Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jenks - FACE - The Grace of Sacramental Communion

The Grace of Sacramental Communion

“If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.”—S. John vi. 51.

Picture: the scene, and the conversation about manna.

Resolve: to give greater heed to my communions.

  1. Communion and life.

    1. Seeing what it is, it cannot be other than a blessing. The fathers called it the medicine of immortality. It is life not merely grace, but the giver of grace himself. What S. Paul says is true here, that “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life” (S. John vi. 54).

    2. Life is spiritual: a mechanical interpretation of human life is impossible, And the special purpose of the Holy Communion is the sustenance of life it is the daily bread of life. Other sacraments are provided for the gift and renewal of life; but if the soul be unconsciously in mortal sin, the sacrament of the Body of Christ faithfully received will be for the remission of sins.

    3. It is unfaithful to doubt the benefit. The food is the Blessed Sacrament. Do not trust your own faith rather than the Blessed Sacrament. Nevertheless, because spiritual, the particular benefit received will be adapted to our capacity to receive it. This is a great consolation: we are not made judges of what is best for ourselves, but he gives just that which is best for us.

  2. Communion and grace.

    1. Grace is the fruitfulness of the communication of Jesus Christ himself. Hence the Blessed Sacrament is the supreme means of grace for the Christian. All that Jesus Christ is, he is for us, and in this hallowed gift he gives himself.

    2. The normal grace of a good communion is the strengthening of perseverance. It is this by closer union with himself. Is not this enough to call forth our deepest devotion to this sacrament? Is it not unspeakably faithless when we are moved in our attachment to this great gift by the variableness of feeling? We have no more right to demand specially realized experiences than we have to feel better and stronger after each natural meal.

    3. But particular graces are acquired herein, as he sees our need of them and our capacity to receive them. “All things are yours, and ye are Christ’s,” is true in relation to this sacrament. Bring hither, therefore, your poverty, your sorrow, your weakness, your desire; but not in the spirit of those who sought for a sign from heaven, tempting him.

  3. Grace, and capacity to receive it.

    1. The degree of benefit is proportioned to one’s capacity to receive. This consideration is a great stimulus. A genuine belief in the Blessed Sacrament is a great incentive to progress. Mortification, self-denial, and other virtues, duly exercised, qualify for the reception of greater benefit in communion. They are fruits and preparation alike.

    2. There is also particular preparation: do not be so proud as to despise this. The whole life may be the ideal preparation; but your life cannot afford to neglect the special preparation of examination, contrition, prayer, and devotion. Study therein to desire the Blessed Sacrament more, and especially by meditation.

    3. And a most valuable preparation for communion is the thanksgiving which follows it. Some, not hindered by time, leave church after communion at the earliest moment, having already made a technical thanksgiving. But stay to realize your gift, renew your resolution, make your colloquies with Jesus in the heart.

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