Fifth in a Series on the Reasons of the Eucharist
Fr. Albert Tesnière, S.S.S.
The Eucharist Continues the Work of the Salvation of the Human Race.
Adore Our Lord Jesus Christ truly present and living in person behind the Eucharistic veils; adore Him under His beautiful title of the Saviour of the Human Race, and in the persevering labor, in the actual occupation, in the supremely merciful and excellent work of your salvation, at which He labors perpetually and without ever taking any repose, in the Sacrament of the altar; for if He instituted the Eucharist for the glorification of His Father, He also instituted it, at the same time, for the salvation of men, which is the principal means of the glory of God. In the same way as the Son of God became man for us and for our salvation, so also for us and for our salvation did He institute the Holy Sacrament. And in the same way that He procured during His human life the salvation of men by His prayers, by His preachings, by His benefits and by His Passion, it is still by the same means that He applies Himself in the Sacrament to save us.
Contemplate Him with a very attentive love, engaged in this work. During His lifetime, He prayed at night, on the mountains and in solitary places; night and day His prayers ascend from the tabernacles which are placed everywhere throughout the world, like sentinels on watch towers charged with guarding the safety of cities.
Formerly, His preaching proclaimed the truth in regard to duties and virtues which sanctify; in the Sacrament, it is His state itself which preaches to the eyes and to faith the accomplishment of all duties, and which loudly teaches all virtues. Does not the state of Jesus in the Sacrament very loudly proclaim the adoration of God, obedience, dependence, humility, patience, devotedness?
During His lifetime, He gained souls for God by His good deeds; and does He not continue in the Sacrament to heal, to nourish, to console, to make souls live again? Then, He lavished blessings; now, He gives Himself!
Lastly, He redeemed the world by the shedding of His blood. And behold, the Sacrament is nothing more than the renewal of His passion and death, the perpetual and universal effusion of His blood; it is from the Eucharist as from their source that all the Sacraments derive their salutary virtues; it is by the prayer of the Eucharistic sacrifice that our prayers which obtain grace are rendered valid. All the instruments of salvation borrow their efficacy from the Eucharist.
And thus by His prayers, His state, His gifts, His sacrifice, the Eucharistic Christ labors for the salvation of the human race, and this admirable labor will end only with the last hour of the world, when the courageous, indefatigable and heroic Workman will have finished the labor and will have fully consummated the task which He accepted from His Father. Adore Him and contemplate Him and follow Him with the most sincere admiration in this labor of love.
Gratitude, with the joy and the happiness which accompany it, will overflow your heart if you give great attention to the fact that the Saviour comes to accomplish personally in each one of us this labor of the salvation of the human race by His Eucharist.
It is the individual application, repeated as many times as there are Christians to be saved, of all the elements of salvation. During His life, He prayed for all, and now, at the present day, He comes into every one of us and prays in him, with him; He comes to impress His teachings on the heart of each one of us by making us feed on the grace and the sap of His own virtues; He comes to us Himself, personally, entirely, sensibly to each of us, all the days of our life; He comes to die in the depths of the soul of each, shedding in us, together with His blood, all His merits, all His satisfactions. Every one can, every one ought to say: "I see the Saviour laboring directly for my salvation; I feel Him operating it in me, I am therefore really the object of His solicitude, of His labors; I may therefore be very certain to be saved if I lend myself to His operations."
Oh, the touching assurance, the convincing proof, the invincible demonstration of the love, of the ardent zeal with which the Saviour wills that I should be saved!
Consider and admire that you may render thanks giving for the beauty, the goodness, the merciful condescension, the indefatigable perseverance of the salutary labor which Jesus performs in you by His Sacrament, and you will be overwhelmed with gratitude for this too beneficent Saviour!
The Saviour addressed a severe reproach to the Jews of His day who resisted His advances and His persuasions, refusing the salvation which He offered them, condemning themselves thereby to eternal death, and to chastisement all the more terrible because they were rejecting the Saviour Himself at the very moment when He was bringing them salvation.
What must be said of those who resist the love, the advances, the solicitations, the sacrifices of the Saviour in the Eucharist?
He continues to remain in the midst of us, multiplying the places of His residence, and we ignore Him! He renews every,day upon a thousand altars at once, in an annihilation visible to all, the sacrifice of His life, and we are determined to take no account of it! He pursues us to such a degree as to make Himself, in order to penetrate into us and to gain us, the indispensable aliment of our life, the viaticum of our pilgrimage, the consolation of our trials, and the remedy of all our evils, and we reject Him with disdain and disfavor! And we condemn the Saviour to the torture of holding out throughout the long course of centuries His suppliant arms towards a people who refuse to cast themselves into them, therein to find life!
Ah, what a crime is this! What means this in gratitude, this inexplicable hardness, this unheard-of folly? The Saviour may well say of us as He did of the obstinate men of His day, and with still better reason: "If I had not come, their sin would have been less; but woe to those who have seen Me and who have not believed in Me!"
Let us make reparation by consoling the Saviour with our fidelity and our assiduity in using the graces of salvation which He offers to us in His Sacrament. Let us examine if practically the Eucharist occupies in our life the place which it ought to fill. Do we receive it often enough, and are we sufficiently prepared? Do we have recourse to it with sufficient confidence and promptitude? Do we live in such a manner that it may work in us our salvation in an efficacious manner?
Ask earnestly, first, for faith in the immense power of the Eucharist for the salvation of the world and for your own salvation; second, for grace to be faithful and assiduous in making use of the Eucharist frequently and fruitfully; third, for grace to make the obstacle disappear as quickly as possible: sin, ill-regulated affections, dangerous occasions, voluntary weaknesses which prevent the Sacrament of all holiness from sanctifying you in reality; fourth, that the Eucharist may be better known, more diffused, more utilized for the salvation of the world, which languishes without it.
Increase, if not in number, at least in fervor, your pious relations with the Eucharist.