Ave Maria Meditations
Our Lord’s Last Will is expressed in His words spoken shortly before He began His Sacred Passion: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remain on the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me” (John 15:4). This union with Christ is made perfect in Holy Communion. Hence Holy Communion is God’s best means of sanctifying you.
But you may remain closely united with Jesus even after Holy Communion. The act of Communion is passing, but the effect it produces, namely, union with Christ, is meant to be permanent. Jesus does not dwell with you by His bodily presence, yet He does so by the outpourings of His love, by the lights and graces He sends you without ceasing from the tabernacle.
It is by visits to the Blessed Sacrament that you open your soul to His transforming action. Share with Him your joys and sorrows, your feelings and affections, your plans and desires. Youe whole life is meant to be a sharing with Christ, gradually transforming you into Christ. This is the marvelous effect of prayer before the tabernacle.
Jesus wishes to be your friend in the Blessed Sacrament. There is always something lacking in friendship that is only human. You need His divine friendship, for there are times when you are very much alone, when everyone seems weary of you, when you are discouraged. But Christ is close to you in the tabernacle as your best friend, as your companion in exile, with a heart, human like your own; a heart that can understand your sorrows and problems, since it has experienced all that you must bear. His heart can sympathize with you and befriend you in your hour of need; He can love you with the love of the best of friends.
Like a real furnace of fire His heart burns all for you with a love that knows no end because it has its source in the depths of Godhead-all for you, as if there were no other to share its infinite warmth. Not all the tender affection He pours out upon countless other souls lessens His love for you. Even when you forget Him, He thinks of you; even when you offend or disappoint Him, He sacrifices Himself for you at Mass; when you have trials, He is ready to console and strengthen you.
St. Peter Julian Eymard