TERESA’S LOVE FOR JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST
The holy mother Teresa never ceased to deplore the injurious treatment that Jesus received in the Sacrament of His love at the hands of heretics. She would complain to God: “Now how, O my Creator, can such tender love as Thine endure that what was instituted with such ardent affection by Thy Son, and the more to please Thee, should be so undervalued that at this day these heretics despise the Most Holy Sacrament? For they rob it of its home by demolishing the Churches. Was it not enough, O my Father, that whilst Jesus lived on earth He had no place to lay His head, without now taking from Him the holy places where He deigns to abide, and whereunto He invites His friends, knowing, as He does, their need of such food for their comfort?”
For twenty-three years she communicated every day, and every time with such fervour and desire, that in order to receive Communion, she would, as she said, willingly have made her way against the spears of a whole army.
One Palm Sunday as she was considering that among all those who at Jerusalem had proclaimed Jesus Christ as the Messias, there was not one to receive Him into his house, she invited Him to come and enter her poor heart, and with this pious thought she went to receive Communion. The affectionate invitation of His beloved was so agreeable to the Divine Spouse, that when she received the Sacred Host it seemed to her that her mouth was filled with warm blood, accompanied with a heavenly sweetness. Then she heard the voice of Jesus saying: “My daughter, it is My will that My Blood should be for your profit: I have shed it in great suffering, and you enjoy it, as you see, with great delights.”
With regard, therefore, to this greatest of all gifts that Jesus has bequeathed to us in the Sacrament of the Altar, in leaving Himself, whole and entire, to be our Food, our Companion and our Shepherd, let us practise the excellent instruction that the holy mother once revealed from Heaven to a certain soul: “The inhabitants of Heaven and those of earth should be one and the same in purity and in love: we, in a state of joy; you, in that of suffering. And, what we do in Heaven with the Divine Essence, you ought to do on earth with the Most Holy Sacrament. You will mention this to all my children.” Treating of the love and tender devotion that are due to Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, she has again left us in her works the following directions: “Let us act so as not to be at a distance from our Shepherd, nor lose sight of him, because the sheep that keep near their shepherd are always more caressed and better taken care of than others, and because he is always giving them some morsels of his own food. If it happens that the shepherd sleeps, the faithful sheep keeps close beside him, until he awakes, or it will arouse him, and then he lavishes upon it his caresses anew.”
St. Philip Neri, that other seraph of love, on seeing Jesus entering his room to be his Viaticum, could not refrain from crying out in a holy transport: “Behold my Love! Behold my Love!” So let us, when we see the King and Spouse of our souls coming to meet us in Holy Communion, cry out and say: Behold my Love! Behold my Love! And we know that God wishes us to give Him this appellation. God is love (1 John iv. 16). He does not wish to be merely called a Lover, but to be Love itself, to make us understand that, as there is no love that does not love, so He, the Divine Goodness, is of His own nature so loving, that He cannot live without loving His creatures.