Chapter 110

On Ardent Desire for the Body of Christ

DISCIPLE. Lord, how boundless is Your goodness, which You reserve for those who love You (Ps. 31:21) When I think of some devout Christians who frequent Your Sacrament with the greatest devotion and love, I feel ashamed and confounded that I approach Your Altar and the table of Holy Communion with so tepid and cold a heart, that I remain so dry and lacking in love; that my heart remains unkindled in Your presence, 0 God. Neither am I so strongly drawn nor lovingly disposed as many devout folk. For these, out of their ardent desire for Communion and heartfelt love for You, could not restrain their tears, but from the very depth of their souls longed both with heart and body for You, 0 God, the living Fountain (Jer.2:13; Ps.42:2; Rev. 7:17) In no other way could they appease or satisfy their hunger, but by receiving Your Body with all joy and eagerness of spirit.

0, how true was their burning faith - in itself a true and evident token of Your divine Presence ! For they truly know their Lord in the Breaking of Bread, whose hearts burn so ardently when Jesus walks with them. (Luke 24:32) Alas, such devotion and affection, such unfeigned love and fervour is seldom felt by me. 0 good and kind Jesus, have mercy on me and grant me Your poor mendicant at least sometimes to feel a measure of this heartfelt desire of Your love in sacred Communion, that my faith may be strengthened, that my hope in Your goodness may be fostered and that love once perfectly kindled, having tasted the Bread of Heaven, may never fail. Your mercy, 0 Lord, is boundless enough to grant me even this favour from which I long and when it shall please You, I pray You of Your grace and generosity to visit me with the spirit of fervour. For though I do not burn with so ardent a desire as those who are so supremely devoted to You, yet by Your grace I do long to have that great and burning desire and I beg and pray that I may have part with all Your true lovers and be numbered in their holy company.

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