Most Blessed Sacrament
FR. STEPHANO MANELLI
Imprimatur: 1973, Naples, Italy
Visits to Jesus, Part 1
Jesus is in our tabernacles, and this fact we call the Real Presence. The same Jesus Who was sheltered by Mary Immaculate within her virginal body, is in the little body of a white Host. The same Jesus Who was whipped, crowned with thorns, and crucified as a Victim for the sins of the world, remains in the ciborium in the Host as a Victim sacrificed for our salvation. The same Jesus Who rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, where He now is gloriously reigning at the right hand of the Father, resides on our altars, surrounded by a multitude of countless adoring Angels --- a sight that Blessed Angela of Foligno beheld in a vision.
Thus Jesus is truly with us. "Jesus is there!" --- The holy Cure of Ars could not finish repeating these three words without shedding tears. And St. Peter Julian Eymard exclaimed with joyful fervor, "There Jesus is! Therefore all of us should go visit Him!" And when St. Teresa of Jesus heard someone say, "If only I had lived at the time of Jesus ... If only I had seen Jesus ... If only I had talked with Jesus ...," she responded in her spirited way, "But do we not have in the Eucharist the living, true and real Jesus present before us? Why look for more?"
The Saints certainly did not seek for more. They knew where Jesus was, and they desired no more than the privilege of keeping inseparable company with Him, both in their affections, and by bodily presence. Being ever with our beloved --- is this not one of the primary things true love calls for? Indeed it is; and, therefore, we know that visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Eucharistic Benediction were the secret yet evident loves of the Saints. The time of paying a visit to Jesus is wholly the time of love --- a love we will resume practicing in Paradise, since love alone "does not come to an end" (1 Cor. 13:8). St. Catherine of Genoa made no blunder in saying, "The time I have spent before the tabernacle is the best spent time of my life."
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