Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jenks - FACE - Seeking the Heavenly Manna

Seeking the Heavenly Manna

“Our fathers did eat manna in the desert . . . My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.”— S. John vi. 31, 32.

Picture: an Israelite in the wilderness looking upon the manna in the morning.

Resolve: more devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

  1. Manna.

    1. The word manna means “What is it?” Many dispute about the Blessed Sacrament, who might profitably learn to value it by grateful reception of the Father’s gift. Others despise it just because it is like a common thing (Numb. xi. 6, 7), although it is nourishing their brethren in the wilderness-life. Reflect that the benefit of the gift is not dependent upon understanding what it is.

    2. It is a new kind of food, sent down from heaven: “He gave them food from heaven” (Ps. lxxviii. 25, P.B.V.); “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven; for the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world.” “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”

    3. The true science for the understanding of the Blessed Sacrament is the science of experience. To the faithful communicant it is found to be like wafers made with flour and honey, and like sweet oil (Ex. xvi. 31; Numb. xi. 8), which expresses to an Eastern mind the perfection of food (see Ezek. xvi. 13). The natural soul “loatheth this light bread” (Numb. xxi. 6); but to the spiritually-minded the promise of God is fulfilled (see Deut. xxxii. 13).

  2. The principle of supply.

    1. “He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack.” S. Paul calls it the principle of equality (2 Cor. viii. 14, 15). Some do gather much, and yet they have nothing over; not the most advanced Christian can live without his communions.

    2. But each gets his omer (Ex. xvi. 18). By the generosity of God even he who gets little gets as much as he can use: more would not profit him. Spiritual gifts are not to be measured by a material estimate. Oh, wonderful application of the equality! Think more of God’s liberality than of your own unworthiness.

    3. There is no lack in God’s storehouse: “He opened the doors of heaven, and rained down manna upon them to eat” (Ps. lxxviii. 23, 24). It is in ourselves that we are straitened; no one has ever failed to find all that he needed, if he sought aright.

  3. Consider then how to seek aright.

    1. The manna was the food for God’s own people (Ps. Lxxviii. 20); and the heavenly food is for the sons of the kingdom, who have received the Holy Ghost. The manna fell upon the dew (Ex. xvi. 13, 14), and dew is the unction of the Holy Ghost: Let the heart be well nourished with grace, by prompt response to the Holy Spirit, and the manna will be abundantly supplied.

    2. It is true of the communicant that “the preparation of the heart in man . . . is from the Lord” (Prov. xvi. 1). See that the formal preparation for communion is such, and that it does not sink into the mere recital of an office. God promised, “I will be as the dew unto Israel ” (Hos. xiv. 4, 5). Then shall be realized the further blessing that “The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord” (Mic. v. 7); and it is a condition of gathering much that the communicant’s life shall not be lived for himself.

    3. There is no way more after the mind of God than that the communicant shall have kept the dew of his youth (Ps. cx. 3). The early grace of life is easily lost (Hos. vi. 4), but it will be fixed in the gifts of good communions. The manna fell upon the dew and absorbed it (Ex. xvi. 14: Numb. xi. 9).

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