Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
Tune: Sweet Sacrament
Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All,
Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore!
Had I but Mary's sinless heart,
Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore!
The following excerpt was taken from the writings of Mother Teresa of Calcutta:
Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as she received Him she went with haste to give Him to John. For us also, as soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today.
We cannot separate our lives from the Eucharist; the moment we do, something breaks. People ask, "Where do the sisters get the joy and energy to do what they are doing?" The Eucharist involves more than just receiving; it also involves satisfying the hunger of Christ. He says, "Come to Me." He is hungry for souls. Nowhere does the Gospel say: "Go away," but always "Come to Me."
Our lives must be woven around the Eucharist. Ask Jesus to be with you, to work with you that you may be able to pray the work. You must really be sure that you have received Jesus. After that, you cannot give your tongue, your thoughts, or your heart to bitterness.
Put your sins in the chalice for the precious blood to wash away. One drop is capable of washing away all the sins of the world.
When communicating with Christ in your heart - the partaking of Living Bread - remember what Our Lady must have felt when the Spirit overpowered her and she, who was full of grace, became full with the body of Jesus. The Spirit was so strong in her that she immediately rose in haste to go and serve.
Each Holy Communion, each breaking of the Bread of Life, each sharing should produce in us the same, for it is the same Jesus who came to Mary and was made flesh. We, too, should be in haste to give this life of Jesus...
"The Most Holy Sacrament is a gift which has proceeded from pure love. For our salvation it was necessary, according to the decree of God, that the Redeemer should die, and, by the sacrifice of his life, satisfy divine justice for our sins; but what necessity was there that Jesus Christ, after having died for our redemption, should leave himself to us for our food? But this his love wished to do. He, says, St. Laurence Justinian, instituted the Eucharist for no other purpose than to show his great charity, for no other purpose than to make us understand the immense love which he bears us. This is precisely what St. John has written: Jesus, knowing that His hour was come that He should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved His own, He loved them to the end. (JN 13:1) Knowing that the time of his departure from this earth had arrived, he wished to give us the greatest proof of his love, by bequeathing to us this gift of the Most Holy Sacrament. This is the precise meaning of the words, He loved them to the end; that is, according to Theophilactus and St. John Chrysostom, 'he loved them with an extreme love.'"
- St. Alphonsus De Ligouri
"May Mary, who in the freedom of her 'Fiat' and her presence at the foot of the cross, offered to the world, Jesus, the Liberator, help us to find him in the Sacrament of the altar,"
- Pope John Paul II
"The Bread that we need each day to grow in eternal life, makes of our will a docile instrument of the Divine Will; sets the Kingdom of God within us; gives us pure lips, and a pure heart with which to glorify his holy name, "
- Edith Stein
The following reflection was taken from the Diary of
To stay at Your feet, O hidden God,
Silent conversation, alone with You,
Love and sweetness are my soul's life,
O You Who are hidden, body, soul and divinity,
At the Visitation, Mary is called 'Blessed' by Elizabeth
As Mary reached out to Elizabeth in her time of need,
This is the joy of the Visitation mystery:
As John the Baptist recognized Jesus hidden in the womb of Mary,
Elizabeth leaped for joy in His presence then,
- from the book "Come to Me"
"This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."
- St. Justin Martyr, 2nd Century
"Let us pause to consider the unsurpassed munificence of the providence of God Who sustains the life of our souls by means of the greatest Sacrament. Compare it with the food which nourished Adam in the state of innocence and you will see how superior it is. God had put many trees at the disposal of Adam in the Garden of Eden. But among them there was one which bore a fruit which taken from time to time had property of preserving life for ever. In like manner in the Garden of the Church one finds a variety of foods that sustain the life of the soul. But above all there is the Divine Sacrament which stands out as the tree of life inasmuch as it is the bread of eternal life. It is infinitely superior to the other tree which was earthly because drawn from the earth. The Eucharist which comes from heaven is heavenly since it gives life to the soul while the fruit of the tree of life gave life to the body."
- Luis de la Puente (d. 1624)
"Lord Jesus, Who in the Eucharist make your dwelling among us and become our traveling companion, sustain our Christian communities so that they may be ever more open to listening and accepting your Word. May they draw from the Eucharist a renewed commitment to spreading in society, by the proclamation of your Gospel, the signs and deeds of an attentive and active charity,"
- Pope John Paul II
"It is invaluable to converse with Christ, and leaning against Jesus' breast like his beloved disciple, we can feel the infinite love of his Heart. We learn to know more deeply the One who gave Himself totally, in the different mysteries of his divine and human life, so that we may become disciples and in turn enter into this great act of giving, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world... Through adoration, the Christian mysteriously contributes to the radical transformation of the world and to the sowing of the Gospel. Anyone who prays to the Saviour draws the whole world with him and raises it to God. Those who stand before the Lord are therefore fulfilling an eminent service. They are presenting to Christ all those who do not know him or are far from him; they keep watch in his presence on their behalf,"
- from Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II's 1996 letter to the Bishop of Liege, written on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the first celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart
The feast day of Corpus Christi [The Body of Christ] was requested by Our Lord Himself. It was not a feast day that the Church in its wisdom decided to include in the liturgical calendar. It was a feast day, rather, that Jesus requested through extraordinary means by appearing to his servant Saint Juliana, and showing her a moon that He said was symbolic of the liturgical calendar. And the moon had a dark spot in which He said was symbolic of the feast day that was needed, that He wanted, that He requested, the feast day of Corpus Christi. And Saint Juliana said, "But Jesus, we have a feast day, Holy Thursday."
