A Prayer EVERY Christian Should Know and Love…

(Every person, actually – we are all impoverished without prayer – but we’ll let that pass for now.)

This prayer has been called “a priceless treasure inspired by God” (St. Louis de Montfort), “the storehouse of countless blessings,” (Bl. Alan de la Roche), “the greatest method of praying” (St. Francis de Sales), “the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life… the remedy for all our evils…” (Pope Leo XIII); for centuries it has been the source of countless miracles; St. Padre Pio held it very dear, and it was never far from his lips or his thoughts; by it, Bl. John Massias released thousands upon thousands of souls in Purgatory; for the saints it was a powerful weapon to convert even the most hardened and despairing sinners; it is a perpetual source of light to the blind, strength to the weak, hope to the despairing, and joy to the sorrowful; and in recent times, Mary, the Theotokos herself, has encouraged us to pray this prayer EVERY DAY.

What is this powerful prayer, of which the Saints speak with so much respect, love and admiration? My friends, it is none other than the Holy Rosary!

Greatly detested by the Serpent, but loved by all the Elect, the Rosary is a compendium of the Gospel: it is a meditation on the mysteries of Our Saviour’s life, death and resurrection. In a word, it is a meditation on Divine Love: ‘and in my meditation a fire shall flame out.’ (Ps. 39:3).

Properly said – i.e. attentively, reverently, confidently and humbly [thus forming the unintentional acronym ARCH] – the Rosary is extremely pleasing to Our Lord and Our Lady.

The arguments in favour of praying the daily Rosary (i.e. at least 5 decades) are innumerable. For those of you who have doubts about the orthodoxy or efficacy of the Rosary, you might consider asking Our Lord for light (as we all must), then make a resolution – perhaps for one month – to pray and reflect daily upon the following words of Scripture:

‘Hail [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Lk. 1:28)
‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb [Jesus].’ (Lk. 1:42)

Surely no harm can come from this practice. In fact, nothing but good will come from this. Our Lord encouraged St. Francis of Assisi to seek perfection under the guidance of Mary. Should we not do the same? Can we possibly be led astray by one who seeks only to unite us to her Son, saying: ‘Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye’? (Jn. 2:5) Can we possibly be led astray if we follow the same path that the Saints (who are now in Heaven) have always taken?

One day St. Francis of Assisi had a vision in which his fellow religious were trying to reach Jesus by a very steep, red ladder; but after ascending a few of its rungs, they would lose their ground. Our Lord then revealed to Francis a different ladder; this ladder was white, it was much less steep than the previous ladder, and at the summit was the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus then said to Francis: “Advise your sons to go by the ladder of My Mother.”

As Mary’s spiritual children we ought to love her, to trust in her, and seek to please her. She has an ardent desire to help us! She is more than able to help us! We need her help!

We are truly Mary’s children, and as her children, we require nourishment. And with what, we might ask, does Our Lady nourish us? With the fruit of her womb: with Jesus!

‘I am the mother of fair love… Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.’ (Ecclus. 24:24, 26)

To illustrate this point, we have a story from the life of Bl. Benvenuta Bojani. One day while she was praying in church, “she beheld a poor child of exquisite beauty, and, calling him to her, she inquired if he could say the Hail Mary.”
“Can you say it?” asked the child.
Benvenuta immediately began to recite it; and, when she came to the words: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb,” the Child said: “And I am He,” and then disappeared.” (Words taken from ‘Dominican Saints’)

A similar event occurred in the life of St. Crescentia (one of my favourite Saints!). One day as she was praying thus: “Praised and blessed be thy noble treasure, Mary, which thou didst receive from the Holy Ghost! and praised be the blessed Fruit of thy womb,” Our Lady appeared to her with the Divine Child, saying: “This is the blessed Fruit of my womb.”

We must not think that honour given to Our Lady detracts from God’s glory. On the contrary, we love Mary because God loved her first; we honour her because He honoured her first; we ask for her prayers because He gave her to us to be our mother; and what mother is not eager to help her children? Can anyone truly doubt that Mary loves us as her most dear children, when we even find the prophet David dedicating himself to Mary as her son, despite the fact that she had not yet been born? ‘Save the son of thy handmaid,’ he said. (Ps. 86:16) “Whose handmaid? She who says: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” (St. Augustine)

“My mother Mary,” said Our Lord to St. Bridget, “on account of her compassion and charity, was made mother of all in heaven and on earth.” “I have become mother of all of you,” said Our Lady to St. Gertrude, “in the womb of my charity, and you have become my children, the brethren of Jesus.” (cf. Luke 2:7).

Now, Almighty God has commanded us to honour our parents. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother.’ (Eph. 6:2) Nothing could be clearer. Well, if Mary is our mother, then we have the duty to honour her and to obey her as we would our biological mother.

With this in mind, let us all take seriously the words of Our Lady in some of her recent apparitions, which simply confirm the constant teaching of the Church and her Saints. Here are some of her words to us, her dear children:

1. “I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.” – Our Lady of Fatima (in Portugal), October 13, 1917

2. “Pray and do penance. Pray the Rosary frequently. It is the only powerful weapon to attract the blessings from Heaven.” – Our Lady to Servant of God, Edvige Carboni (of Italy), March 1942

3. “Spread the devotion to my Immaculate Heart, in order that many souls maybe conquered by my love and that many sinners may return to my Maternal Heart. Do not fear, for I will accompany with my maternal protection my faithful ones, and all those who accept my urgent warnings, and they — especially by the recitations of my Rosary — will be saved.” – Our Lady to Bl. Elena Aiello (d. 1961)

4. “Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary… Pray the Rosary often.” – Our Lady of Akita (in Japan), October 13, 1973

5. “Pray the Rosary. Meditate on the mysteries. Listen to the Word of God spoken in them.” – Our Lady of Cuapa (in Nicaragua), 1980

+ “My daughter, do not be afraid of me. I am your loving Mother whom you praise so faithfully every day. Be steadfast and persevere; I want you to know that the Angelic Salutation gives me so much joy that no man could ever really explain it.” – Our Lady to a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary

+ “Never has any man composed anything more beautiful than the Hail Mary. No salutation could be dearer to my heart than those beautiful and dignified words that God the Father addressed to me Himself.” – Our Lady to St. Gertrude

Some final words:

“Mary has recommended the Rosary at Lourdes and Fatima because of its exceptional value for us and our times.” – St. Padre Pio
“The power of the rosary is beyond description.” – Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen

“NOBODY WHO PERSEVERES IN THE ROSARY WILL BE DAMNED, BECAUSE SHE (MARY) OBTAINS FOR HER SERVANTS THE GRACE OF TRUE CONTRITION FOR THEIR SINS AND BY MEANS OF THIS THEY OBTAIN GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND MERCY.” – A revelation to St. Dominic

Consolation for Scrupulous Souls (Some Advice from St. Alphonsus)

Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani: ‘… tell everything to him who holds My place [the priest]. Be obedient to him; do whatever he commands. You can never be mistaken when you are obedient.’ (p. 264, Vol. 2)

The following words, though addressed to all – and which contain some very helpful advice for the spiritual life – will be particularly appreciated by those who are inclined to doubts, fears, scruples and the like. The words are taken from ‘The Way of Salvation and Perfection,’ (pp.451–460; Ch VI. Interior Trials):

“… the chief thing they [scrupulous souls] ought to consider is this: that he who acts in obedience to a learned and pious confessor, acts not only with no doubt, but with the greatest security that can be had upon earth, on the divine words of Jesus Christ, that he who hears his ministers is as though he heard himself: He that heareth you heareth Me; whence St. Bernard says, “Whatever man enjoins in the place of God, provided it be not certainly displeasing to God, is altogether to be received as though enjoined by God.” It is certain that, as to the personal direction of conscience, the confessor is the lawful superior, as St Francis de Sales, with all spiritual instructors, declares, while F. Pinamonti, in his Spiritual Director, says: “It is well to make the scrupulous perceive, that submitting their will to the ministers of the Lord provides them the greatest security in all that is not manifestly sin. Let them read the lives of the saints, and they will find that they know no safer road than obedience. The saints plainly trusted more to the voice of their confessor than to the immediate voice of God; and yet the scrupulous would lean more on their own judgment than on the Gospel, which assures them, He that heareth you heareth Me.”

The Blessed Henry Suso says, that “God demands no account from us of things done under obedience.” St. Philip Neri says the same: “Let such as desire to advance in the way of God submit themselves to a learned confessor, and obey him in God’s stead; let him who thus acts assure himself that he will have to render no account to God for his actions.” He says, moreover, that one should have all faith in one’s confessor, on the ground that God would not permit him to err; and that there is nothing that more surely cuts asunder the snares of the devil than to do the will of another in what is good, nor anything more full of danger than to be guiding ourselves according to what seems best to us; which is confirmed by St. John of the Cross, who says, in the name of the Lord: “When thou art unfaithful to confessors, thou art so unto Me, who have said, He that despiseth you despiseth Me.” And again: “Not to rest satisfied with what the confessor says is pride and failure in faith.” We are, therefore, to have this certain confidence, that each person, in obeying his spiritual Father, may be sure of not sinning. “The sovereign remedy for the scrupulous,” says St. Bernard, “is a blind obedience to their confessor.” John Gerson relates, that the same St. Bernard told one of his disciples, who was scrupulous, to go and celebrate, and take his word for it. He went, and was cured of his scruples.

