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Liturgy for Sundays and Main Feasts
Reflection on the Liturgy of the Day – from The Retreat of the Sacred Heart, by Rev. Father Léon Dehon
“My flesh is truly food and My blood is truly drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him. As My Father has sent Me, I live for My Father: so he that eats Me shall live for Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven. It is not like the manna that your fathers ate and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.ˮ (St. John 6:56-59).
Jesus dwells in us through His grace, and His presence in us is made ever more active through the Holy Eucharist, when we receive it with dignity.
We must live for God in Jesus Christ. We must renounce our carnal and earthly inclinations to enter into the sentiments and dispositions of the Heart of Jesus; to live in all religion towards God, in all justice and charity towards our neighbour, in all holiness towards ourselves, in all sobriety towards creatures.
We must be imbued with the spirit and virtues of Jesus, express His life and the sentiments of His Heart in us, and see ourselves as instruments in His hands; to die to ourselves so that He may live in us and that we may be one with Him.
The disciple. – O Jesus, come and live in Your servant, as You lived in Mary, as You lived in Your Saints. Come and live in us by Your spirit, by Your grace, by Your Heart. Lead us to follow You in the ways of perfection, in the graces of Your mysteries, in victory over Your enemies and in union with Your spirit of love, for the glory of Your Father.
The Eucharist increases the life of the Heart of Jesus in us.
The Saviour. – Yes, I want to live in you and communicate My life to you, as the vine communicates its life to the branches, as the head animates and vivifies the whole human body.
I want you to be totally united with Me, and fully abandoned to My direction.
From the moment of your baptism, I am beginning to live in you. I am united to your soul as a husband to his wife; I love it as My dear daughter; I guard and protect it as My property; I vivify it as one of My members. As its leader, I direct it; as a principle of life, I develop My life and My spirit in it. I am there to redeem her faults and to forgive them.
My life in you increases through holy communion. When you receive Me corporeally, I do not remain corporeally, but I remain spiritually, ever more present and active.
I have told you: I want to be your life and your heart. I am the Life. I have come so that you may have life. (S. John 11, 11) This is why I came on earth; this was My goal in redemption and this is still My goal in the Eucharist.
Jesus desires to live in us.
If you only knew how much I desire to come into your souls to establish My abode there forever. Your soul is the natural dwelling and the center where My thoughts and the desires of My Heart rest. Make of it a sanctuary worthy of Me. Decorate it with the flowers of all the virtues. Prepare My throne. I want to find innocence and purity there.
It is to prepare this dwelling for Me that I created the heavens and the earth and that I am preserving them. That is why I came on earth and gave My blood and My life on the cross.
You will understand only in heaven this mystery of union. However, try to obtain the intelligence of it as far as it is possible for you. Remove the obstacles, purify your soul and taste the sweetness of the divine union.
My loving heart invites you to a mystical feast in the depths of your soul. Consider that this bouquet is prepared by the magnificence of the King of Heaven. Blessed is the Christian who is invited to it! I have told you: If anyone hears My voice and opens the door for Me, I will come in, I will dine with him and he with Me. (Rev. III)
I’m preparing a feast for you, but I need you to prepare one for Me as well. Offer Me in your heart the penance that consoles Me, the piety that rejoices Me; and I will serve you the forgiveness of your sins, the peace of soul that you desire, the justice to which you aspire, and that joy in the Holy Spirit, that hidden manna that no one knows except the one who has received it.
But do not forget that I operate nothing in you without you. I am warning you by My grace, I am exciting your will by the Holy Spirit, but your will must freely lend itself to My action. I am treating you with respect. I do not compel you like slaves, but I invite you as friends. I knock at the door, I am waiting, and if no kind answer comes from within, I pass and I carry My love further.
I offer life and sap to the branches that are attached to Me: every branch that repels the sap and does not want to remain united to the vine is a dried-up branch, a useless branch.
The mystery of grace and union is similar to marriage. I am the suitor of your souls. A bridegroom doesn’t unite to the one he has chosen, if she doesn’t give herself to him. In the same way, I do not impose Myself on the soul I choose in My love.
Therefore, take great care to cooperate in this union I desire.
Prepare your souls by keeping them pure and collected, avoiding even venial sin and attachment to sin. At the beginning of your actions, renounce all proper will, all vulgar and spontaneous feelings, to enter into the dispositions of My Heart and do My will.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS.
How could I, O my good Master, resist any longer such a pressing and kind invitation? Ah, I beg You, make all the things of this world only bitter for me in comparison with You! Take away from me any other affection. Only You, O Jesus, show Yourself to my soul with Your sweetness; for You are the priceless sweetness, the heavenly sweetness that changes everything into sweetness. Come, Lord Jesus, come and live in me without reserve. I give myself to You, I surrender myself to the guidance of Your Sacred Heart with all my faculties. Take possession and do not distance Yourself any further.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus who for love instituted the Eucharist, who dwells in it and gives it to souls, grant our hearts, we humbly beg You, the grace to love You and live for You; grant us this favour in particular… (ask for a grace) that we so confidently await from Your infinite goodness, for the glory of the Holy Trinity. Amen.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, may Your Kingdom come!
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, inflame our hearts with love for You!