And Our Lord explained to her that Holy Thursday is also a feast day that celebrates the institution of the holy priesthood, along with the institution of the Holy Eucharist. He wanted one special feast day set aside in honor of His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. For He said as the Church progressed in time, faith in His Real Presence would diminish to the point where it would need a feast day to remind the people that He is really here. That the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. That this is not a symbol of Jesus, but the reality of Jesus Himself. The same Jesus born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, the same Jesus who died on the cross for our sins, and the same Jesus that rose again on Easter Sunday is really truly, bodily, personally present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
This month we celebrate the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Why do we celebrate Corpus Christi on Sunday and the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday? Again this its because this is what Our Blessed Lord specifically requested. Through His servant Saint Margaret Mary He requested a feast day in honor of the Sacred Heart, within the octave of the feast day of Corpus Christi, because He wanted to spot light, high light, focus, emphasize, dramatize: the Blessed Sacrament is the Sacred Heart of Jesus living and loving in our midst today!
The message of the Sacred Heart is Eucharistic. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is Eucharistic. He appeared to Saint Margaret Mary in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. And His first words, "Please look at this Heart which has loved mankind so much, consumed itself for love of man, and yet is so little loved in return. I thirst with such a terrible thirst to be loved in this Most Blessed Sacrament." His request to her was an appeal to mankind to be loved in the Blessed Sacrament, the same request that goes back to the Gospel. "Could you not watch one hour with Me?"
For the heart of Christ, as He Himself described it, is a burning furnace of Love. When Saint Margaret Mary looked at the Heart of Christ, it was like a million burning suns on fire with love, for each and every one of God's children. How can we truly believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, knowing that the Holy Father is right when He says that Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love, with a love that no human tongue can tell for the Lord loves us as no one else loves us and not be moved to come to Him every single day?
Recommit yourself to the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By expressing it in the way that He has asked you to express it, your willingness to spend time with Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Our love is measured by our willingness to spend time with the Beloved... When our Lord shows the world His glory, when He has won the victory, we may be able to rejoice that much more in His victory, for it will be the love of His friends that will have moved His Heart to show His glory to this broken world in order that He Himself may heal it.
- The above excerpts were taken from the audio tape "Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration."
The following is a series of reflections from St. Peter Julian Eymard on the Feast of Corpus Christi:
Every day comes from God. They unfailingly succeed one another through His loving kindness. God allows man six days of the week for his labor and his needs, but the seventh He reserves for Himself. Sunday is therefore more particularly the day of the Lord. But of all the days there is one which is, in a more excellent manner, the day of God and is called the day of God: Fete-Dieu, as the French put it, which, done literally into English, would read God's Feast Day. That is truly the day which the Lord has made for Himself, for His own glory, and for the manifestation of His love. Corpus Christi! God's Feast Day! What a beautiful name! God's Feast Day and ours also! Let us see in what way.
This feast day of God, which the Church calls Festum sacratissimi Corporis Christi, "Feast of the most sacred Body of Christ," is the only day dedicated exclusively to the honor of His adorable Person, of His living presence in our midst. The other feasts commemorate some mystery of His past life; they are beautiful; they glorify God; and they are a rich source of graces for us. But after all they are only reminders, anniversaries of an already distant past, which relives only in our piety and devotion. Our Savior is no longer personally present in those mysteries; He accomplished them once for all and left only His grace in them. But Corpus Christi is an actual mystery; the object of this feast is our Lord's Person, living and present in our midst. That is why the celebration of it has a character all its own. No relics or symbols of the past are exposed, but the very object of the feast, which is living. In the countries where God is free, see how all the people proclaim His presence, how they prostrate themselves before Him! The impious themselves tremble and bow the head; God is there! How glorious for our Lord's presence is this feast, on which all men acknowledge His presence and adore Him!
Corpus Christi is also the most lovable of feast days. We were not present at all the mysteries of our Savior's life and death which we celebrate in the course of the year. We find joy in them because they are sources of grace. But on the feast of Corpus Christi we participate in the mystery itself, which takes place under our eyes. This mystery is for us. There is a relation of life between Jesus living in the Sacrament and ourselves living in the midst of the world: a relation of body to body. For that reason this feast is not called simply the feast of our Lord, but the Feast of the Body of our Lord: Corpus Christi. Through this Body we touch Him; through it He is our Food, our Brother and our Guest. Feast of the Body of Jesus Christ: a name as full of love as it is unpretentious and well adapted to our misery! Our Lord asked for this feast so as to draw still closer to us, just as a father is desirous of being wished a happy birthday by his child in order to have a reason for giving him a more ardent proof of his paternal affection, and for granting him some special favor.