“But a person may answer,” says Gerson, “Would to God I had a St. Bernard for my director! but mine is one of indifferent wisdom.” And he answers, “Thou dost err, whoever thou art that so speakest; for thou hast not given thyself into the hands of the man because he is well read, etc., but because he is placed over thee; wherefore obey him not as man, but as God.” For this reason St. Teresa well said, “Let the soul accept the confessor with a determination to think no more of personal excuses, but to trust in the words of the Lord, He that heareth you heareth Me. The Lord so highly values this submission, that when, in spite of a thousand inward conflicts, and considering the decision to be an absurd one, we execute it nevertheless, cost us what it may, the Lord so assists us,” etc.; and she goes on to say, that we then comply with his divine will. Hence St. Francis de Sales, speaking of direction from a spiritual Father in order to walk securely in the way of God, says, “This is the very counsel of all counsels.” “Search as much as you will,” says the devout Avila, “you will in no way discover the will of God so surely as by the path of that humble obedience which is so much recommended and practised by the devout of former times.” Thus, too, Alvarez said, “Even if the spiritual Father should err, the obedient soul is secure from error, because it rests on the judgment of him whom God has given it as a superior.” And F. Nieremberg writes to the same effect: “Let the soul obey the confessor; and then, although the thing itself were matter of fault, he does not sin who does it with the intention of obeying him who holds to him the place of God, persuading himself (as is, indeed, the case) that he is bound to obey him;” forasmuch as (according to the words of F. Rogacci and F. Lessius) the confessor is to us the interpreter of the divine will. And this is confirmed also by the gloss: “But if what is prescribed be of a doubtful kind, the virtue of obedience exempts from sin, although the thing in itself be evil;” and in the chapter Inquisition de Sent, exc., from the same text, obedience to the confessor is enjoined, when it says that scruples “ought to be dismissed at the judgment of one’s pastor.”

St. Francis de Sales gives three maxims of great consolation to the scrupulous: “An obedient soul has never been lost; 2. We ought to rest satisfied with knowing from our spiritual Father that we are going on well, without seeking a personal knowledge of it; 3. The best thing is to walk on blindly through all the darkness and perplexity of this life, under the providence of God.”

And therefore all the doctors of morals conclude, in general, with St. Antoninus, Navarro, Silvester, etc., that obedience to the confessor is the safest rule for walking well in the ways of God. F. Tirillo and F. La Croix say that this is the common doctrine of the holy Fathers and masters of the spiritual life. In the second place, the scrupulous should know, not only that they are safe in obeying, but that they are bound to obey their director, and to despise the scruple, acting with all freedom in the midst of their doubts. This is the teaching of Natalis Alexander: “That scruples ought to be despised when one has the judgment of a prudent, pious, and learned director; and that one ought to act against them is plain from the chapter Inquisitioni,” etc., as above; and of Father Wigandt: “He who acts against scruples does not sin; nay, sometimes it is a precept to do so, especially when backed by the judgment of the confessor. So do these authors speak, although they belong to the rigid school; so, too, the doctors in general; and the reason is, that if the scrupulous man lives in his scruples, he is in danger of placing grievous impediments in the way of satisfying his obligations, or, at least, of making any spiritual progress; and, moreover, of going out of his mind, losing his health, and destroying his conscience by despair or by relaxation.

Hence St. Antoninus agrees with Gerson in thus reproving the scrupulous, who, through a vain fear, is not obedient in overcoming his scruples: “Beware lest, from overmuch desire to walk securely, thou fall and destroy thyself.” For this reason F. Wigandt also says, that the scrupulous man ought to obey his director in all cases where the precept is not plainly sin, “unless the director enjoins what is manifestly against God;” and it is the general and undoubted decision among Doctors, that in things doubtful each one is bound to obey him who is placed over him, if it be not evidently a sin. This is proved by St. Bernard in a passage quoted at the commencement; and by St. Ignatius Loyola, who says: “There must be obedience in all things in which no sin is perceived, that is, in which there is not manifest sin.” Also by Blessed Humbert, General of the Friars Preachers, who says: “Unless the precept be plainly evil, it is to be received as though enjoined by God.” Moreover, by Blessed Denis the Carthusian: “In things doubtful as to whether or not they are against the divine precept, one must stand by the precept of him who is set over one; because, although it should be against the precept of God, yet, in virtue of obedience, the person under direction sins not.” Of the same opinion is St. Bonaventure. This makes Gerson say: “The scrupulous are to act against their scruples, and plant their feet firmly in resisting them. We cannot set scruples to rest better than by despising them; and, as a general rule, not without the advice of another, and especially our Superior. Otherwise, either ill–regulated fear or inconsiderate presumption will be our fall.” “With a firm foot,” says he, “they ought to overcome the scruple.”

And so the remedy that St. Philip Neri gave the scrupulous was, to make them despise their scruples. It is thus written in his life: “Moreover, besides the general remedy of committing one’s self altogether and for everything to the judgment of the confessor, he gave another, by exhorting his penitents to despise their scruples. Hence he forbade such persons to confess often; and when, in confession, they entered upon their scruples, he used to send them to Communion without hearing them.” So, then, in conclusion, the scrupulous man ought to set before himself obedience, and look upon his scrupulous fear as vain, and so act with freedom. Nor does this require (say the Doctors Busembaum, with Sanchez and others) that in each particular act he should expressly determine that the thing is a scruple, and that he ought to obey his confessor in despising it; it is enough that he act against it in virtue of a judgment made beforehand, since, from his past experience, the same judgment resides in his conscience habitually or virtually, though dim and confused. Hence La Croix and Tamburini, together with Vasquez, Val., etc., add, that if he who is scrupulous be unable amid that darkness to lay aside his scruple at once, or call clearly to mind the obedience laid on him by the confessor, which some anxious consciences are disabled from doing, perplexed as they are how to put by their scruple, by reason of the fear that weighs upon them, in that case he does not sin, though he act with a positive fear of sinning; and for this reason that as he has already passed a like judgment upon former scruples, and on the duty of obeying the injunction given him to despise them, he ought assuredly to believe himself to possess it now also, though, from the force of his fear, he does not perceive it.

But the scrupulous ought at such a time to despise the fear, inasmuch as it forms no true verdict of conscience. Hear how Gerson openly confirms this point, and what advice he gives: “A formed conscience is, when, after discussion and deliberation, a definite sentence of the reason judges that a thing is to be done or to be avoided; and to act against this is a sin: but fear or scruple of conscience is, when the mind wavers in doubt, not knowing which of two things it is bound to do, and yet would not omit whatever it could ascertain to be agreeable to the divine will; and this fear is as much as possible to be cast away and quenched.” In fact, then, Gerson says that a person sins by acting under a practical doubt, when the doubt proceeds from a formed conscience; but that this formed conscience exists when, after examining the circumstances, he deliberately judges with a definitive sentence on what he is obliged and what he is forbidden to do; and he sins by acting against such a conscience as this. But that, when the mind is doubtful and wavering, and yet would not do anything that was displeasing to God, this, says Gerson, is no true doubtfulness, but a vain fear, which ought as much as possible to be cast away and despised. So that when there certainly exists in the scrupulous person the habitual will not to offend God, it is certain (according to Gerson) that while he acts in his doubtfulness he does not sin; and with reason, since it is then not a true doubt, although he may apprehend it to be a doubt, but a vain fear.

On the other hand, it is certain, that for the commission of a mortal sin there is required a full perception on the part of the reason, and a complete deliberate consent on the part of the will, and to will something which grievously offends God. This doctrine is undoubted, and common to all the theologians, and even to the most rigid, as Juenin, Habert, and that most rigorous of all, Genet, who speaks thus: “But if (the act) contain only an imperfect degree of deliberation, the sin will be venial, not mortal.” And this, too, is the teaching of all the rest, with St. Thomas, who says: “That which is mortal may be venial, owing to the act being imperfect, since it does not absolutely amount to the perfection of a mortal act, being not deliberate, but sudden.”

Let scrupulous souls, then, suffer this cross of theirs with resignation, and not perplex themselves in the greatest distresses which God may send or permit. It is for their profit, to the end that they may be humbler, may guard better against such occasions as are beyond doubt and seriously dangerous, may commend themselves oftener to the Lord, and put a more entire trust in the divine goodness. Meanwhile let them often have recourse to the most holy Virgin Mary, who is called, and is in truth, the Mother of Mercy, and comforter of the afflicted. Let them, indeed, fear to offend God, wherever they do in truth discern what will offend him; but if only they are steadfast in resolving rather to die a thousand times than lose the grace of God, let them, above all things, fear lest they fail in obedience to their directors. On the other hand, while they blindly obey, they may assure themselves of not being abandoned by that Lord who will have all men saved, and who, loving good–will as he does, never suffers a really obedient soul to perish.

No one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded. Casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? In peace in the self-same I will sleep and I will rest; for Thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope. In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.”

Something to Consider When You Suffer…

One day Our Lord appeared to Bl. Catherine of Racconigi, a stigmatic nun, who, like St. Catherine of Siena and several other saints, was mystically espoused to Jesus. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09703a.htm (‘Mystical Marriage’)
He showed Catherine an exceedingly beautiful crown of roses, saying: “All afflictions will appear as roses to you if you bear them with good will.”

