Most Blessed Sacrament
FR. STEPHANO MANELLI
Imprimatur: 1973, Naples, Italy
Spiritual Communion, Part 2
During the day
Here is one of the counsels which Padre Pio of Pietrelcina gave to one of his spiritual daughters: "In the course of the day, when it is not permitted to you to do otherwise, call Jesus, even in the midst of all your occupations, with a resigned sigh of the soul and He will come and will remain always united with your soul by means of His grace and His holy love. Make a spiritual flight before the Tabernacle, when you cannot go there with your body, and there pour out the ardent desires of your spirit and embrace the Beloved of souls, better than if it had been permitted to you to receive Him sacramentally.
Let us, too, profit by this great gift. During the times that we suffer trial or feel abandoned, for example, what can be more valuable to us than the company of our Sacramental Lord by means of Spiritual Communion? This holy practice can work with ease to fill our days with acts and sentiments of love, and can make us live in an embrace of love that depends just on our often renewing it so that we scarcely ever interrupt it.
St. Angela Merici was extremely fond of Spiritual Communion. Not only did she make it often and exhort others to do it, but she chose to leave it as an inheritance to her daughters, so that they might practice it ever afterwards.
What shall we say of St. Francis de Sales? Does not his whole life seem like a chain of Spiritual Communions? He made a resolution to make a Spiritual Communion at least every quarter of an hour. Saint Maximilian M. Kolbe had the same resolve from the time of his youth. The Servant of God, Andrew Baltrami, has left us a short page of his personal diary, which is a little program for a life lived in uninterrupted Spiritual Communion with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. These are his words: "Wherever I maybe I will often think of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I will fix my thoughts on the holy Tabernacle --- even when I happen to wake up at night --- adoring Him from where I am, calling to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, offering up to Him the action I am performing. I will install one telegraph cable from my study to the Church, another from my bedroom, and a third from our refectory; and as often as I can, I will send messages of love to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament." What a stream of divine affections must have passed over those precious cables!
Also During the Night
The Saints were eager to make use of these and similar holy means in order to find outlet for their overflowing hearts; for they never felt they had gone far enough in their endeavor to love. "The more I love Thee, the less I love Thee," exclaimed St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, "because I would like to love Thee more, but I cannot. Oh enlarge, enlarge my heart."
When St. Roch spent five years in prison because he had been judged to be a dangerous vagabond, in his cell he kept his eyes ever fixed at the window, praying in the meantime. The guard asked, "What are you looking at?" The Saint answered, "I am looking at the tower of the parish church." The tower reminded him of a church, a tabernacle, and the Eucharistic Jesus, inseparably joined to his heart.
The holy Cure of Ars said to his flock, "that the sight of a church tower you can say: Jesus is there, for there a priest has celebrated Mass." Blessed Louis Guanella, when he was traveling by train with pilgrimages to the various shrines, used to always advise pilgrims to turn their minds and hearts to Jesus every time they saw a church tower from the carriage window, "Every bell tower," he would say, " indicates a church, where there is a Tabernacle, where Mass is said, and where Jesus stays."
Let Us Take a Lesson from the Saints
They would like to pass on some spark of the love burning in their hearts. Let us undertake to make many Spiritual Communions, especially during the busiest moments of the day. Then soon the fire of love will enter us. For something very consoling that St. Leonard of Port Maurice assures us of, is this: "If you practice the holy exercise of Spiritual Communion a good many times each day, within a month you will see yourself completely changed." Hardly a month --- clear enough, is it not?
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