Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Devotion to the Sacred Heart Of Jesus. 33.


It is now made evident how the Christian ought to live who would receive holy communion frequently, or even daily. He must watch over himself and his interior impulses; lie must seriously struggle against tepidity, against the tendency of his heart to cling to what is carnal and worldly; he must strive to subdue his passions, to withstand temptation, to avoid venial sin; he must avail himself of every occasion that presents itself for the practise of mortification and self-conquest, especially for the exercise of virtue. By so doing he will not merely preserve his soul free from grievous sin and from venial sin wittingly and wilfully committed, but by constantly cultivating the inner and spiritual life he will by degrees make progress in all the virtues befit ting the sacerdotal state.

This may perhaps appear an unattainable height of perfection to many priests, especially if they live amid the distractions, the dangers of the world, and are overburdened with work, occupation, and anxieties for themselves and for others; and the more deeply they are convinced that the lofty nature of their calling and the daily reception of holy communion require a high degree of virtue and holiness on their part, the more will they feel a certain anxious fear. Yet he who sincerely and honestly strives to do his duty, who is careful to recite his breviary daily, unless some grave obstacle prevents him from so doing, who never omits saying Mass, and fulfils his ministerial functions with a good purpose and intention; who makes such use of daily Mass and communion and the other means of grace within his reach as to enable him at least to keep pure and free from grievous sin, and not to think lightly of venial sin; who, finally, approaches the Sacrament of Penance regularly and frequently, and at each confession firmly proposes to him self to correct some definite fault, he who thus acts may trust himself with full confidence to the mercy of God. He may perhaps stumble now and again, he may commit many faults; but he need not on that account be discouraged. God knows that He has entrusted this sacred office to man, He knows that He has not given us an angelic nature, but has endowed us with a body with its inherent sloth, its irascible temperament, its roving fancy, its innate sensuality and inconstancy; therefore He has for us more patience, forbearance, and compassion than we perhaps imagine: "As a Father hath compassion on His children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear Him; for He knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust." (Ps. cii. 13, 14.)