The gratitude we ought to have for God for giving us Himself in the Sacraments

March 30, 2022 • 3 min

#Doctrine #Exhortation #HolyCommunion

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 68
By Venerable Louis of Granada

It would be fitting to speak here of the sacraments, the instruments of justification, particularly of Baptism, and the divine light and principle of faith which it imprints on our souls. But as this subject has been more fully treated in another work, we will confine ourselves, for the present, to the Eucharist, that Sacrament of sacraments, which gives to us as our daily food and sovereign remedy God Himself.

He was offered once for us on the cross, but He is daily offered for us on the altar. “This is My Body,” Christ has declared; “do this for a commemoration of Me.” Oh! sacred Pledge of our salvation! Oh! incomparable Sacrifice! Oh! Victim of love! Oh! Bread of life! Oh! sweet and delicious Banquet! Oh! Food of kings! Oh! Manna containing all sweetness and delight! Who can fittingly praise Thee? Who can worthily receive Thee? Who can love and venerate Thee as Thou dost deserve? My soul faints at the thought of Thee; my lips are mute in Thy presence, for I cannot extol Thy marvels as I desire.

Had our Lord reserved this favor for the pure and innocent it would still be a mercy beyond our comprehension. But in His boundless love He does not refuse to descend into depraved hearts, or to pass through the hands of unworthy ministers who are the slaves of Satan and the victims of their unruly passions.

To reach the hearts of His friends and to bring them His divine consolations He submits to innumerable outrages and profanations. He was sold once in His mortal life, but in this august Sacrament He is unceasingly betrayed. The scorn and ignominy of His Passion afflicted Him only once, but in this sacred Banquet His love and goodness are daily insulted and outraged. Once He was nailed to the cross between two thieves, but in this Sacrament of love His enemies crucify Him a thousand times.

What return, then, can we make to a Master who seeks our good in so many ways? If servants obey and serve their masters for a paltry support; if soldiers from a like motive brave fire and sword, what do we not owe God, Who maintains us with this heavenly Food?

If God in the Old Law exacted so much gratitude from the Israelites for the manna, which, with all its excellence, was only corruptible food, what gratitude will He not expect for this Divine Nourishment, incorruptible in Itself, and conferring the same blessing on all who worthily receive It? If we owe Him so much for the food which preserves our bodily life, what return must we not make Him for the Food which preserves in us the life of grace?

And, finally, if our debt of gratitude be so great for being made children of Adam, what do we owe Him for making us children of God? For it cannot be denied, as Eusebius Emissenus observes, “that the day we are born to eternity is infinitely greater than the day which brings us forth to this world, with all its suffering and dangers.”

Here, then, dear Christian, is another motive which should induce you to serve God, another link in that chain which should bind you irrevocably to your Creator.

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