Christ in the Tabernacle

Christ With the Host by Paolo da San Leocadio

Father Benson reminds us that “in the Blessed Sacrament [Christ] actually conveys to us gifts which we cannot otherwise claim. He brings near to us, and unites to us, not only His Divinity, but that same dear and adorable Human Nature which He assumed on earth for this very purpose.”

“Jesus Christ, then, dwells in our tabernacles to-day as surely as He dwelt in Nazareth, and in the very same Human Nature; and He dwells there, largely, for this very purpose—that He may make Himself accessible to all who know Him interiorly and desire to know Him more perfectly.”

“Could there be anything more characteristic of the Christ Who dwells in the heart, than that He Who is so simple interiorly, Who lies patiently within the chamber of the soul, should lie also in the realm without, desiring us to acknowledge Him not only in ourselves, but outside ourselves; not only in interior consciousness, but also, in a sense, in that very realm of space and time which so often seems to obscure His Presence in the world?”

“It is in this manner, then, that He fulfils that essential of true Friendship, which we call Humility. He places Himself at the mercy of the world whom He desires to win for Himself.”

“In the Sacrifice of the Mass He presents Himself before the world, as well as before the eyes of the Eternal Father, in the same significance as that in which He hung upon the Cross, performing the same act which He did once for all, the same act by which He displayed that passion of friendship in whose name He claims our hearts.”

“The Tabernacle, then, presents Christ to us as Friend; the altar presents Him performing before our eyes that eternal act by which He wins in His Humanity the right to demand our friendship.”

Quotations from Robert Hugh Benson, The Friendship of Christ (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912).

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