When we accept any cross, however small, for the love of God, we bring Him immense glory and consolation. Listen to what Our Lord said to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero:

“Whenever a soul receives with faith and love any occasion of suffering, it is as if she received Me in her arms when taken down from the Cross; the two arms with which the soul receives Me are resignation and love for My divine Will.”

In relation to one of the elect, Jesus spoke these beautiful words to St. Gertrude: “Because her most intense suffering was in her arm she holds Me embraced with a glory of beatitude so great that she would wish to have suffered a hundred times more.”

My Favourite Scripture Verse.

‘Yea I have loved thee with everlasting love, therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee.’ (Jeremiah 31:3)

This scripture verse is profoundly beautiful. Books could be written on this brief passage. But we will only focus (briefly) on 9 truths that relate to this passage.

“Yea I have loved thee with everlasting love…”

1. Before we were created, God loved us – each of us, without exception. His love is the cause of our existence. We are no accident; we are extremely precious to God. “I loved you all before you were born.” (Our Lord to one of His chosen souls)

2. The infinite love of God for souls is manifested to us through His Providence. It is for this reason that God wants us to abandon ourselves to Him without reserve, like a child in its mother’s arms. He does not want us to turn aside from His love, as so many poor souls do! “You have but one thing to do: love Me and abandon yourself to My will.” (Our Lord to Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez)

3. Though He finds infinite satisfaction in Himself, due to His infinite perfections, He desired (and desires) nevertheless to share His gifts – to share Himself! – with us, His dear creatures. There is no purer love than God’s love! “Love is essentially communicative.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)

4. God’s love is eternal; it is immutable. We cannot exhaust His love. We can expel Divine Love from our souls through mortal sin; but this does not change God’s love for us. So long as we desire to seek God and turn from sin, He will welcome us back with intense pleasure, the sight of which fills Heaven with raptures of love and joy! Our Lord revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden that He would happily suffer to save the damned and even the fallen angels if it were possible! (St. Alphonsus and many others confirm the orthodoxy of St. Bridget’s revelations.)

“… therefore have I drawn thee…”

5. St. Thomas says that the nature of love is to will the good of the beloved. As God contains all Goodness within Himself, it follows that in His love, He necessarily seeks to unite us to Himself. This helps us to see why the Cross is a gift: it is permitted or sent in order to detach us from this earth and from sin. “O My daughter, how many would have abandoned Me if they had not been crucified.” (Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani, an extraordinary mystic)

6. Without actual grace, we cannot approach God. No one reaches God by their own efforts. The saints are simply those who cooperated with God’s grace, and who let themselves be led by infinite love, which wills only what is best for us. God’s will is Love. Those who trust in God alone and seek Him with pure hearts will soon experience the joy of their Master. “If you surrender all, you will find everything in My Heart.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)

“… taking pity on thee…”

7. Jesus laboured for 33 years for our salvation. His Interior Cross never left Him. The sufferings He endured for us are infinitely greater than we can imagine. And to think that He endured it all for you! For me! (Gal. 2:20). “The least sins wound Me more than all the ills in the world can wound you; you only feel what touches yourself, whereas I feel all the sins of mankind.” (Jesus to Venerable Anne of St. Bartholomew)

8. Jesus offers Himself for us daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (as often as Mass is said)! What unspeakable love! “In the Mass is perpetuated the same immolation of the same Victim, Me, on Calvary. It is not a prolongation or a repetition of My sacrifice, but the same sacrifice though unbloody, the same living crucifixion with the same and only loving will of the Father to give His own Son, His only Son, for the salvation of the world.” (Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida)
The following book (which can be read legally and freely online) is essential reading (I do not use this expression lightly) for all Christians: https://archive.org/stream/cochemsexplanat01martgoog#page/n18/mode/2up (‘The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Explained’ by Ven. Martin von Cochem)

9. Even if we have been the worst sinner in the world, God will pardon us if we return to Him. In Heaven there are many who have been terrible sinners; but they all share this in common: they humbled themselves. Those who are proud will never be happy. Pride is to union with God what oil is to water.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus invites us all in such moving words as these: “Come to repent, come to be reconciled, come to be consoled, come to receive a blessing. Come, My friend, take everything which a friend can give to his friend. Come, My sister, possess the eternal inheritance which I acquired for you by My Precious Blood. Come, My spouse, enjoy My Divinity.” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde)

How to Attain Lasting Peace

“It is impossible to explain the abundance of this peace in the soul altogether given to God and seeking Him alone.” – Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

“Souls that do not wish to give all to Our Lord,” writes Bl. Dom Columba Marmion, “and to bring all their desires to unity by this total donation, cannot taste this true peace. They are divided, tossed to and fro between themselves and God, between the satisfaction of their self–love and obedience; they are the prey of trouble and disquiet. (Like St. Augustine, we should cleave to God, the immutable good).”

If we desire true peace, we must seek God with a pure heart. He has loved us first; let us love Him in return.

“One night while I was praying,” writes St. Veronica Giuliani, “I beheld issuing from the side of Our Saviour a liquid which exhaled a heavenly perfume, and it filled up a kind of fountain which stood before the Lord. I saw many souls plunge into it. The Lord gave me to understand that these were the pure souls who had given themselves absolutely to Him.”

“The more I am faithful to this little way of love,” writes Sr. Consolata Betrone, “the more is my soul flooded with joy and true peace that nothing is able to disturb, not even my continual falls. For, when I bring these to Jesus, He makes me remedy them through acts of humility, and these in turn increase the peace and joy in my heart.”

Ponder in your heart the profound truth of these words: “Our souls are made for God; unless they are set towards this end they are perpetually in agitation and trouble. Now St. Benedict wishes that we should have but this one and universal intention: That we should seek God… By the unity of this end, he brings unity to the manifold actions of our life, and especially into the desires of our being; and this is, according to St. Thomas one of the essential elements of peace… Our souls are troubled when they are torn by desires that bear upon a thousand different objects… when we seek God alone by an obedience full of abandonment and love, we sum up all things in the one thing necessary; and it is this that establishes strength and peace within us.” Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

If we simply do our duties for the love of God, seeking always to purify our intentions, then we will surely taste the sweetness of Our Lord’s yoke. He is the Way: let us follow Him; He is the Truth: let us trust Him; He is the Life: let us unite ourselves to Him, Who will lead us safely to Paradise. The more sinful we have been in the past, the greater right we have to trust in His infinite love, which is the source of all our good desires. If we desire Him, He desires us still more (as He revealed to St. Margaret of Cortona).

In 1809, the Divine Precursor [St. John the Baptist] appeared to His humble servant, Bl. Elizabeth Canori–Mora. Showing her the Promised Land, He said: “Look! There the Divine Paraclete awaits you, to celebrate with you celestial espousals. I will be your guide and conductor. O fortunate soul, what a happy fate is yours!” At these words, the Angels introduced her into the kingdom of Glory, and the Saint pointed out to her the Heavenly Palace, and began to describe its magnificence. Then he added: “But the door of this Palace is narrow: those who enter must be humble and lowly.” (p. 116 of her biography)

Jesus to Marie–Dominique Moes (on the Feast of the Sacred Heart in 1859): “O blinded men, what has become of you? Have I not shed all My Blood for you, and given Myself to you for food? And all that was not enough to awaken a return of love in you? Ah, what sorrow for My loving Heart!”

A Helpful Tip for Overcoming Temptation.

One day St. Rose of Lima complained to Our Lord that He let her be exposed to a great danger of falling into sin. Perhaps we have been in this position before. Perhaps we have even fallen into mortal sin many times, despite what we thought to be our best efforts. Maybe we have become so discouraged that we almost expect to fall again…

Whatever the case may be, the good news is that God has not given up on us: if we desire Him, He desires us far more; for we cannot seek God without His grace.

“As soon as your soul is touched by grace, and before the struggle has even begun, hasten to My Heart; beg of Me to let a drop of My Blood fall on your soul. . . . Ah! hasten to My Heart . . . and be without fear for the past; all has been swallowed up in the abyss of My mercy, and My love is preparing new graces for you. The memory of your lapses will be an incentive to humility and a source of merit, and you cannot give Me a greater proof of affection than to count on My full pardon and to believe that your sins will never be as great as My mercy, which is infinite.” (Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez)

If we etch the following truths deep in our hearts and minds, we will be preserved from many sins (provided that we persevere in prayer).

1. Grace is all–powerful. Grace is a participation in the Divine Nature; it is invincible, like God Himself. There is no sinner, however hardened, who cannot abandon his sins and be saved, provided that he calls on Almighty God with confidence and a will to turn from his wickedness. “Ask and you shall receive.”

2. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength. We must not blame God for our falls. Deliberate sin, especially mortal sin, can always be avoided. If we fall, we can turn to God in humility, saying: “My Jesus, mercy! Help me to love You more! Please increase my humility. Help me to trust in you. Without You I am nothing and can do nothing.” And so forth. By our confidence we honour the infinite goodness of God. This is a sure way of obtaining great graces.

