BY THE REV. H. NOLDIN, S.J.
AUTHORISED TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN.
REVISED BY THE REV. W. H. KENT, O.S.C
instituted to be the sustenance of the soul. Holy communion consequently gives the Christian a title to the graces that he needs in order to preserve, to strengthen, to promote the supernatural life of grace in the soul; 1 and since the life of grace is enhanced by the practice of virtue, in holy communion we obtain the right to claim those graces which are essential to enable us to practise virtue, to strive after perfection, to progress in the love of God and the way of sanctity. As often as in our daily life a temptation has to be overcome, a duty to be performed, or an occasion presents itself for the practice of some virtue, actual grace will be given to assist us, in virtue of the holy communion which we have received.
Can this third effect also be made void, and if so, by what means? If not completely rendered void, it is checked and diminished in a great measure by the cares and occupations and distractions of daily life, by the enjoyment of the worldly pleasures that come in one's way, and which too often and too easily choke the divine seed sown in the heart by holy communion. All these things are apt to prevent us, amid the cares and distractions of life, from hearing the call of grace and listening to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. It is, moreover, rendered almost void by tepidity or indifference in regard to venial sin. Luke warm souls allow opportunities for the practice of virtue and sanctity, of mortification and self-conquest, to pass without making use of them; they do not resist temptation or struggle against venial sin, and through the negligence of their life incur the loss of all the graces which holy communion procures for them. 2
1 Nothing, it may be incidentally observed, is calculated to impress us so deeply with the unspeakable nature of grace and the supernatural life of the soul, than the fact that Our Lord gave His own sacred body and precious blood for the purpose of maintaining it and promoting it. If the aliments are so rich, so sublime, what must the life be which they serve to sustain?
2 What is here said concerning the effects of holy communion is expounded theologically and at greater length in Lugo's "De Eucharistia." Disp. xii.