A Visit To The Most Holy Sacrament
Our Holy faith teaches us, and we are bound to believe, that in the consecrated Host Jesus Christ is really present under the species of bread. But we must also understand that He is thus present on our altars as on a throne of love and mercy, to dispense graces and there to show us the love which He bears us, by being pleased to dwell night and day hidden in the midst of us.
It is well known that the Holy Church instituted the festival of Corpus Christi with a solemn octave, and that she celebrates it with the many usual processions, and the frequent expositions of this Most Holy Sacrament, that men may thereby be moved grateful to acknowledge and honor this loving presence and dwelling of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, by their devotions, thanksgivings, and the tender affections of their souls. O God! how many insults and outrages has not this amiable Redeemer had, and has He not daily, to endure in this Sacrament on the part of those very men for whose love He remains upon their altars on earth! Of this He complained to His dear servant St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
One day, as St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was in prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament, Jesus showed her His Heart on a throne of flames, crowned with thorns, and surmounted by a cross, and thus addressed her: "Behold that Heart which has loved men so much, and which has spared itself nothing; and has even gone as far as to consume itself, thereby to show them its love; but in return the greater part of men only show Me ingratitude, and this by the irreverences, tepidity, sacrileges, and contempt which they offer Me in this Sacrament of Love; and that which I feel the most acutely is, that they are hearts consecrated to me."
Jesus then expressed His wish, that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi should be dedicated as a particular festival in honor of His adorable Heart; and that on that day all souls who loved Him should, by their homage, and by the affections of their souls, make amends for the insults which men have offered Him in this sacrament of the Altar; and at the same time He promised abundant graces to all who would thus honor Him.
Be aware that in a quarter of an hour's prayer spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, you will perhaps gain more than in all the other spiritual exercises of the day. It is true that in every place God graciously hears the petitions of those who pray to Him, having promised to do so: "Ask and you shall receive." Yet the disciple tell us that Jesus dispenses His graces in greater abundance to those who visit Him in the Most Holy Sacrament. You will be blessed, not only in eternity, but even in this life. All is folly; feasts, theaters, parties of pleasure, amusements - these are the goods of the world, but goods which are filled with the bitterness of gall and with sharp thorns. Be assured that Jesus Christ finds means to console a soul that remains with a recollected spirit before the Most Blessed Sacrament, far beyond what the world can do with all its feasts and pastimes.
Oh, how sweet a joy it is to remain with faith and tender devotion before an altar, and converse familiarly with Jesus Christ, who is there for the express purpose of listening to and graciously hearing those who pray to Him; to ask His pardon for the displeasures which we have caused Him; to represent our wants of Him, as a friend does to a friend in whom he places all his confidence; to ask Him for His graces, for His love, and for His kingdom; but above all, to remain making acts of love toward that Lord who is on the very altar praying to the Eternal Father for us, and is there burning with love for us. Indeed that love it is which detains Him there, hidden and unknown, even when He is despised by ungrateful souls! "Taste and see."
Saint Alphonsus De Liguori "The Holy Eucharist."