11 - 15 minutes readFeast of Corpus Christi ~ St Alphonsus

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Feast of Corpus Christi

Morning Mediation


The Most Holy Sacrament is the Gift of God’s pure love. Jesus had already given Himself to us in many ways; as our Companion, our Master, our Father, our Light, our Example, our Victim. “It was the last effort of love when He gave Himself to be our Food.” -(St. Bernardine).


Let us consider the great love Jesus has shown us in giving us Himself in the Holy Eucharist. The Most Holy Sacrament is the Gift of pure love. According to the Divine decree it was necessary that our Redeemer should die in order to save us, and should by the sacrifice of His life, satisfy the Divine justice for our sins; but what necessity was there that Jesus Christ, after dying for us, should leave us Himself to be our Food? Yet, thus His love willed. St. Laurence Justinian says His excessive charity alone led Him to institute the Most Holy Sacrament, only to make us understand the immense love He bears us; and this is precisely what St. John writes: Jesus, knowing that his hour was come that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end-(Jo. xiii. 1). Knowing that the time had come for Him to quit this world, Jesus would leave us the greatest possible proof of His love, which was this Gift of the Most Blessed Sacrament, as we are taught in these words, He loved them unto the end; that is, “with extreme love He loved them to the utmost,” as Theophylact and St. Chrysostom explain it.

And we must observe what the Apostle mentions, that the time in which Jesus Christ was pleased to leave us this Gift was the very time of His Death: The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye and eat; this is my body-(l Cor. xi. 23, 24). While men were preparing scourges and thorns, and a Cross to put Him to death, our loving Saviour wished to leave us this last proof of His love. And why did He institute this Sacrament when He was going to die, and not before? St. Bernardine says that He did so because “the last marks of love given by dying friends remain more easily in our memory, and are more dearly cherished.” The Saint adds that Jesus Christ had already given Himself to us in many ways; He had made Himself our Companion, our Master, our Father. our Light, our Example, and our Victim: “It was the last effort of love when He gave Himself to be our Food; for He gave Himself to be united completely to us, as food and he who eats it are united; so that our Redeemer was not satisfied with merely uniting Himself to our human nature, but He was pleased to find in this Sacrament the means of uniting Himself to each of us in particular.

O infinite love of Jesus, worthy of infinite love! Ah! my Jesus, when shall I love Thee as Thou hast loved me? Thou couldst do nothing more to make me love Thee; and I have forsaken Thee, O infinite Good, for the sake of vile and miserable goods! Ah! enlighten me, my God, and discover to me always more and more the greatness of Thy goodness, that my whole soul may be enamoured of Thee, and that I may labour to please Thee.


St. Francis of Sales says: “There is no action in which we may more perfectly see the tenderness and love of our Saviour than in this, in which He, as it were, annihilates Himself, and reduces Himself into Food, to penetrate our souls, and unite Himself to the hearts of His faithful.” “So that,” says St. John Chrysostom, “we unite ourselves, and are made one body and one flesh with that of the Lord, on Whom the Angels dare not fix their eyes.” The same Saint adds, “What shepherd ever fed his sheep with his own blood? But why do I speak of shepherds? There are many mothers who give their children to others to be nursed; but He acts not thus, He feeds us with His own Blood.” But why did He make Himself our Food? Because, says the Saint, He loved us ardently, and so desired to unite Himself to us and to become One and the same thing with us: “He mingled Himself with us that we might be one thing with Him: for this is the property of those who ardently love.” Thus, then, did Jesus Christ will to perform the greatest of all miracles-He hath made a remembrance of his wonderful works, he hath given food to them that fear him (Ps. cx. 4, 5)-in order to satisfy the desire He had of remaining with us and of uniting our hearts to His own Most Sacred Heart. “Oh, how wonderful is Thy love, Lord Jesus!” exclaims St. Laurence Justinian; “Thy desire is to incorporate us so entirely with Thy own Body, that our heart and soul may be inseparably united to Thine own.”

