Every virtue that does not become passionate will never produce something great. Until we have a burning love for Jesus in the Sacrament, we will not be able to accomplish anything.
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (Jn 12:32).
It was first from the height of the Cross that Our Lord Jesus Christ drew all souls to Himself, redeeming them. However, in pronouncing these words, He undoubtedly also had in view His Eucharistic Throne, at the feet of which He wants to gather them in order to bind them there with the chains of His love.
Our Redeemer wishes to instil in us a passionate love for His Sacred Person. Any virtue or thought that does not result in passion, that is does not ultimately transformed into passion, will never produce anything great. Such a feeling is not love, it is only a child’s affection: children love instinctively and because they feel loved, loving themselves in those who do them good.
A servant may sacrifice himself for his employers, but he will only really love them if he does so out of pure esteem, without any personal interest.
Charity only triumphs when it becomes a vital passion. Otherwise, one can practise isolated, more or less frequent acts of good will, but not the giving of one’s life. Now, until we have a passionate love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we will have done nothing. It is certain that in the Eucharist He loves us ardently, blindly, detached from Himself and devoting Himself to us completely. It is urgent that we repay Him in kind!
Without passion, life lacks purpose
To become a passion, our love must be subject to the laws of human passions. I am talking about honest passions, naturally good ones. For passions are all neutral in themselves; they become evil when directed towards evil. We must direct them towards good.
Now, passion, in dominating a person, makes him concentrated. For example, if a man aims to attain an honourable and high position, he will work towards that alone for ten or twenty years. “No matter the time, I will get there,” he says. He makes this ambition the centre of his life, leaving aside everything that does not lead to its fulfilment.
Another, wanting to make a fortune, sets his goal: “I will eventually amass such an amount.” He then works tirelessly, indifferent to anything that does not serve as a means to reach his goal. A third wants to have a brilliant marriage. So, like Jacob, seven years of service matter little to him: if need be, he will serve another seven! “I will obtain Rachel.” All the work seemed to him to be nothing, “because of the great love he had,” as Scripture says (cf. Gn 29:20).
This is how success is achieved in the world. These passions often become evil and, unfortunately, are often nothing but a continuous crime. But, ultimately, they too can be honourable.
Nothing is achieved without a passion; without it, life lacks purpose, it is a futile existence dragged along like a burden.
We must have a passion that dominates the supernatural life
Also in the order of salvation, we must have a passion that dominates our life and makes it produce, for the glory of God, all the fruits that the Lord expects.
Ardently love such a certain virtue, a certain truth or a certain mystery of our faith. Dedicate your life to it, consecrate your thoughts and works on it. Without this, you will be just a simple labourer, never a hero!
Have a passionate love for the Eucharist. Love Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament with all the vehemence of worldly love, but for supernatural motives. To achieve this goal, begin by placing your soul under the influence of that same passion. Nourish in yourselves the spirit of faith, convinced of the truth of the Eucharist and of the love which Our Lord bears witness to you in it.
Have a sublime idea, an enraptured contemplation of the love and presence of Our Lord. In this way you will provide fuel for the flame of your love and it will then become constant.
May Jesus in the Host captivate and enchant you!
A brilliant artist, in conceiving a masterpiece, contemplates it with the eyes of his soul and becomes ecstatic. He resolves to accomplish it by every possible means, at the price of any sacrifice. Nothing will tire him, nothing will discourage him. His work dominates him to the point that he can think of nothing else.
Well then, try to see Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in this way; meditate on His love and make this consideration captivate and enchant you. “Can it really be possible that our Lord loves me to the point of always giving Himself, without ever tiring?” Your spirit will then become fixed on Him, all your thoughts will seek Him, study Him; desiring to know more deeply the reasons for this benevolence. Your heart, ecstatic, will let this cry escape: “How can I respond to so much love?”
This is how true love is formed in the heart. One only loves what one knows well.