3. Without Grace we can do nothing. Everyone receives actual grace – absolutely everyone. Were God to withdraw His grace from us, we would not so much as be able to think a good thought. All life, all holiness, all wisdom, all intelligence, all goodness comes from Him. Pride is a perversion, a lie, spiritual theft, insanity (to a greater or lesser extent).

4. With God we can do all things. Every temptation we have overcome, any good we have ever done, any prayer we have made, any good we possess, is a gift from God. Why, then, do we not trust in Him?

Applying this knowledge to the pursuit of perfection – to which we are all called – it becomes evident that if we are to grow in love/holiness, we must place all our confidence in Almighty God, knowing that we can never place too much trust in Him, just as we can never place too little trust in ourselves!

St. Crescentia certainly distrusted herself, and she was profoundly humble and loving. It is written of her that if she heard of someone committing a mortal sin, she would say: “I should have fallen much lower than this unfortunate man, if Almighty God had not so powerfully upheld me; had the man, on the other hand, had the grace I possess, he would live a thousand times more piously than I do. He that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.” Reflect seriously on these words, dear reader. We can never be too humble.

If we do fall into sin, we must not think: “But my spiritual life was going so well… I had avoided sin for so long… I was soaring with the saints!” No. We must attribute all our former success to God. Likewise, we must only expect to overcome sin with God’s help. Unless we trust in Our Lord, our efforts will be in vain.

“Let Me do it!” This is what Our Lord used to say to St. Veronica Giuliani. He says the same to us. If we are tempted, let Him do it: He will be our strength. If we desire holiness, let Him do it: He will sanctify us. Provided that we follow His inspirations and do not give in to a state of presumptuous passivity, He will lead us into His Sacred Heart.

I said earlier that St. Rose of Lima once complained to Our Lord that He allowed her to come close to falling into sin (or so she thought). This was Our Lord’s reply:

“Would you have conquered if I had not been in your heart? I am always with you and My grace forsakes you not; therefore weep no more.”

On another occasion, He said to her:

“They must no longer be deluded as to the meaning of pain; trial is the path to perfection; by it they attain beauty of soul and the summit of grace, and the glory of the Children of God. The Cross is the true and only ladder to reach Heaven. Without the Cross this ascent is impossible.”

Next time you are tempted, recall these words:

“Would you have conquered if I had not been in your heart? I am always with you and My grace forsakes you not.”

The Eucharist (part 2): The Eucharist in the Lives of 101 Mystics!

“Holy Communion is the kiss Jesus has for His child; it is His morning kiss. The purer the soul, the better the kiss is imprinted upon her.” – Jesus to Sr. Gertrude Mary

This article will take a look at the Eucharist in relation to Catholic mystics – many of whom were Saints – as they often had profound experiences of Our Eucharistic Lord, and their lives were (and are) a powerful testimony to the Real Presence.

Below is a list (which is by no means exhaustive) of Saints (St.), Blesseds (Bl.), Venerables (Ven.), Servants of God, and other mystics who have had what can be called “mystical” experiences involving the Adorable Eucharist. One mystical experience has been listed for each individual (such as a revelation, a vision etc.).

The list consists of 56 canonized Saints, 20 Blesseds, 3 Venerables, 8 Servants of God, and 14 other Mystics, some of whom might be Servants of God or otherwise; though I cannot say with certainty. That makes for a total of 101 mystics (the number is unintentional).

Before reading further, a prayer (taken from a prayer attributed to Pope Clement XI):

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Saints:

1. St. Secondo (d. 119): Before dying, he received Communion from a dove.

2. St. Basil (d. 379): He witnessed angels in the form of humans, adoring Our Lord at Mass. (St. Basil is related to St. Macrina the Elder, St. Macrina, St. Basil the Elder, St. Basil, St. Emmelia, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Peter of Sebaste and St. Theosebia!)

3. St. John Chrysostom (d. 407): He also witnessed angels in the form of humans, adoring Our Lord at Mass.

4. St. Jerome (d. 420): As death approached, he confessed his sins and received the Eucharist with great fervour. After throwing himself on the ground, singing “Nunc dimittis servum tuum” (“Now lettest thy servant depart” – Luke 2:29–32), an ethereal light flooded the room. Some saw a number of angels; others heard a voice, which promised Jerome the eternal reward prepared for him in Heaven. He then uttered his final words: “Behold, I come to thee, merciful Jesus! Receive me whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.”

5. St. Ita (d. 570): On one occasion she prayed that she might receive the Holy Eucharist from a worthy priest. She was then transported miraculously by an angel to a certain location in which a holy priest gave her the Sacred Host.

6. St. Gregory the Great, Pope (d. 604): One day, while he was distributing Holy Communion, he witnessed a woman laughing. He questioned her as to why she was acting so inappropriately, and she confessed that she could not possibly believe that the bread she brought to be consecrated (an ancient practice) could become the Body and Blood of Our Lord. After praying to Almighty God that the woman might be illuminated, St. Gregory observed that part of the “bread” became Flesh and Blood. The woman, who had now fallen to her knees, began to cry tears of repentance.

7. St. Egidio (d. c. 710): During Mass, an angel appeared to him. The angel was holding a book in which was written the sin of a man who wished at that time to be absolved of his sins. His wish was fulfilled by virtue of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

8. St. Ignatius, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 877): “How amazed were all who were hearing his Mass to see the bread glowing with celestial effulgence, a sure sign of the presence and operation of the Holy Ghost! For the Holy Ghost is a burning fire, and as such He appeared to the disciples on the day of Pentecost, to indicate that He is the ardent charity that unites the Father and the Son.” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

9. St. Conrad, Bishop of Constance (d. 975): “During the night preceding the day appointed for the ceremony [to consecrate the Chapel of St. Meinrad], Conrad, going into the church to pray, heard the voices of the angelic choirs chanting the antiphons and responsories of the ritual for the dedication of churches… he beheld Christ the Lord in person, clad in sacerdotal vestments, attended by multitudes of saints and angels, performing the ceremony of dedicating the chapel… he heard and saw distinctly all that went on, and observed that Christ made use of exactly the same formulas and ceremonies which are appointed to be employed by bishops in the consecration of a church, while some of the saints acted as acolytes. The blessed Mother of God, in whose honor the altar and the chapel were consecrated, appeared above the altar… The dedication ended, Our Lord Himself offered the holy sacrifice… The next morning the clergy and people assembled, awaiting the commencement of the ceremony. But the bishop declared he could not dedicate the church, as this had already been done by the denizens of heaven. As, however, every one thought he was laboring under a delusion, he was compelled to begin to perform the ceremony, when he was arrested by a voice from on high, which said three times, in the hearing of all present: ‘Cease, brother, the chapel has been divinely consecrated!’ Thereupon St. Conrad desisted from his purpose, and sent a report of the miraculous occurrence to Rome.” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

10. St. Oswald, Bishop (d. 992): “… an Angel would assist him at Mass, and make all the necessary answers.” (Fr. Mueller)

11. St. Isidore the Farmer (d. 1130): “… every morning he heard Mass in more than one church, and spent some hours in prayer. His piety was so pleasing to God that an angel was sent to help him in his work on the farm lest anything should suffer through his absence.” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

12. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153): He exorcised a possessed woman with the Blessed Sacrament.

13. St. Hildegard von Bingen (d. 1179): “On one occasion when the priest, vested, went up to the altar I saw a brilliant light, coming from heaven, irradiate the whole altar. This light was not withdrawn until the celebrant left the sanctuary at the conclusion of the Mass. I noticed that when the priest got to the Sanctus and began the canon a flame of extraordinary brightness shot down from above upon the bread and wine, illuminating them with its light as the rays of the sun make glass to shine. Upon this stream of light the sacred elements rose to Heaven, and when they descended they were transformed into true flesh and blood, though to the eye of man they yet appeared to be bread and wine. As I gazed upon this Flesh and Blood I saw the signs of the incarnation, the birth, the passion, of Our Saviour reflected in them as in a mirror, and just as we know these events to have been accomplished when the Son of God was on earth.” (St. Hildegard; cf. Leviticus 9:23–24; 2 Chronicles 7:3)

14. St. Anthony of Padua (d. 1231): “… St. Anthony of Padua once proved to an unbeliever the Real Presence by showing him a hungry mule kneeling before a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament, in preference to devouring the basket of oats placed beside the monstrance.” (Fr. Stephano Manelli, ‘The Most Blessed Sacrament’)

15. St. Lutgarde of Aywieres (d. 1246): She lived on nothing but bread and weak beer (the usual drink at her convent, perhaps due to poor water quality) for the period of three seven–year fasts – two of which were instigated by Jesus.

16. St. Juliana of Cornillon (d. 1260): “At the age of 16, she had a vision of the Church under the full moon with a dark spot on it. She was given to understand that the spot signified the absence of a special feast in honour of the Blessed Sacrament.
In a later vision, Our Lord explained that he desired a separate feast in honour of the Eucharist, since at that time the only celebration was on Holy Thursday, when the Church considered more his sufferings. He told her he wanted the feast for three reasons: to confirm people’s faith in the Real Presence, to strengthen them in virtue by their love and adoration for the Eucharist, and to make reparation for the lack of respect shown to the Blessed Sacrament.” (Fr. Flader)

17. St. Bonaventure (d. 1274): He received Communion from the hand of an angel.

18. St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274): “The university referred to him a question on which the older theologians were themselves divided, namely, whether, in the Sacrament of the altar, the accidents remained in reality in the consecrated Host, or only in appearance. After much fervent prayer, Thomas wrote his answer in the form of a treatise, still preserved, and laid it on the altar before offering it to the public. His decision was accepted by the university and afterwards by the whole Church. On this occasion we first hear of his receiving the Lord’s approval of what he had written. Appearing in a vision, the Saviour said to him, ‘Thou hast written well of the Sacrament of My body,’ whereupon, it is reported, Thomas passed into an ecstasy and remained so long raised in the air that there was time to summon many of the brothers to behold the spectacle.” (‘Lives of Saints,’ Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.)

