be truly
converted, and have a sincere determination to persevere.
(c) Sin, according to the mind of St. Bernard, is the poison of
(d) You would not embrace a King if your mouth gave out a fetid
odour, and you embrace the King of heaven with a soul more fetid
still! No outrage could be greater. Do you not see with what
care, decency and splendour even the Sacred Vessels are kept.
How much more pure and shining ought our souls to be! Because
the Sacred Vessels do not share in the mysteries that they
enclose, they are not conscious of them. There is no real union
between them and Him who is in them. For us it is otherwise. We
must, then, in order to receive the Sacred Host purify our minds
and make our souls all holy.
2. To be free from affection for venial sin, in order to gather
abundant fruit from Communion.
Before giving His adorable Body and precious Blood Jesus washed
the feet of the Apostles to show us that we must be free from
sin, even the slightest, and that we should have no affection
for them. The purity of Jesus is so great that the least fault
prevents us from being united to Him as completely as He would
Venial sin, it is true, does not make our Communion unworthy,
but it is the reason why we profit so little from
it. See, for instance, how many Communions you have made. Are
you any better? No, perhaps. Why? Because you retain nearly
always the same imperfections. You have a horror of big sins
which would kill your soul, but for all these acts of
impatience, these murmurings when some trouble or some annoyance
or contradiction befalls you, for these little evasions in
You wish everyone should love you, and have a good opinion of
you. You do not make the least effort to correct yourself.
Set to work to destroy in yourself all that is not pleasing to
Jesus Christ, to speak willingly to those who have caused you
pain, to be pleased to see them, to love them sincerely, to
practise the perfect renouncement of yourselves and you will see
how your Communion will carry you forward with great strides
towards Heaven. The more you do it, the more you will feel
yourself detached from sin and carried to God.
Meditation 15: The disposition of Soul for Holy Communion
Zacheus, having heard about Jesus Christ desired ardently to see
Him. As he could not, because of the great crowd, he climbed a
tree. But Our Lord saw him: “Zacheus come down because I wish to
spend today in your house
Zacheus made haste to come down and ran to prepare as well as he
could to receive the Saviour. When Our Lord came in He said:
“This day is salvation come to this house.” Zacheus moved by the
great kindness of Jesus Christ who had come to stay in his
house, cried out: “Lord, the half of my goods I give to the
poor, and if I have wronged anyone I will restore him fourfold.”
O Jesus, give me the ardent desires of this sinner, his lively
faith and immense joy in receiving You, and when You come into
my heart bring it also salvation.
1. To have a lively faith.
As this sacrament is a sacrament of faith, we must believe
firmly that Jesus Christ is really present in the Holy
Eucharist, that He is there living and glorious as He is in
heaven. In former times, before giving Holy Communion, the
priest, holding the Sacred Host between his fingers, said aloud:
“Do you believe, my brethren, that the adorable Body and
precious Blood of Jesus Christ is truly in this Sacrament ?”
Then all the faithful answered: “Yes, we believe it.” Let us
have the same faith.
2. To have a great desire to be united to Jesus Christ.
Observe the earnestness of the Magi in seeking Jesus Christ in
the manger. See holy Magdalen, as she eagerly seeks the risen
Saviour. Do you seek Jesus Christ with the same desire, the.
same ardour, and nothing will hinder you from receiving Him.
Long to communicate because there is nothing so great as the
Eucharist. Put all the good works against one good Holy
Communion. By one Communion you give more glory to God than by
giving a hundred thousand francs to the poor.
Have a desire to go to Communion because it is the only food
which suits perfectly your soul.
Oh, if Christians could understand the language of Our Lord, who
says to them: “In spite of thy misery, I wish to see very near
to Me this beautiful soul that I have created for Myself. I have
made it so great that I alone can fill it. I have made it so
pure, that only My Body can nourish it.”
St. Catherine of Siena cried out in her transports of love: “O
my God! O my Saviour! Ah, what excess of love and goodness for
creatures to give yourself with so much eagerness!; and in
giving Yourself, you give all that You have, all that You are!
My loving Saviour, I beg you to water my soul with your precious
Blood, nourish my body with your adorable Flesh, so that my body
and my soul may belong only to Thee, and aspire only to please
You and to possess You.”
St. Catherine of Genoa was so eager for this heavenly bread,
that she could not see it in the priest’s hands without feeling
as if she would die of love; so very great was the desire she
felt to possess It, she exclaimed: “Oh Lord, come to me! My God,
come to me! I can wait no longer. Oh! My God come, please, to
the depth of my heart. No, my God, I can wait no longer. You are
all my joy, all my happiness, and all the nourishment of my
3. To have a right intention.
There are some people who go to Holy Communion to gain the
esteem of the world. It avails them nothing. Others go out of
habit. Poor Communions, they have not the right intention.
Go to Communion to obey Jesus Christ, who has commanded you to
do so, under pain of not having eternal life.
Go to Communion to obtain the graces that you need, humility,
Go to the Holy Table to unite yourself to Jesus Christ so that
He will make of you other Christ’s, which happens to those who
receive Him worthily.
When you go to Holy Communion you should always have an
intention, and say when about to receive the Body of Our Lord:
“O my good Father, who art in heaven, I offer you, at this
moment, your dear Son, such as He was when He was taken down
from the Cross, and laid in the arms of the Holy Virgin, and as
she offered Him to You in sacrifice for us. I offer Him to You
by the hands of Mary, to obtain such or such graces, faith,
charity, humility.” My children, listen well to that. Everytime
I have obtained a grace, I have asked it like this, I have never
4. To prepare with fervour.
During the days before Communion, desire to communicate as
worthily as possible to have as much love as all the saints put
together. Your mere desire will be rewarded. Do all your actions
as a preparation for Holy Communion. Converse with Jesus Christ
who reigns in your heart by His grace. Think how He will come on
the altar and from there into your soul to visit it and to
enrich it with all sorts of good things and happiness. Implore
the Blessed Virgin, the angels and the saints to pray to the
good God for you and prepare you to receive Him. The day of your
Communion, come to Holy Mass a short time before it begins. Hear
it still better than at other times. Have your beads or your
office book, that your mind and heart may be all the time at the
foot of the tabernacle; that it may long continually for the
happy moments when Our Lord will come; that your thoughts may
not be of this world, but all of heaven, and be so lost in God
that you seem to be dead to the world. Make acts with all
possible fervour to reanimate in your soul, faith, hope and a
great love for Jesus Christ, who will come soon to make of your
heart his tabernacle, or if you wish a little heaven. My God,
what a happiness, what an honour for such miserable creatures
After you have made your acts of preparation, you must offer
your Communion for yourself or for others.
Meditation 16: Unworthy Communion
UNWORTHY Communions are made very often. How many there are who
have the temerity to come to the Holy Table with sins
unconfessed or disguised in Confession. How many have not the
contrition that the good God demands of them, and keep a secret
will to commit sin again and not to make every effort to correct
themselves. How many do not avoid the occasions of sin when they
could do so, and bring to the Holy Table enmities in their
heart! If ever you have been in these dispositions when going to
Holy Communion, you have been guilty of sacrilege. Horrible
crime on which we are going to meditate.