Let this feast therefore be one of joy, and let us expect from it the most abundant blessings. All the hymns and canticles of this solemnity express the thought that on this day our Lord will show Himself more graciously than ever. The Church, it seems, should have celebrated Corpus Christi on Holy Thursday, since the Eucharist was instituted on that day. But she could not have duly expressed her joy on that day of mourning; the Passion begins on Holy Thursday, and it is impossible to rejoice at the thought of death which predominates during the solemn days of Holy Week. Corpus Christi was also postponed until after the Ascension because sad farewells had still to be bidden and a painful separation effected. It was put off until after Pentecost so that, filled with the graces and joys of the Holy Ghost, we might be able to celebrate with all possible splendor the feast of the divine Bridegroom Who dwells among us.
Corpus Christi is the most solemn feast of the Church. The Church is the Bride of our Lord in all His risen glory, not of Jesus Christ at His birth or His death; when these last two mysteries took place the Church was not yet in existence. Of course she follows her divine Bridegroom to the Crib and accompanies Him in His sufferings, but of these mysteries she has only the remembrance and grace.
But Jesus Christ lives with His Church in His Sacrament. People who have never set foot inside one of her churches think she is widowed. They look upon her as a corpse, and upon her temples as places where only death and suffering are spoken of. But today the very ones who never attend her solemn festivals will see her in all her wealth and beauty, in a natural attractiveness which God, her Bridegroom, will enhance with His presence. What magnificence in the processions as they pass by! What reverence in the faithful as they kneel down! The Church shows to everyone her Bridegroom in the radiant monstrance. Ah! Who today will presume to say she is widowed? Her friends are in adoration and her enemies tremble. Jesus shows Himself to all men; He gives His blessing to the good; He looks on sinners with compassion; He calls them and draws them to Himself. The Council of Trent calls this feast the triumph of faith, and rightly so. It is also the triumph of the Church through her divine Bridegroom.
Lastly, Corpus Christi is our feast, we who are adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament together with its affiliated societies exists for the sole purpose of honoring Jesus Christ with a continual feast of Corpus Christi. To prolong this feast throughout the entire year is the object of our life and happiness. We leave to other children of the Church the care of the poor, the healing of the physical and moral ills of afflicted humanity, and the administration of the Sacraments. We are called only to perpetuate the feast of Corpus Christi. It is therefore the special feast of us religious. It is also your feast, my dear brethren. Have you not consecrated yourselves entirely to the service of the Most Blessed Sacrament? At night you withdraw and leave us to watch with our Lord. The proprieties demand it. But you leave your hearts at the feet of the divine King, and we can say that you spend your life here. Besides, when you receive Communion, do you not really celebrate Corpus Christi in your hearts? Oh! You know the joy and happiness Jesus brings with Him! I will go further and say that for souls who know how to receive Communion, there is only one feast day, that is Communion day. They find therein the object of all the mysteries, the Being Who makes these mysteries and in Whose honor they are celebrated, whereas most Christians recall them only in a vague manner.
More than that! I say that if our Lord were not living in His Sacrament, all our Christian feast days would be nothing but a series of funeral services. The Eucharist is the sun that gives light, life and joy to the feasts of the Church.
Someone has rightly called the soul that communicates well and often perpetual banquet, juge convivium. To live with Jesus in us, to live of Jesus and through Jesus is to be a tabernacle and a precious ciborium. Oh! What a joy is that of these souls, a pure and unchanging joy!
Come! Learn how to single out these days from all the others. Our Lord has His royal feast days; today is one of them. A king is a bounteous giver. Pay homage to our Lord, and He, in return, will give you everything; He will give you His very Self with a greater abundance of His graces. He discriminates among His friends; He knows those who are deserving of His favors. My desires and wishes for you on this beautiful day are not that you become saints weighted down with magnificent and extraordinary virtues when would that ever be? but that you be very happy in the service of God, and also that our Lord give Himself to you with more of His kindness and love. If you feel that He loves you more, you will give yourself to Him more entirely; and the result of these two loves will be perfect union. Therein lie holiness and perfection. Pray with confidence to attain it. Give Him your whole heart. Jesus is a tender Father; act towards Him as loving children. He is a tender Friend; delight in His love. Oh! I fear for the salvation of the one who has never tasted the goodness of God! Penetrate into that infinite goodness! Sentite de Domino in bonitate. "Think of the Lord in goodness."
"Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the Living Heart of each of our parishes,"
- Pope Paul VI
In speaking of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, St. Peter Julian Eymard writes:
"The Lord hath set His tabernacle in the sun, says the Psalmist. The sun is Mary's heart."
In his book "Jesus Our Eucharistic Love", Fr. Stefano Manelli, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D. writes that Our Lady is "inseparably united with Jesus in the Host. Jesus is always the Son she adores. He is Flesh of her flesh and Blood of her blood."
The following is a series of reflections from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard on the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament:
Saint Paul expressed a wish to the Ephesians that, through the grace of the Father from Whom proceeds every gift, they should know the charity of Jesus Christ for men, "which surpasseth all knowledge." He could not wish them anything holier, or better, or more important. To know the charity of Jesus Christ, to be filled with the fullness of it, that is the reign of God in man. And that reign is the fruit of devotion to the Heart of Jesus, living and loving us in the Most Blessed Sacrament. This devotion is the sovereign worship of love. It is the soul and center of all religion; for religion is merely the law, the virtue, and the perfection of love; and the Sacred Heart is the grace, the model, and the life of it. Let us study this love close to the fire where it consumes itself for us.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart has a twofold object: it honors first with adoration and public worship the Heart of flesh of Jesus Christ, and secondly the infinite love with which this Heart has burned for us since its creation, and with which it is still consumed in the Sacrament of our altars.
