THE UNION OF THE SOUL WITH JESUS IN HOLY COMMUNION
Jesus was not satisfied with uniting Himself to our human nature, He would, by means of the Most Blessed Sacrament, find a way of uniting Himself also to each one of us, so as to become wholly his who would receive Him. He that eateth my flesh abideth in me and I in him -(Jo. vi. 57).
St. Dionysius says, that the principal effect of love is to tend to union. For this end did Jesus institute the Holy Communion,-to unite Himself entirely with our souls. He had given Himself to us as our Teacher, our Model, and Victim; it remained to Him to give Himself to us as our Food-to become one with us, as food becomes the same with the person who eats it; and this He did by instituting the Holy Sacrament of love. “The last degree of His love,” says St. Bernardine of Sienna, “was His giving uniting Himself to each one of us individually, so as to become wholly his who should receive Him. Hence St. Francis of Sales says: “In no one action can our Blessed Saviour be considered more tender or more loving than in this, in which He, as it were, annihilates Himself, and reduces Food; because He gave Himself to be completely united with us, as food is united with him who takes it.” Thus Jesus Christ was not satisfied with uniting Himself to our human nature, He was desirous by this Sacrament to devise a means of Himself to Food to penetrate to the hearts of all the faithful.”
O my Jesus, this is what I desire and seek from Thee in the Holy Communion-to hear from Thee: “We will consider ourselves as united for ever, never more to be separated.” I know that Thou wilt not separate Thyself from me if I do not separate myself from Thee. But this is my fear Iest I should ever again separate myself from Thee as I have done before. Permit it not, my beloved Redeemer. “Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.”
Because Jesus Christ ardently loved us, He was desirous of being united with us in the Holy Eucharist, that we might become the same thing with Him; thus speaks St. Chrysostom: “He mingled Himself with us, that He might become one with us; for this belongs to ardent affection.” Thou wast desirous, O God of love, that our hearts and Thine should form but one heart, says St. Laurence Justinian. And Jesus Himself meant this when He said: He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me and I in him–(Jo. vi. 57). He, therefore, who communicates, abides in Jesus, and Jesus abides in him; and this union is not a mere union of affections, but a true and real union. As two pieces of wax, says St. Cyril of Alexandria, are melted together, and united together, so he who communicates and Jesus Christ, Whom he receives, become one and the same thing. Let us therefore imagine, when we communicate, that Jesus Christ says to us, as He did to His beloved servant, Margaret of Ypres: “Behold, daughter, the beautiful union that exists between us: love Me, and we will consider ourselves as united for ever, and will never separate.”
Through the merits of Thy death, O my Jesus, let me die now rather than ever be separated again from Thee. I repeat, and give me grace ever to repeat: Suffer me not to be separated from Thee! Suffer me not to be separated from Thee! O God of my soul, I love Thee, I love Thee, and desire always to love Thee. I protest before Heaven and earth that I desire nothing but Thee.
O my Jesus hear me; I desire only Thee. O Mary, Mother of mercy, pray for me, and obtain for me never to separate myself from Jesus, and to love only Jesus.