1. The unworthy communicant is a traitor and a hypocrite.
Having lied to the Holy Spirit in Confession by hiding or
disguising some sin, he dares, this wretch, to take his place
among the faithful about to eat this bread, with a hypocritical
look of respect! Ah! no, no, nothing prevents the monster; he
goes forward to bring about his reprobation. In vain this loving
Saviour, seeing him come to Him, calls out from the tabernacle
as to the perfidious Judas: “My friend, whereto art thou come ?”
Why my friend, do you betray your God and Saviour with a sign of
peace! Stop, stop, my son, ah! for mercy’s sake spare Me! But
no, no, neither the remorse of conscience nor the loving
reproaches which his God makes to him can prevent his criminal
steps. Ah, he goes forward, he is going to pierce his God and
Saviour! Oh, heavens, how terrible! Can you support without
trembling this miserable murder of your Creator? Ah! is it not
the crime of crimes and the abomination in the holy place.
2. The unworthy communicant is an ungrateful person.
“Why do you persecute Me?” Jesus Christ said to the Jews. “Is it
because I have opened the eyes of the blind, made the lame walk,
cured the sick and raised the dead? Is it a crime to have loved
you so much?” Such is the language that Jesus Christ speaks to
those who profane His adorable Body and precious Blood. The
greatness of their ingratitude is shown in that they outrage
their benefactor through the greatest of his benefits, even
worse, they use Himself to insult Him. Jesus Christ says to us
by the mouth of one of the prophets: “If this affront had been
offered to Me by enemies, by infidels who had never had the
happiness of knowing Me, or even by heretics born in error,
there might have been some reason for it. But you, He says to
us, whom I have set in the bosom of My Church, you whom I have
enriched with My choicest gifts; you who by Baptism have become
My children and heirs to My kingdom! What! is it you who dare to
outrage Me by this horrible sacrilege? What! you can still break
the heart of the best of fathers, who has loved you even unto
death. Well! ungrateful ones, are you not satisfied with all the
tortures that have been inflicted on My innocent Body during My
sorrowful passion? Oh! for mercy’s sake, spare your God who has
loved you so much; why do you wish to give Me to death a second
time, by receiving Me into a heart stained with sin?”
3. The unworthy communicant is a parricide.
Would you know what he does? Listen well so that you may
understand your cruelty towards Jesus Christ. What would you say
of a man whose father was about to be led to the place of
execution, if he found that the executioners had not the power
to hang him, should say to them: “You have not the strength.
Here are my arms, let them serve you to hang my father”? Such an
action would make you shudder with horror. That would be as it
should be. Ah, well, if I dare, I would say to you that that is
still nothing if we compare it with the appalling crime those
commit who communicate unworthily. What indeed is natural death,
even violent death, if we compare it to that which the sinner
inflicts on Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic. The Jews persecuted
Jesus Christ during His mortal life, but the unworthy
communicant is the dwelling place of His glory.
While Jesus Christ was on earth, there was only one Calvary
where He could be crucified, but here there are as many crosses
as there are sacrilegious hearts. Jesus Christ died only once a
natural death, but this death that you inflict on Him by
unworthy Communions, ah! when will they end! O what a long
On Calvary, even the most insensible creatures seemed to be
afflicted by the death of the Saviour, and seemed in some way to
wish to share in His sufferings. But here, nothing of all that
appears. He is insulted, outraged, murdered and slaughtered by a
vile nothing, and all is done in silence. The sun is not
darkened, and the earth does not tremble, the altar is not torn
down. This good God so unworthily outraged, can He not complain
even more justly than from the tree of the Cross, that He is
abandoned? Ought He not to cry out: Ah I my Father, why have You
abandoned Me to the fury of My enemies? Must I then die every
moment? My God, how can it be that a Christian can have the
audacity to go to the Holy Table with sin in his heart, and so
put You to death there? There is neither Cross nor Calvary, as
formerly, he says to the demon, but I have found something to
take its place. How? replies the demon, very astonished. it is
my heart. Be prepared. I am going to seize Jesus. He has sent
you to Hell, now take your revenge, slaughter Him on this cross.
O my God, can one think of this without trembling with horror?
No, no, if there were a thousand hells that would not be enough
to avenge such a crime. Alas, says St. Paul, the unworthy
communicant eats and drinks his judgment (1 Cor. x. 29). O
terrible misfortune! It is not on paper that the decree of
reprobation of these sacrilegious ones is written, but in their
own hearts. At the hour of death Jesus Christ will come down
with a torch in His hand into the sacrilegious hearts, and will
find there His adorable Body, so often profaned, which will cry
to heaven for vengeance. O divine Saviour, will the anger and
power of your Father be strong enough to cast down these
miserable Judases into the depths of the abyss.
Meditation 17: Dispositions for Holy Communion
Communion! Oh, what an honour God does to His creature. He rests
on his tongue, passes by his palate as by a little road, and
stops in his heart as on a throne.
Let your modesty be known to all, in your dress, in your looks,
in your attitude, in your walk, because the Lord is near.
To the dispositions of soul necessary for a good Communion must
be added certain dispositions of the body which this sacrament
1. One must be suitably clothed.
One must be suitably c1othed, not richly clad, but respectably.
It is not becoming in young people to make a display of vanity
in going to receive a God humiliated and despised. My God! My
God! what a contradiction:
they seem to make no difference between the Holy Table and a
ball or dance.
It is also disrespectful to Jesus Christ to communicate with
one’s clothes soiled or torn. See that they are clean. Change
your linen if you can. Have your hair, face and hands in good
condition. The majesty of the King of Glory who wishes to come
into our hearts demands at least this care. But labourers should
not hesitate to come to the Holy Table in their working clothes
if they are in a hurry, and if they are obliged to be at work
immediately after receiving Holy Communion. According to the
thought of a Father of the Church, what Christ desires is not
garments of silk, embroidered with gold, but souls of gold.
2. Keep your body perfectly pure.
Your body is not a profane thing, but something holy, august and
sacred. It is the dwelling place of Jesus Christ, and the temple
of the Holy Ghost. Even though the material violation of the
body cannot wrest from the soul the flowers of its virginity,
strive with all your might to preserve your mind, your
imagination, your senses, and even your flesh, from all stain,
even involuntary. St. John Chrysostom says that the mouth which
receives Jesus Christ, and the body in which He rests ought to
be as pure as the rays of the sun. Your exterior ought to convey
to all who see you, that you are preparing for something great.
Approach the Holy Table with great modesty. Kneel down and try
to enkindle your faith, so that you may be sensible of the
greatness of your happiness. Take care not to look about you.
Keep your eyes lowered and your hands joined, and say the
Confiteor. While you are waiting for Communion, stir up in your
heart a great love for Jesus Christ, and humbly beg Him to deign
to come to your poor and miserable heart.
Meditation 18: Thanksgiving
When we come from Holy Communion if someone asked us: What are
you bringing into your house? You would be able to say: I am
bringing heaven. it is really true, but we have not sufficient
faith. We do not understand our dignity. When we leave the altar
rails we are as happy as the Magi would have been if they had
been able to carry off the Infant Jesus. After each of your
Communions, listen to Our Lord present in your heart, converse
with him, invite the Blessed Virgin to thank Him for you, and
keep recollected all clay. The most elementary politeness and
our own interest make thanksgiving a duty for us.