19. St. Mechtilde (d. 1298): “To everyone who attends Mass with zeal and devoutness, I will send at his last hour as many noble personages from among My saints to console and defend his soul and make an honourable escort for it, as he has heard Masses on earth.” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde)

20. St. Gertrude the Great (d. 1302): “In order to console St. Gertrude, who was sighing for Heaven, Our Lord pointed out to her that, while she was awaiting her deliverance, He lavished embraces and kisses upon her. ‘What then can you find in me, vile offscouring of the world (1 Cor. 4:13),’ asked the saint, ‘that You speak of kisses and caresses?’ The Lord replied: ‘I mean by that, that Communion of Myself which I so often make to you in the Sacrament of the Altar. It has for Me more charms than men find in all the embraces and all the kisses in the world. For the pleasure which they find in these passes very quickly, whereas the charm to be found in the union that is consummated between us in Communion does not pass away and never grows weaker. The oftener it is renewed, the stronger and more efficacious it is.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

21. St. Clare Montefalco (d. 1308): “… one day Clare came up to Holy Communion without her mantle. Sister Giovanna rebuked her harshly, saying to her, ‘Go away – I don’t want you to receive Holy Communion.’ Hearing these words, Clare realized that she was without her mantle and felt such bitter regret that after she returned to her cell, she wept bitterly. And while she was praying, amid her tears, Christ appeared to her, and embracing her, gave her Holy Communion, leaving her deeply consoled.” (Words of her biographer, quoted in ‘Mysteries, Marvels, Miracles’ by Joan Carroll Cruz)

22. St. Agnes Segni (d. 1317): She received Communion from an angel on a number of occasions.

23. St. Juliana Falconieri (d. 1341): Before her death, she asked that the Blessed Sacrament be placed on her chest (near her heart). As she began to pray, the Sacred Host disappeared and left a violet–coloured mark on her chest.

24. St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373): “When St. Bridget was hearing Mass one day in a private chapel, the Lord said to her: ‘Although few people assist at this Mass, nevertheless all Heaven rejoices thereat and all the souls in Purgatory find some relief therein.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

25. St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380): As she beheld the Sacred Host in the hands of a priest, she no longer saw the Eucharistic accidents but the Infant Jesus.

26. St. Lydwine of Schiedam (d. 1433): A priest, in order to test St. Lydwine (who had many mystical gifts), gave her an unconsecrated host, but she immediately perceived that it was merely bread. “Your Reverence will please give me another host,” she said, “for that which you hold in your hand is not Jesus Christ.”

27. St. Frances of Rome (d. 1440): She beheld a magnificent light radiating from the Monstrance in which the Blessed Sacrament was reserved.

28. St. Colette (d. 1447): “Look upon this body of flesh, in which I hung upon the cross, in which I suffered for mankind. Look upon My wounds, look upon the blood that I shed, consider My sufferings. Consider My death. All this I endured to save sinners. Now, if Thou dost consign them to perdition on account of their iniquities, and deliver them over to the devil, what compensation shall I have for My bitter passion, for My cruel death? The reprobate sinners will render Me no thanks; on the contrary, they will curse Me to all eternity. But if they were saved they would praise and magnify Me forever in gratitude for My sufferings.” (Words of Our Lord to the Eternal Father, revealed to St. Colette in a vision during Holy Mass)

29. St. Rita of Cascia (d. 1456): For the last four years of her life, she subsisted almost entirely on the Eucharist.

30. St. John of San Facundo (d. 1479): “He was… so slow in celebrating [Mass] that the server used to go away and leave him at the altar, and at last no one could be got to serve his Mass. The saint then went to the prior, and entreated him to order the brothers to do so. But the prior spoke sharply to him, saying, ‘Why do you give the brothers so much trouble by being so long over your Mass? I shall rather enjoin upon you henceforth to say Mass like other priests.’ John did as he was commanded, but obedience cost him so much that he went again to the prior, and, throwing himself at his feet, begged him to withdraw his command. The prior would not consent to do this until John had confided to him, in confession, the reasons which made it impossible for him to say Mass more quickly. Having heard them, he no longer hesitated to tell the brothers that they must serve Father John’s Mass, even though their patience was somewhat taxed. Furthermore, the prior, having obtained permission from the saint, communicated his secret to another father, to whom he said: ‘You may believe me when I say that the reason why our Father John says Mass so slowly is because God reveals to him the profound mysteries that are accomplished in the Mass – mysteries so sublime that no human intelligence is capable of grasping them. The secrets he disclosed to me concerning them were of so tremendous a nature that I was overwhelmed with awe, and almost swooned. It is certain that Christ frequently manifests Himself visibly to this father, speaking with him as one speaks to a friend, and showing him His five sacred wounds, whence proceeds a light of exceeding brightness, which, shed upon the saint, quickens both body and soul, so that he experiences no need of earthly nourishment. He also beholds the body of Christ shining like the sun at noonday, and perceives its infinite beauty and glory. Such are the lofty and divine things he is privileged to know, mysteries which it is not given to man to fathom, much less to utter. Since I have thus been made aware of the immense benefits accruing to mankind by the celebrating or assisting at Mass I have made a firm resolution never to omit saying or hearing Mass, and to do my utmost to induce others to do the same.’” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

31. St. Nicholas von Flue (d. 1487): He lived on the Eucharist alone for 20yrs, until his death.

32. St. Columba of Rieti (d. 1501): She fell into great weaknesses when she did not receive the Eucharist, as if to indicate her total dependence on Jesus Christ, the Life of her soul.

33. St. Catherine of Genoa (d. 1510): Throughout Advent and Lent, she lived on the Eucharist alone.

34. St. Peter of Alacantara (d. 1562): He was a confidante of the great St. Teresa of Avila. It was quite common for him to eat only once every three days. Furthermore, he sometimes went a week without food, drawing, as it were, all his strength from the Holy Eucharist. Subsequently, he had little need for sleep; he slept for about one and a half hours every night for forty years.

35. St. Stanislaus Kostka (d. 1568): “… St. Stanislaus Kostka was sick in the house of a Protestant relative, and debarred of every opportunity of receiving his beloved Lord; he made his appeal to the Queen of heaven, and obtained, through her intercession, the grace to receive the Blessed Sacrament at [/from] the hands of St. Barbara.” (Fr. Mueller)

36. St. Francis Borgia (d. 1572): “… on entering a church, he always walked straight to the spot where the Blessed Sacrament was kept, even when no external sign indicated its presence.” (Fr. Mueller)

37. St. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582): “[St. Teresa] saw Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in the Host so distinctly with the eyes of her spirit, that she said she did not begrudge the happy lot of the Blessed who behold the Lord face to face in Heaven.” (Pope Gregory XV)

38. St. Felix of Cantalice (d. 1587): Angels took his place working in the fields when he attended Mass.

39. St. Germaine Cousin (d. 1589): She was once prevented from attending Mass, due to heavy rain that had made a particular stream too violent to cross. But this did not stop her. She prayed, making the sign of the Cross, and the stream parted, thus allowing her to attend Mass. The same miracle was repeated on her way home.

40. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (d. 1607): “Scrupulous people for the smallest peccadillo deprive themselves of the Body and Blood of My Word; and, imagining they are avoiding an evil, they lose an infinite good.” (The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi)

41. St. Rose of Lima (d. 1617): “… on the mornings when she went to Communion she could often barely manage to get to church, and nearly fainted on her way to the altar. It was this state of exhaustion that became a public proof of the marvellous effect experienced by her pure soul from the Holy Eucharist, for her friends and the general congregation in the churches where she communicated were many times witnesses of the entire change wrought in her by the Bread of Life. After receiving it, the weak, half-fainting girl, who had perhaps been helped to the altar by her mother or a fellow Tertiary, would rise and walk back to her place with firm, brisk tread and glowing face in every way a new creature. Sometimes, even, rays seemed to come from her countenance, so as to inspire positive awe in the priest as he communicated her; and she acknowledged, to those of her confessors at different times who obliged her to tell them, that the inward effect of the Blessed Sacrament on her was not only a spiritual joy and a kind of transportation into God, absolutely impossible to express, but a bodily satiety and vigour which made her walk home after Communion, and remain for many hours, just as if she had not fasted at all.” (F. M. Capes, ‘St. Rose of Lima: The Flower of the New World’)

42. St. Joseph of Cupertino (d. 1663): “He told [/prophesied to] his companions that the first day on which he failed to receive Communion would be the day on which he would die. And so it came about.” (Fr. Albian Goodier, ‘Saints for Sinners’)

43. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (d. 1690): “I ardently thirst for men to honour Me in the Blessed Sacrament, and I can find hardly anyone willing to make an effort to make Me some return by refreshing Me as I desire.” (Jesus to St. Margaret Mary)

44. St. Veronica Giuliani (d. 1727): “St. Veronica Giuliani experienced a violent thirst for Holy Communion. Then the Lord said to her: ‘You seek Me in Heaven and I am here with you wholly united to you, you desire to receive Me in order to unite yourself with Me, and for My part I am wholly desirous that you should be united with Me.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

45. St. Thomas of Cori (d. 1729): On a number of occasions, during Mass, he had apparitions of the Child Jesus.

46. St. Lucia Filippini (d. 1732): In response to her ardent desire to receive the Adorable Eucharist, Our Lord ordained that a fragment of the Host would leave the Priest’s hands one day during Mass, and fly to the saint, where It rested on her tongue.

