The Guardian Angel: The Eucharistic Miracle of Douai 1254
What a joy to share another Eucharistic Miracle with you, and what a great group of quotes on the Eucharist from Saints and Warriors for Jesus, Mary, and the Catholic Church. There are many quotes that you will want to share with those you love, and I find it awesome it starts off with a Hymm that has the appropriate name that says it all, "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All" Love each of you so much, please share. GregoryMary
In the Eucharistic miracle of Douai, a consecrated Host was unintentionally dropped to the ground while a priest was distributing Communion to the faithful. Immediately he bent down to pick up the Holy Eucharist, but the Host lifted up in flight and lighted on the purificator. A little later, a wonderful Child appeared there, Who all the faithful and religious present in the celebration could contemplate.
Although more than 800 years have elapsed, even today it is still possible to admire the Host of the miracle. All Thursdays of the month in the Church of Saint Peter of Douai, many faithful gather in prayer before the miraculous Host. onum universale de Apibus is the work written by an eye witness of the miracle: the Dominican Father Thomas de Cantimpré, doctor of theology and “suffragan” Bishop of Cambrai.
On the day of Easter in 1254 in the Church of St. Amato in Douai, a priest who was distributing Holy Communion unintentionally dropped a consecrated Host to the ground. Immediately he bent down to pick up the Sacred Species, but the Host lifted up in flight and lighted on the purificator. A little later, a wonderful Child appeared there Who all the faithful and religious present in the celebration could contemplate.
The news spread quickly, and the Bishop of Cambrai, Thomas de Cantimpré, came immediately to Douai to verify the facts in person, which he described in this manner: “I went to the Dean of the Church, followed by many faithful, and I asked to see the miracle.
The Dean opened the small case in which he had reposed the Host of the miracle, but initially I didn't see anything special. “I was conscious though, that nothing could prevent me from seeing, as was true of the others, the Sacred Body. I didn’t even have time to ask myself this type of question, when I scarcely looked at the Host and saw the face of Christ crowned with thorns with two drops of Blood that descended on His forehead.
Immediately I knelt, and crying, I began to thank God”.
It is certain that already by the year 1356, that is, one century after the apparition, every year on Wednesday of Holy Week, a feast in memory of the miracle of the Blessed Sacrament was celebrated, and the document which records it indicates that this event was in existence already for a long time.
The precious relic of the miracle was conserved and honored until the Revolution. Then all signs of this marvel were lost for many years. In October 1854, the Pastor of the Church of St. Peter by chance discovered underneath the Christ in the Altar of the Dead, a small wooden box containing a small Host, still white, but with damaged edges.
A letter written in Latin gives witness: “I, the undersigned, Canon of the distinguished collegial Church of St. Amato, certify it to be the real and true Host of the holy miracle, which I removed from imminent danger of profanation and which I have happily collected. I have placed the Host in this pyx and have left this witness, written by my own hand, for the faithful who will discover the Sacred Miracle in the future (January 5, 1793)”.
Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
Fredrick W. Faber 1814-1863
Tune: Sweet Sacrament
Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All, How can I love Thee as I ought? And how revere this wondrous gift, So far surpassing hope or thought?
Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore! O make us love Thee more and more! O make us love Thee more and more.
Had I but Mary's sinless heart, To love Thee with, my dearest King O! with what bursts of fervent praise, Thy goodness, Jesus would I sing!
Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore! O make us love Thee more and more! O make us love Thee more and more! O make us love Thee more and more!
The following excerpt was taken from the writings of Blessed 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 St. Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament, titled "Divine Mercy in My Soul":
To stay at Your feet, O hidden God, Is the delight and paradise of my soul. Here, You give me to know You, O incomprehensible One, And You speak to me sweetly: Give Me, give ME your heart.
Silent conversation, alone with You, Is to experience what heavenly beings enjoy, And to say to God, "I will, I will give You my heart, O Lord," While You, O great and incomprehensible One, accept it graciously.
Love and sweetness are my soul's life, And Your unceasing presence in my soul. I live on earth in constant rapture, And like a Seraph I repeat, "Hosanna!"
O You Who are hidden, body, soul and divinity, Under the fragile form of bread, You are my life from Whom springs an abundance of graces; And, for me, You surpass the delights of heaven.
At the Visitation, Mary is called 'Blessed' by Elizabeth BECAUSE OF HER PERFECT TRUST IN GOD: "Blest is she who trusted." (Lk 1:46)
Perfect trust is based not on ourselves but on the INFINITE PERFECTIONS OF GOD: His infinite mercy, His infinite justice, His infinite goodness, His infinite compassion, His infinite power, His infinite love.
As Mary reached out to Elizabeth in her time of need, so now Mary reaches out to us with her Divine Son, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
This is the joy of the Visitation mystery: "in the tender compassion of our God" He continues to visit us in the Holy Eucharist that we may come to Him with confidence.
As John the Baptist recognized Jesus hidden in the womb of Mary, the first tabernacle of the Lord, so now we recognize Jesus hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the mystery of our faith.
Elizabeth leaped for joy in His presence then, as we rejoice in His presence now for here Jesus pours out His Spirit upon us in this Sacrament of infinite love.
- 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 EucharisticAdoration."
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
"The Lord ‘hath set His tabernacle in the sun,’ says the Psalmist. The sun is Mary’s heart."
- St. Peter Julian Eymard (in speaking of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament)
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."
A series of reflections from 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!