1. We must listen to what God says.
When you have received Holy Communion, rise up reverently,
return to your place and kneel down; do not at once take your
book or your beads. I do not like to see people begin to read as
soon as they have come from the altar. Oh no, of what use are
the words of men when it is the good God who speaks? We must be
like someone who is curious and who listens at doors. We must
listen to what the good God says at the door of our heart.
2. We should converse with Jesus.
Converse for a little while with Jesus Christ whom you are
fortunate to possess in your heart, Body and Soul as He was
formerly during His life on earth. Ask Him for all the graces
you desire for yourself and others; the good God will not be
able to refuse you anything if you offer Him His Son, and the
merits of His Passion and death.
3. We should make acts of thanksgiving.
Make your acts of thanksgiving after Holy Communion. Then invite
the Blessed Virgin, all the angels and all the saints to thank
God with you. Sometimes when St. Teresa had the great happiness
of receiving Communion, the angles came down in a crowd from
heaven, and seemed to make it their delight to unite her to
praise the Saviour that she possessed in her heart. Many times
she was seen borne by angels to the altar. They carried her on a
Do not leave immediately after Mass, but stay a little while to
ask the good God to strengthen you in your good resolutions.
4. We should keep recollected.
When you go out of the church, do not stop to talk, keep
recollected, thinking of your happiness in possessing Jesus
Christ in your heart. You must go home and watch over your
thoughts, words and actions, that you may preserve intact the
grace of, the good God. You take a glass of spirit and cork it
well. You preserve the spirit as long as you wish. In the same
way, if you keep recollected after Communion, you feel for a
long time this burning fire which will inspire you with a
delightful leaning towards good and a strong repugnance for
5. We should carry the effect of Holy Communion into our whole
If you have a little time between your duties spend it in good
reading or a visit to the Blessed Sacrament to thank the good
God for the favour that He did you in the morning. Occupy
yourself as little as possible with worldly affairs on the day
of your Communion.
Meditation 19: The respect due to Churches
What is this holy place! It is truly the house of God and the
gate of heaven! exclaimed the patriarch Jacob after the visions
of the miraculous ladder. We can say as much of each of our
churches. They are the dwelling places of angels and archangels,
the palace of God, heaven itself. if we do not believe it, look
at the altar of sacrifice. Recall for what purpose and for what
end it is set up. Think what He is Who is about to come down,
Who will be penetrated with a holy awe.
1. The House of God.
Our churches are holy, consecrated, sacred, because God made man
dwells there day and night. In early times, many Christians
crossed the seas to see the holy places where the great mystery
of our redemption was wrought. Oh, blessed places! they
exclaimed, where so many wonders were worked to save us! And
they could heardly tear themselves away from the Cenacle or the
Garden of the Agony without shedding tears.
On Calvary, when Jesus Christ endured such great sufferings for
us, they felt their faith rekindled and their hearts burning
with a new fire. But without going so far, or exposing ourselves
like them to many dangers, have we not Jesus Christ in the midst
of us, not only as God, but Body and Soul? Are not our churches
as worthy of reverence as the holy places?
What a blessed people are Christians, who see renewed each day
on the altars all the wonders that Almighty God worked formerly
2. Reverence in church.
And meanwhile, for the most part, we come to church without
reverence, without love of God, without knowing even what we
have come to do. Some let their minds and hearts dwell on a
thousand worldly matters. Others are there reluctantly and are
bored. There are some who scarcely kneel whilst a God pours out
His precious Blood for their pardon, lastly others are in such
haste to leave the church, they do not wait for the priest to
come down from the altar. My God what little love Your children
have for You, or rather, how they scorn You! Indeed, what a
spirit of frivolity and distraction appears when people are in
church. Some sleep, others converse together, and nearly
everyone is taken up with what he has to do.
3. Lack of Faith.
See, it is lack of faith that is the matter. We are poor blind
folk. We have a mist over our eyes. Only faith can dissipate the
Why indeed, since the same wonders which were wrought in the
Cenacle and on Calvary are wrought every day under our eyes,
have we not the same love, the same gratitude, the same
reverence as the pious pilgrims who used to visit the holy
places? Because in punishment for our ingratitude and the bad
use we have made of Grace and the divine Eucharist, the good God
has deprived us in some measure of the light of faith. So we
scarcely feel or understand that we are in the presence of God.
My God, what a misfortune! Let us fear, let us fear, lest the
good God punish us for the little respect we have for His
It is like the good bishop who was here the other day. Everyone
jostled him. Ah! if they had known that he was a bishop! Ah
well! because Our Lord does not let us see Him in the Blessed
Sacrament in all His majesty you stand here without respect, and
nevertheless, it is He. He is in the midst of you! Ask Him then
to open the eyes of your hearts. Say to Him, as the blind man in
Jericho: “Lord that I may see.”
Meditation 20: The Motives for visiting the Blessed Sacrament
St. Paul tells us that at Athens he found written on an altar:
“To the unknown God.” Alas, I might say the opposite to you! I
am about to preach to you a God that you do not adore, and whom
you know to be your God. How many Christians have time on their
hands and who never deign to come alone to visit their Saviour.
Oh! what a shame on us! If some novelty turns up, one leaves
everything and runs to it. As for our God, we fly from Him. We
find the time we spend in His presence hard. Oh! what a
difference between the first Christians and us! They spent
entire days and nights in the churches to sing the praises of
the Lord, and to weep over their sins, but today it is not the
same. Jesus is forsaken, abandoned in the sacrament of His love.
Let us think about some of the motives we have for visiting Him.
1. Jesus Christ in the tabernacle is our friend:
If we really love the good God, we will find it a joy and
happiness to spend some time near Him, to adore Him, and keep
company with so good a friend.
He is there in the tabernacle. What is He doing, this good
Jesus, in the sacrament of His love? He is loving us.
If you pass a church then, go in to salute Him. Would you pass
the door of a friend without saying good-day? And Our Lord is a
friend who has been so good to us. It would be a very ungrateful
person who would not visit Him. Come to adore Him because He is
your divine friend, your Creator, and your sovereign Master? You
owe Him the homage of your whole being. Bow down before Him and
praise Him. Come to keep Him company in the solitude in which
the Christians leave Him. Come, my soul, redouble your fervour.
You are alone to adore your God. His eyes regard you alone. Come
to His feet to thank Him, and then recall the benefits of
redemption; the adoption of sons ; the right to eternal life; so
many pardons; so many Communions received, each of which brought
you an increase of the supernatural life.
Come to show your love to Him. He will say to you: “My child,
give Me your heart.” Oh! open it then, dilate it, and give Him
love for love!
2. Jesus Christ in the tabernacle is an ill-treated friend.
To what outrages has He not exposed Himself in order to remain
in our midst?
Masses and Communions, tepid or sacrilegious, profanations,
neglect of Sunday observance, long periods alone in the
churches. Irreverent attitudes and indifference for His Sacred
Presence, and for the gift of Himself which He has made to us.
