O Blessed Host,
take up Your dwelling within my soul,
O Thou, my heart’s purest love!
With Your brilliance the darkness dispel.
Refuse not Your grace to a humble heart.
O Blessed Host,
enchantment of all Heaven,
though Your beauty be veiled
and captured in a crumb of bread,
strong faith tears away that veil.
– Diary of St Faustina, para.159
Visiting my parish Church this afternoon, I saw the booklets all laid out for the First Holy Communions which will take place tomorrow.
The children will be greatly excited at the prospect of receiving the Lord in Holy Communion for the very first time. Much preparation will have gone into this event, so that the children are clear on Who they are receiving and welcoming into their hearts. Dressed in white, this will symbolise the purity of their hearts on this very special day, those hearts ready and willing to receive the Divine Visitor.
For many of us, somewhere along the line we lose this sense of interior joy and anticipation at the thought of receiving the Lord in the Eucharist. Indeed, we can become blasé even to the extent that we give little real thought to the Lord Who is about to come into our hearts and souls. And then we wonder why Holy Communion has little real meaning for us.
How did we come to this point? How did we manage to lose something so deeply precious? How do we regain what we have lost?
Perhaps, in her Diary, Saint Faustina gives us a clue.
Her habit was to be very explicitly mindful of Whom she was about to receive. She would speak to the Lord before, particularly during, and again after, receiving Him in the Host. Her Diary is filled with little paragraphs about the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and her dispositions at the time of Holy Communion. She would ask the Lord for a great many graces, she would converse intimately with Him as though with a deeply-loved and trusted Friend, and she would lay before Him all that was in her heart, concerning herself and all those dear to her – her family, Sisters in religion, her nation, and the sinners who featured so often in her prayers. And she did all of this with the firm conviction that the Lord in that little white Host was listening to every word; that He was inclined to grant every grace She asked for; that in that tiny fragment of Bread was contained the Lord Whom the Heavens cannot contain.
Thinking of the little children ready to make their First Holy Communion, let us think back to the time of our own First Communion and how our hearts felt on that day. Mindful of this, and of the interior dispositions of St Faustina, let us – with confidence – ask the Lord for the grace of a simple and pure faith in receiving Him, that we might do so well, as He deserves.