The great servant of God, Father de la Colombiere, used to say: If anything could shake my faith in the mystery of the Eucharist, I should not doubt the power, but the love which God shows us in His Sacrament. If you ask me how bread becomes the Body of Jesus-how Jesus is to be found in many places-I reply, God can do all things. But if you ask me how God can love man to such an excess as to become his Food,-I can only answer that I do not understand it, and that the love of Jesus cannot be comprehended.

But, O Lord, it seems that such an excessive affection as to reduce Thyself to Food is not becoming Thy majesty. St. Bernard answers that love makes the lover forget his own dignity; and St. Chrysostom answers similarly, that love does not seek what is suitable when it wishes to make itself known to the beloved: “Love neglects reason; and goes where it is led, not where it ought.” The angelical St. Thomas was, then, right in calling this the Sacrament of Love, and the Pledge of Love; and St. Bernard, in calling it “the Love of loves.” So was St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi in calling Maundy Thursday, on which day this Sacrament was instituted, “the day of love.”

I love Thee and I thank Thee, O my Jesus, my Love, my All; and I wish to unite myself frequently to Thee in this Sacrament, in order to detach myself from all things, and to love Thee alone, Who art my Life. Through the merits of Thy Passion, assist me, O my Redeemer! O Mother of Jesus, and my Mother, do thou, too, assist me; beg of Jesus to inflame my whole heart with His holy love.

Spiritual Reading



To every soul that visits Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, He addresses the words He said to the Sacred Spouse: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come-(Cant. ii. 10). Thou, O soul, that visitest Me, arise from thy miseries; I am here to enrich thee with graces. Make haste, approach, come near Me; fear not My majesty, which has humbled itself in this Sacrament in order to take away thy fear, and to give thee confidence. My beloved, thou art no longer My enemy, but My friend, since thou lovest Me and I love thee. My beautiful one, My grace has made thee fair. And come, draw near and cast thyself into My arms, and ask Me with the greatest confidence whatever thou willest.

St. Teresa says that this great King of Glory has disguised Himself in this Sacrament under the species of bread, and that He has concealed His majesty to encourage us to approach His divine heart with greater confidence and affection; let us unite ourselves to Him, and let us ask Him for graces.

O Eternal Word made Man, and present for my sake in this Sacrament, what joy should be mine now that I am in Thy presence, Who art my God, infinite Majesty and infinite Goodness, and Who hast so tender an affection for my soul! Ye souls who love God, wherever you may be, either in Heaven or on earth, love Him for me also. Mary, my Mother, help me to love Him. And Thou, most loving Lord, make Thyself the object of all my love. Make Thyself the Lord of my entire will; possess my entire self. I consecrate my whole mind to Thee, that it may always be occupied with the thought of Thy goodness; I also consecrate my body to Thee, that it may help me to please Thee; I consecrate my whole soul to Thee, that it may be all Thine. Would, O Beloved of my soul, that all men could know the tenderness of the love Thou bearest them, that all might live to honour Thee and to please Thee, as Thou desirest and deservest. Grant that, at least, I may always live enamoured of Thine infinite beauty. From this day forward my desire is to do all that I can to be pleasing to Thee. I now resolve to abandon everything, be it what it may, as soon as I perceive that it displeases Thee, however much it may cost me, even should it be necessary for this purpose to lose all, or even to lay down my life. Fortunate indeed shall I be, if I lose all to gain Thee, my God, my Treasure, my Love, my All!

Ejac. Jesus, my love, take all that I have; take full possession of me.


My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to possess Thee within my soul. Since I am unable now to receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as already there, and unite myself wholly to Thee; never permit me to be separated from Thee.


Whoever is a little one, let him come to me-(Prov. IX. 4}. Mary invites all children who need a mother to have recourse to her, as to the most loving of all mothers. The devout Nieremberg says that the love of all mothers is but a shadow in comparison with the love which Mary bears to each one of us. My Mother, Mother of my soul, thou who lovest me and desirest my salvation more than any other after God-O Mother, show thyself a Mother!