There is no kind of outrage to which He is not subjected, and
His Heart is wounded at the sight of so many offences. Oh! how
pleased He is when we give up some of our occupations, or some
frivolities to spend a quarter of an hour with Him to console
When He sees pure souls come eagerly to see Him He smiles on
them. They come with that simplicity which is agreeable to Him
to ask His pardon for the insults of so many ungrateful people.
Let us come then, to sympathise with Him in His sorrows! Those
who will have wept on His account on earth will rejoice in
3. Jesus Christ in the tabernacle is a rich and generous friend.
He is hidden there, waiting for us to come to visit Him and to
make our requests. He wishes to see us near Him, to tell us that
He loves us, and wishes to load us with good things.
When you go into a church and take holy water, when you make the
sign of the cross, look at the tabernacle. Our Lord will at the
same time bless you and say to you: “Come to me all you that
labour and are heavy laden and I will refresh you.”
Are you sad? Come then cast yourself at His feet, and you will
Are you despised by the world? Come here and you will find a
friend who will never fail you.
Are you tempted? Oh! it is here you will find powerful arms to
conquer your enemies.
Do you fear the terrible judgment, at the thought of which the
greatest saints have trembled? Profit by the same when your God
is the God of mercy, and when it is so easy to obtain grace.
Are you oppressed by poverty? Come here and you will find a God
who is infinitely rich and who will say to you that all good
things are yours not in this world but in the next. It is there
that I prepare infinite riches. Despise these perishable goods,
and you will have those that perish not.
Sinners, ask Him with tears and contrition to pardon your sins,
and you will surely obtain it.
Be reconciled to Him. Beg the precious gift of perseverance. Oh!
tell Him that you wish never more to offend Him, that you would
rather die than offend Him again.
4. Jesus Christ in the tabernacle is our Mediator.
He is there, in the sacrament of His love, sighing, and
interceding with His Father for sinners, and He asks that we
pray for their salvation.
He is so good that there goes out from His Heart a flood of love
and mercy to wash away the sins of the world.
During His agony, He experienced a sweat of blood, and this
blood flowed even to the earth. It is this sweat of love which
has saved the world and which still goes out from His Heart in
the tabernacle. Now, Our Lord to share with us the privileges of
His Redemption wishes us to point out to Him the souls on which
He ought to pour out the graces of His atonement. Let us then
intercede with Him for poor sinners, and thank Him for having
such compassion in His Heart for them. We can never thank Him
enough for it.
Meditation 21: The sweetness of a visit to the Blessed
How great, O my God, is the happiness which Thou has reserved
for them that fear Thee. They will be filled with the abundance
of Your house, and You will give them to drink of the torrent of
Your delights. Because Your conversation has no bitterness, nor
Your company any tediousness, but joy and gladness. With you, O
Jesus, our churches are earthly paradises where one tastes in
anticipation the joy of the elect.
1. The joy of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
What happiness do we not find in the presence of God, when we
find ourselves alone at His feet before the tabernacle. Ah! if
we had the eyes of the angels! Seeing Our Lord Jesus Christ Who
is present on this altar and Who is looking at us, how we would
love Him! We would wish to remain always at His feet. This would
be a foretaste of heaven and everything else would become
insipid. How sweet and consoling are the moments spent with the
good God! Yes, how good it is to enjoy the chaste embraces of
the Saviour! Ah! you have never tasted them! If you have had
this happiness, you would not be able any longer to leave them.
Do not then be surprised that so many holy people have spent
their life in His house, day and night, they could not tear
themselves away from His presence.
They are like the good Monsieur de Vidaud. He used to get up
early and go to adore the Blessed Sacrament, as soon as the
church was opened. One day when he was at the chateau, they had
to send three times to call him to breakfast. The mistress of
the house was impatient. At the third summons he came away from
the presence of Our Lord, saying: “My God, one cannot spend a
moment in peace with You!” He had been there since four in the
morning! There are good Christians who spend their whole, life
thus lost before the good God. Ah! how happy they are. We read
in history that a holy priest found so much sweetness and
consolation in our churches that he slept on the altar step to
have the joy of waking to find himself so near his God, and God
to reward him let it come to pass that he died at the foot of
2. The cause of this sweetness.
The visit to the Blessed Sacrament is a source of so much
sweetness because we have in the tabernacle, the same God who is
the source of happiness for the elect in heaven. The Eucharist
becomes thus an earthly paradise. One asked a saint if it were
hard for him to remain so long in the church. “Ah!” he answered,
“I would spend an eternity there!” He was right. Our Lord is in
heaven; He is also in His tabernacle. What a joy! The saints in
heaven are they weary of contemplating, adoring and praising
Jesus Christ or of remaining in His presence? We ought to
experience a happiness like theirs near the tabernacle where the
same God dwells.
If we were honoured by a visit from the Blessed Virgin, our
heart would overflow with joy, and we would cry out with St.
Elizabeth, “Whence is this to me that the Mother of God should
come to me?” But now it is not only Mary, it is her divine Son
Himself who deigns to come down on the altar during Mass and to
remain with us afterwards. How is it possible not to rejoice in
this merciful visit, and not to relish this gracious presence.
God has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until
they rest in Him. The need of God is the most imperious in our
nature. As the plant seeks the sun, so our soul is athirst for
God. But now we can say, speaking of Jesus in the tabernacle, I
have found Him whom my soul loveth. He is there, an infinite
ocean of kindness and goodness, inviting us to lose ourselves
there, claiming our spirit and our heart. He is the light; He
enlightens us. He is a consuming fire; He enflames us. He is
beatitude itself; He consoles us and makes us happy. He is the
life; He cures us and restores our life. He is the way; He
teaches us the road. He is the truth; He banishes the darkness
of error which surrounds us. He is the strength; He sustains our
weakness. He is providence; He makes all things work together
for good for those who love Him. Happy those who can live in His
presence. Happy are we — we, with whom God dwells; we who can
visit Him as often as we wish.
Meditation 22: Visit to the Blessed Sacrament - A method of
Who can express, O Jesus, the power and depth of your regard!
You looked on Simon, and You saw in him the eternal foundation
of Your Church.
You looked at Matthew, and You drew him to You to make him an
You looked at Zacheus, and You brought salvation to him, and to
all his house.
You looked at your unfaithful apostle, and opened in his heart
an inexhaustible source of tears.
The good thief looked at You, and Your charity and sweetness
revealed to him the Son of God.
You looked at the good thief, and You assured him of his pardon,
and You opened to him the gates of Your kingdom.
O Jesus! deign to turn on me one of those mercyful looks, and
grant that in contemplating You, I may be filled with your love.
No need of much speaking.
When we are before the Blessed Sacrament, instead of looking
about us, let us close our eyes and open our hearts. The good
God will open His. We will go to Him. He will come to us, the
one to give, the other to receive.
It will be like a whisper from one to the other. What happiness
do we not find when we forget ourselves to seek God? The saints
forsook themselves in order to see God only, to work only for
Him. They forgot all created objects to find Him alone. That is
the way to heaven.
