Monday after Quinquagesima: The Ingratitude of Men to Our Lord
Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
In order to enter into the spirit of the Church during this season of adoration and expiation, we will meditate tomorrow: first, how the ingratitude of men makes the love of Our Lord show itself all the more in the Eucharist; second, what are the duties incumbent on us from so much love that is disowned. We will then make the resolution: first, every day to make a visit of honourable reparation to the Blessed Sacrament for all the licentiousness of the world during these days of licence; second, to live in a more holy manner today, in a spirit of reparation for this licentiousness. Out spiritual nosegay shall be the words of David: “I beheld the transgressors and I pined away” (Ps. cxviii:158).
Meditation for the Morning
Let us transport ourselves in spirit before the altar where Jesus is exposed during these three days. Let us unite ourselves to the angels of the sanctuary who endeavour by their homage to make reparation for the transgressions of the earth; let us prostrate ourselves and be filled with sentiments of adoration, of love, of honourable reparation and of expiation.
How greatly the ingratitude of men makes the love of our lord shine forth all the more in the eucharist
When we are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament we do not take sufficient account of what it cost Our Lord to descend so low. He was obliged to leave the bosom of His Father, where He was in God, where He was God, to come down to earth, and not to be received here, to take refuge in a stable and to escape death only by flight; He was obliged after thirty years of a laborious and hidden life, after three years employed in evangelising the people and doing them good, and receiving in return calumnies, outrages, ignominy, and death, to survive by the institution of the Eucharist, in order to remain in the midst of the men who had treated Him so unworthily; and from that time, O miracle of love, what horrors has He not been obliged to submit to!
The very first time that He celebrated the Eucharist He was buried alive, in company of the devil, in a stained conscience, in the soul of Judas. Since then, to what profanations, to what indignities has He not been subjected! The heretic denies Him, the bad Christian is wanting in respect, the impious man blasphemes Him; cupidity, for the sake of taking possession of the vessel wherein He reposes, casts Him on the ground and treads Him under foot. O Lord, how dearly Thy love costs Thee! Take Thy flight once more to heaven and free Thyself from so many outrages. “No, I will not, I love mankind too much to separate Myself from them. Rather than deprive one single soul of the happiness of receiving and possessing Me, I will submit to all kinds of ingratitude and all kinds of profanations.” And so He traverses the ages, always and everywhere disowned, except by a small number of souls who know how to appreciate His love. All along the road He is unworthily treated, sometimes left desolate in the solitude of the tabernacles, sometimes despised and insulted; finally He reaches our heart in Holy Communion, laden with eighteen centuries of profanations; it was the object to which all His desires tended, He has attained it; He is in us; He is ours; He is content. The more He has suffered on the road, the more love He shows us; it is all that He desired. O love, how incomprehensible thou art! O love! O love! can we ever appreciate thee as thou deservest? Can we ever thank thee, ever love thee enough?
Duties incumbent on us in consequence of so much love that is disowned
First, we ought to be profoundly touched by the outrages committed against so loving a God, above all by those which He receives during these very days of reparation and expiation. David and Jeremiah are melted to tears, fall down fainting, and are parched with grief at the sight of the prevarications of the ancient people; how would they feel if they could but witness the far more guilty prevarications of the new people? St Teresa could not think of them without giving vent to cries of sorrow and of desolation. Independently of irreverences and profanations, the simple fact of the manner in which the tabernacles were forsaken seemed to distract her. She gathered her nuns together and exclaimed to them: “My sisters, love is not loved, let us love the love which is not loved”. All the saints have felt the same grief at seeing the love of Jesus in the Eucharist scorned by the ingratitude of men, and each time they had tidings of a profanation it was as though a sword had pierced their soul.
Second, we must make reparation for all these evils by fervent honourable amends to the Blessed Sacrament, offer it in expiation all our reverence, all the homage of the angels and the saints, all our actions and our life itself, protest that it would be a happiness to us to shed our blood to spare it the least offence or to repair it, and finally live today in a more holy manner than usual, visit the Blessed Sacrament with more love, communicate henceforth with more fervour, assist at the Holy Sacrifice more piously and more frequently.
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.