Holy Communion

August 8, 1993
Brother John Raymond

	A Eucharistic life is an indespensible aid to one's life of
 prayer. Holy Communion is the greatest act of intimacy one can have
 with Jesus. He gave us this Sacrament solely from the immense and
 burning love He has for each one of us. Jesus wanted to be as close
 to us as possible - to live among us and be received into us. One
 should make it a point to receive Jesus in Holy Communion as often
 as possible. Daily Mass goers witness the need they have for Holy
 Communion and would never begin their day without receiving Jesus.
 St. Alphonsus Liguori called Holy Communion the strength of the
 weak. Daily Mass goers experience a new found strength in their
 souls from Holy Communion. They are stronger in resisting the many
 temptations that this world offers us. The Church gives us only two
 conditions for frequent Holy Communion:
	1) We must be free from mortal sin.(Which can be forgiven by a
 sincere Confession)
	2) We must desire to grow in our relationship with Jesus.
With the New Code of Canon Law finished in 1983 the Church now allows
 us to receive Holy Communion twice a day, as long as we attend the
 whole of the second Mass.
	Jesus taught us the Our Father. In this prayer we pray for our
 daily bread. Is Jesus only referring to our bodily sustenance? Many
 great teachers of the Church including St. Thomas Aquinas see this
 supplication as including the sustenance of our souls - the Holy
 Eucharist. So Jesus taught us by this prayer that God wishes His
 children to receive Holy Communion as often as possible - ideally,
 daily. It is natural for us to feel weak when we have not eaten. We
 eat daily to sustain our bodily life. How much more do we need
 spiritual food to sustain our soul.
	The Church wants us to spend some time in thanksgiving after
 receiving Holy Communion. We are living tabernacles of Our Lord for
 at least 15 minutes after we receive Him. This is the time really to
 talk to Our Lord heart to Heart. Ideally, we should remain after
 Mass to spend some quiet time with Jesus. If this is not possible
 then we should try to be attentive to His Presence within us as best
 we can. This time is a tremendous opportunity to become very
 intimate with Jesus and receive many favors from Him. You can even
 make it in your car - sometimes this is the only quiet place one can
	So many of the Saints received the greatest graces of their
 lives during the quiet moments of their thanksgiving. They were
 known to spend long periods of time in thanksgiving. Many had the
 grace of hearing the voice of Our Lord speak to them. Jesus desired
 so much to be united to their souls through Holy Communion that
 sometimes the Sacred Host actually flew through the air and came to
 rest on their tongues.
	So far I have been talking about the benefits we receive from
 Holy Communion. I would like to mention here that one gives Jesus
 great happiness by receiving Holy Communion. Jesus throughout the
 centuries has focused on one thing which He desires most from us -
 love. Jesus has an intense desire to be loved by us. He has an
 intense desire to be united with us in Holy Communion. That is one
 of the qualities of true love - the desire to be united with the
 beloved. So one should realize that not only does one benefit
 themselves from Holy Communion but one is giving Jesus great
 happiness also.
	The great Father of the Church St. Augustine says that normally
 when we eat food it is transformed into ourselves. But he says that
 when we receive Holy Communion we are the ones transformed - we
 become like Jesus. So let us take advantage of frequent if not daily
 reception of Holy Communion so that we may grow in our life of
 prayer or union with Jesus.