Holy Communion

Christ declares: “Unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye shall not have life in you.” (Jn 6:54)

Padre Quadrupani addresses three common excuses given for not receiving Holy Communion more frequently:

Some give the excuse that they have not adequately prepared to receive the Eucharist. Quadrupani replies: “Do not fear that you are ill-prepared for Holy Communion and abuse the Sacrament because in receiving it you are cold, indifferent, and devoid of feeling. This is a trial sent or permitted by God to test your faith and to advance you in merit.”

Others give the excuse that they are beset with temptations. To them, Quadrupani has this to say: “Never refrain from receiving the Holy Eucharist because you happen to be beset by temptations; this would be to capitulate to your enemy without offering any resistance. The more combats you have to sustain, the greater the necessity of providing yourself with the means of defence, and these are to be found in the Blessed Sacrament.”

Still others complain that receiving Holy Communion frequently does not make them any more virtuous. Quadrupani says to them: “Do not conclude that you derive no benefit from Holy Communion because you find no perceptible increase in your virtues. Consider that it at least serves to keep you in a state of grace. You give nourishment to your body every day but you do not pretend to say that it daily gains in strength. Does food appear useless to you on that account? Certainly not; for, though it fail to augment strength, it preserves it by repairing the constant waste. Now, this is precisely the case with the divine Food of our souls.”

The editor of Light and Peace addresses a misconception about the motive for receiving Holy Communion: “It is indeed an error to consider Holy Communion a reward of virtue, and, in a measure, a gauge of perfection, whereas it is above all a means to attain perfection, and the one pre-existing virtue required in order to employ this means is the desire to profit by it. Our divine Lord did not say: ‘Come to Me all ye who are perfect’: He said: ‘Come to me all ye who labor and are burdened’ (Mt 11:28).

Quotations from Carlo Giuseppe Quadrupani, Light and Peace: Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts and Allay Their Fears (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1898).

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