Kiss of Love, Communion: Mass as it Relates to the Interior Life ~ Part IX
Fr. Samuel Waters | The Daily Knight | Sermon
(Please note this is only the first part of the sermon reflection on the Kiss of Love Communion, taken from the book by Bernardo Vasconcelos, OSB, The Mass and the Interior Life)
Shepherds eat the flesh of their lambs. Jesus the Good Shepherd gives Himself to be eaten by His lambs. When we assimilate the food of the body, we change it into our own substance, while Christ gives Himself to us in order to transform us into Himself.
Christ wants to be the principle behind all interior activity of the soul. Christ wants to operate in our Interior Life. If/When the soul surrenders itself with docility to Christ, then Christ will become transformed into him whom He loves. St. Paul says, “I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me.”
We who take Him into our heart every day, how lukewarm we are, how coldly we receive Him. Consider what honor it is to be able to receive the Lord of all things into our souls. Pope St. Leo said, “Acknowledge Christian your great dignity." Think: God dwells in our soul!
We do not come to Mass only to adore Christ or to offer Him to the Father. Christ does not come to our altar to visit us. We come and He comes that we may eat Him as the food of our souls and that eating Him, we may have the Life of Grace here on earth and the Life of Glory hereafter. He is not only food for our soul but also food for our bodies. He is a healing remedy for both body and soul.
Taste and See that the Lord is Sweet:
Come, Christ is the Bread of Life. Christ comes to give Himself to you. His mercy is greater than our faults. Christ wants to live in you. He wants to be united intimately with you. Obey promptly and think of nothing else.
The devil does not want you to be united to Christ, who is Life itself. Do not listen to the devil. Listen only to Christ who is calling you. Obey His invitation with all simplicity and filial fear. We are poor creatures, full of defects and sin. Christ willed to make Himself present under the species of bread and wine in order to become your
food. By instituting this Sacrament under the form of food was for the purpose of maintaining the Divine Life within you. This would keep you united to Him.
When the Word took on Flesh in the Incarnation, He always did what was pleasing to His Heavenly Father. When you go to Mass and do not receive Holy Communion, you are refusing to fulfill completely the desire of Christ and the hopes of Our Father in Heaven. You should never put ourselves in life situations that prevent you from receiving Holy Communion (divorce and remarry outside the Church; Cohabitation for the purposes of fornication, adultery or sodomy). All Sins of the Flesh (Adultery, Fornication, Masturbation) are always mortal sins (because they involve the mind and the will) and need to be removed from your soul through the Sacrament of Penance before you receive Holy Communion.
In the Early Church everyone who attended Mass received Holy Communion. The Deacon had the responsibility to take Holy Communion to those who were absent from the Mass. He took Holy Communion to the sick, prisoners and those who were going to be martyred for the True Faith. When the faithful receive Holy Communion during the Mass, they imitate and represent the sacred act of Holy Thursday. At the Last Supper Jesus united Himself to His Apostles by participating in the same sacrifice. This sealed the union between Christ and His Apostles. We see from this that Jesus wanted the Holy Eucharist to be a sign of unity in the Catholic Church both to unite the faithful to each other and to unite the faithful to their hierarchic superiors (clergy).
Receiving Holy Communion outside of Mass is permitted, but this should be done in exceptional cases and even then, we should always unite our Holy Communion to the Mass. If we continue to separate Holy Communion from Mass, we run the risk of losing all sense of the full significance of the Host, we deprive ourselves of the grace which comes from following the example of Christ in this most wonderful Sacrifice which is offered everyday and which invites us to unite ourselves with Him and consummate our offering in Him.
The Sacraments of themselves produce the result for which they were instituted on condition that no obstacles are put in their way. In Christ there are no obstacles because in Him are all the treasures of the Divinity and He desires to give those treasures by coming to us Himself.
He came to give us Life and He wishes us to have it in abundance. The only obstacles then are in us. Everything opposed to the Interior Life and our union with Christ is an obstacle to our reaping the fruits of the Eucharist.
The first necessity is that we be should be in The State of Grace (have no Mortal Sins on our Soul). Included with being in the State of Grace we should have the Right Intention. We learn from St. Pope Pius X in his Encyclical, “Sacra Tridentina” (Decree on Frequent and Daily Reception of Holy Communion} that a right intention consists in “that he who approaches the Holy Table should do so, not out of routine or vain glory, or human respect but that he wishes to please God, to be more united with Him by charity, and to have recourse to His divine remedy (Confession) for his weakness and defects.”
We should have complete and often self-surrender of ourselves to Jesus Christ. This surrender of ourselves began with our Baptism. It was at Baptism that we began to resemble God and become united to Him. The more we continue in that original intention of “death to sin and alive to God,” the better prepared we will be to receive the Eucharistic grace. The obstacles to our union with God are bad habits which we know of and which we do not seek to remove from our life. Voluntary Attachments to ourselves and to creatures (anyone or anything in this world that we put before our responsibilities to God). Deliberate or habitual faults against charity towards our neighbor.
The Sacraments confer grace “Ex opera operatio,” (from the work itself). We must open our hearts and allow the Divine Grace to enter. Our intention must be to intend to remove any obstacle in our life that prevents the grace of the Sacrament from getting to our souls, taking action to remove the obstacle through prayer and action.
Another intention to have, is to never refuse Christ anything He wants from us. To unite is to make two things into one thing. Communion represents the Sacrifice of the Altar, the Sacrifice of the Cross.
In Holy Communion, Christ makes us share in His own sacrifice, we become victims with him (being victims like Christ mean that we embrace our crosses, with joy and love, and offer them to Christ at Mass with Him and His Cross. Then we are strengthened to carry our crosses and we are deepened in our love for Christ because we see Him in our crosses).
The soul that is disposed for union prepares to give itself, without reservation, tolerates no obstacles and when God does not find obstacles in a soul, He works wonders for the sanctity of that soul.
It is when a soul has obstacles that they make little or no progress in the way of perfection in spite of frequent reception of Holy Communion. Having No Obstacles and the Right Intention towards union with Christ are so necessary, we should ask Him to help us to acquire them and to keep them.
One should pray with the priest, “Cleanse my thoughts, I beseech Thee oh Lord, by Thy visitation, that when our Lord, Thy Son shall come, may He find within me a dwelling place prepared for Him.” Amen.
To be continued in Part X...