Of all the noble faculties of the human body, the noblest is the heart. It is placed in the center of the body like a king in the center of his dominions. Immediately surrounding it are its most important members, which are, so to speak, its ministers. It sets them in motion and makes them function by imparting to them the vital warmth of which it is the reservoir. It is the fountainhead from which there gushes forth with impetuosity the blood that flows into all the parts of the body, and bathes and refreshes them. Weakened by this function, the blood returns from the extremities of the body to the heart to rekindle its ardor and receive a new supply of life-giving energy.
What is true of the human heart in general is also true of the adorable Heart of Jesus Christ. It is the noblest part of the body of the Man-God, united hypostatically to the Word and deserving thereby the supreme worship of adoration which is due God alone. It is important that in our veneration we should not separate the Heart of Jesus from the divinity of the Man-God; for it is united to the divinity with indissoluble bonds, and the worship we pay to the Heart has not its final end in that Heart, but in the adorable Person Who possesses it and Who has united it to Himself forever.
Whence it follows that we may direct to this divine Heart the prayers, praises, and adorations we offer to God Himself. And it also follows that they are mistaken who, on hearing the words "The Heart of Jesus," think only of the material organ and look on this Heart only as a lifeless and loveless member, much as they would a holy relic. They again are mistaken who imagine that this devotion divides Jesus Christ and restricts to His Heart alone a worship that ought to be offered to His whole Person. They overlook the fact that to honor the Heart of Jesus is not to ignore the rest of the divine body of the God-Man; for when we honor His Heart, we mean to praise all the actions and the whole life of Jesus Christ, which are but an outpouring of His Heart.
Just as it is in the sun that are formed and from it that issue forth the warm rays which fertilize the earth and give life to everything that lives, so it is from the heart that come forth the strong and gentle impulses which carry vital warmth and vigor into all the members. If the heart weakens, the whole body weakens with it. If the heart suffers, all the members suffer with it; nothing functions well, and the organic system soon stops working. The function of the Heart of Jesus was then to quicken, to strengthen, and to sustain all His members, all His organs, and all His senses by its constant action; so that it was the principle of the actions, affections, virtues and of the whole life of the Word made flesh.
For the heart, according to the opinion of ancient philosophers, is the seat of love; and since the prime motive of the whole life of Jesus was love, we must look upon His Heart as the source of all His mysteries and virtues. "Just as it is natural for fire to burn," says Saint Thomas, "so it is natural for the heart to love; and because the heart is the primary organ of feeling in man, it is fitting that the act which is commanded by the first of all the commandments should be felt by the heart."
Just as the eyes see and the ears hear, so the heart loves. It is the organ of the soul in the production of affection and love. In the vernacular, heart and love are interchangeable terms; heart means love, and vice versa. The Heart of Jesus was, therefore, the organ of His love; it was the principle and seat of it. It experienced all the impressions of love that can touch a human heart, with this difference, however, that since the soul of Jesus Christ loved with an unparalleled and infinite love, His Heart is a real furnace of love for God and for us. From it are constantly darting forth the most ardent and purest flames of divine love. This love inflames His Heart from the first moment of His conception until His last breath and, since His Resurrection, has not ceased nor will ever cease doing so. His Heart made and is daily making countless acts of love, a single one of which gives more glory to God than all of the acts of love of the angels and saints. Of all material creatures, His Heart is then the one that contributes the most to the glory of the Creator and that is the most deserving of the love and worship of angels and men.
Everything that pertains to the Person of the Son of God is infinitely worthy of veneration. The least portion of His Body, the tiniest drop of His blood is deserving of the adoration of heaven and earth. The most worthless things become worthy of veneration by mere contact with His flesh, as was the case with the Cross, the nails, the thorns, the sponge, the lance and all the instruments of His death. How much greater veneration, therefore, ought we to offer to His Heart, the excellence of which is founded on the nobleness of the functions it performs, on the perfection of the sentiments it gives rise to, and of the actions it inspires! For if Jesus was born in a stable, lived as a poor man at Nazareth, and died for our sake, we owe it to His Heart; it is in the sanctuary of His Heart that were formed all the heroic resolutions and all the plans which inspired His life. His Heart must therefore be honored as the Crib in which the faithful soul sees Jesus being born into the world, poor and forsaken; as the pulpit from which the Lord Jesus preaches His commandment to her: "Learn of Me that I am meek and humble of heart"; as the Cross on which she sees Him rise glorious and immortal; and as the everlasting Gospel by which she is taught to imitate all the virtues of which this Heart is the accomplished model.
A soul devoted to the Sacred Heart will, however, apply herself in a special manner to the practice of divine love, because this Heart is above all the seat and the symbol of this love. And since the Most Blessed Sacrament is the sensible and permanent token of divine love, it is there the soul will find the Heart of Jesus; from His Eucharistic Heart she will learn to love.