There are some poor women who imagine that the more they speak
the better they pray. They have scarcely begun their beads than
they look to see how soon they will be finished. That is not as
it should be, my children. One has no need of much speaking to
pray well. One knows the good God is in the tabernacle. One
opens to Him his heart and rejoices in His whole presence. That
is the best prayer. Listen well to this, my children. When I
first came to Ars, there was a man who never passed the church
without going in. In the morning on his way to work, and in the
evening on his way home, he left his spade and pick-axe in the
porch, and he spent a long time in adoration before the Blessed
Sacrament. Oh! how I loved to see that! I asked him once what he
said to Our Lord during the long visits he made Him. Do you know
what he told me? “Eh,” Monsieur le Curé “I say nothing to Him, I
look at Him and He looks at me!” How beautiful, my children, how
Meditation 23: The sentiments we ought to have when we assist at
the procession of the Blessed Sacrament on Corpus Christi
O city of Sion, said the prophet, rejoice because your God
dwells in the midst of you. Words more true for Christians than
for the Jews. Yes, Christians, rejoice! Your God is going to
appear in your midst. This loving Saviour is going to visit your
squares, your roads and your houses. Everywhere he will shower
the most abundant blessings. O fortunate houses before which He
will pass! Happy the streets on which His sacred feet will
What does Jesus Christ do when we carry Him in procession? He is
like a good king in the midst of His subjects, or a good father
surrounded by his children, or a good shepherd who visits his
Let us go with Him with a lively faith, a firm hope and an
1. With a lively faith and firm confidence.
Like the first faithful who followed Him when He was on earth,
doing good to all the world. Remember the two blind men who were
on the road where the Saviour passed by, who began to cry out:
“O Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us.” Jesus gave them their
Remember Zaccheus, who in a procession, wishing to see Jesus,
climbed a tree to see Him. Jesus converted him. Remember the
poor woman suffering for twelve years from loss of blood, and
who succeeded in touching Jesus during another procession. She
was suddenly cured. If we have the same faith, the same
confidence, we will obtain the same graces, because it is the
same God, the same Saviour, and the same Father filled with the
Alas! How many sick to cure, how many blind to whom He should
give back sight!
Amongst the followers of Christ, how many there are whose poor
souls are all covered with wounds! How many are in darkness and
do not see that they are in danger of hell! My God! heal these
wounded souls give light to those in darkness.
2. With atoning love.
Let us imagine, during this procession, the Saviour going to
Calvary. Some kick Him, others heap injuries and blasphemies on
Him. Some holy souls only follow Him, weeping for Him and mix
their tears with His blood, which He pours out on the ground.
Oh! how many Jews and executioners are going to follow Jesus
Christ, and who will not be satisfied to make Him die once by
mortal sin, but on as many altars as there are hearts. How many
profanations and sacrileges has He not suffered, during this
long procession of nineteen centuries since the institution of
the Blessed Eucharist until this day. Ah! is it possible that a
God who loves us so much can be so despised and ill-treated! Let
us behave as a friend saddened by the afflictions of his friend,
and thus show him a sincere friendship. Let us mourn over the
insults done to Jesus Christ and try to repair them by the
greatest and most ardent love.
Meditation 24: The sentiments we ought to have when we assist
at the procession of the Blessed Sacrament on Corpus Christi
What a wonderful day this is for us. This earth is about to
become truly the image of heaven. The feasts and joy of heaven
are going to come down to earth. Jesus is going to walk through
How can we help saying to ourselves when we repass the same way.
“This is where ‘my God passed by; that is the path He followed
when He poured out His blessings on this parish. Oh! if my
tongue can forget these benefits, may it cleave to my palate!
Ah! if my eyes can still fix their regards on earthly things,
may heaven refuse them sight!”
To gather up the graces that Jesus offers us on this feast day,
let us follow Him with docile attention to His word, with the
deepest respect, and with a joy all heavenly.
1. With attention to His word.
We read in the Gospel of the two disciples going to Emmaus.
Jesus walked with them, but they did not know Him. When they
recognised Him, He disappeared. Quite beside themselves with
joy, they said one to the other:
“Is it not true that our hearts were inflamed with love whilst
He spoke with us, and explained the scriptures to us ?” We are a
thousand times happier than these disciples who walked with
Jesus Christ without knowing Him. We know that it is our God and
Saviour who walks before us, who is going to speak in the depths
of our heart, who is going to fill our hearts with many good
thoughts and good inspirations. My child, He will say, why do
you not desire to love Me? Why not give up this detestable sin
which puts a barrier between us? Oh, my child, can you really
abandon Me? Would you compel Me to condemn you to eternal
torments? My child, here is your pardon, do you wish to repent?
Then He will arouse in us the most filial, delicate and generous
love. Let us listen to Him.
2. With the most profound reverence.
Let us remember that we are sinners, unworthy to follow a God so
holy and so pure.
It is certain that if we had the happiness of many saints to
whom God showed Himself, sometimes as an infant in the manger,
sometimes on the Cross, we would be penetrated with a very great
reverence for Him. But He is not less present with us under the
When the Ark of the Covenant passed through the land of the
Bethsamites, fifty thousand of them were stricken dead because
of their lack of respect. Oh! how this example should make us
fear. What did the ark contain? A little manna, the tables of
the law, and because those who approached it were not
sufficiently awed by its presence, God struck them down. But, I
say, who is there that reflecting even a little on the presence
of Jesus Christ will not be seized with fear? He is the true
manna come down from heaven, the living bread of our souls, the
sovereign lawgiver, the all powerful, all holy God! Would it not
be supremely unbecoming to follow Him without recollection, with
a thoughtless mind, and a sinful heart? How many indeed are
unfortunate enough to walk with Our Lord with a heart laden with
sins. Oh! unhappy one, you will have scarcely bent the knee when
God is raised to bless His people; His piercing looks will not
fail to see the defilement of your heart.
3. With a heavenly joy, representing to ourselves the great
procession which He will lead after the general judgment. Today
He invites us to merit heaven and to make ourselves worthy of
it. Then He will, Himself introduce us there, and we will be
part of the glorious procession of the elect. Now He is hidden
from our eyes under the humility of His sacrament in order to
try our faith: then He will walk clothed in majesty, light and
power, at the head of all the saints, who will be united with
Him in glory. Now our procession is made amidst the sufferings
and trials of this life in the steps of a crucified God, who
wishes that we carry your cross with Him: then the tears of all
the wounded, the persecuted, will be changed to eternal gladness
and eternal joy.
Meditation 25: On the Priest
“How wonderful the dignity of priests” says St. Augustine, “in
their hands as in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Son
of God becomes incarnate.” They are the ministers of Christ, and
the dispensers of the mysteries of God, thus spoke St. Paul
Commenting on these words, the Curé d’Ars said:
“Without the priests the Death and Passion of Our Lord would be
of no use to us; the priest has the key of the treasures of
heaven; he is the steward of the good God, the administrator of
His goods. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for the knowledge of these
truths. It will fill us with a holy reverence for the excellence
of the priest, and a lively gratitude towards Our Lord who has
invested him with it.”
