How to Get More Out of Holy Communion
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
This is the final week of the series on St. Peter Julian Eymard’s book, How to Get More Out of Holy Communion. The goal of this series is to help every Catholic to be continually renewed in the love of Jesus truly present in the Holy Eucharist each time the soul re-ceives Him in this Sacrament of His Love.
One strong encouragement given to us by St. Peter is: let Commun-ion nourish you interior life. St. Peter writes: “In the garden of our soul, that paradise of God, we have to cultivate the divine grain, Jesus Christ, sown in us by Holy Communion, that it may spring up and produce the flower of sanctity… The cultivation of your soul consists, therefore, in leading a life of recollection… Virtue that does not have its birth inwardly, beginning in thoughts, affections, and prayer, is not true virtue. Where is the ear of wheat during the winter? It is in the wheat-grain beneath the ground. Warmth and moisture together are needed to make it grow and ripen. Well, now, virtue is a seed planted within you. You can cause it to grow only by prayer, cultivation of the interior life, and sacrifice. The king-dom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). You will never possess a solid external virtue that is not in the first place internal… But do you not notice that God’s work in us always begins with our inter-nal life? Do you not feel interior temptations? It is God tilling and planting in your heart. Violent tempests will shake the fragile stalk of virtue that is beginning to grow in you and cause it to send out its roots. That is God’s work. And when an action costs you an effort, it is not your hand or your body that is resisting, but your too-feeble heart and will… So you will have no virtues that are not first interi-or – that do not draw their life from within… When you receive Communion, therefore, ask our Lord to live in you and let you live in Him. That is something entirely spiritual. It is not what most Christians ask. They receive Communion, but their mind, will, and intention all are abroad seeking external things, so that Jesus finds no one within to entertain Him.”
Another wonderful encouragement from St. Peter is: be thankful for the gift of the Eucharist.
“Having received Jesus [in Holy Communion] and enthroned Him in your heart, remain quiet for a moment, not praying in words, but resting in silent adoration. Bind your intelligence to His throne that it may nevermore go astray; or rather, lay it beneath His feet that He may press forth there from all pride and vanity.
Do not disturb your soul so long as it is recollected, at peace in the presence of the Lord; in this gentle slumber on the Heart of Jesus, it receives grace which nourishes it, unites it most sweetly to its Be-loved, and profits it more than any other spiritual exercise.
When this moment is past, begin your thanksgiving, for which you may use with profit the four ends of the Holy Sacrifice (of the Mass).
Adore Jesus, who is enthroned in your heart; kiss in awe His holy feet and hands; rest upon His Heart which burns with love for you;
praise Him for His power; offer Him your entire being as a sign of your adoration and absolute submission; proclaim Him your Master,
and yourself His happy servant, ready to follow His good pleasure in all things.
Thank Him for having so honored you, so loved you, for having so enriched you in this Holy Communion! Praise His goodness and love for you who are so poor, and imperfect, and unfaithful. Invite all the angels and saints, the Mother of God also, to bless Him, and praise Him, and thank Him for you.
Be sorry again for all your sins; weep for them like Magdalene at His feet; repentant love is always tearful, never thinks it has dis-charged its debt of gratitude. Make protestation of your faithfulness and love; sacrifice to Him your inordinate affections, your coward-ice, your sloth in undertaking anything that calls for self-denial.
Ask whatever you will, for now is the moment of grace. Jesus is ready to give you His very Kingdom. Indeed, to give Him occasion to bestow His benefits is to give Him pleasure. Pray for your needs this day and for all who are dear to you. Pray for your priests, for the Holy Father, for the entire Church.
Pray for the conversion of sinners, especially of the ones who most interest your charity; pray for all who have asked your prayers. Finally, pray that Jesus may be known, loved, and served by all mankind. Before leaving Him, give an offering of love to your Savior, some sacrifice that you will make for Him during the day. At the last, say some prayers for the intentions of the Pope in order to gain the indulgences of the day which may demand (Holy) Communion as a condition. Willingly apply these to the souls of purgatory, especially to those most dear to the Heart of Jesus.”
Through the love of the Heart of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the Virgin Mary, with St. Michael and St. Paul, may God bless you, your families and our parishes!
In Christ through Mary, Fr. Kasel