Since Jesus Christ desires to be loved unceasingly by man, He must show him an unceasing love; and as God, in order to overcome and conquer our hearts, had to become a man whom we could feel and touch, so in order to make His conquest secure, He must continue to make man feel a sensible and humanized love. The law of love is perpetual, and so also must be the grace of it. This sun of love must never set on the heart of man; if it does, a chill will settle on man's heart, and the coldness of death and of neglect will kill it. The human heart gives itself only to life and unites itself only to an actual love which is felt and which furnishes actual proofs of its reality.
Well, all the love of the Savior in His mortal life, His love as a child in the Crib, His zealous love as an apostle of His Father in His preaching, His love as a Victim on the Cross, all these loves are gathered together and are triumphant in His Heart, glorious and living in the Blessed Sacrament. That is where we should seek this Heart and nourish ourselves with its love. It is also in heaven, but for the angels and saints. It is in he Eucharist for us. Our devotion to the Sacred Heart must therefore be Eucharistic; it must concentrate in the divine Eucharist as in the only personal and living center of the love and the graces of the Sacred Heart for men.
Why separate the Heart of Jesus from His body and divinity? Is it not through His Heart that He lives in the Blessed Sacrament, and that His body is alive and animated? Having risen from the dead, Jesus dies no more; why separate His Heart from His Person and try to make Him die, so to speak, in our mind? No, no! This divine Heart is living and palpitating in the Eucharist, no longer of a passible and mortal life, subject to sadness, agony, and pain, but of a life risen and consummated in blessedness. This impossibility to suffer and die diminishes in no way the reality of His life; on the contrary, it makes that life more perfect. God has never known death, and still He is the source of perfect and eternal life.
The Heart of Jesus therefore lives in the Eucharist, since His body is alive there. It is true that we can neither feel nor see that divine Heart, but things are pretty much the same for all men. This principle of life must be mysterious and veiled; to uncover it would kill it. We can conclude to its existence only from the effects it produces. A man does not ask to see the heart of a dear friend; one word is enough to tell him of his love. But how will the divine Heart of Jesus make itself known? It manifests itself to us by the sentiments with which it inspires us; that should suffice. Besides, who could contemplate the beauty and the goodness of the divine Heart? Who could stand the brightness of its glory, the consuming and devouring flames of this fire of love? Who would dare look at this divine Ark, on which is written its gospel of love in letters which its love has its throne, and its goodness all its treasures? Who would want to penetrate into the very sanctuary of the Godhead? The Heart of Jesus! Why, it is the heaven of heavens, in which God Himself dwells and finds His delights!
No! We do not see the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus! But we possess it; it is ours!
Do you want to know what is its life? It is divided between His Father and us. This Heart watches over us; while our Savior, enclosed in the frail Host, seems wrapped in impotent sleep, His Heart remains awake. Ego dormio, et Cor meum vigilat. "I sleep, and My Heart watcheth." It watches over us whether we think of it or not; it knows no rest; it pleads with the Father to forgive us. Jesus shields us with His Heart and wards off the blows of divine wrath provoked by our repeated offenses. His Heart is there, as on the Cross, opened and letting flow upon our heads torrents of grace and love.
It is there to defend us against our enemies, just as a mother to save her child from danger presses it to her heart so that one cannot strike the child unless he strikes the mother first. "And even if a mother could forget her child," Jesus tells us, "I will never forsake you."
The other concern of the Heart of Jesus is for His Father. He adores His Father through His unspeakable humiliations, through His adoration of self-abasement; He praises Him and thanks Him for the blessings He bestows upon men, His brothers; He offers Himself as a Victim to the justice of His Father; He prays incessantly for the Church, for sinners, and for all the souls He has redeemed.
O God the Father, look down with complacency on the Heart of Thy Son, Jesus! See His love, listen to His prayers, and may the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus be our salvation!
The reasons for which the feast of the Sacred Heart was instituted and the manner in which Jesus manifested His Heart teach us that we ought to honor it in the Eucharist, and that we shall find it therein with all its love.
Saint Margaret Mary received the revelation of the Sacred Heart before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Jesus manifested Himself to her in the Host, showing her His Heart and saying to her these adorable words, the most eloquent commentary on His presence in this Sacrament: "Behold this Heart which has so loved men!"
And our Lord, appearing to Venerable Mother Mechtilda (1614-1698), foundress of a society of women-adorers (The Benedictines of Perpetual Adoration), commanded her to love ardently and honor as much as she could His Sacred Heart in the Blessed Sacrament. And He gave it to her as a pledge of His love, to be her refuge in life and her consolation at the hour of death.
The purpose of the feast of the Sacred Heart is to honor with more fervor and devotion the suffering love of Jesus Christ as He instituted the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
To enter into the spirit of devotion to the Heart of Jesus, we must therefore honor the past sufferings of the Savior and make reparation for the ingratitude with which He is daily overwhelmed in the Eucharist.
Great indeed were the afflictions of the Heart of Jesus! Every kind of trial fell upon Jesus. He was weighted down with humiliations; He was assailed with the most revolting calumnies and disgraced in every possible way; He was loaded down with opprobrium and crushed with every form of contempt. But, in spite of everything, "He offered because it was His own will, and He opened not His mouth." His love was stronger than death, and torrents of desolation could not quench its flame. His sufferings are now over; but since Jesus bore them for our sake, our gratitude must have no end. Our love must honor them as if they were taking place before our eyes. The Heart which endured them with so much love is here in the Blessed Sacrament; it is not dead, but living and active; not insensible, but still more affectionate.
