The most solemn moments of your life are those you spend in thanksgiving, when the King of Heaven and earth, your Savior and your Judge, is yours, fully inclined to grant all you ask of Him…
|(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)|
Devote half an hour, if possible, to this thanksgiving, or, at the very least, fifteen minutes. Rather than abridge your thanksgiving, it would be better, if necessary, to shorten your preparation instead; for there is no more holy, no more salutary, moment for you than when you possess Jesus in your body and in your soul.
The temptation often comes to shorten our thanksgiving. The Devil knows its value, and our nature, our self-love, shrinks from its effects. Determine, therefore, what the duration of your thanksgiving is to be, and never subtract a moment from it without a pressing reason.
Thanksgiving is absolutely necessary if the act of Communion, so holy, is not to degenerate into a mere pious habit. ‘Be convinced,’ said St. John Baptist de la Salle to his religious, ‘that there is in all your life no more precious time than that of Holy Communion and the moments immediately following, during which you have the happiness to be able to speak face-to-face, heart-to-heart, with Jesus.’
In the time of thanksgiving, then, the soul finds opportunity to enjoy the Savior, whom it has received and possesses, to pay homage to Him for His love, and to taste at the same time the comforting sweetness of this happy possession. This activity, be assured, is neither a spiritual self-seeking, nor the indulgence of a more or less mystical sensuality; it is the fulfillment of a twofold duty: that which we owe to the divine Host of our Communion, who certainly deserves that we appreciate and enjoy His presence, and that which the soul owes to itself - to find strength and holy joy and gladness in the delights of the richly laden table set forth for it by the heavenly King.
(St. Peter Julian Eymard from How To Get More Out of Holy Communion)