Sunday, April 10, 2016

On the Bosom of Jesus


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

See in your commitment to adoration the special favor of God.  It is a beautiful thing to be among those called to console the Lord, resting on His bosom as you spend your lives before the tabernacle: Beautiful, still more, to be specifically chosen and called like Beloved Disciple, St. John, the "souls whom Jesus loves."

This has nothing to do with your worth but rather with God's free and loving choice and His desire to effect in you the three gifts of love, pain and purity.  In love, you are to imitate Jesus in his state of perpetual "Hostia" - Victim.  You must participate intimately in the mystery of the cross and allow yourselves to be purified by its selfless love.  Offer Him constantly every small token of affection to console Him, and especially draw close and rest upon His heart.

In the person of John, Jesus saw all eucharistic souls; and, in the consolation of John, He tasted in that so bitter hour the consolation all souls would offer Him in the course of time.  Thus, when Jesus felt the Beloved Disciple's heart pulsate close to His own, He felt also the palpitations of love of all the souls who, in the succession of the centuries, would understand His Eucharist and, in order to console Him, would spend their lives before His tabernacle, day and night.  Not only John, but the whole army of eucharistic souls were reclining, that evening, at Jesus' bosom.

Eucharistic souls are specifically chosen and may well be called "the souls whom Jesus loves."

But some may object, asking: What is there in us that makes Jesus love us with predilection?  Let us remember once more that the cause of divine predilection is not to be sought in the creature, but in God Himself.  God loves because He wants to love; God loves with predilection, because He wants to do it; there is nothing as free and gratuitous as His love.  And God has willed that eucharistic souls should be the object of His predilection.

Once more, the question ought to be reworded: What are the effects of God's love of predilection in our souls?

All due proportions guarded, they are the same as those in St. John, namely, the three gifts of love, pain and purity.

Those souls should hold for certain that, with their special devotion to the Holy Eucharist, Jesus has given them an exquisite, delicate, and generous heart, and a great capacity for love.

On the other hand, love prompts imitation.  Imitation of Jesus in His habitual state of "Hostia," which means "Victim," in His perpetual victim-life, implies a special participation in His sacrifice, in the mystery of the cross.

It is impossible to receive every day the immaculate flesh of Jesus, to drink His blood which engenders virgins, and to bathe in the light streaming forth from the monstrance without being affected and purified by His immaculate purity, and as if embalmed by His virginal fragrance.

Eucharistic souls carry within themselves, at least in germ or desire, as a pledge of Jesus' predilection, these three gifts: love, pain, and purity. 

In their turn, what must they offer to Jesus?  In what does their special mission consist?  Like John, they must be His consolation.

To this effect, they must, in the first place, understand Him; they must understand His doctrine, which may be summed up entirely in two words: to love and to suffer.  Its code is the Gospel; its symbol, the cross; its vitality, the Eucharist; its term, heaven.

They must remain loyal to Jesus, loyal to their vocation, loyal to their special mission, so that the divine Victim, looking down from the Sacred Host in the monstrance, as He look down from the cross, might always see, at His feet, His chosen souls, of whom it may be said as it was of John: "They were standing by the cross."

What consoles Jesus more than anything else, however, is that we understand His Eucharist; that is, that we understand the love it signifies and the suffering it represents.  Then, indeed, the soul feels the necessity of consoling Him, at least the way little ones console their love and delicate tokens of affection, and in the manner John consoled Him, throwing ourself into the arms of Christ, hiding ourselves in His bosom, so that His heart may feel close by the pulsations of another heart which understands and loves Him.

This is what we should do during our adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  Whether it is in the daytime or at night, the hour of adoration should reproduce the beautiful scene of the Cenacle: John reclining at Jesus' bosom.  The eucharistic soul has two places of honor, then: at the foot of the cross and on the bosom of Jesus.  One demands the other; both complement each other.

If we do this, we may be sure that, when this mortal life is over and the day of eternity shines upon us, the angels of God, speaking of eucharistic souls, will designate them with the same terms as distinguished St. John: "The disciple whom Jesus loved" - "the souls whom Jesus loved."  And, if faithfully we spend our lives at the foot of the cross and at the foot of the monstrance (or before the tabernacle), our eternity will consist in reproducing perpetually the delightful scene of the Cenacle: on Jesus' bosom we shall live forever.

Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist