Ninth in a Series on the Reasons of the Eucharist
Fr. Albert Tesnière, S.S.S.
The Eucharist is the Permanent Proof of the Love of Jesus Christ for each one of us.
Adore Our Lord Jesus Christ, present before your eyes in the Blessed Sacrament, and behold with gratitude, with astonishment and adoration, behold if it be not true that the Eucharist gives Him to you wholly and for you alone.
It is the prodigy and supreme extent of His love here below. It is only in heaven that His love will permit us to possess Him in a greater and better degree. And it is the property, the end and the aim of the Eucharist to render Christ capable of being given to each one of us, in truth, and in entirety.
Therefore it is the "effusion" of His love, according to the words of the Council of Trent; in other words, the gift which God had made us of Himself in the Incarnation has increased, has multiplied, and has been shed like an abundant stream issuing from a lofty rock, which spreads its deep waters throughout the whole valley.
Saint Thomas pronounced these beautiful words:
All that the Word brought to the world by making Himself man, He brings to each man in particular by the Eucharist.
It is this Sacrament which enables us to understand the energetic words of Saint Paul:
He loved me, and has given Himself for me.
On Calvary, He died once for all; in the reception of the Sacrament, the fruits of His death are communicated to each one of us. When we have received Him, we cannot any longer doubt but that He is ours, and very certainly ours; we possess Him, we hold Him, we have seen Him come, we have enclosed Him in our breast; He is our dear captive!
The personal meeting of God and man therefore takes place at the table of Communion, and as nothing obliges Him to make this gift of Himself, it must be acknowledged that He makes it from love, because He loves us personally, as though each one of us were the only object and the whole end of His infinite love!
Oh, adore Jesus Christ in this supreme manifestation of His love! See Him, the Infinite, the Most High, the Supreme Majesty, coming towards you, offering Himself to you, descending in you, annihilating Himself for you, for you and your nothingness, for your past faults and your present miseries! It might be said, at the hour of Communion, so entirely is He yours, that there are only you and He in the world!
Does not this fact, this union, constitute that which is most admirable and most incredible in the Eucharistic mystery? And yet it is so; believe, adore, love!
Render thanks to the infinite goodness of the heart of Jesus, for the admirable condescension which has led Him to specialize, to individualize, to render personally and make intimately to each one of us the gift of Himself in the Eucharist.
Ah! His Heart knew our hearts; He knew that the supreme requirement of love is intimate union, a total and direct gift. He knew that it would not have sufficed for us to be loved with the most generous devotedness, if this love had not been carried as far as the personal proof of union, of the individual gift. And the kind Saviour, who had already done so much for us by being born and by dying for us, added to it this consummation of giving Himself up in person to those for whom He had been born and had died.
He desires thereby to make us also understand that His intention is to be personally useful to us, by devoting Himself to the service of each one of us, bringing to each the particular graces which are personally necessary to him, on account of his nature, his character, of his position, his vocation, his needs, his difficulties, his temptations and his trials. It is above all amongst souls that there are not two to be found which are exactly alike. The triumph of love ought therefore to be to bend, to adapt itself to these thousands and thousands of forms, to the needs of souls. This is what the Saviour has done by multiplying His Sacrament that He may make it the nourishment of each one of us.
Give thanks, then, bless and understand how great is the abundance of His goodness, which, better than manna, adapts itself to the needs and the taste not of some hundreds of thousands of Israelites only, but of innumerable multitudes who will traverse, from the Last Supper to the judgment, the desert of this life.
Is it not true that gratitude ought to be modelled upon and be measured by the benefit bestowed? If, then, Jesus loves us individually; if He makes of each one of us the object and the end of His love, is it not strictly necessary that we should repay Him in an equal degree by loving Him with an entire love, a special love, a love of predilection, by choosing Him for the supreme object of our love and of our devotedness; by loving Him where He loves us, in His Sacrament; and by making our love, our thoughts, our homage, our labors, our sufferings, our joys, our successes, as well as our pains and our defects, centre around the Tabernacle, as a continually renewed proof?
To love and to serve God in a vague manner as a God more or less unknown, without ever feeling of His adorable Person in the Sacrament any of the sentiments which we experience for the persons whom we love, without ever showing Him the tenderness of which we are prodigal towards the creature; to love Him only from interest, or from fear, and not as children and friends is this a response to make to the love which gives itself so generously and so intimately to us?
We are everything to Him; why is He not everything to us? Seek; be ashamed, blush! How little heart we must have to love Him so little and so ill who has so loved us!
Earnestly ask for the grace and the virtue of a personal love of Jesus: to love Him personally is to love Him for Himself, at the price of the whole of yourself.
Let Him be the rule of your thoughts, the most cherished of your affections, the last end of your works; do everything for Him, for His love, His satisfaction, His glory.
Then, above all, come to Him, give Him your time, much of it, as much as is possible, always more and more of it. Be not merely His slaves nor His mercenaries, when by His Sacrament He desires that you should be henceforth His friends. His delights are to be with us; let our delights be to be with Him!
Make frequent interior recollections of Christ's love. Think regularly, visit frequently, and pray continuously to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.