47. St. Benedict Joseph Labre (d. 1738): After receiving Holy Communion, he was known to levitate. (With regard to levitation, the Eternal Father, speaking of very holy souls, revealed this to St. Catherine of Siena: “Even in her mortal life she tastes the delights of immortality, and in spite of her mortal body she becomes as light as spirit… it is a greater miracle for the soul not to leave the body in this union that it is for several dead bodies to be raised to life.”)

48. St. Crescentia Hoess (d. 1744): “… she was obliged, in attending to her work, frequently to pass by the Blessed Sacrament, without being able to tarry. She could only, as she passed, frequently direct this ejaculation to her Redeemer: ‘My God, for love of Thee, and in obedience!’ When she passed the altar for the last time, she noticed several flames hovering above it; she was confounded, and asked the Lord what it meant. The Lord answered: ‘These are the aspirations of love you sent up to Me when passing.’” (Fr. Ignatius Jeiler, ‘Life of the Ven. Mary Crescentia Hoss’)

49. St. Gerard Majella (d. 1755): Inflamed with love for Our Lord, little Gerard, aged 8, longed to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Unable to do so, due to the custom that prevailed at the time, he was greatly afflicted. But God heard his loving lamentations and sent St. Michael the Archangel to him with the Holy Eucharist, which the angel placed on his tongue, to Gerard’s astonishment and delight.

50. St. Alphonsus Liguori (d. 1787): “Once, on Good Friday, being unable to receive Holy Communion, his affliction was so great that a violent fever came on him; his life was even in danger. The doctor came and bled him, but there was no improvement until the next day, when the saint learned that he could again receive his Saviour. On receiving these joyful tidings, the fever immediately left him.” (Fr. Mueller)

51. St. Maria Francesco of the Five Wounds (d. 1791): She received Holy Communion from her guardian angel on several occasions.

52. St. Anthony Mary Claret (d. 1870): Our Lord truly abided in Him; he retained the Eucharist in his breast.

53. St. John Bosco (d. 1888): In a dream/vision, he saw – amongst other things – the Holy Eucharist, beneath which appeared the words: “Salvation of believers.”

54. St. Gemma Galgani (d. 1903): She ate nothing, save for the Blessed Sacrament, between the period of June, 1902, and her death on April 11, 1903.

55. St. Faustina (d. 1938): “Oh, how painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion. I wait for souls, and they are indifferent toward Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely, and they distrust Me. I want to lavish My graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat Me as a dead object, whereas My Heart is full of love and mercy.” (Jesus to St. Faustina).

56. St. Padre Pio (d. 1968): St. Padre often experienced ecstasies and visions during Holy Mass. “With what care,” he said, “she [Our Lady] accompanied me to the altar this morning! It seemed to me as though she had nothing to think about other than me filling my heart completely with saintly affections. I felt a mysterious fire from my heart which I couldn’t understand. I felt the need to put ice on it to extinguish this fire which was consuming me! I should like to have a voice strong enough to invite the sinners of the whole world to love our Lady!”

Blesseds:

57. Bl. Alpais (d. 1211): She was a poor peasant girl who was nourished by the Eucharist alone for 10 years.

58. Bl. Mary of Oignies (d. 1213): “On one occasion she went for as long as thirty–five days without any sort of food, passing all the time in a tranquil and happy silence… She would say nothing for many days but “Give me the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and as soon as her request was granted she returned to her former silent converse with her Saviour… At length, after five weeks, returning to herself… she began to speak and take food.” (Cardinal Jacques de Vitry, quoted in ‘Mysteries, Marvels, Miracles in the Lives of the Saints’ by Joan Carroll Cruz)

59. Bl. James of Montieri (d. 1289): Jesus Himself brought him the Holy Eucharist on a number of occasions.

60. Bl. Angela of Foligno (d. 1309): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12 years.

61. Bl. Emilia Bicchieri (d. 1314): One day, while she was busy looking after a fellow sister in religion, she accidentally missed the majority of the Mass. She arrived after Holy Communion and was very upset at being deprived of this precious Gift. In His immense kindness, Almighty God allowed her to receive the Holy Eucharist from an angel.

62. Bl. Imelda Lambertini (d. 1333): From a young age, Imelda had a great desire to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, but she was all too aware that, due to the custom at the time, she could not do so until she was 14 years old. “Tell me,” she said; “can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” These words were to be prophetic.
On May 12, 1333, Imelda, aged 11, approached the priest for Holy Communion, hoping that she might receive the Love of her heart. The priest ignored her until he saw a Host, radiant with light, ascend into the air and stop right in front of Imelda. Taking this a sign from God, the priest gave her Holy Communion, after which she experienced a state of ecstasy so profound that she died of joy. Her body, like that of so many other Saints, remains incorrupt to this day.

63. Bl. Henry Suso (d. 1366): “The Blessed Henry Suso made an agreement with one of his brethren in religion that as soon as one of them died the survivor should say two Masses every week, for one year, for the repose of his soul. It came to pass that the religious with whom Henry had made this contract died first. Henry prayed every day for his deliverance from purgatory, but forgot to say the Masses which he had promised. The deceased appeared to him with a sad countenance, and sharply rebuked him for his unfaithfulness to his engagement. Henry excused himself by saying that he had often prayed for him with great fervor, and had even offered up penitential works for him. ‘O, my brother,’ exclaimed the soul, ‘blood, blood is necessary to give me some relief and refreshment in my excruciating torments. Thy penitential works, severe as they are, cannot deliver me. There is nothing that can do this but the Blood of Jesus Christ, which is offered up in the sacrifice of the Mass. Masses, Masses, these are what I need.’” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

64. Bl. Elizabeth the Good (d. 1420): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 3 years.

65. Bl. Alan de la Roche (d. 1475): “After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary.” (Our Lady to Bl. Alan de la Roche)

66. Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (d. 1547): She was a stigmatist who lived on the Eucharist alone for 10yrs.

67. Bl. Mary Anne De Paredes (d. 1645): She was known to have scarcely taken an ounce of bread every 8 – 10 days. Her only food intake was Holy Communion each morning.

68. Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12yrs.

69. Bl. Elizabeth Canori Mora (d. 1825): “In her humility she dreaded to present herself at this august banquet; but Our Lord called her and gave her with His own Hands the Divine Eucharist.” (Lady Herbert, ‘Life of the venerable Elizabeth Canori Mora’)

70. Bl. Anna Maria Taigi (d. 1837): She often went into ecstasy after Communion. One day Our Lord said to her: “It may indeed occur that a man will go often to Communion and practise mortifications, and yet make little or no progress because he remains attached to his own will; but if he gives it up so as only to will what God wills, he will infallibly profit.”

71. Bl. Mary of the Divine Heart (d. 1899): After receiving Holy Communion, Our Lord said to her: “The Holy Sacrament is the life of your life. I give Myself to you every day with My Body and Blood, while awaiting the hour of your death when I shall give Myself to you with the abundance of My love for all eternity.”

72. Bl. Mary of the Passion (d. 1912): Like St. Benedict and others, she levitated after receiving Holy Communion.

73. Bl. Dina Belanger (d. 1929): “My Heart overflows with graces for souls. Lead them to my Eucharist Heart.” (Jesus to Bl. Dina)

74. Bl. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli (d. 1945): “All who shall wear a Scapular like this and make, if possible, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday in reparation for the outrages that the Holy Face of my Son Jesus received during His Passion and is still receiving in the Holy Eucharist every day, will be strengthened in the Faith, and will be made ready to defend it, will overcome all difficulties, internal and external, and they will have a peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son.” (Our Lady to Bl. Mother Maria Pierina)

75. Bl. Alexandrina da Costa (d. 1955): Alexandrina, who lived on the Eucharist alone for 3 years, and who experienced the stigmata, was told by Our Lord: “You are living by the Eucharist alone because I want to prove to the world the power of the Eucharist and the power of my life in souls.”