Jesus can no longer suffer, it is true; but alas! man can still be guilty towards Him of monstrous ingratitudes. These ingratitudes toward God Who is present and living among us to win our love, are the greatest offense to the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Man is indifferent to this supreme gift of love of Jesus for him. He does not take account of it; or if he must occasionally think of it, when, for instance, Jesus tries to shake him out of his torpor he does so only to drive out such a troublesome thought. He does not care for the love of Jesus Christ.
More than that! When urged on by his faith, by the remembrance of his Christian education, and by the God-sent impulse in his heart to adore Jesus Christ as his Lord in the Eucharist and to return to His service, impious man rebels against this dogma, the most lovable of all. He will even deny the truth of it and apostasize so as to be freed from the obligation of adoring it, of sacrificing to it some idol or passion, of breaking shameful bonds.
We see Christians despise Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and show contempt for the Heart which has so loved them and which consumes itself with love for them. To spurn Him freely they take advantage of the veil that hides Him.
They insult Him with their irreverences, their sinful thoughts, and their criminal glances in His presence. To express their disdain for Him they avail themselves of His patience, of the kindness that suffers everything in silence as it did with the impious soldiery of Caiphas, Herod, and Pilate.
They blaspheme sacrilegiously against the God of the Eucharist. They know that His love renders Him speechless.
They crucify Him even in their guilty souls. They receive Him. They dare take this living Heart and bind it to a foul corpse. They dare deliver it to the devil who is their lord!
No! Never even in the days of His Passion has Jesus received so many humiliations as in His Sacrament! Earth for Him is a Calvary of ignominy.
In His agony He sought a consoler; on the Cross He asked for someone to sympathize with His afflictions. Today, more than ever, we must make amends, a reparation of honor, to the adorable Heart of Jesus. Let us lavish our adorations and our love on the Eucharist. To the Heart of Jesus living in the Most Blessed Sacrament be honor, praise, adoration, and kingly power for ever and ever!
"Every time we come before the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus He touches the heart of all humanity! The Blessed Sacrament is the heartbeat of evangelization."
- Excerpts from "The Sacred Eucharistic Heart of Jesus" audio tape
"God in his omnipotence could not give more, in His wisdom He knew not how to give more, in His riches He had not more to give, than the Eucharist."
- St. Augustine
"In the Eucharist, this divine Heart governs us and loves us by living and abiding with us, so that we may live and abide in Him, because in this Sacrament... He offers and gives Himself to us as victim, companion, viaticum, and the pledge of future glory,"
- Benedict XV
"Devotion to the Sacred Heart should bring us to a life of intimate union with Jesus who, we know, is truly present and living in the Eucharist. The two devotions to the Sacred Heart and to the Eucharist are closely connected. They call upon one another and, we may even say, they require one another. The Sacred Heart explains the mystery of the love of Jesus by which He becomes bread in order to nourish us with His substance, while in the Eucharist we have the real presence of this same Heart, living in our midst. It is wonderful to contemplate Jesus as the symbol of His infinite love, but it is even more wonderful to find Him always near us in the Sacrament of the altar. The Sacred Heart which we honor is not a dead person's heart which no longer palpitates, so that we have only the memory of him, but it is the Heart of a living Person, of One who lives eternally. He lives not only in heaven where His sacred humanity dwells in glory, but He lives also on earth wherever the Eucharist is reserved. In speaking of the Eucharist, Our Lord says to us, 'Behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world' (Mt 28, 20). In Holy Communion, then, this Heart beats within us, it touches our heart; through the love of this Heart, we are fed with His Flesh and with His Blood, so that we may abide in Him and He in us,"
- from "Divine Intimacy", by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D..
"O what a wonderful and intimate union is established between the soul and You, O lovable Lord, when it receives You in the Holy Eucharist! Then the soul becomes one with You, provided it is well disposed by the practice of the virtues, to imitate what You did in the course of Your life, Passion, and death,"
- St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi
"In order to be like You, who are always alone in the Blessed Sacrament, I shall love solitude and try to converse with You as much as possible. Grant that my mind may not seek to know anything but You, that my heart may have no longings or desires but to love You. When I am obliged to take some comfort, I shall take care to see that it be pleasing to Your Heart. In my conversations, O divine Word, I shall consecrate all my words to You so that You will not permit me to pronounce a single one which is not for Your glory.... When I am thirsty, I shall endure it in honor of the thirst You endured for the salvation of souls.... If by chance, I commit some fault, I shall humble myself, and then take the opposite virtue from Your Heart, offering it to the eternal Father in expiation for my failure. All this I intend to do, O Eucharistic Jesus, to unite myself to You in every action of the day."
- St. Margaret Mary
Following is a meditation on the Precious Blood of Jesus from the writings of St. Albert the Great:
I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.
I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life. I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present....
I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness.
O adorable Blood of Jesus, wash our stains, save us from the anger of the avenging angel. Irrigate the Church; make her fruitful with Apostles and miracle-workers, enrich her with souls that are holy, pure and radiant with divine beauty.
