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  • Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight

Kiss of Love, Communion: Mass as it Relates to the Interior Life ~ Part X

Fr. Samuel Waters | The Daily Knight | Sermon

Kiss of Love: Communion (continued from Part IX)

The Kiss of Peace is followed by the two prayers (prayed silently by the priest, “Domine Jesu Christi” (Lord Jesus Christ), and “Percipio,” (Let not the partaking). These are prayed as a preparation by the priest for his reception of Holy Communion. He bows down with his eyes on the Host to whom the prayers are addressed. The priest asks Jesus to deliver him from all kinds of evil, never permit him to transgress God’s commandments and never allow him to be separated from God. The way to achieve final perseverance is to be faithful every single day. Practicing the virtue of perseverance will help us obtain the final perseverance. There are many souls who lose their opportunity of asking the Lord for it. The priest, more convinced of his unworthiness, humbly asks the Lord that the Holy Communion may not be the cause of his judgement and damnation but that it may be a safeguard and a healing for his soul and body.

You also should recite these prayers with the priest, especially if you are going to receive Holy Communion during the Mass. You should detach yourself from all vanity, from love of self, from exaggerated sensitivities and die to self. Everyday relate all your actions to your Holy Communion. St. Francis de Sales made a resolution for himself to convert every moment of every day into a preparation for the following day’s Eucharistic Sacrifice so that he could reply truthfully, “I am preparing for Mass every day.”

Preparation for Holy Communion

There are very few people who rightly dispose themselves to receive, who seriously reflect so that they can approach the “Holy of Holies,” the Altar of God,” to God Himself. You should only bring with you those holy intentions for which you are going to pray for.

Interior preparation is most important, but that does not mean that you ignore your exterior preparation. You should bring with you a grave and modest attitude; fidelity in the smallest detail, all for your love of Jesus. Nothing is little in the sight of God and the humblest ceremony has an enormous value in the eyes of God.

Christ is the Host:

You should want to be a Host with Him. Be determined to refuse Him nothing. We must not put obstacles in the way of His sanctifying influence. “Lord I am not worthy…” Who can be worthy of such great mercy? Please show me my hidden sins and forgive all the others (God will show you your sins if you develop a prayer life for yourself). If You (God) took note of all my iniquities, how could I stand in Your presence? Christ is the Bread of Life, of which my poor soul has vital need: “Cibo mea vere est cibus” (My flesh is real food).

The soul approaches as one who is sick to the physician of life as one unclean to the fountain of mercy. St. Gertrude says “I will meet Him with confidence and humility, and when my Lord beholds me from afar, He will fill me with all the graces with which His Love desires that I should appear before Him.” Jesus answered St. Gertrude, “My daughter he who receives me with the intention (the desire of My Glory) he will never be lacking in the reverence which is my due. Since I find My delight in dwelling with the children of men and have left them this Sacrament by the excess of Love for a remembrance of Me, I have obliged Myself to remain in this mystery until the consummation of ages.

Humility does not know that it is humble. It is forbidden from itself and therefore does not say that it is humble. It is important not to think you have attained humility because to think you have, is a sign that you have not attained it. If you desire to be united to the Divine Word, your desire must be impassioned, effective and active. It must make you destroy every obstacle in you which is opposed to that union. If not, it will be false, like the desire in your mind. This is to be found with certainly in a soul purified from all sin, all bad habits and which constantly abate the sources of sin and imperfection. The Interior Life is very fragile when it is not based upon constant flight from sin.

Jesus our Best Friend:

You must get use to telling Jesus everything your heart feels; joys and sorrows; all your doubts that torment you; all those periods of enthusiasm; fervor and interior dryness, everything and often. Psalm 61:9 says “Pour out your hearts before Him.” Christ loves it when we confide in Him. He knows what you have to say. He sees the most intimate corner of your heart and there is nothing hidden from Him (when we share our thoughts and feeling with God, we are welcoming God into our life and deepening our love and trust in His presence. You could say that we are laying out the “welcome mat” to God’s involvement with us.) He wants you to tell all to Him to look for Him and to desire Him.

Why should you not tell Jesus all your troubles and worries? Unite these troubles and worries to Christ who had His own sufferings when He was on earth. Abandon yourself to Him convinced that He will be pleased to accept those (your sacrifices) sacrifices in reparation for your sins. Remember Jesus can heal all your wounds. These are certain things which should only to be told to Jesus and to the man who represents him on earth (priest) who has the care of your soul. Open wide your heart.

Effects of Holy Communion:

Many think Holy Communion is less or not fruitful because they do not feel aroused or moved during the thanksgiving. The Holy Eucharist is a mystery of faith in regards to the Real Presence of Christ as well as in the effects which the Sacrament produces in the depth of your soul.

