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The closest we come to heaven on earth is being united with Christ Jesus at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our disposition should be that of the psalmist, who says, "As the deer longs for flowing water, so my soul longs for you, O God. " Jesus the Beloved waits for us in the tabernacle. He comes to us in Holy Communion. He gazes on us with love from the eye of the monstrance. Let us listen to the saints whose great love for Jesus in the Eucharist was a magnet drawing them to sanctity.

St. Faustina: [The apostle of Divine Mercy knew that Jesus in Holy Communion is the source of spiritual life. Daily Mass gives us the strength to meet the challenges of the day.] "Every morning during meditation I prepare myself for the whole day's struggle. Holy Communion assures me that I will win the victory; and so it is. This Bread of the Strong gives me all the strength I need to carry on my mission and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. The courage and strength that are in me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me-it is the Eucharist."

Padre Pio: "My heart feels as if it were being drawn by a superior force each morning just before uniting with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. I have such a thirst and hunger before receiving Him that it's a wonder I don't die of anxiety. I was hardly able to reach the Divine Prisoner in order to celebrate Mass. When Mass ended I remained with Jesus to render Him thanks. My thirst and hunger do not diminish after I have received Him in the Blessed Sacrament, but rather, increase steadily. Oh, how sweet was the conversation I held with Paradise this morning. The heart of Jesus and my own, if you will pardon the expression, fused. They were no longer two hearts beating but only one. My heart disappeared as if it were a drop in the ocean." [From Jesus Our Eucharistic Love by Fr. Stefano Manelli]

St. Alphonsus Liguori: [The founder of the Redemptorists wrote Visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament and Blessed Virgin Mary in 1745. His book inflamed the hearts of the people of his day. May it do the same for us.] "Our loving Shepherd gave his life for us, his sheep. But he would not let even death sever himself from us. 'Here I am, my sheep,' he says. 1 have remained on earth in this sacrament to shepherd you through every day of your lives. Here you can run to me whenever you need help and a word of comfort. I will not leave you until time comes to an end, until your days on earth are done. '...My lovable Savior, I have come to visit you to show my love. But when you visit my soul in Holy Communion, you bring a love far greater than mine! Not only do you visit me, you become my food; you become one with me. At that thrilling moment I can truthfully whisper: 'Now, my Jesus, you are all mine.' You offer yourself completely to me; it is only reasonable that I make a gift of myself to you. But I am nothing... you are God! When, 0 God of love, will my actions begin to speak louder than my words? You can make it happen. Deepen my trust in you by the merits of your blood. Then, before death calls, perhaps I will belong entirely to you and no longer to myself."

St. Maximilian Kolbe: [As a student, the martyr of Auschwitz made frequent visits to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Did this lay the foundation that enabled him to die for another and turn a death bunker into a chapel of grace?] "Saint Maximilian M. Kolbe, apostle of the Immaculate Virgin, used to make an average of ten visits a day to the Blessed Sacrament-a practice he began as a young student. During the school year, during the intervals between classes, he would hasten to the chapel so that in the mornings he managed to make five visits to Jesus. During the rest of the day he made five more visits. Among these, one was what he considered always a compulsory stop during the afternoon walk. It was in a church (in Rome) where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed." [From Jesus Our Eucharistic Lord by Fr. Stefano Manelli]

Pope John XXIII: [No matter how much we desire to please God, we know only too well our failings and imperfections. We are in good company. Let us walk in the footsteps of the young seminarian, Angelo Roncalli, who became pope] "Today hardly any invocations. As for the visit, I might as well not have made it-and this is the reason: Jesus seems almost a stranger to me. My great failings, as I have said before, are thoughtlessness and lack of presence of mind. If I were to think over more carefully the resolutions I am continually making, if I made my general and particular examinations [of conscience] according to the principles I have in writing, and about which I have read so much in Rodriguez, I should certainly get on a little faster and be aware of this; instead I am just like a snail, and cannot feel myself moving." [From Journal of a Soul]

St. Peter Julian Eymard: [Founder of the Congregation of Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Peter dedicated his life to promoting the Eucharistic reign of Christ. He burned with zeal to bring all men to their knees before the Blessed Sacrament.] "Here, dear Jesus, is my life. Behold me ready to eat stones and to die abandoned, just so that I may succeed in erecting a throne for Thee and give Thee a family of friends, a nation of adorers."

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