Spiritual Reading for Pentecost Sunday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Spiritual Reading

THANKSGIVING AFTER COMMUNION

There is no prayer more agreeable to God, or more profitable to the soul, than that which is made during the Thanksgiving after Communion. It is the opinion of many grave writers (Suarez, Cajetan, Valentia, De Lugo, and others), that the Holy Communion, as long as the Sacramental species last, constantly produces greater and greater graces in the soul, provided the soul is then constant in disposing itself by new acts of virtue. The Council of Florence, in the Decree of Eugenius IV to the Armenians, teaches that the Blessed Sacrament produces the same effect in the soul as material food, which, when it enters the body, produces effects according to the state in which it finds it. For this reason, holy souls endeavour to remain as long as possible in prayer after Communion. The Blessed John of Avila, even when he was giving his missions, used to remain for at least two hours in prayer. Father Balthazar Alvarez used to say, that we should set great value on, the time after Communion, imagining that we hear from the lips of Jesus Christ Himself the words that He addressed to His disciples: But me you have not always with you (Matt. xxvi. 11). It is not advisable, as many do, to begin to read immediately after Communion: it is better to spend at least a short time in producing holy affections, and in conversing with Jesus, who is then within us, and in repeating many times words of tenderness, or some fervent prayer. Jesus Christ repeated the same prayer in the Garden three times: And he prayed the third time, saying the self-same word (Matt. xxvi. 44). In affections and prayers it is, then, that the soul should entertain itself with Jesus after Communion; for we must know that the acts formed in prayer after Communion are far more precious and meritorious in the sight of God than when made at another time; for the soul being then united with Jesus, the value of the acts is increased by the presence of Jesus. We should, moreover, know that after Communion Jesus Christ is more disposed to grant graces. St. Teresa says, that after Communion Jesus places Himself in the soul as on a throne of grace, and then says: What willest thou that I should do for thee? (Mark x. 51) meaning: O soul, I am come for the express purpose of granting thee graces: ask Me what thou wilt, and as much as thou wilt, and thou shalt receive all.

Oh, what treasures of grace would you receive, devout soul, if you only entertained yourself with Jesus for an hour, or at least half-an-hour, after Communion! After your thanksgiving is ended, be also careful during the whole day on which you have communicated to keep yourself united by affections and prayers with Jesus, Whom you have received.

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