We should strive to grow in our love for Jesus who is truly Present in the most Holy Eucharist and this should be a life-time pursuit! Our conversion of heart, our sanctification, our interior peace and joy, our final perseverance in grace, depends on Jesus and He is truly and substantially present in the consecrated Host—in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
The following are concrete actions that we can take to fortify our love for the greatest of all Lovers, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Bread of Life!
1. READ JOHN CHAPTER SIX AND LEARN IT. One of the most important chapters in the Bible that refers to the Presence of Jesus as the Bread of Life is the Gospel of Saint John, Chapter Six. Try to read, pray over, and meditate on this sublime chapter of the preaching and teaching of Jesus in the discourse titled: THE BREAD OF LIFE DISCOURSE!
2. SPIRITUAL COMMUNIONS. Highly recommended by Saint Alphonsus and many other saints is the practice of making Spiritual Communions. They can be made in any time and any place, using many different words of expression. Your fundamental desire should be to receive Jesus, in a spiritual but profound way, into the depths of your heart, to be constantly united to the Lord Jesus, the Bread of Life.
3. READ IMITATION OF CHRIST CHAPTER FOUR. One of the greatest classics ever written is The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. It was one of the favorites of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Therese, and surely other saints. The book can be divided into four books. The last book deals specifically with the Mass, Holy Communion, the Eucharist, the Priest, and many other topics pertinent to growing and falling in love with the Eucharist. Purchase it, read it, and love it!
4. DIARY OF SAINT FAUSTINA—BOOK SIX. Another classic is that of the Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul by Saint Faustina Kowalska, who was called the Secretary of Divine Mercy. This literary classic and masterpiece can be divided into six books. Like The Imitation of Christ, the last book of the Diary deals with the way that Saint Faustina would prepare her soul to receive the Eucharist, the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. This will profit you greatly in your own preparation and reception of this greatest of all Sacraments— the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus!
5. VISIT THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. Friends enjoy visiting with each other and as often as possible. If indeed Jesus is our Best of Friends, then we should long to make frequent visits. Remember the short poem with respect to making Eucharistic visits in Catholic Churches: Whenever I see a church, I stop to make a visit; so that when I die, the Lord won’t say “Who is it?” Stop what you are doing! Enter the Church and greet the Lord! Thank the Lord Jesus and tell Him how much you love Him!
6. FIFTEEN MINUTES WITH JESUS. There is a wonderful little booklet: Fifteen Minutes with Jesus. A short but impressive booklet, it can serve as a great platform to enter into dialogue and talk with Jesus as your Best Friend. Indeed, Jesus wants to be your Best Friend. He is waiting for you right now!
7. HOLY HOUR OF REPARATION. Given that we are all sinners, our family members are sinners, many souls are heading full-force toward the precipice, and the Church is going through a great state of turmoil, now more than ever we should make a concerted effort to be with the Lord praying for mercy, pardon, conversion, and salvation. The inhabitants of Nineveh were saved by the preaching of Jonah. The King called for fasting and penance, and God, seeing the penitent hearts in the city, spared Nineveh from destruction. Equally important for us in this time of Ecclesial storm is to make Holy Hours of Reparation, begging mercy for us and for the whole world! “For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
8. NOVENA OF MASSES FOR VARIOUS INTENTIONS. One of the greatest gifts anybody can give, or for that matter receive, is that of prayer. By far, the greatest prayer that can be offered and received is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Indeed, it is the Offering of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus to the Eternal Father for the salvation of the entire world. This is something you can do: Go to Mass for nine consecutive days and offer the Mass and your reception of Holy Communion for a specific person, and even for a specific intention. The intentions are limitless! Examples: For the conversion of sinners; that your son might return to the practice of the faith; that your daughter might get married in the Church; that your husband might give up drinking; that your brother in jail might go to confession; that some young man might say Yes to a vocation to the priesthood! The key is that for nine days in a row you attend Holy Mass and receive Jesus in Holy Communion, all offered for your specific intention. Innumerable graces can flow from this novena of Masses and Holy Communions. Why not start today? God will bless you and others most abundantly!
9. THE GENUFLECTION. Even though it may be a small and almost inconspicuous gesture, the genuflection has immense importance and value! Bending your right knee and going all the way down to touch it to the ground, is a corporal gesture that is made when passing in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Its meaning? This was done in the Middle Ages as a gesture of homage or tribute to a King or Queen. In a parallel, but very real sense, Jesus is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Therefore, even more should Jesus be honored and praised by a reverential genuflection!!! The greater the person, the more, in justice, we owe him. Consequently we owe Jesus the Lord the greatest dignity and respect by even our corporal postures and gestures.
10. BRING WANDERING SHEEP TO THE EUCHARISTIC LORD. Be a Eucharistic Apostle and bring a wandering sheep back to the fold by inviting this Prodigal Son/Daughter to Church. Go the whole nine yards! Invite them to Church first to make a good Confession, and then to return once again to the reception of Jesus in Holy Communion! Saint James reminds us that if we bring back a wandering soul, we save our own soul and expiate a multitude of sins. (James 5: 19-20) We merit our own salvation and less time in Purgatory—Go for it!
Above are ten simple suggestions on how you can fortify your spiritual life by fortifying your love and devotion to Jesus, the Bread of Life and the Savior of the world! May Our Lady who said YES to God and received Jesus into her soul intercede for us!