A Mystery of faith:

Each Holy Communion well received brings us closer to Christ, our model. It makes us penetrate more intimately into the knowledge, love and practice of the mystery of our predestination and adoption in Christ. It perfects in us the grace of Divine Affiliation (union). Our sanctity consists in the participation through graces in the Divine Affiliation of Christ. We become through adoption what Christ is by nature, Sons of God. The more intimate our participation, the more enlivened is our sanctity. St. John the Evangelist tells us, “That it is our faith that is the source of all grace.” The deeper our faith, the more He communicates to us His Divine Sonship, the greater is our participation in Christ’s Divine Affiliation. There is no more homage of faith than to believe in Christ whose divinity and humanity are both hidden under the appearance of bread and wine.

The first effect of Holy Communion is an increase of sanctifying grace and the virtue of charity. Sanctifying grace is increased in silence. The first effect is in the increase of the Divine Life in us and there is manifested also the power that the Eucharist has to give us a pledge of Eternal Life. The second effect is to enkindle in us the practice of a deep love. The special end of the Eucharist is to unite the Christian Spirituality to Christ and to God the Father. The third effect of Holy Communion is spiritual joy. It contains all possible delights. Our interior consolation is not always shared to the same degree by all the faithful. However, our Holy Communion is not less fruitful on that account.

What is spiritual joy? It is the tasting of the sweetness of the Communion because we understand the usefulness of the Sacrament. Finally remember, the Eucharist is a safeguard for our souls and bodies. We should receive Holy Communion whenever possible during Mass. Receive it daily if possible. Receive it convinced that the presence of Christ in our souls gives us life because it enlivens us and awakens in us the virtue of charity. This is the fruit properly belonging to the Eucharist, the identification of ourselves through faith and love with Christ. When you receive Christ in your soul, you must resemble Him outwardly also, “one who claims to dwell in Him, must live and move as He lived and moved” (I John 2:6).

Holy Communion is union of thoughts and sentiments, the Passion and Crucifixion first followed by the Ascension and Glory afterwards. This is true for us also. Exile and suffering come first and only afterwards comes the promised happiness. The cross is the way to light. The (Via Delorosa) “way of sorrow” is the way to heaven. Do not look at and taste the sweetness of your Holy Communion only. You will find no real or lasting comfort until you have drained the chalice. Draining the chalice means resembling Christ in your actions. Avoid faults against charity. Faults against charity are when you do not seek to resemble Christ and offend your neighbor. When you offend your neighbor, you offend Christ. It is a grave sin not to see Christ in your neighbor.

How great is the excellence of souls in which the Lord dwells, in which He prolongs His sacrifice, His Passion and Suffering. Do you desire to be united to the Divine Spouse? If you do, remember if a soul offends against charity and receives Christ in Holy Communion it cannot say Jesus, I love you with all my heart. This would be a lie.

When we receive Holy Communion, we must be ready to embrace Christ and everything united to Him. Jesus gives Himself to our souls in the same measure as we give ourselves to our neighbor. Our enjoyment of God in the next life will be in direct proportion to the use we make of His grace in this life (I Corinthians 3:8). Do not lose sight of that. The degree of our eternal blessing is and will remain fixed by the degree of charity we attained when God calls us to Himself.

Each moment of our life is precious because it will give us the opportunity to rise in the blessing of eternal life.

Always avoid bitterness. Hate no man. “Make peace with your adversary before the sun sets” (Rule of St. Benedict). To forgive offences does not express weakness. St. Vincent de Paul says, “God is a perpetual communion for the soul that does His Will. Whenever the Will of God points in a direction contrary to your direction, leave your direction and follow the new direction. You will have the happiness of knowing that the Will of God is always the best for you.

How often does God still refuse to show Himself to us? Our soul feels restless and upset. In those moments only the most noble and most delicate extremity of our spirit remains united to the Will of God. This union remains even when the soul hardly perceives that it is in union with Christ. The submissive peace is not tender or sweet, it is scarcely sensible.

The more love is deprived of all help, the more it is esteemed for preserving its fidelity. The love we show by voluntary mortification of body and mind is pleasing to God. It is pleasing to God when we continue to embrace the pains, torments and tribulations which God sends to us because we see Christ in them and our embrace of them is to embrace Christ.

When I put all my energy into progressing in virtue and I do not see the fruit of my efforts, be humble and ask Christ to help you amend your life away from sin. Never be sad or upset. Remember God is the one who gives the fruit. You must remain faithful. Put yourself in the hands of God with confidence. Have recourse to prayer.

Prayer should be used to fight against all temptations so that He can show His strength, His Divine assistance and His grace. We are not to be disquieted in our temptations and infirmities. We should glory in our infirmity so that God’s virtue may appear in us, sustaining our weakness against the forces of temptation.

Oh soul, seek to walk in security and comfort. It is necessary to suffer and endure in order to reach the lofty state. It is a great benefit to suffer and to be mortified in order to reach such lofty blessings. We could never reach these blessings if we were always provided consolations.

To be continued in Part XI...