76. Bl. Elena Aiello (d. 1961): “The dictators of the earth, specimens infernal, will demolish the churches and desecrate the Holy Eucharist, and will destroy things most dear.” (Our Lady to Bl. Elena)

Venerables:

77. Ven. Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament (d. 1648): “[She] was one day suffering great pain. Her sisters, wishing to ascertain whether she would really find relief in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, to which she had a singular devotion, carried her at first to various places in which the Holy Eucharist was not kept, and exhorted her to pray to Jesus Christ; but she answered in a plaintive voice: ‘I do not find my Saviour here,’ and addressing herself to Him, she said: ‘My Lord, I do not find here Thy Divine Truth,’ after which she besought her sisters to carry her into the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.” (Fr. Mueller)

78. Ven. Mary of Agreda (d. 1665): “The devout will [in Heaven] bear on their breast, where they have so often harbored the Holy Eucharist, most beautiful and resplendent inscriptions, showing that they were most worthy tabernacles of the Holy Sacrament.” (Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda)

79. Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (d. 1937): “I want souls who are dedicated with fervour, with determination and without looking for rest, to plead day and night [before the Blessed Sacrament] for my priests.” (Jesus to Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida)

Servants of God:

80. Servant of God, Domenica Lazerri (d. 1848): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12 yrs.

81. Servant of God, Anne-Louise Lateau (d. 1883): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12 yrs.

82. Servant of God, Fr. Paul of Moll (d. 1896): “When I distribute Holy Communion, it is the Infant Jesus in person that I see in the Host.” (Fr. Paul of Moll)

83. Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez (d. 1923): “The Holy Eucharist is the invention of Love, but how few souls correspond to that love which spends and consumes itself for them!” (Our Lord to Sr. Josefa)

84. Servant of God, Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (d. 1916): “My most tender, most sweet and most lovable Spouse Jesus, Lily of the valleys, Brightness of Eternal Light, Mirror without spot, Thou, the God of infinite sanctity within me? O my God, God of my heart, Heart of my God, how annihilated I feel before Thee who art the All, yet how I trust in Thy tender Goodness!” (An excerpt from ‘A Prayer of Thanksgiving After Holy Communion’ dictated by Our Lord to Sr. Benigna)

85. Servant of God, Edvige Carboni (d. 1952): She received Holy Communion from Our Lord Himself, as well as from several Saints, including St. John Bosco and his humble student, St. Dominic Savio.

86. Servant of God, Teresa Neumann (Servant of God, d. 1962): She received Holy Communion from Jesus.

87. Servant of God, Marthe Robin (d. 1981): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 53yrs. She was instrumental in founding the ‘Foyers of Charity,’ which are spread throughout the world.

Other Mystics:

88. Esprite of Jesus (d. 1658): “Am I not greater than all My gifts? And when you receive Me in the holy Eucharist, do you not receive all good things?” (Jesus to Esprite of Jesus)

89. Mother Jeanne Deleloë (d. 1660): “What more can you desire than to have within you the true source of all good, My Divine Heart?” (Jesus to Mother Deleloë)

90. Mother Anne Margaret Clement (d. 1661): After receiving Communion, Our Lord said to her: “This [your soul] is My second Nazareth, this is My pleasure–garden which I shall make fertile, for I wish to make of you My dwelling–place of delight.”

91. Madeleine Vigneron (d. 1667): “When I was in church praying before the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lord made known to me that he finds our rejection of His graces unendurable, as He is in the Blessed Sacrament solely to bestow them. When He finds no one on whom to pour out His love this love becomes like a hidden fire which would utterly consume Him if this were possible, and which would cause Him far greater sufferings than His Father sent Him on the Cross.’ (Madeleine Vigneron)

92. Mother Frances of the Mother of God (d. 1671): “Since I delivered Myself up to the Jews to be tormented, wonder not that I should choose to deliver Myself up to you to be loved.” (Jesus to Frances of the Mother of God)

93. Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (d. 1692): “At every Communion that thou hast received, for fifteen years, My merciful grace has granted to thy prayers the conversion of a heretic, especially of the most obstinate.” (Jesus to Sr. Jeanne Benigne)

94. Mary Josepha Kumi (d. 1817): “Our Lord entrusted Mary Josepha Kumi with this message for two people: ‘Tell them to prepare more fervently for Holy Communion.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

95. Sr. Mary of St. Peter (d. 1848): “May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.” (The ‘Golden Arrow’ prayer – a prayer of reparation – dictated by Jesus to Sr. Mary of St. Peter)

96. Maria Von Morl (d. 1868): She had mystical knowledge of the presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist; she knew when her divine Spouse was nearby.

97. Mother Marie Dominique Claire Moes (d. 1895): After receiving the Adorable Eucharist, Jesus said to her: “My beloved daughter, learn of Me that I am meek and humble of heart. If you would become like to My Heart, you must try to fulfil the meaning of those words. Be very humble and you will be very obedient; be very meek and you will be all love. If you are all love, this will make you ready for sacrifice; nothing will be too costly for you; everything will seem to you sweet and easy; you will make the biggest sacrifices with the greatest alacrity. Love produces this effect: that the soul no longer considers anything a sacrifice, because all difficulties and all fatigues are sweetened by the joy she finds in them.”

98. Little Nellie of Holy God (d. 1908): She was only a small child, yet she had a great thirst for the Holy Eucharist, and she sensed the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

99. Sr. Gertrude Mary (d. 1909): On one particular occasion, as she was sighing with love for the Holy Eucharist, Jesus said to her: “I desire for you with a still greater desire at the moment of Communion. There are special graces attached to the Sacrament of My love. It is the moment for a new and most abundant outpouring of grace into your soul.”

100. Rosalie Put (d. 1919): Although she was bedridden for 25 years, and therefore unable to attend Holy Mass, she was brought the Holy Eucharist every night by an Archangel.

101. Fr. John Edward Lamy (d. 1931): “I generally see the Sacred Species surrounded with light. You feel a sweetness, a gentleness out of the ordinary. Yes, at such moments, you think no more of the earth; you feel something so heavenly. It is the effect of the presence of Our Lord. I also feel the presence of the holy angels who help me at Mass, but not every time.”

St. Tarsicius, St. Nicolas Pieck, and St. Peter Maldonado, “martyrs of the Eucharist”, pray for us, that we might offer our lives to Love and for Love.
Our Lady, Tabernacle of the Most High, pray for us, that we might become living tabernacles of the Most Blessed Trinity.

“Oh, gentle Mother, make me love him. Fill my heart with the love that burned in thine. . . Purify my heart that I may know how to love my God and thy God! Purify my spirit that I may adore Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)! Purify my body that it may become for him a living tabernacle!” (St. Padre Pio)

Some Excellent Resources on the Holy Eucharist:

1. ‘The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence’: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/a5.html

2. ‘Transubstantiation’ (Some Philosophical Answers to Common Objections)

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/realpres/transubstantiation.htm

3. ‘The Eucharistic Miracles of the World’: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/engl_mir.htm

4. ‘Eucharist and Mass’ (Ch. 18 of ‘Theology for Beginners’ by Frank J. Sheed):

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/SHEEDEUC.htm

5. ‘Transubstantiation’ (Ch. 18 of ‘Theology for Beginners’ by Frank J. Sheed):

http://www.ewtn.com.au/faith/teachings/eucha4.htm

6. ‘Holy Communion’ (Ch. 32 of ‘The Three Ages of the Interior Life’ by Garrigou–Lagrange):

http://www.christianperfection.info/tta44.php

7. ‘Quotes on the Blessed Sacrament’:

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/tes/a7.html

8. ‘The Holy Eucharist’ by St. Alphonsus Liguori:

https://archive.org/stream/alphonsusworks06alfouoft#page/n3/mode/2up

9. ‘Cochem’s Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass’ by Ven. Martin von Cochem (reprinted under the title, ‘The Incredible Catholic Mass):

https://archive.org/stream/cochemsexplanat02martgoog#page/n18/mode/2up

10. ‘The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure’ by Fr. Michael Muller:

https://archive.org/stream/theblessedeuchar00meuluoft#page/n5/mode/2up

11. Chapter 14 of ‘The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure’ by Fr. Michael Muller (Some Stories that Testify to the Real Presence):

https://archive.org/stream/theblessedeuchar00meuluoft#page/n225/mode/2up

12. ‘The Holy Mass: The Sacrifice for the Living and the Dead’ by Fr. Michael Muller:

https://archive.org/stream/holymasssacrific00ml#page/n15/mode/2up

13. ‘The Blessed Sacrament, or, the Works and Ways of God’ by Fr. Faber:

https://archive.org/stream/theblessedsacram00fabeuoft#page/n5/mode/2up

The Eucharist (part 1).

‘I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.’ (John 14:18)

One day, a certain nun made known to St. Teresa her desire to behold Our Lord. “I wish,” she said, “that I had lived at the time of Jesus Christ, my dear Saviour, for then I could have seen how amiable and lovely He is.”
“What!” responded St. Teresa; “do you not know, then, dear sister, that the same Jesus Christ is still with us on earth, that He lives quite near us, in our churches, on our altars, in the Blessed Sacrament?’” (Fr. Mueller, ‘The Blessed Sacrament’)

What a remarkable thought! Our Saviour “is as really present in the consecrated Host as He is in the glory of Heaven.” (St. Paschal Baylon). The same Divine Person we read of in the Scriptures, “dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.” (St. Maximilian Kolbe). There He waits for us, night and day; like the little red light beside the Tabernacle, His Sacred Heart burns with a constant desire to love us and be loved by us; He has given Himself to us without reserve, and hopes that we will do the same in return; despised, forgotten and neglected, He looks for someone who will console Him: ‘Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am overwhelmed: and I looked for sympathy, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.’ (Psalm 69:20).

