Fourth in the Series on the Reasons of the Eucharist
Fr. Albert Tesnière, S.S.S.
The Eucharist Renders Honor and Glory to the Divine Majesty.
Contemplate with a lively faith Jesus Christ Our Saviour upon the altar, hidden, annihilated beneath the veils of the Sacrament, therein adoring the majesty of His Father, rendering to Him all the homage contained in the most perfect religion. It is for this end, the first of all those which He proposed to Himself, namely, to glorify His Father by rendering to Him in perfection all the homage and service which the creature was incapable of rendering to Him, that the Word made Himself man; and it is for that end, above all others, that He made Himself a Sacrament. Doubtless, the Word became incarnate, died, and assumed in the Eucharist a new life for our salvation and for our eternal happiness, but above this motive there was another which moved Him: it was to honor the majesty of His Father, to render to Him all the homage, all the obedience, all the love which God deserves to receive from a reasonable creature. He says from the altar, as He did during His life, to those who ask of Him the reason of His mission, "I honor My Father, I glorify My Father."
See with what perfection Jesus renders to His Father the duty of adoration. To adore is to recognize with the mind, with the heart, with the will and by works, the excellence of God, that is to say, His supreme majesty, His independent being, His incomparable elevation above all things, in a word, His infinite perfections of greatness, of power, and of majesty.
No one knows, or sees, or comprehends all these perfections as Jesus does; they are manifest before His eyes. No one knows the Father except the Son, He said. And then what praises escape from His soul to the glory of the Father! He sees all, praises, reveres, honors, exalts all that is in the infinite divinity of His Father; He goes to Him as being His principle and supreme end, with all the strength of His soul acknowledging that He is the perfect happiness, the finished perfection of all creatures; and with all the power of His will He submits Himself to Him, gives Himself to Him, acknowledges and accepts all His rights over Him.
Oh, what a perfect adorer in spirit and in truth! God sees prostrate at His feet, immolated before Him, in order that He may render Him more honor and glory, His own Son, who is equal to Him in all things! How great is the glory which redounds to Him from the voluntary subjection of this King of kings, of this Lord of lords, true God of true God, annihilated before Him through love, that He may please and satisfy Him! Oh, all ye who surround the altar, behold clearly, with eyes of faith, Jesus Christ in His office of adorer, which He accomplishes in all its perfection, without exhaustion, without intermission; and offer to God His adoration, His praises, His love, to supply what is wanting in you for the adoring of God in spirit and in truth as you ought to adore Him, and as He deserves to be adored.
The second duty of religion consists in acknowledging by the act of thanksgiving the liberality of God, and all the benefits which the creature receives without ceasing from the inexhaustible Source of all good.
It is necessary, in order to accomplish this duty aright, to understand how good, beneficent, liberal and merciful is God, who owes nothing to any one, and who so lavishly distributes His gifts among all creatures.
It is necessary, moreover, to understand His gifts, their excellence, their value, their extent, and their number; gifts in the natural order, gifts in the supernatural order, gifts of grace here below, gifts of glory in heaven.
Lastly, it is necessary not to have any egotism, to attribute nothing to ourselves, as coming from ourselves, and faithfully to use all the gifts of God for His glory and according to His will.
Jesus alone is capable of paying to God the whole debt of the gratitude which He merits. He alone knows all His goodness, He alone has sounded the depths of His mercy, the riches of His treasures; He sees all His gifts in all creatures; He sees them in Himself also, incomparably more precious and more abundant in Him alone than in all other creatures put together. And He neither keeps nor attributes anything to Himself. "I seek not My glory, but the glory of the Father who has sent Me." "Wherefore do you call Me good? God alone is good."
Therefore from all our tabernacles rises towards God an incessant canticle of thanksgiving, and it is Jesus who chants it in the name of all the creatures of whom He is the Head, and all of whose graces are the fruit of His blood.
Give thanks with Jesus Christ; look at the gifts received by you; study their value; above all, look at the gift of gifts, the holy Eucharist, which sums up in it all the magnificent bounties of God, and give thanks in union with Jesus, striving to imitate His humility, His fidelity, His disinterestedness; for gratitude is humble, faithful, and disinterested.
Since sin entered into the world, it has not been possible to have any religion towards God which does not contain reparation and expiation of sin. But, in order to offer to God a reparation equal to the infinite offence of sin, there must be a victim of infinite price, and a priest whose holiness is also infinite.
This priest and this victim is Jesus Christ, our Lord. He offered Himself upon the cross, He offers and immolates Himself upon the holy altar as the victim of expiation destined to appease the anger of God, to satisfy His justice, and to obtain from His mercy pardon for the guilty.
What a holy priest, pure, innocent, without spot, devoured by zeal for the glory of God, devoted to the holiness of His name, to the establishment of His reign, and to the conversion, the sanctification of souls!
What a perfect and sweet victim, offering the most holy, the most perfect of lives to immolation, His royalty to humiliation, His glory to abjection, His sovereign rights to obedience, annihilating Himself wholly, and as it were burying Himself alive in death, enveloping Himself in the shroud of the sacramental species, and there, like a corpse, accepting all, submitting to all in silence and until the end of the world!
Penetrate into the tomb of the Sacrament where the living Christ lies, the glorious King of angels and of man. Behold Him adoring, appeasing, satisfying the justice of His Father, offering His past sufferings, His present humiliations, His poverty, His obedience, His love, to compensate for injuries, offences, revolts, crimes, ingratitude. Oh, if God be cruelly offended by man, how magnificently He is honored by the heroic Priest, and by the silent but indefatigable Victim of propitiation in the Sacrament!
It is the greatest and most indispensable duty of the religion which the creature owes to the Creator to confess its absolute dependence in regard to Him, and the necessity incumbent on it to await everything and to receive everything from His gratuitous liberality: prayer and supplication are the expression of this duty. Man refuses to render it, trusts to himself, to his strength and his gifts, and does not pray. But the Word became incarnate that He might pray to God, that He might offer Him the homage of dependence, that He might make the incense rise to Him of the humble and persevering prayer which is so pleasing in His eyes. He prayed on His knees, prostrate, humiliated, with sighs, with tears, day and night, and now our tabernacles are the sanctuaries of His prayer, which knows neither weariness nor interruption. He prays with all perfection, because He knows what are the designs of God in regard to all things, because He seeks nothing whatever except His glory, His will, His reign; because He is pure, holy, devoted, beloved by God His Father, who can refuse Him nothing.
Pray with this adorable pontiff of prayer; unite yourself with His intentions, clothe yourself with His disposition, and pray with Him, in Him, in His name.
Accustom yourself to consider Jesus Christ in the Sacrament in the holy and active functions of His relation towards His Father.