Ejac. My Mother, grant that I may always remember thee!

Concluding Prayer

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee, who art the Mother of my Lord, and Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse today I, who am the most miserable of all. I render thee my most humble homage, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now, particularly for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always, and to do all in my power to make others love thee also. I place in thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care. Accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love of Jesus Christ. From thee I hope to die a good death.

O my Mother, for the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in Heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen. So I hope. So may it be.

Evening Meditation




It was a saying of St. Jane Frances de Chantal that “a person who is truly humble takes occasion from receiving some humiliation to humble himself the more.” Yes, for he who is truly humble never supposes himself humbled as much as he deserves. Those who behave in this manner are styled blessed by Jesus Christ. They are not called blessed who are esteemed by the world, who are honoured and praised as noble, as learned, as powerful; but they who are spoken ill of by the world, who are persecuted and calumniated; for it is for such that a glorious reward is prepared in Heaven, if they only bear all with patience: Blessed are you when they shall revile you and persecute you and speak all that is evil against you untruly for my sake: be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven-(Matt. v. 11, 12).

O Incarnate Word, I entreat Thee, by the merits of Thy holy humility, which led Thee to embrace so many ignominies and injuries for our love, deliver me from all pride, and grant me a share of Thy humility. And what right have I, O Jesus, to complain of any affront whatever that may be offered me, after having so often deserved hell? O my Jesus, by the merit of all the scorn and affronts endured for me in Thy Passion, grant me the grace to live and die humbled on this earth, as Thou didst live and die humbled for my sake. For Thy love I would willingly be despised and forsaken by all the world; but without Thee I can do nothing. I love Thee, O my sovereign Good; I love Thee, O Beloved of my soul!


The grand occasion for practising humility is when we receive correction for some fault from superiors or from others. Some people resemble the hedgehog; they seem all calmness and meekness as long as they are not touched; but no sooner does a superior or a friend touch them, by an observation on something which they have done imperfectly, than they forthwith become all thorns and answer warmly, that so and so is not true, or that they were right in doing so, or that such a correction is quite uncalled for: in a word, to rebuke them is to become their enemy; they behave like persons who rave at the surgeon for paining them in the cure of their wounds. “Medicanti irascitur-they are angry with their physician,” writes St. Bernard. “When the virtuous and humble man is corrected for a fault,” says St. John Chrysostom, “he grieves for having committed it; the proud man on the other hand, on receiving correction, grieves also; but he grieves that his fault is detected; and on this account he is troubled, gives answers, and is angry at the person who corrects him.” This is the golden rule given by St. Philip Neri, to be observed with regard to receiving correction: “Whoever would really become a saint must never excuse himself, although what is laid to his charge be not true.” And there is only one case to be excepted from this rule, and that is when self-defence may appear necessary to prevent scandal. Oh, what merit with God has that soul which is wrongfully reprehended, and yet keeps silence, and refrains from defending herself! St. Teresa said: “There are occasions when a soul makes more progress and acquires a greater degree of perfection by refraining from excusing herself than by listening to ten sermons; because, by not excusing herself she begins to obtain freedom of spirit, and to be heedless of whether the world speaks well or ill of her.”

I love Thee, O my Jesus, and I hope, through Thee, to fulfil my promise of suffering all for Thee-affronts, betrayals, persecutions, afflictions, dryness, and desolation. Enough it is for me if Thou dost not forsake me, O sole object of the love of my soul. Suffer me never more to estrange myself from Thee. Enkindle in me the desire to please Thee. Grant me fervour in loving Thee. Give me peace of mind in suffering for Thee. Give me resignation in all contradictions. Have mercy on me. I deserve nothing; but I fix all my hopes in Thee, Who hast purchased me with Thine own Blood. And I hope all from thee, too, O my Queen and my Mother Mary, who art the refuge of sinners!

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