“I love souls so much,” said Our Lord to St. Veronica Giuliani, “that I want the whole world to see and know it, so as to revive the memory of My Passion, and so that faith, that has grown so feeble among Christians, may be renewed. They are now Christians in name alone.”

If only we would think of Our Lord’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament; if only we would visit Him, we should soon become inflamed with love for Him. “You will find visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament very conducive to increase in you Divine Love.” (St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi). “Once, when she [St. Crescentia] was kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, immersing her own heart with great fervor in the Sacred Heart of her Divine Redeemer, as she often used to do, it appeared to her as if many brilliantly shining rays came from the Tabernacle and penetrated her heart; at the same time she seemed to hear these words: “These are the marks of My love towards you, with which I will inflame your heart and unite it to Mine.”

When will we open our hearts to Jesus, whose Heart was pierced for love of us? He seeks for nothing so much as to grant us His grace; His greatest sorrow is that we do not seek Him. ‘My son’ He says, ‘give Me thy heart’ (Proverbs 23:26). He extends the same invitation to His beloved daughters, for whom he laboured, suffered and died. “I am your Spouse,” said Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani – “when will you make up your mind to love Me truly? I am all yours; I come to you to draw you to Myself; I come to you to make you one with Me; I come to you to change you completely into Myself.”

A great devotion to Our Eucharistic Lord is sure to make us saints. By the grace of God, and through the Intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, from whom Jesus took His flesh, may we come to share in the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, which was, for the saints, a source of light, love, joy and salvation.

“WHY BELIEVE IN THE REAL PRESENCE?”

“This has always been the belief of the Church of God, that immediately after the consecration the true Body and the true Blood of Our Lord, together with His Soul and Divinity exist under the form of bread and wine.” (Council of Trent, Session XIII, 1st Decree, Ch. 3; Oct. 11, 1551).

‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear’ (Matthew 11:15).
Since the 1st century AD, the doctrine of the “Real Presence” of Jesus in the Eucharist has been unhesitatingly affirmed by the Church, Popes, Church Fathers, Saints, Mystics, and pious faithful everywhere.

“Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, ‘This is My Body’ (Luke 22:19), who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, ‘This is My Blood’, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical lecture 22)

The Saints had a profound love of the Eucharist. “For one Communion,” said St. Crescentia, “I would gladly suffer all the sicknesses of all mankind.” “Her [St. Crescentia] whole life,” remarked Sr. Gabriel, a fellow Sister in religion, “was spent in constant preparation for Holy Communion, and in thanksgiving for it.” “Her desire for Holy Communion was so intense,” said Sr. Raphael Miller, “that as the appointed time drew near for her to receive, every delay appeared to her intolerable.”

Like so many other Saints, St. Crescentia was inflamed with love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, Who “…is the only one not to be thanked for the good He does.” (St. Peter Julian Eymard). She was neither a heretic nor an idolater: she did not worship a mere piece of bread; the Object of her love was God Himself, Who has declared: “I am the living bread which came down from Heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give, is My flesh, for the life of the world” (John 6:51).

As Frank Sheed says: “Every life is nourished by its own kind – the body by material food, the intellect by mental food. But the life we are now concerned with is Christ living in us (John 14:6; John 15:5; Galatians 2:20 etc.); the only possible food for it is Christ.” “Just as the bread and wine that nourish you pass into the substance of your body,” said the Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena, “in the same way when you feed upon Him, My Son, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Son, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Son, Who is one thing with Me, penetrates your spiritual substance under the appearances of bread and wine, and you are changed into Me.”

What unfathomable goodness and mercy! “Our Lord certainly deserves our gratitude for coming to us [in the Blessed Sacrament] and bringing us infinite treasures of grace.” (St. Peter Julian Eymard). The least He deserves is that we seek the truth regarding the Real Presence. If we seek Jesus with all our hearts, He will lead us to His Eucharistic Heart. ‘You shall seek me, and shall find me: when you shall seek me with all your heart.’ (Jeremiah 29:13). “Unbelief in the Eucharist is never a result of the evidence of the reasons advanced against this mystery.” (St. Peter Julian Eymard).

Tragically, Satan has successfully deprived a great number of Christians from the Bread of Life. The very Sacrament of union and love has become for many an Object of indifference. What lamentable ingratitude and ignorance! But this need not be the case. If only we open our hearts to the One who is Love and Truth, we will come to see the importance of the Holy Eucharist. That the Eucharist is instrumental in leading us to holiness, cannot be denied:

“A person whom, by a special permission of God, he [Satan] was allowed to harass very much and even drag about on the ground, was exorcised by a priest of our Congregation [the Redemptorists] and the devil was commanded to say whether or not Holy Communion was very useful and profitable to the soul. At the first and second interrogatory he would not answer, but the third time, being commanded in the name of the blessed Trinity, he replied with a howl: ‘Profitable! Know that if this person had not received Holy Communion so many times, we should have had her completely in our power.’ Behold, then, our great weapon against the devil! “Yes,” says the great St. John Chrysostom, “after receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, we become as terrible to the devil as a furious lion is to man.” (Fr. Mueller)

As St. Veronica Giuliani remarks, when we receive Communion with faith, love and purity of heart, “… God enriches her [the soul] with His graces to such an extent that she makes giant strides on the path of perfection.”

Let us draw close to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, who will be for us a friend, a Saviour, and a Spouse. Let us give Him the joy of making our soul His home and His throne. How it would please our heavenly Spouse if we followed the example of Bl. Elizabeth Canori. “One day, after Holy Communion, the adorable Saviour suddenly revealed Himself to her, and appeared to her seated in her heart as in the throne of His Love, and surrounded by a numerous court of angelic spirits; He added these words: ‘Oh, Jane Felicia (Jane Felicia of the Blessed Trinity was her religious name) of My Heart, it is My delight to communicate to you My own life; make it your happiness for Me to live in you.’”

The next article (i.e. part 2) will present us with 101 different “mystical” experiences of the Holy Eucharist in the lives of 101 different mystics.

How to Remain Forever United to Jesus.

‘Abide in me, and I in you (John 15:4).’

“(1) He who meditates on the extent of My goodness will keep close to Me forever. (2) … those who, like you, are joined to the trunk, desiring Me alone, shall never be separated from it. (3) … Your will and desire to avoid sin carefully, as much as you can, is for Me as it were a link which binds and united Me to you more inseparably. (4) … Correspond exactly to all the tender attentions of My love, which is unwilling to be separated for a single instant from your soul.”

1. Words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde
2. Words of Our Lord to His servant, Armelle
3. Words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde
4. Words of Our Lord to Madeline Vigneron

(These revelations have received the Imprimatur. They can be found in the writings of Rev. Auguste Saudreau – an excellent author on mystical and ascetical theology.)

Marie Brotel, a great mystic, tells us that she experienced the fatherly gaze of our Heavenly Father, “that annihilated me with love,” she writes. “My daughter,” He said to her, “men do not know Me, and that is why they serve Me with servile fear and as if I were extremely severe; but you see My love for My creatures and My desire to see them happy.”

Yes, God hates sin – it is an unspeakable evil; but His love for us is so great, and His grace so powerful, that if we give ourselves to Him like little children, He will preserve us from serious sin; He will press us close to His bosom and protect us with jealous care.

How He longs for us to go to Him with confidence; with open hearts; and with gratitude! How He longs for us to remain united to Him. “Humility attracts Me; purity receives Me, prayer nourishes Me, poverty makes My delight, obedience binds Me and charity embraces Me.” (Our Lord to St. Catherine of Siena).

If we fear God in a servile way, it can only be because we do not truly know Him. Ask Our Lady that you might know “the tendernesses of the love of Jesus for a little soul” – the title of Sr. Benigna Consolata’s biography (recommended to her by Jesus Himself). Our Lady is instrumental in bringing souls to know Jesus, to love Him, and to give themselves to Him without reserve.

Here is an anecdote that ought to inspire us with confidence in Jesus’ love for us, which is the SOLE CAUSE of any goodness in us, and should therefore be the SOLE CAUSE of our hope:

“One of the many souls who regard Jesus a tyrant was preparing to make a general confession for the hundredth time. Restlessly, she spent the days of her retreat writing down the sins of her whole life. She neither meditated nor prayed; she was entirely absorbed in an examination which stifled her.
At last she went into the confessional. She read out the list of her sins, repeating and explaining over, and over again, in fear and trembling. When at length she thought she had finished, a voice was heard which very gently and very sadly said,
“You have forgotten something very important.”
“I thought I must have,” she answered, terror-stricken, and hastily prepared to read it all again.
“Your sin is not in your notes,” continued the Voice, “and it offends me much more than all that you have said. Accuse yourself of lack of trust.”
The voice moved her to the depths and she sought to ascertain if it were really her confessor’s. The Confessional was empty! Jesus had come to give her a supreme lesson.”

(Taken from ‘Jesus, King of Love’ by Fr. Mateo Crawley–Boevey)

Pax Christi.

Words from the Saints and Mystics on Humility

Words from the Saints and Mystics on Humility

“Humility is Truth.” (St. Padre Pio). The humble soul lives in the infused light of truth; she realises that “everything is grace” (St. Therese); she is necessarily joyful because she is well acquainted with Our Lord, Who is Truth and … Continue reading