1. The greatness of the priest.
Who is the priest? A man who holds the place of God, a man who
is clothed with all the powers of God. “Go,” said Our Lord to
the priest, “as My Father has sent Me, I send you.”
At the Consecration, the priest does not say: “This is the Body
of Our Lord.” He says: “This is My Body.” See then the power of
the priest! The tongue of the priest and a morsel of bread makes
a God. It is more than the creation of the world. Someone said:
“St. Philomena obeys the Curé d’Ars.” Indeed she may well obey
him since God Himself obeys him. The Blessed Virgin cannot make
her divine Son come down into the Host. A priest, no matter how
simple he is, can do this.
Oh! how wonderful the priest is! The priest will only understand
himself really in heaven. If he understood it on earth he would
die, not of fear, but of love.
If I met a priest and an angel, I would salute the priest before
saluting the angel. The angel is the friend of God, but the
priest holds his place. St. Teresa used to kiss the place where
a priest had passed.
One values greatly objects which have been placed in the bowl of
the Blessed Virgin and the Infant Jesus in Loreto, but the
fingers of the priest which have touched the adorable Flesh of
Jesus Christ, which are plunged in the chalice where His
precious Blood has been, in the ciborium where His Body has
been, are they not more precious?
2. The priest is the foster-father of souls and the mainstay of
When the bell calls you to church, if someone asked you: “Where
are you going?” you could answer: “I am going to feed my soul.”
If one asked you, pointing to the tabernacle: “What is that
golden door?” “It is the larder, it is the storehouse of my
soul.” Who is it who has the key of it, who provides the food,
who prepares the feast, who serves at table? The priest. And the
food? It is the precious Body and Blood of Our Lord. O my God!
my God! How you have loved us!
The priest is for us as a mother, as a nurse for an infant of a
few months. She gives him his food, he has only to open his
mouth. The mother says to her infant: “Take my little one, eat.”
The priest says to us: “Take and eat, this is the Body of Jesus
Christ, may He keep you and bring you to eternal life.” O
beautiful words! A child when it sees its mother come towards it
struggles against those who hold it. It opens its little mouth,
and stretches out its little hands to embrace her. Your soul in
the presence of the priest goes naturally towards Him. It runs
to meet Him, but it is prevented by the bonds of the body among
men who give all to the senses, who live only for the mortal
When the bell rings you can say: “What is there? The Body of Our
Lord.” “Why is it there? Because a priest has been there and
After God, the priest, that is all. Leave a parish twenty years
without a priest and they will adore the beasts.
If Monsieur le Missionaire and I were to go away, you would say:
“What is happening to this church? There is no longer any Mass.
Our Lord is no longer there. We might as well pray at home.”
When anyone wishes to destroy religion, they begin by attacking
the priest, because when there is no priest, there is no longer
any Sacrifice, and then when there is no longer any Sacrifice,
there is no longer any religion.
The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus. When you see
the priest, think of Our Lord.
Meditation 26: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
“From the rising of sun until the going down thereof, My name is
great among the nations, and in every place there is offered to
My name a pure oblation because My name is great,” says the Lord
The earth is indeed, since the Redemption, an immense temple
where each moment from sunrise to sunset the Victim of Calvary
is lifted up between heaven and earth by countless priests, to
the glory of the Most High.
A Victim essentially spotless and which keeps its sanctifying
virtue even when it is offered by unworthy hands. Jesus offers
Himself as substitute for sinful men to give to His Father the
honour which His Divine Majesty demands, and begs for them mercy
1. The essence of the Mass.
The Holy Mass consists of the words of Consecration. How
wonderful it is! After the Consecration the good God is there as
He is in heaven. If men really knew this mystery they would die
of love. God has to spare us because of our weakness. The Holy
Sacrifice is the same as that which was offered once on Calvary
on Good Friday. The only difference is that when Jesus Christ
was offered on Calvary, the Sacrifice was visible. That is to
say, one saw with one’s bodily eyes that Jesus Christ was
offered there to God His Father by the hands of His
executioners, and that He shed His Blood; that is to say that
the Blood flowed from His veins and one saw it flow on the
earth. But in the Mass Jesus Christ offers Himself to His Father
in an invisible and unbloody manner.
2. Its necessity and its ends.
Man as a creature owes God the homage of his whole being, and as
a sinner he owes Him a Victim of expiation. That is why in the
old Law multitudes of victims were offered to God every day in
the Temple. But these victims could not satisfy God fully for
our sins. There was need of a victim more holy and more pure who
would continue to offer Himself until the end of the world, and
who was capable of paying what we owe to God. This Holy Victim
is Jesus Christ Himself, who is God like His Father and man like
us. He offers Himself every day on the altars as formerly on
By this oblation, pure and undefiled, Our Lord gives to God all
the honour that is His due, and pays for man all that man owes
to His Creator. He is immolated to acknowledge the sovereign
dominion of God over His creatures, and the outrage that sin has
done to God is fully repaired. As Mediator between God and men,
He obtains for them by this Sacrifice all the graces they need.
As Victim of thanksgiving, He returns to God all the gratitude
they owe Him.
3. Its value and its fruits.
Would you like to know the greatness of the merit of Holy Mass?
It will suffice for me to say with St. John Chrysostom, that the
Holy Mass rejoices the whole Court of heaven, relieves all the
souls in purgatory, draws down on the earth all kinds of
blessings, and gives more glory to God than the sufferings of
all the martyrs, than the penances of all the solitaries, than
all the tears that they will shed until the end of the world. If
you ask me the reason, it is quite clear. All these actions are
done by sinners, more or less guilty, whilst in the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass, it is a Man-God equal to His Father who
offers the merit of His Death and Passion. All these works are
the works of men, and the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is
the sacrifice that man makes to God of his life, and the Mass is
the sacrifice that God makes to man of His Body and of His
Blood. You see then that the Holy Mass is infinitely precious.
Also let us notice in the Gospel that at the moment of Our
Lord’s Death, He works many conversions. The Good Thief receives
the assurance of paradise. Many Jews were converted, and some
Gentiles struck their breasts saying that He was truly the Son
of God. The dead rose again, the rocks were rent and the earth
4. The Altar of Sacrifice.
After all this, will it be possible to look at the altar without
It is there that the Eternal Father satisfies His justice in
immolating each day His divine Son; there this same Father
satisfies His mercy in sacrificing each day this well-beloved
Son for the salvation of our souls; there Jesus Christ pays by
the shedding of His adorable Blood all the debts we owe towards
the justice of His Father, there in order to give us the life of
grace, He overcomes the death caused by sin.
This altar is like the womb of Mary where a God becomes
incarnate each day in the hands of the priest; the manger where
He is born a second time; Calvary where He immolates Himself; a
second heaven where He sits at the right hand of His Father to
be our Mediator. How, at the sight of so many benefits on the
part of God, should we not feel our hearts burn and melt with
love before this altar, as wax before the fire.
