Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
Is Jesus your Beloved? . . . do you see His beauty? . . . do you see Him as the Eternal Father sees Him? So many are captivated by the things of this world that but pass into dust. Even His priests, who serve daily at the altar approach the privilege morosely, as though bored and put out by the task. How can they speak to others of the Lord if they see not His beauty themselves? . . . if they have no desire in their hearts for Him.
You must bring yourself to the school of the Eucharistic Master and there you must listen to His word of love and gaze upon His Eucharistic Face. Pray that He opens your eyes and the eyes of His priests to this Eternal Beauty . . . that He would implant in your and their hearts the desire for Him and nothing more. Above all may He put within your hearts the longing to hear those when you receive the Holy Eucharist: "This is My Beloved." Prepare yourselves for this Daughters and seek it out devoutly.
It was no mortal man who called Jesus that. No; it was the Eternal Father Himself . . . He spoke those words at the Savior's baptism by St. John in the Jordan . . . at the transfiguration on the heights of Tabor.
That voice of the heavenly Father is still re-echoing as sweetest music throughout the world. In the tabernacle's shadow it calls out to Catholics everywhere. How tender the words: "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."
How very beautiful Jesus must be! What rare beauty there must be in His intellect . . . what beauty in His will . . . how strikingly beautiful must be His sacred Person?
And yet - what do I do? . . . I forget the beauty of Jesus . . . I go in search of earthly beauty . . . .I let myself be lead astray and blinded by it. And all the while, here in the tabernacle, I have all that I seek. Here I have that which alone can make me happy, which alone can satisfy my hunger for the beautiful. Here I have Beauty itself - Beauty ever ancient and ever new. Oh, why do I weary myself in this vain search for beauty among creatures! And all the while, in my strange folly, I have flattered myself on the attractiveness of my own person!
What a light of eternal love must shine in the Father's eyes when He gazes upon His beloved Son! How the angels and saints of God must glow with happiness when they gaze upon the beauty of Jesus! And to think that while the whole heavenly court gazes in rapture and ecstasy upon the sacred Host I do not so much as think of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Of course it is true: my bodily eyes see naught of the beauty of Jesus . . . but the eyes of faith . . . what do I see with them? Nothing? Alas! if so, then how fast asleep my faith may be, how very, very weak.
The great, almighty God finds His pleasure in Jesus . . . in Him He is well pleased . . . Am I pleased with Jesus too? . . . Oh, to my shame I must say it: I have loved the fleshpots of Egypt more than the manna of the wilderness . . . like the murmuring Jews of old. If there is anything delicious and sweet on earth it is this living Manna which comes down from heaven itself, this Bread of life, this Food of angels.
My taste has been spoiled . . . I see it now. And it is all due to the fact that I have not the proper conception and appreciation of the Holy Eucharist. I do not know how to love and treasure the Blessed Sacrament.
What then must I do? I must go to school to my Eucharistic Master . . . I must sit at His feet and listen eagerly to His divine words . . . and I must keep them all in my heart.
A beloved of the Eternal Father? . . . I? . . . Yes; and why not? Why not, if I am one with Jesus . . . if His blood flows in my veins . . . if His sacred body has been united with mine . . . if His soul has been melted into mine . . . if His divinity has been poured out over my whole being . . . if Jesus finds His happiness in being with me - indeed, why should not I also be the beloved of God?
Ah! how joyfully I am going to Mass early tomorrow morning, and to Holy Communion. I will do my very best to receive the Savior as devoutly as possible. Then when I have Him in my heart I will fly to heaven on the wings of faith . . . I will prostrate myself before the throne of the Almighty and will say to Him in childlike love: "Eternal Father, art Thou now well pleased with me? Oh, I am wondering what the answer of my God will be.
What a beautiful day tomorrow will be!
Rt.Rev. Msgr. Guglielmo Reyna