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Friday, February 24, 2012
Holy Communion in Lent: The Most Pleasing to God
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From
The Liturgical Year
by Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.

Of all the works whereby a Christian can sanctify the time of Lent, there is none so pleasing to God as to assist at the holy sacrifice of the Mass, in which is offered the Victim of man’s salvation. But now that his own unworthiness is more than ever evident to him, ought he to abstain from partaking, by Holy Communion, of this life-giving and purifying Host? Such is not our Saviour’s will. He came down from heaven, not to judge, but to save us. He knows how long and rugged is the road we have to traverse, before we reach that happy day, on which we shall rest with Him, in the joy of His Resurrection. He has compassion on us; He fears lest we faint in the way; and He, therefore, offers us the divine food, which gives light and strength to our souls, and refreshes them in their toil. We feel that our hearts are not yet pure enough; let us then, with a humble and contrite heart, go to Him, who has come that He may restore to our souls their original beauty. Let us, at all times, remember the solemn injunction which this Saviour so graciously deigned to give us: “Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, ye shall not have life in you.”

If, therefore, sin has no longer dominion over us; if we have destroyed it by true sorrow and sincere confession, made efficacious by the absolution of God’s priest: let us not deprive ourselves of the Bread of life, no matter how great soever our infirmities may seem; for it is for us that our Jesus has prepared the feast. If we feel that the chains of sin are still upon us; if by self-examination made with the light of the truth that is now granted to us, we discover in our souls certain stains, which the false principles of the world and too easy a conscience have hitherto made us overlook; let us lose no time, let us make a good confession: and when we have made our peace with the God mercy, let us approach the holy Table, and receive the pledge of our reconciliation.

Yes, let us go to Holy Communion, during this season of Lent, with the most heart-felt conviction of our unworthiness. It may be that hitherto we have sometimes gone with too much familiarity, on account of our not sufficiently understanding our nothing ness, our misery, and the infinite holiness of the God who thus unites Himself with His sinful creatures. Henceforth, our heart shall be more truthful; blending together the two sentiments of humility and confidence, we will say, with an honest conviction, those words of the centurion of the Gospel, which the Church puts upon our lips, when she is distributing to us the Bread of life: “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter under my roof; say but the word, and my soul shall be healed.”

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