Thought for the Day – 21 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Even as our bodies need their daily sustenance of good to restore the energy which they have lost, so it is with out souls.
The nourishment of the soul, is the grace of God.
There is no better way of acquiring and increasing this grace, than by Holy Communion because, Communion gives us Jesus Himself, Who is the origin of grace.
Spiritual perfection consists in union with God.
We can achieve perfect union with God in Holy Communion, by means of which, we live the life of Jesus.
“He who eats me, he also shall live because of me.” (Jn 6:58)
Anyone who loves Jesus fervently, receives Holy Communion everyday.
If a man does not do this, it is a sign that he does not love Jesus perfectly.
The early Christians were “continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread in their houses;” (Cf Acts 2:46) in other words, they received Communion everyday.
It was Jesus, in the Blessed Eucharist Who nourished their faith and gave them the strength to endure martyrdom.
This custom prevailed in many places up to the time of St Jerome and St Augustine, who wrote “This is your daily bread; receive it daily in order to benefit daily from it” (De Verbo Domini, Serm 28).
To those who believe that they were unworthy to receive everyday, St Ambrose said: “A man who is unworthy to receive everyday, will still be unworthy in a year’s time” (Bk 5, De Sacramentis, c 4).
We should not stay away from daily Communion because of our unworthiness, nor because of our lapses into sin.
“Because I am always sinning,” said St Ambrose, “I am always in need of medicine” (Ibid).
Humility is the basic virtue necessary in a Christian but it should not be a reason for abstaining from Holy Communion.
St Thomas Aquinas commented that, although it may be pleasing to God to stay away from Holy Communion out of humility, He is far better pleased with the love and confidence of a soul, which receives Him. (Cf Summa Theologiae, III, q 8, a 10 ad 3).
The Church, like Jesus, desires us to receive Communion daily, although it only binds us under pain of sin to receive once a year during Paschaltide, in accordance with the decree of Innocent III, which was confirmed by the Council of Trent.
We are also required to receive the Blessed Eucharis, if we are in danger of death.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci