None shall be crowned who has not fought well.
------- 2 Tim. 2: 5
Taken from the
of the same title by DOM LORENZO SCUPOLI
$14.50 US $23.26 CDNCATHOLIC FAMILY NEWS
US: MPO Box 743, Niagara Falls, NY 14302
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IF OUR MOTIVE in receiving Holy Communion be a desire of
our love of God, we should recall the love which God has for us. The
consists in an attentive contemplation of this Sovereign Lord of
power and majesty, Who not satisfied with creating us to His image and
likeness, nor with the immolation of His only Son in our behalf, left
Son to us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist to be our food and support
in all our necessities. Consider well the greatness and uniqueness of
love in the following manner:
1. In its duration we find that God's love for us is eternal
for as He is eternal in His Divinity, so is He eternal in His love.
time was, God determined to give His Son to mankind in this marvellous
manner. Let these words, then, echo joyfully within your heart: "In the
abyss of eternity, my littleness was so loved by the most high God,
He thought of me, and with love ineffable wished to give me His Son to
be my food and my nourishment!"
2. Our strongest passions for earthly things recognize certain
which they cannot exceed, but the love of God for us is limitless. The
advent of His Son, equal to Him in majesty and perfection, was a
testimony to that boundless love. Thus is the gift equal to the love,
and the love to the gift; and both are infinite, beyond the borders of
3. In loving us God was not constrained by any power or
but heaped innumerable benefits upon us out of the magnitude of Divine
4. Neither have human merit or previous good works rendered us
worthy of this remarkable gift. If God has loved to excess or given of
Himself unstintingly, it is rather to be attributed to the immensity of
5. God's love for us is untainted with the blemish of the
self-interest present in human affections. For what is the totality of
human greatness to Him, the source of all happiness and glory? How
could we possibly add glory to glory itself? The advantages, then, are
all on the side of man.
Meditating on this truth, let each man say within himself:
could have imagined, O Lord, that a God of such infinite greatness
would bestow His affections on such an abject and insignificant
creature as myself! What could be Thy design, O King of glory? What
canst Thou expect of me who am but dust? I see clearly, O my God, by
the light of Thy burning charity which enlightens me with knowledge and
enkindles me with love, that Thy design was one divorced from all
self-interest. For Thy wish in so graciously bestowing this sacrament
is to transform me into Thee, that I may live in Thee and Thou in me.
Such an intimate union will ultimately remake my heart, fashioning from
a vessel of earth, a delicate instrument attuned to things Divine."
Then, full of joy and wonder at the indications of Divine love
us by Christ, and aware that His only purpose is the transformation of
our hearts from things of earth to things of heaven, let us offer a
sacrifice, and consecrate the will, the memory, and understanding to
the sole task of pleasing Him in the gracious acceptance of His holy
After this, recognizing our incapacity to dispose ourselves
unaided by His grace for proper reception of the Eucharist, let us
strive earnestly to obtain that grace by ejaculations such as the
Such are the tender and affectionate sentiments which we should form on the evening before, and on the morning of reception of Holy Communion.
When the time itself draws near, we must consider attentively
is that we are about to receive; for our guest is to be the Son of the
living God, the august majesty before Whom the heavens and the powers
of Heaven tremble in awesome fear. Our guest is to be the Saint of
Saints, mirror without blemish, purity itself, before Whom all is
unclean in comparison. This is Divinity become man; one looked upon as
the very outcast of men, Who was pleased to be spat upon, struck,
reviled, and crucified out of love for us. You are indeed about to
receive God Himself, in Whose hand is the destiny of the universe.
On the other hand, think of your own utter insignificance, and
vile sinfulness which has reduced you below the level of the brute, and
made you worthy of being the sport and slave of devils. Consider your
acknowledgment of the infinite favors you have received from your
Saviour; you have insulted the Redeemer and trampled upon His Precious
Blood, displaying a most arrant ingratitude.
But even human ingratitude cannot overcome divine charity;
capricious fickleness is no match for unchanging love. Still the
gracious Lord summons you to the Divine banquet, and rather than
rebuffing you for your obvious inadequacies, bids you come under pain
of death. The arms of the merciful Father are always open to receive
you, be you leprous, lame, blind, profligate, or possessed by devils.
He demands of you these few requisites alone:
a. To be sincerely sorry for having so grievously offended
Encouraged by this ineffable love of the Lord for you and all
penitent sinners, approach the holy table with a prudent fear, tempered
by hope and love, saying:
"After so many grievous offenses, I am not worthy to receive
not having fully satisfied Thy justice. No, my God, I am unworthy of
Thee, sullied as I am by an inordinate attachment to creatures and a
reluctance to serve Thee completely with my whole heart and my whole
"O my omnipotent Lord, be mindful of Thy goodness and Thy
through the Divine alchemy of love and faith, make my heart a worthy
dwelling place for Thy Divine Son."
After Communion strive to be deeply recollected, shutting out
your heart the multiple petty encroachments of worldly distractions.
Entertain the Divine guest with such sentiments as are expressed in the
"O sovereign Lord of Heaven, what has brought Thee from
heights to the depths of earthly hearts?" His answer will be simply,
And you must reply: "O eternal love, what is it you ask of
He will answer again: "Nothing but love. I would have no other fire
within thee but charity, the ardent flames of which will conquer the
impure flames of passion, and make thee pleasing in My sight.
"Long have I wished that thou wert all Mine, and I all thine.
long have I desired that surrender of thy will ever solicitous for
frivolous liberty and worldly vanities; for only when thy will is
attuned to Mine can the first wish be realized.
"Know, then, that I would have thee die to self, that you
to Me; I would have thee give Me thy heart that I might make it like
unto Mine, which broke on Calvary out of love for mankind. Thou knowest
who I am, and yet thou knowest that in some measure, I have made thee
My equal in an excess of love. When I give Myself entirely to thee, I
ask nothing but thyself in return. Be Mine and I shall be satisfied.
Will nothing, think nothing, understand nothing, see nothing but Me and
My will. Let thy nothingness be lost in the depths of My infinity, and
find there thy happiness, as I find repose in thee."
Finally offer to the Eternal Father His Only-begotten Son:
1. First in thanksgiving for the unspeakably great favors He
has rendered in bestowing them on you.
Let this entire offering be made in commemoration of and in
with the offering made by Christ on Calvary's hill, when bleeding on
the Cross, He offered Himself to His Eternal Father.