And the heart flies to the Blessed Sacrament. It flies, because it does not have the patience to walk: “Jesus Christ loves me! He loves me in His Sacrament!” If it could, it would break free from its carnal enclosure to unite itself more closely to Our Lord. Observe the saints: their love enraptures them, inflames them and causes them to suffer; it is a fire that consumes them, exhausts their energies and finally causes their death. Blessed death!
We should divinize our human love
If, however, we do not all reach this extreme, we can at least love Our Lord passionately, letting ourselves be dominated by His love.
Do you not love anyone in this world? Do you not have, O mothers, a passionate love for your children? Wives, do you not dedicate to your spouses an ardent affection? And do you, children, have in your heart room for anything but your parents? Well then, transpose that love to Jesus Christ.
There are not two loves, there is only one. God does not ask you to have two hearts, one for Him and the other for earthly affections. Therefore, O mothers, love the Blessed Sacrament with your mother’s heart, love Him like a child! Wives, love Him like your spouse! Children, love Him like your father!
There is, in us, only one capacity to love, but which tends to different objects, for different reasons. There are people who madly love their parents, their friends, and do not know how to love God! However, what we do for the creature is what we must do for God: love only Him, without measure and always more.
“Are we obliged to love so much?”
The soul that loves like this has only one capacity, one life: Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. “There He is!…” It is continually dominated by this thought. “There He is!…” Then there is correspondence in love, there is society in life.
Ah! Why should we not we arrive at this point? We go back more than eighteen centuries in history, in search of examples of virtue in the mortal life of Our Lord. But He could say to us: “You loved Me on Calvary because there I blotted out your sins; you loved Me in the manger because there you saw Me sweet and kind. Why, then, did you not love Me in the Blessed Sacrament, where I am always with you? You had only to draw near. There I was, beside you!”
Ah! On the day of Judgement, it will not be our sins that will cause us the greatest dismay, neither will they be any longer remembered, for they will have been definitively forgiven. But Jesus will reproach us for our lack of correspondence to His love. “You loved Me less than creatures! You have not made Me the happiness of your life! You have loved Me enough not to offend Me mortally, but not enough to live of Me!”
Perhaps we would ask Him, “Are we then obliged to love Thee like this?” I am well aware that this precept of love is not a written one, but it does not need to be. It is not written, but everything proclaims it: this law is engraved in our hearts.
One thing that amazes me is that Christians will think seriously and gladly about all the mysteries of the Faith; they will devote themselves to the veneration of any given Saint, but not to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament!
Why is this? Ah! Because one cannot fix one’s gaze on the Blessed Sacrament without making a decision: “I must love Him! I cannot leave Him alone, I must go and visit Him. He loves me too much!” As for the rest, these are distant things that can arouse admiration, but do not captivate the heart. Here, however, it is necessary to surrender oneself, to dwell, to live in Our Lord Jesus Christ!
Love must exaggerate!
The Eucharist is the noblest aspiration of our heart: let us love it passionately. One might say: “All of this is exaggeration.” But love is nothing but exaggeration! To exaggerate is to go beyond the law: well then, love must exaggerate!
Is not the love that Jesus shows us also exaggerated, forgoing honours and servants so as to remain with us? Those who limit themselves to what is strictly necessary do not truly love. They only love who feel the passion of love. And you will have the passion of the Eucharist when Jesus in the Sacrament is the habitual object of your thoughts, when your happiness consists in being at His feet, when your permanent desire is to please Him.
Come then! Let us enter into Our Lord, and let us love Him for who He is. Let us forget ourselves and give ourselves to this good Saviour! Thus, let us immolate ourselves a little! Behold the lamp, the candles, which are consumed without trace, sparing nothing of themselves. Why should we not also be for Our Lord a burnt offering of which nothing remains?
No, let us not live any longer: let only the Eucharistic Jesus, who loves us so much, live in us! ◊
Taken from: Adorer en esprit et en vérité: Méditations pour l’adoration du Très Saint Sacrement.
Sanary-sur-Mer: Missionnaires du Saint Sacrement, 2006 – Translation: Heralds of the Gospel