"O You who are mad about Your creature! true God and true Man, You have left Yourself wholly to us, as food, so that we will not fall through weariness during our pilgrimage in this life, but will be fortified by You, celestial nourishment,"
- St. Catherine of Siena
"How many brave men in this century alone have fought and died for love of their country? How many wars have been fought for peace and freedom? And, yet, look how far we are away from either.
"There is only one war worth fighting for... Standing up for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament today is like standing up for Christ when He was on the Cross!
"What we need today is an army... who are willing to fight, standing up and being counted for the cause of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament."
- From the book "Letters To A Brother Priest"
"The flesh feeds on the Body and Blood of Christ that the soul may be fattened on God,"
- Tertullian (c. 200)
"Beloved souls, in suffering and in joy, go to Jesus hidden in the Sacred Host and let the sweetness of His loving gaze fill you."
"Like the sick who expose their diseased bodies to the healing rays of the sun, expose miseries, no matter what they are, to the beams of light streaming forth from the Sacred Host,"
- from "The Holy Eucharist", by Jose Guadalupe Trevino
"I understand that, each time we contemplate with desire and devotion the Host in which is hidden Christ's Eucharistic Body, we increase our merits in heaven and secure special joys to be ours later in the beatific vision of God,"
- St. Gertrude
"God likes to listen favorably to the prayers of His faithful, particularly when they look at Christ's body,"
- wrote William of Auxerre on Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
"Here 'neath veils, my Saviour darkly I behold;
"O Lord, we cannot go to the pool of Siloe to which you sent the blind man. But we have the chalice of Your Precious Blood, filled with life and light,"
- St. Ephrem
"If we could comprehend all the good things contained in Holy Communion, nothing more would be wanting to content the heart of man. The miser would run no more after his treasures, or the ambitious after glory; each would shake off the dust of the earth, leave the world, and fly away towards heaven,"
- St. John Vianney
Our Savior, therefore, when about to depart from this world to the Father, instituted this sacrament in which He poured forth, as it were, the riches of His divine love for men, "making a remembrance of his wonderful works" (Ps 110:4), and He commanded us in the consuming of it to cherish His "memory" (1 Cor 11:24), and "to show forth his death until He come" to judge the world (1 Cor 11:26). But He wished that this sacrament be received as the spiritual food of souls (Mt 26:26), by which they may be nourished and strengthened, living by the life of Him who said: "He who eateth me, the same also shall live by me" (Jn 6:58), and as an antidote, whereby we may be freed from daily faults and be preserved from mortal sins. He wished, furthermore, that this be a pledge of our future glory and of everlasting happiness...,"
- The Council of Trent, Section XIII, Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist
"In Cana of Galilee Christ changed water into wine, and shall we think Him less worthy of credit when He changes wine into His Blood?,"
- St. Cyril of Jerusalem
"Jesus Lord, kind Pelican,
"Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages. A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulcher, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise,"
- St. Bonaventure
Hail, most holy Virgin, burning bush which without being consumed held the fire of divinity! Hail, spiritual oven, which provided fire and the Bread of Life freshly baked for the food of the world, the food of which Christ the Savior of the world said: "Take and eat, this is my body, which is broken for you unto the remission of sins." Sumptuous indeed, dearly beloved, and filled with every virtue is that virginal banquet table, laden with all best foods that rejoice the earth. The holy Virgin, the Mother of Christ, herself has furnished it.
- A Prayer from The Breviary
Following is a meditations from the writings of St. John Chrysostom (344-407):
..."Water and blood are a symbol of baptism and the most holy sacrament [of the Eucharist]. Now the Church is founded on the spiritual renewal by the bath of rebirth and on the most holy sacrament [of the Eucharist], both of which have their origin in the side of Christ. Therefore Christ built the Church from the side of Christ, just as he made Eve from the side of Adam. Therefore St. Paul says, 'We are of his flesh and of his bones.'"
"Now we see how intimately Christ has been united to his spouse (the Church); see with what food he satisfies us. He himself is our food and nourishment; and just as a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, Christ also constantly nourishes with his own blood those to whom he has given birth (by Baptism)."
