|(Source: Wikimedia Commons)|
AFTER the Sacrifice of the Mass and the reception of Holy Communion, visiting the Blessed Sacrament is one of the richest sources of grace for souls. The memorable words of Pope St. Pius X, the Pope of the Eucharist, show us clearly how he regarded such visits: "The daily adoration or visit to the Blessed Sacrament is the practice which is the fountainhead of all devotional works." In these daily visits, therefore, St. Pius X recognized the root of Eucharistic devotions.
By daily visiting the Blessed Sacrament, we follow the footsteps of the first Christians. In the catacombs were frequently found representations of the shepherds and the Magi kneeling before the Infant Jesus. Animated by the living faith that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, with Divinity and Humanity, with Body and Soul, with Flesh and Blood, these early Christians said with the shepherds, "Let us go to Bethlehem"; with the Magi, "falling down they adored him." (Matt. 2:11).
In the first ages of the Church, as Justin, Tertullian and other spiritual writers relate, the faithful were permitted to take the Sacred Hosts with them to their homes, so that if captured for martyrdom, they might yet communicate. Even on their journeys these faithful Christians did not wish to be separated from their Lord, and for this reason they carried the Holy Eucharist with them, so that, although far from a priest or church, they could still venerate the Blessed Sacrament.
Interesting anecdotes could be mentioned of the hermits who took the Holy Eucharist with them into the desert. And nowadays, alas, so many Christians who live near the church do not find a moment's time to pay a visit to their Lord! But they have plenty of leisure for worldly visits, for useless conversations or harmful reading.
To them apply the words which St. John Chrysostom addressed to his people, "What excuse shall we have, or how shall we obtain pardon, if we consider it too much to go to Jesus, who descended from Heaven for our sake? Those foreign pagan kings hastened thither from Persia to see Him who lay in the manger; and thou, 0 Christian, canst thou not spare a few moments to enjoy this heavenly spectacle?"
How we shall regret our negligence at the hour of death! How we shall wish that we had oftener visited our Judge who dwells in the Blessed Sacrament!
(From The Holy Eucharist Our All by Father Lukas Etlin, O.S.B.)