Evening Meditations for Whit Wednesday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

XIII.-THE MEANS OF AVOIDING LUKEWARMNESS AND ATTAINING PERFECTION

I.

Alas, my God, how many souls, for want of applying themselves to lead a life of greater recollection and more detachment from earthly things, care not to receive Holy Communion! And this is the true cause of their not wishing to communicate frequently. They are well aware that to wish always to appear, to dress with vanity, to be fond of nice eating and drinking, of bodily comforts, of conversations and amusements, does not harmonise with frequent Communion; they know that more prayer is required, more mortification, as well internal as external, more seclusion; and on this account they are ashamed to approach the altar more frequently. Without doubt, such souls are right to refrain from frequent Communion as long as they find themselves in that unhappy state of lukewarmness; but whoever is called to a more perfect life should lay aside this lukewarmness, if he would not greatly risk his eternal salvation.

II.

It will be found likewise to contribute very much to keep fervour alive in the soul often to make a Spiritual Communion, so much recommended by the Council of Trent, which exhorts all the faithful to practise it. The Spiritual Communion, as St. Thomas says, consists in an ardent desire to receive Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament; and therefore the Saints were careful to make it several times in the day. The method of making it is this: “My Jesus, I believe that Thou art really present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love Thee and I desire Thee; come into my soul. I embrace Thee; and I beseech Thee never to allow me to be separated from Thee again.” Or more briefly, thus: “My Jesus, come to me; I desire Thee; I embrace Thee; let us remain ever united together.” This Spiritual Communion may be practised several times a day: when we make our prayer, when we make our Visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and especially when we assist at Mass at the moment of the priest’s Communion. The Dominican Sister, Blessed Angela of the Cross, said: “If my confessor had not taught me the method of communicating spiritually several times a day, I should not have trusted myself to live.”

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