by St Alphonsus Liguori
JESUS REMAINS ON THE ALTAR, THAT EVERY BODY MAY BE ABLE TO FIND HIM.
For this reason, said the same saint, Jesus Christ has concealed His majesty in the Sacrament, under the appearance of bread, in order to give us more confidence, and to take away from us all fear of approaching Him. Oh, how Jesus seems continually to exclaim from the altar: "Come to Me, all you that labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you" (St. Matt. xi. 28). Come, He says, come, ye poor; come, ye infirm; come, ye afflicted; come, ye just and ye sinners, and you shall find in Me a remedy for all your losses and afflictions: such is the desire of Jesus Christ; to console every one who has recourse to Him, He remains day and night on our altars, that He may be found by all, and that He may bestow favours upon all. Hence the Saints experienced in this world such pleasure in remaining in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, that days and nights appeared to them as moments. The Countess of Feria having become a nun of the order of St. Clare, was never wearied of remaining in the choir in sight of the tabernacle: being asked one day what she was doing so long before the Most Holy Sacrament, she answered with surprise: 'What do I do before the Blessed Sacrament? what do I do? I return thanks, I love and I pray!' St. Philip Neri being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, exclaimed: 'Behold my love, behold all my love!' Ah, if Jesus were thus our whole love, days and nights in His presence would appear also to us as moments.
AFFECTIONS AND PRAYERS.
O my Jesus, from this day forward I also hope to say always to Thee, when I come to visit Thee on Thy altars: 'Behold my love, behold all my love!' Yes, my beloved Redeemer, I will love none other but Thee; I desire that Thou shouldst be the only love of my soul. I seem to die of sorrow when I think that hitherto I have loved creatures and my own pleasures more than Thee, and have turned my back upon Thee, the Sovereign Good. But Thou wouldst not have me lost, and therefore hast Thou borne with me with so much patience; and instead of chastising me, Thou hast pierced my heart with so many darts of love, that I could no longer resist Thy kindness, but have given myself up to Thee; I see that Thou wouldst have me to be entirely Thine. But since Thou wouldst have it to be so, do thou make me so Thyself; for it is Thou who must do it. Do Thou detach my heart from all earthly affections and from myself, and grant that I may seek none other but Thee, that I may think of none but Thee, that I may speak of none but Thee, and that I may only desire and sigh to burn with love for Thee, and to live and die for Thee alone. O love of my Jesus, come and occupy my whole heart, and expel from it all other love but that of God! I love Thee, O Jesus in the Sacrament, I love Thee, my Treasure, my Love, my All. O Mary, my hope, pray for me, and make me belong entirely to Jesus.