THE LOVELIEST OF SANCTUARIES
The Spouse in the Canticles went forth looking everywhere for him whom she loved, and when she could not find him she kept on asking, "Have you seen him who is the beloved of my soul?" (Cant. 3).
Jesus was not on earth at that time. But if a soul that loves Jesus now goes forth looking for Him she can find Him always in the Most Holy Sacrament.
Of all the holy places that can most attract our love, the Venerable Fr. Master Avila tells us that he knew of none, and he wished for none, more lovely than a church where Jesus dwells in the Most Holy Sacrament.
O love of my God, love that is boundless, love worthy to be returned by a boundless love! My Jesus, how has it come to this! You stoop so low, you humble yourself, you hide yourself under the form of bread, to live among men and have a union of hearts between them and yourself.
Eternal Word made Flesh, you have come to the deepest depths of humiliation, because you act from the deepest depths of love. How can I not love you with my whole heart, when I know all that you have done to take all my love captive? I love you with an exceeding great love; and therefore, whatever gives you joy is far more important than any interest of mine, and than any comfort of mine. My joy is to give you joy, my God, my Love, my All. Stir up within me a consuming desire―a longing to be with you always in this Holy Sacrament; to receive you, and to enjoy your company. I would be very ungrateful indeed, if I were to refuse such an invitation coming from you: an invitation so full of grace and consolation. Dear Master, put an end to any unruly love of created things that still lingers in my heart. You are my Creator, and you have made me so that all my longings, all my love, should find their rest in you. Boundless Goodness of my God that surpasses everything in its loveliness, I love you. From you I ask for nothing but yourself. I do not want any selfish joys; your happiness is enough for me. Set me on fire with a nightly longing to love only you; aid me with your powerful grace, so that I, once the unhappy slave of sin, may from this day forward be the happy servant of your love.
Aspiration―Jesus, my Good above all good, I love you.
Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.
A VISIT TO MARY
THE AGENT OF RECONCILIATION
THE AGENT OF RECONCILIATION
My Mother Mary, most sweet Lady, I have been an unhappy rebel for I have sinned against your great Son. But now in repentance I seek your gentle mercy that you may obtain me pardon. You cannot tell me that you are powerless to help me; I hear St. Bernard calling you "God's agent of reconciliation," and St. Ephrem "The support of those who are in peril." My Lady, who is in greater peril than I? This is certain―I have lost God and I have been condemned to lose Him for ever. But I am uncertain as to whether He has yet pardoned me; and if He has I am quite capable of losing Him again. You can obtain everything from Him: so from you I hope for every good―pardon, perseverance and paradise. This is my hope, dear Mary―that I will be one of those in the Kingdom of the Blessed who will praise your mercy most, for you will save me by your intercession.
Aspiration―I will sing the mercies of Mary forever; I will sing them forever. Amen.
Prayer After Your Visit