O most sweet Lord Jesus, how great is the happiness
of the devout soul that feasts upon You at Your
banquet, where there is set before her to be eaten no
other food but Yourself alone, her only Lover, most
desired of all that her heart can desire!
To me it
would be happiness, indeed, to shed tears in Your
presence from the innermost depths of love, and like
the pious Magdalen to wash Your feet with them. But
where now is this devotion, this copious shedding of
holy tears? Certainly in Your sight, before Your holy
angels, my whole heart ought to be inflamed and weep
for joy. For, hidden though You are beneath another
form, I have You truly present in the Sacrament.
My eyes could not bear to behold You in Your own
divine brightness, nor could the whole world stand in
the splendor of the glory of Your majesty. In veiling
Yourself in the Sacrament, therefore, You have regard
for my weakness.
In truth, I possess and adore Him Whom the angels
adore in heaven -- I as yet by faith, they face to
face unveiled. I must be content with the light of
the true faith and walk in it until the day of
eternal brightness dawns and the shadow of figures
passes away. When, moreover, that which is perfect
shall have come, the need of sacraments shall cease,
for the blessed in heavenly glory need no healing
sacrament. Rejoicing endlessly in the presence of
God, beholding His glory face to face, transformed
from their own brightness to the brightness of the
ineffable Deity, they taste the Word of God made
flesh, as He was in the beginning and will remain in
Though mindful of these wonderful things, every
spiritual solace becomes wearisome to me because so
long as I do not plainly see the Lord in His glory, I
consider everything I hear and see on earth of little
You are my witness, O God, that nothing can
comfort me, no creature give me rest but You, my God,
Whom I desire to contemplate forever. But this is not
possible while I remain in mortal life, and,
therefore, I must be very patient and submit myself
to You in every desire.
Even Your saints, O Lord, who now rejoice with You in
the kingdom of heaven, awaited the coming of Your
glory with faith and great patience while they lived.
What they believed, I believe. What they hoped for, I
hope for, and whither they arrived, I trust I shall
come by Your grace. Meanwhile I will walk in faith,
strengthened by the example of the saints. I shall
have, besides, for comfort and for the guidance of my
life, the holy Books, and above all these, Your most
holy Body for my special haven and refuge.
I feel there are especially necessary for me in this
life two things without which its miseries would be
unbearable. Confined here in this prison of the body
I confess I need these two, food and light.
Therefore, You have given me in my weakness Your
sacred Flesh to refresh my soul and body, and You
have set Your word as the guiding light for my feet.
Without them I could not live aright, for the word of
God is the light of my soul and Your Sacrament is the
Bread of Life.
These also may be called the two tables, one here,
one there, in the treasure house of holy Church. One
is the table of the holy altar, having the holy Bread
that is the precious Body of Christ. The other is the
table of divine law, containing holy doctrine that
teaches all the true faith and firmly leads them
within the veil, the Holy of holies.
Thanks to You, Lord Jesus, Light of eternal light,
for the table of Your holy teaching which You have
prepared for us by Your servants, the prophets and
Apostles and other learned men.
Thanks to You, Creator and Redeemer of men, Who,
to declare Your love to all the world, have prepared
a great supper in which You have placed before us as
food not the lamb, the type of Yourself, but Your own
most precious Body and Blood, making all the faithful
glad in Your sacred banquet, intoxicating them with
the chalice of salvation in which are all the
delights of paradise; and the holy angels feast with
us but with more happiness and sweetness.
Oh, how great and honorable is the office of the
priest, to whom is given the consecration of the Lord
of majesty in sacred words, whose lips bless Him,
whose hands hold Him, whose tongue receives Him, and
whose ministry it is to bring Him to others!
Oh, how clean those hands should be, how pure the
lips, how sanctified the body, how immaculate the
heart of the priest to whom the Author of all purity
so often comes. No word but what is holy, none but
what is good and profitable ought to come from the
lips of the priest who so often receives the
Sacrament of Christ. Single and modest should be the
eyes accustomed to looking upon the Body of Christ.
Pure and lifted up to heaven the hands accustomed to
handle the Creator of heaven and earth. To priests
above all it is written in the law: "Be ye holy, for
I, the Lord your God, am holy."
Let Your grace, almighty God, assist us, that we
who have undertaken the office of the priesthood may
serve You worthily and devoutly in all purity and
with a good conscience. And if we cannot live as
innocently as we ought, grant us at least to lament
duly the wrongs we have committed and in the spirit
of humility and the purpose of a good will to serve
You more fervently in the future.