“I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled?” (Luke xii 49 from the Douay-Rheims)
In my last entry I wrote:
As the Sanctifying Grace of the Church is spurned on countless fronts, we develop a world civilisation which is ever more materialistic and beginning to literally burn …
The idea that we need less, rather than more of the Holy Sacraments seems to me perhaps more dangerous today than ever. The more I pray and ponder, the more I feel the need for recognising a certain FIRE that it seems to me is enkindled by frequent reception of the Sacraments.
That is, it seems to me, that frequent reception of the Sacraments among other things, is vitalising and strengthening for the Good.
Now it might be objected: Is there any need to point out the Sanctifying Fire of Frequent Communion?
For it is surely evident on numerous fronts. First and most obviously, it should be apparent that whilst such Holy Sacraments as Confirmation and Holy Orders are given once and for all, it is clear with other Sacraments that the Grace they confer is not the same: It can and does need to be augmented.
And how could an intended, frequent augmentation of the Real Presence of Christ be anything other than vitalising and strengthening?
Nonetheless, I think the need exists on numerous fronts to proclaim this Sacred Fire.
For awareness of it is being buried, not only outside the Church, but also within it (as with a liturgy that does little indeed to signal that anything out of the ordinary is happening at the altar).
And I think the Sacred Fire must be advocated on several fronts simultaneously. There is for example, the kind of theological reasoning that I have just employed.
But there are other arguments. For instance, there is the testimony of the Saints. Here then as a single example, is what that greatest of twentieth century Saints, Padre Pio said:
The surest means of remaining immune to the pestiferous disease that surrounds us is to fortify ourselves with Eucharistic food.
There is also the fact that St. Pius X so stressed the importance of frequent communion (see here).
But yet another line of advocating the Sacred Fire engendered by frequent reception is to share of one’s personal experience.
To share of one’s personal experience! I would like to indicate here my gratitude to all those who, since I became a Catholic ten years ago, have spoken to me in private of their personal experience of this Sacred Fire.
Their personal testimony has certainly helped me. I have heard very beautiful and on occasion, amazing things …
Thus meagre as it might be in comparison with theological reasoning and the testimony of Saints, I would like to venture here my own personal testiment, in the hope that it might help someone, somewhere.
I feel enlivened, succoured, helped more than I can ever say by daily reception. There is a subtle, yet palpable feeling often present on receiving the Sacrament.
It is so subtle as to evade easy definition. But one word that comes is wholesomeness …
It is as though I feel something very, very wholesome has been added into me. Then there is that word peace. In the modern liturgy how banal do these words often sound: “Peace be with you.” Yet in the Peace of Christ, there is nothing banal at all ….
And how I miss this wholesomeness, this peace when I miss Holy Communion. A day suffices to register the loss. But those times where the absence of the Sacrament has been forced for several days – sometimes due to illness – how different do I feel then.
The loss can feel particularly acute. Something is palpably, palpably MISSING in my life.
Speaking personally, I would also like to speak of suffering. There are times in my life, like in all lives, where I have had to bear great fear, desperation, I have felt bereft …
And how helped I have felt then by the daily reception of this Sacrament. I have felt very much strengthened and given courage to proceed.
If you dear Reader, are a Catholic reading these words and you are suffering a great burden and you do not know the comforting and strengthening of daily communion, may I suggest an experiment to you?
May I suggest that you resolve to go to daily Communion for an extended period, perhaps two weeks or three. And then to review your experience, afterwards. If you are like me, this review may reveal something of life-changing import.
But if you are like me, dear Reader, you may also find that the daily experience of many an inane celebration of the new Mass in the vernacular difficult to bear.
(I think that those who do not see a problem with the new liturgy are often those who do not endure it daily!)
Because of this global tragedy, I will say that that our Links page has an updated listing of sites where the Traditional Latin Mass can be found throughout the world.
I will also note that if you are in a city, you may well have a variety of Novus Ordos to choose from. Though it is tragically hard to find good liturgy on a Sunday, you may find in the weekdays especially, a Novus Ordo priest celebrating a simple twenty-five minute Mass with dignity and reverence.
For standing against the tide, deep gratitude is owed to such priests I believe and if you are suffering, dear Unknown Friend, you may find that a daily Novus Ordo costs little of your time, yet will produce the most remarkable effects in your soul …
Thus dear Reader, this is my individual recommendation to you, if you do not know first-hand the power of daily Communion.
But I would like to conclude these words on the global note, with which I began.
We live in a time of deepening materialism. This deepening materialism threatens to destroy us. Where Secularists, New Agers or even so-called “Christian Esotericists” would have us spurn or at very least relativise the Power of the Sacraments, I am asking myself more deeply than ever, if we who are Catholic and who know this sacred fire, need to do all that we can, not only to call people to the Church, but to call them to the precious fire of very frequent communion.
For it seems to me that this kind of very frequent communion could be one of the greatest LEAVENS for our society in a path of descent …