LORD, INCREASE MY FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE IN YOUR REAL PRESENCE IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST.
Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor,
Deum tamen meum te confiteor…
Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see;
Yet thee confess my Lord and God to be.
Make me believe thee ever more and more,
In thee my hope, in thee my love to store.
(From Hymn Adoro te devote)
Really, the great good fortune of those who accompanied Our Lord, who saw him, listened to him and spoke to him, is just the same as our own. The deciding factor is faith. This is why Saint Teresa wrote that when she heard people say they wished they had lived when Christ walked on this earth, she would smile to herself, for she knew that we have him as truly with us in the Most Blessed Sacrament as people had him then, and wonder what more they could possibly want (cf St Teresa, The Way of Perfection, 34, 6).
And the holy Curé of Ars points out that our fortune is even greater than that of the people who lived with him during his life on earth, because they sometimes had to walk for hours or for days to find him, whilst we have him so close to us in every tabernacle (cf St Jean Vianney, (The Curé d’Ars), Sermon on Maundy Thursday). Normally we have to make very little effort to find Jesus himself.
In this life we see our Lord through the veils of faith, and one day, if we are faithful, we will see him in glory, in an ineffable vision. After this life all the veils will disappear so that we can see him face to face (St Augustine, In Catena Aurea VIII). Every eye will see him (Rev 1:7). Saint John tells us in the Apocalypse, and, again, his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face (Rev 22:4). Meanwhile, in this life, we believe in him and we love him without ever having seen him (cf 1 Pet 1:8). But one day we will see him with his glorified body, with those holy wounds that he showed to Thomas. Now we confess him as our Lord and as our God: My Lord and my God! we say so often to him. As we pray to him now we can say: Make me believe thee ever more and more. Give me a stronger faith. In thee my hope, in thee my love to store. May my hope become stronger and ever more cheerful, may I love you with my whole being.
Today, as we once again consider this closeness of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we make a resolution to live closely united to the nearest tabernacle. It would be helpful to know which tabernacle is closest to our place of work or to our home. Then we will always be able to relate in our hearts to his presence there: as we can when we are engaged in some sport. whilst we are travelling… for the company of our good Jesus is too good for us ever to forsake him and his most holy Mother (St Teresa, The Mansions, 6,7, 13). Mary is always beside her son.
Go perseveringly to the Tabernacle, either bodily or in your heart, so as to feel safe and calm: but also in order to feel loved.., and to love (St. Josemaria, The Forge, 116).
Excerpt from In Conversation with God, vol. 6, 45.2 available at scepterpublishers.org