Chapter 109

How the Devout Soul should Sincerely Desire Union with Christ in his Sacrament

THE DISCIPLE. Lord, who will grant me to find You alone, to open my whole heart to You, and to enjoy You as my soul desires, that none may henceforward despise me, nor any creature disturb or notice me; that You alone may speak to me, and I to You as a lover speaks to his beloved, and as friend to friend? (Ex .33:11) For this is my prayer and desire, that I may be wholly united to You, and withdraw my heart from all created things; that through Holy Communion and frequent offering of the Eucharist , I may come to delight in heavenly and eternal things more and more. 0 my Lord and God, when shall I be wholly united to and absorbed into You, and wholly unmindful of myself? You in me and I in You (John 17:21) so grant us to abide in one for ever.

You are indeed my Beloved, preferred before thousands, (Solomon 5:10) in whom my soul delights to dwell all the days of my life. You are the Giver of true peace, in whom is perfect peace and true rest, and outside of whom is toil and sorrow without end. You are the true and hidden God, (Prov.3:33) whose dealings are not with the wicked, but with the humble and simple. (Isa.45:15) How sweet is Your Spirit, 0 Lord, who to show Your graciousness to Your children, refresh them with the most sweet Bread that comes down from Heaven. (Wisd.16:20) There is no nation, however great, whose gods dwell so near to it (Deut.4:7) as You, our God, who are present to all Your faithful, to whom, for their daily comfort and elevation of their heart You give Yourself as food and delight.

What other people is so favoured as the Christian people? Or what creature under heaven is so beloved as the devout soul, into whom God enters, nourishing it with His glorious Body? 0 unspeakable grace, 0 marvellous condescension, O boundless love, bestowed on mankind alone! But what return can I make to the Lord (Ps116:12) for all His grace and overflowing love? Nothing that I can give will be more acceptable to Him than my whole heart, to be inwardly united to Him in utter surrender. When my soul is perfectly united to God, my whole being will be filled with joy. Then will He say to me, 'If you will dwell with Me, I will dwell with you' and I shall answer Him, `Lord, dwell with me, I pray, for I will gladly remain with You. It is my sole desire, that my heart be united to You.'

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