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Nishant Xavier

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The Necessity of Daily and Frequent Communion

To impress upon and reinforce on our minds how completely necessary it is for our human frailty to continually have and seek Holy Communion with Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, with His Holy Body and Precious Blood, the Great Saints, the Great Doctors, the Great Popes, the Great Councils, and above all, Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, burning with Infinite Love, commands us to receive Him often:

1. St. Alphonsus [1] tells us,

"The Communion is called the bread of heaven; because as the body cannot live without earthly food, so the soul cannot live without this celestial bread. Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (John, vi, 54). But on the other hand, to those who frequently eat this bread, is promised eternal life. If any man eat of this bread he shall live forever (John, vi, 52). Hence the Council of Trent calls the Communion a medicine which delivers us from venial, and preserves us from mortal sins (Sess. 13, cap. 2)."

2. Pope St. Pius X decreed: [2]

"Accordingly, the Sacred Congregation of the Council, in a Plenary Session held on December 16,1905, submitted this matter to a very careful study, and after sedulously examining the reasons adduced on either side, determined and declared as follows:

1. Frequent and daily Communion, as a practice most earnestly desired by Christ our Lord and by the Catholic Church, should be open to all the faithful, of whatever rank and condition of life; so that no one who is in the state of grace, and who approaches the Holy Table with a right and devout intention (recta piaque mente) can be prohibited therefrom.

2. A right intention consists in this: that he who approaches the Holy Table should do so, not out of routine, or vain glory, or human respect, but that he wish to please God, to be more closely united with Him by charity, and to have recourse to this divine remedy for his weakness and defects.

3. Although it is especially fitting that those who receive Communion frequently or daily should be free from venial sins, at least from such as are fully deliberate, and from any affection thereto, nevertheless, it is sufficient that they be free from mortal sin, with the purpose of never sinning in the future; and if they have this sincere purpose, it is impossible [but] that daily communicants should gradually free themselves even from venial sins, and from all affection thereto.

4. Since, however, the Sacraments of the New Law, though they produce their effect ex  opere operato, nevertheless, produce a great effect in proportion as the dispositions of the recipient are better, therefore, one should take care that Holy Communion be preceded by careful preparation, and followed by an appropriate thanksgiving, according to each one's strength, circumstances and duties."

3. And Fr. Michael Mueller beautifully reminds us: " When a lawgiver wishes to insure the observance of a law, he promises rewards to those who keep the law and threatens with punishment those who violate it. And the greatness of these rewards and punishments is the measure of the importance which he attaches to the law. Now consider what Our Lord has done to urge us to receive Him frequently in the Blessed Sacrament. Not content with giving us the bare precept, "Take and eat, for this is My Body."

He has added thereto the strongest inducements. What more could He do to prevail upon us to receive Him than to promise us Heaven if we do so. "He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood," says He, "shall have life everlasting." On the other hand, He threatens us with Hell if we refuse. "Amen, Amen, I say unto you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you." Moreover, as He threatens with eternal torments those who never receive Him, or who do not receive Him when the precept of Communion requires it, so He also punishes, though less severely, those who from negligence and indifference refuse to receive Holy Communion as often as their state of life demands.

While St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi was praying one day before the Blessed Sacrament, she saw one of her deceased sisters in the choir, completely enveloped in a robe of fire and reverently adoring the Blessed Sacrament. By this the Saint was given to understand that the deceased nun was in Purgatory and that in penance she was to wear that mantle of fire and to adore the Blessed Sacrament for one hour every day-----because in her lifetime she had often, through negligence, omitted to receive Holy Communion. Now what do all these invitations, these promises, these rewards and punishments prove? What, but the unutterable desire of Jesus Christ to unite Himself to us in Holy Communion. He seems in a manner to force us to receive Him. He makes our temporal and eternal welfare depend on our receiving Him, and thus makes use of our natural desire for happiness to bring us to His Altar. He seems to say, "If you do not receive Me, you shall have no health, no strength or vigor, no comfort, peace or rest, no courage, zeal or devotion; you will be vehemently assailed by temptations, which you will not have strength to resist; you will commit mortal sin, lose My grace and friendship, and becoming a slave of the devil, you will finally fall into Hell and be unhappy forever." [3]

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