"Do grant, oh my God, that when my lips approach Yours to kiss You, I may taste the gall that was given You; when my shoulders lean against Yours, make me feel Your scourging; when my flesh is united with Yours, in the Holy Eucharist, make me feel Your passion; when my head comes near Yours, make me feel Your thorns, when my heart is close to Yours, make me feel Your spear,"
- St. Gemma Galgani
"Just as bread from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread but the Eucharist, made up of two elements, one earthly and one heavenly, so also our bodies, in receiving the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, for they have the hope of resurrection,"
- St. Irenaeus
"Loving souls can find no greater delight than to be in the company of those whom they love. If we, then, love Jesus Christ much, behold we are now in his presence. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament sees us and hears us; shall we, then, say nothing to Him? Let us console ourselves in His company; let us rejoice in His glory, and in the love which so many enamoured souls bear Him in the Most Holy Sacrament. Let us desire that all should love Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, and consecrate their hearts to Him; at least let us consecrate our affections to Him. He should be all our love and our whole desire,"
- from St. Alphonsus Liguori's "The Holy Eucharist"
..."The Blessed Sacrament is the magnet of souls. There is a mutual attraction between Jesus and the souls of men. Mary drew Him down from heaven. Our nature attracted Him rather than the nature of angels. Our misery caused Him to stoop to our lowness. Even our sins had a sort of attraction for the abundance of His mercy and the predilection of His grace. Our repentance wins Him to us. Our love makes earth a paradise to Him; and our souls lure Him as gold lures the miser, with irresistible fascination,"
- from "The Blessed Sacrament", by Fr. Faber
..."He draws us to Himself by grace, by example, by power, by lovingness, by beauty, by pardon, and above all by the Blessed Sacrament. Every one who has had anything to do with ministering to souls has seen the power which Jesus has. Talent is not needed. Eloquence is comparatively unattractive. Learning is often beside the mark. Controversy simply repels... All the attraction of the Church is in Jesus, and His chief attraction is the Blessed Sacrament,"
- from "The Blessed Sacrament", by Fr. Faber
"There is another food that gives health and life, another food that really commends man to God and returns him to God, another food that strengthens the weak, calls back those who stray, lifts the fallen, and gives to the dying signs of eternal immortality. Seek the bread and the chalice of Christ, so that, having overcome earthly weakness, the substance of man may be fed with immortal food,"
- Julius Firmicus Maternus (died after 348)
"At the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, let you hearts through the grace of God and the sacrifices you perform be like a golden thurible. Your generous hearts will be as it were incandescent pieces of charcoal. Your purity will become incense which as it is consumed gives joy to the Heart of Jesus through the perfume rising from it,"
- Mother Mary of Jesus, foundress of the Daughters of the Heart of Jesus
"When we go before the Blessed Sacrament, let us open our heart; our good God will open His. We shall go to Him; He will come to us; the one to ask, the other to receive. It will be like a breath from one to the other,"
- St. John Vianney
"If you are looking for vocations, as a community have adoration every day. Once the Missionaries of Charity started daily adoration, their vocations doubled,"
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta, at the co-workers chapter held in Paris in May 1988
"I hope that your example attracts many souls to the adoration of Jesus Christ who is present on the altar to be of comfort and hope to those who confide in him with faith and love; they look on him as the Emmanuel, God with us, who wished to dwell amongst us: his heart in our heart,"
- Pope John Paul II
"Oh, how fortunate you shall be to be able to receive every day this divine Sacrament, to hold this God of Love in your hands and place Him in your own heart!
I desire but this one grace, and long to be consumed like a burning candle in His holy Presence every moment of the life that remains to me. For that I would be willing, I think, to suffer all the pains imaginable till judgment day, if only I should not have to leave His sacred presence. My only motive would be to be consumed in honoring Him and to acknowledge the burning love He shows us in this wonderful Sacrament. Here His love holds Him captive till the end of time. It is of this one can truly say, "Love triumphs, love enjoys/ Love finds in God its joys!"
- St. Margaret Mary
"To adore Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament is first of all to acknowledge him truly, really and substantially present therein by the humble sentiment of a lively and spontaneous faith: humbly surrendering our feeble reason to the divinity of this sublime Mystery; asking neither to see or touch, like the unbelieving Apostle, before accepting the truth of Jesus Hostia; merely waiting, to prostrate ourselves at His feet, for the infallible and gentle word of the Church telling us like Saint John the Baptist: 'Look, this is the Lamb of God; look, this is he who takes away the sin of the world,'"
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
The following meditation is from a liturgical reflection on the 18th Sunday of the year by Fr. John T. Myler:
"The whole Jubilee journey the pilgrimage into the third Christian millennium has as its starting point and conclusion (in) the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist!
The Jubilee Year 2000 will be a time to ask and answer St. Paul's age-old question to the Christians of Rome:
"What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?"
In the Celebration of the Eucharist comes the answer: We are one in Christ because we partake of that which is more sublime than "angels, principalities, powers, heights, depths or anything else in all creation." We receive the living God!
"Jesus saw the vast throng, and His heart was moved with pity....'Give them something to eat.'"
The throng is greater in number as the year 2000 approaches. The Lord's gracious gift is His own self for our heavenly food. Then and now."
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
"For 2,000 years, the Church has been the cradle in which Mary places Jesus and entrusts Him to the adoration and contemplation of all peoples. May the humility of the Bride cause to shine forth still more brightly the glory and power of the Eucharist, which she celebrates and treasures in her heart. In the sign of the consecrated Bread and Wine, Christ Jesus risen and glorified, the light of the nations, reveals the enduring reality of His Incarnation. He remains living and real in our midst in order to nourish the faithful with His Body and Blood."
- From Pope John Paul II's papal bull "Incarnationis Mysterium", The Mystery of the Incarnation
"Jesus Christ, after having given us all he could give, that is to say, the merit of his toils, his sufferings, and bitter death; after having given us his adorable body and blood to be the food of our souls, willed also to give us the most precious thing he had let, which was his holy Mother,"
- St. John Vianney
"At all times let us keep our gaze fixed lovingly on the divine Victim being immolated on the altar. And let us allow ourselves to be immolated at the same time. Weeping before the altars that are the object of indifference or profanation, may we love and make up for the coldness of those who do not know how to return love for love,"
- Marie-Deluil Martiny, Mother Mary of Jesus, foundress of the Daughters of the Heart of Jesus
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