Meditation 27: Daily Mass
You will draw waters with joy from the Saviour’s fountains. The
mysterious and life-giving waters of grace: for the conversion
of sinners, for the perseverance and holiness of the just,
refreshment, light and peace for the faithful departed. These
waters spring from the wounds of the Saviour nailed to the
Cross. Just as Moses in striking the rock in the desert made
water flow from it to quench the thirst of the Jews, so the
thorns and nails which pierced the flesh of Christ, the scourges
which tore it, have opened an inexhaustible source of graces for
Christian souls, which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
distributes to them in the measure of their desire and their
devotion. Blessed are those who assist often and with devotion
at the Holy Sacrifice: they will enrich themselves with all the
gifts of God and will enrich their brethren with them.
Daily Mass is the channel of the most precious and abundant
1. Graces of Conversion.
Do you wish to obtain your conversion? that is to say, to give
up sin in order to return to God? Assist at some Masses for this
intention and you may be sure, if you assist at them devoutly,
that the good God will help you to give up sinning, even if you
had the misfortune of being as obstinate as the Jews, more blind
than the Gentiles, harder than the rocks which were rent at the
death of Jesus Christ.
To give an example: It is told that a young girl during several
years had led a miserable life. Suddenly she was seized with
fright in considering the state of her soul. Immediately after
Mass she went to the priest to ask him to pray for her to help
her to give up sinning. The priest, who knew her life, asked her
what had brought about such a change. “Father,” she said,
“during Holy Mass which my mother, when she was dying, made me
promise to hear every Sunday, I felt such a horror of my state
that I could not stand it any longer.” “O my God” exclaimed the
priest, there is a soul saved by the merit of Holy Mass.” The
Council of Trent says rightly that Mass appeases the anger of
God, and converts sinners.
Our Lord during the Holy Mass sends forth rays of light into the
hearts of poor sinners to make them understand their miseries
and to help them to be converted if they are faithful to grace.
2. Manifold graces for salvation.
St. Thomas tells us that one day he saw, during Holy Mass, Jesus
Christ with His hands full of treasures that He endeavoured to
distribute, and that if we have the good fortune to assist often
and devoutly at Mass, we shall have many more graces than we
have to save our souls, and even for this life.
St. John Chrysostom says that “there is no time more favourable
for treating with God about our salvation than that of Holy Mass
when Jesus Christ offers Himself in sacrifice to His Father for
us to obtain all kinds of blessings and graces. Are we in
affliction? says this great saint. We will find in Mass all
kinds of consolations. Are we tempted? Let us hear Mass and we
will find there the means of overcoming the evil.”
Pope Pius II tells that a man of the province of Ostia
continually struggling with a temptation to despair went to find
a holy religious in order to tell him of the state of his soul.
The religious advised him to have in his house a priest to say
Mass for him each day. The man took this advice. Every day the
priest said Mass at which he assisted as devoutly as he could.
He gained by this means a great peace of soul, and at the hour
of his death he avowed that from the time he had assisted at
Mass each day, the devil had no longer tempted him to despair.
If we had faith enough, Holy Mass would be a remedy for all our
ills, because Jesus Christ is the medicine for soul and body.
3. The grace of a good death.
“Know, my daughter,” Our Lord said to St. Mechtilde that the
saints will assist at the death of all those who will have heard
Mass devoutly, to help them to die well, to defend them against
the temptations of the devil, and to present their souls to My
Father. What good fortune for us to be helped at this important
moment by as many saints as we shall have heard Masses!
4. The grace of deliverance from purgatory.
After the Consecration God looks on the altar: “There,” He says,
“is My well-beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” To the
merits of the offering of this Victim He can refuse nothing. You
remember the story of the holy priest who was praying for his
friend; apparently God had made known to him that he was in
purgatory. It occurred to him that he could do nothing better
than offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for his soul. At the
moment of the Consecration he took the host between his fingers
and said: “Holy and Eternal Father, let us make an exchange. You
hold the soul of my friend in purgatory, and I hold the Body of
Your Son in my hands: Good! You free my friend and I offer You
Your Son with all the merits of His Passion and Death.” At the
moment of the Elevation, he saw the soul of his friend all
shining with glory going up to heaven.
Meditation 28: Objections to Daily Mass
“All day long I stretch forth my hands towards an unbelieving
people who contradict me.”
This is the complaint of Our Lord at the sight of the
indifference of men for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the
work of the Redemption. Jesus has stretched forth His hands on
the Cross to embrace us all in the ardour of His love and to
overwhelm us with the grace of His mercy: the last and supreme
effort of a God dying in the midst of indescribable torments.
Ought one not to be moved even to tears by so much love, and
hasten each day to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where that of
the Cross is renewed?
Alas! worldly wisdom, human respect, an unworthy preference for
temporal things over those of eternity keep them away. Let us
make honourable amends to Our Lord for this indifference, and
try to understand that no reason can excuse it.
1. Do not be afraid that Holy Mass will hinder you in your
Quite the contrary, be sure that all will go better and that
your affairs will succeed better than if you have the misfortune
not to assist at it. Experience proves it, and have you not read
that Jesus Christ says in the Gospel about seeking first the
Kingdom of God and that all the rest will be given to us
besides? If we put all our confidence in God, how happy we shall
be! But you will say to me: “if we have nothing, one gives us
nothing.” What do you wish that the good God should give you
when you rely only on your work, and not at all on Him since you
do not even take time to say your morning and night prayers, and
are content to come once a week to Mass. You do not know the
resources of the Providence of the good God for those who trust
in Him. Do you wish for a striking proof? It is before you. Look
at your Curé and you will see that he has all he needs. Surely,
you will say, all this has been given to you. But who gives it
to me? The Providence of the good God. There is all my trust. He
is my only Treasure. Alas, how blind is the man who allows
himself to be tormented with anxiety only to be miserable in
this world and to be damned in the next. If you are wise and
think of your salvation and of assisting at Holy Mass as often
as you can, you will soon see the proof of what I tell you.
2. Or that people will mock you.
Do not be afraid that by going to Holy Mass on weekdays people
will mock you and say that it is only for those who have nothing
to do, and who have enough means to live on.
Are you ashamed to serve the good God for fear of being
despised? But look then at Him who is dead on the Cross: ask Him
if He was ashamed to die in the most humiliating way. Oh! cursed
human respect, which makes us lose all the graces that the good
God has merited for us by His Death and Passion. But who are
those who laugh at you? Poor unfortunates, senseless and blind
fear nothing, and go your own way. They do much evil without
hurting you by it. Pity them, and keep to your usual course.
3. Beware of selfish views.
If there was only one church in the world where one celebrated
the august mystery of our altars when one consecrated it, we
should doubtless feel a holy envy for those who were near this
church. But we are these chosen people. We are at the door of
this place so holy, so pure, where God immolates Himself each
day. What does it profit us? Alas, to gain five or six francs
you will go three or four leagues, and you will not even take
thirty steps to hear Mass on weekdays! Where is your faith? We
have very special graces and favours, and we do not avail
ourselves of them. Take care lest God withdraws His gifts from
us to give them to others who will appreciate them better.
