Challoner’s Reflection on The Imitation of Christ1
BOOK FOUR: AN INVITATION TO HOLY COMMUNION
CHAPTER IV.: Many Blessings Are Given Those Who Receive Communion Worthily
Jesus Christ when about to quit the earth, promised to his disciples that he would send them the consoling Spirit; and it is this divine Spirit which is given to us in the sacrament of the New Law–the substantial love of the Father and of the Son. By an invisible operation, as sweet as it is powerful, He freely inclines our will to what is good, purifies it, and raises it to God. He is our strength: the Word is our light. Now, when we have in us Jesus Christ, we have the Word itself in us, and we participate in all the gifts which the Word and the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from Him, pour out incessantly on the sacred humanity of the Saviour, become one with us by the communion of his body and of his blood, of his soul and of his divinity, which are inseparable. In Him are all riches of fullness of understanding; all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (1 Colossians 2:2, 3): and He opens out those treasures to us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, whilst the sanctifying spirit consumes in us, by his divine flames, the last traces of sin, gives us, as it were, a foretaste of celestial happiness, and prepares us to enjoy it fully, when we shall have arrived at the happy term of our trials on this earth. Go then to the fountain of graces, go to the altar, go to Jesus: and to whom. Lord, shall we go? Thou hast the words if eternal life (John, 6:69). When languishing, Thou dost fortify us; when afflicted Thou dost console us; when troubled by the tempests which are within and without, thou dost rebuke the wind and there is made a great calm (Mark 4:39).
O Jesus, thy love presseth me (2 Corinthians 5:14), and my soul has grown faint in the ardour of uniting itself to Thee. That is ray entire desire. I have no other; I wish for Thee only, O my God! when shall I be able to say: My beloved to me and I to Him (Song of Solomon 2:16); it is not I who live, but Christ liveth in me (Galatians 2:20). Amen.
- Right Rev. R. Challoner, D.D., V.A., Imitation of Christ, Dublin: McGlashan and Gill, 1873 ↩