When the thought occurs to you to go to Mass on a working day,
that is a movement of grace that God is very desirous of giving
you. Follow it. The saints only became holy by their great
attention to and following of all the good inspirations that the
good God sent them, and the damned are in hell because they
You will be judged on these thoughts that you have not welcomed
and on the Masses that you could have heard and that you will
not hear. Ah, great God, what will become of us! The flames of
purgatory will be the chastisement of our laziness or of our too
Meditation 29: A method of hearing Mass
WHAT should be our sentiments when assisting at Holy Mass? In
the presence of a God made man, Who offers Himself mystically
for our salvation, in a manner very real. Faith, hope and love,
contrition for our sins, and an ardent desire to communicate
with the Victim of Sacrifice, ought to fill our hearts. We find
some models of these sentiments in the publican of the Gospel,
in the Good Thief and the Centurion. Let us meditate on them.
The best way to hear Mass is to unite with the priest in all
that he says and to follow all he does.
However, here is a method that you may use with profit.
1. From the beginning to the offertory.
Behave as penitents penetrated with the most lively sorrow for
their sins and take for your model the publican in the Temple.
He stood, says the Gospel, afar off his eyes bowed, not daring
to look at the altar, and striking his breast, saying, Lord,
have mercy on me because I am a sinner. He stood at the back of
the temple in the most secluded place believing himself unworthy
to go further in. He was, then very unlike these Christians in
name who are never well enough placed, who will only kneel on a
chair; who stretch out on the bench and cross their knees.
He lowered his eyes to the ground so ashamed was he at the sight
of his sins. He did not behave like those Christians who come
into our churches with a proud and arrogant air; with a kind of
contempt for the presence of God; who seem to come to Him like
people who have nothing on their consciences capable of humbling
them before their Creator. Oh, how many reasons they should have
to be ashamed of and to lower their eyes? He had sincere
contrition for his sins. He acknowledged his guilt and would
have wished that his heart would break, because he struck his
breast said St. Augustine to show to God that he was sorry he
had offended Him. He was not like those people who only come to
church to insult a God humiliated by their vain display of
vanity with the intention of attracting the eyes of the world.
Oh, if we heard Mass in these dispositions of humility and
contrition, how many graces, how many blessings, we would
obtain! We should go out as full of the blessings of heaven as
the bees after they have found more flowers than they wished. We
would very soon obtain the pardon of our faults and the grace to
2. From the Offertory to the Consecration.
Let us act as ministers who offer Jesus Christ to God His
Father, and who make to Him the Sacrifice of all that they are
and take for model the Good Thief on the Cross.
What progress did he not make in the few hours that he found
himself in the company of his dying Saviour. He opened at first
the sight of the eyes of his soul to recognise his Liberator.
Then attached to the Cross as he was, there only remained free
his heart and his tongue. He offered both to Jesus Christ. He
consecrated to Him his heart by faith and hope, and asked humbly
for a place in paradise. He consecrated his tongue by declaring
publicly His innocence and sanctity: “It is just that we should
suffer,” he said to his companion, “but as for Him He is
innocent.” He made this panegyric on Jesus Christ when others
only thought of outraging Him, and his charity is so great that
he made every effort to convert his companion.
Like the Good Thief, offer Jesus your heart to love Him, and
consecrate to Him your tongue by making use of it, from now on,
only to glorify Him, and to chant His praises. Immolate yourself
with Him in renouncing all that could displease Him, and
receiving as your due in expiation for your sins, the cross that
He sees fit to send you.
Like the Good Thief, have a firm hope of your salvation, at the
sight of a God who dies to assure you of a place in His Kingdom,
and accept death with the divine Victim to acknowledge His
supreme dominion over you.
3. From the Consecration to the end.
Look on yourselves as people about to receive the adorable Body
and precious Blood of Jesus Christ; and rouse in your hearts the
sentiments of the centurion to communicate spiritually or
sacramentally. The example of the centurion is so much to be
admired that it seems as if the Church took pleasure in putting
it before our eyes each day at Holy Mass. “Lord,” said this
humble soldier, “I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come to my
house, but, say only the word, and my servant shall be healed.”
Ah! if the good God saw in us this same humility, this same
recognition of our nothingness, with what pleasure and with what
an abundance of graces would He not come into our hearts. What
strength and courage to conquer the enemy of our salvation.
Meditation 30: After Holy Mass
When Our Lord celebrated the first Mass in the Upper Room the
Gospels tell us that He sang a hymn with His Apostles. From this
St. John Chrysostom concludes that the faithful who assist at
the Holy Sacrifice ought not to withdraw without thanking God
for this inestimable favour. Gratitude, admiration, a firm
purpose not to sin again, all these should find place in his
Before leaving the church after Holy Mass, do not forget to
thank God for the graces that He has just given to you.
St. John and the holy women who were present at the Sacrifice of
the Cross never forgot the vision of Calvary, and they came down
from the Holy Mount, covered with the merits of Jesus Christ.
Let us likewise praise Our Lord. Let us bless Him for having
allowed us to take part in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by
which He renews the Sacrifice of the Cross and applies the fruit
Go home then quite taken up with the thought of what you have
Holy Scripture tells us that the Queen of Sheba, having heard
such wonderful things of Solomon and the marvels that were
worked in his palace, wished to see them for herself. But when
she had seen the beauty of the Temple, and the beautiful order
which reigned there, she returned avowing that all that she had
heard was nothing in comparison with what her eyes had seen.
These wonders remained deeply impressed in her heart.
That is precisely what would happen to us when we leave our
churches if we had paid great attention to all that took place
during our holy and unspeakable mysteries. In the Temple of
Solomon it was the work of man that one could contemplate; here
it is God Himself who acts and works infinite miracles. He
changes bread into His Body, and wine into His Blood, as
formerly at the Last Supper. He, Life Eternal, and always
working puts Himself in a state of death and places Himself on
the tongues and in the hands of men. True God and true man, He
is contained whole and entire under the least particle of the
species of bread and wine. He is eaten by those who receive Him
without being consumed. He may be found at the same time in an
infinite number of places.
The Temple of Solomon was built to hold a little of the Manna
and the tables of the Law, but in our churches, Ah! great God!
it is Jesus Christ Himself who sheds His Blood and immolates
Himself each day on our altars to the justice of His Father for
Marvels so great that the more we think of them the more
incomprehensible we find them. But the more meritorious our
faith, the greater will be our reward.
3. The firm purpose not to sin again.
A Christian on leaving the holy place moved by the holy thoughts
that have been aroused in him by the sight of the ceremonies he
has seen, and the prayers that he has said, ought to say to
himself: “I have just come from assisting at Holy Mass, a God
has immolated Himself for me; He has shed His Blood for the
salvation of our souls; what more could He do? Oh! how miserable
I am, I who for so many years have refused Him my heart, which
He has created for Himself and which He asks of me only in order
to make it happy. I have just celebrated the praises of God with
this same mouth that I had often sullied by all sorts of sins.
Oh! my God, shall I always then beg from creatures the peace
they are powerless to give me! My tongue shall it serve
sometimes to praise You, sometimes to mispraise You. No, Lord, I
now wish only to bless and to love You.
Any Christian who has not, in going out, these thoughts in his
heart, has not assisted at the Holy Mass with the dispositions
he ought to have, because the sight of Jesus Christ immolated on
the altar on account of our sins, ought to produce in us
sentiments of sincere contrition and perfect love.