As our brothers Adam and Patrick prepare for their ordination to the priesthood, we turn to our Blessed founder, Fr. Basil Moreau, to reflect on his preaching regarding the holy gifts soon to be entrusted to them.
The soul of a religious as the temple of God , Circular Letter 23 – January 4, 1845
The rearing of this temple of stone [the conventual church], however would only sadden me if, as it rises, it were not the image of the invisible and spiritual edifice which all of us are bound to build and of which we are to be the living stones. Faith, first of all, has laid the foundations. It is for hope to lift them up to heaven, for chastity to clothe its walls with dazzling whiteness, for obedience to unify all the parts, for charity to crown the complete edifice. May the virtues of fortitude, temperance, prudence, and justice be its four unshakable columns.
In this temple there must also be an altar, where we may offer spiritual sacrifices through the immolation of our carnal desires. Let us be the tabernacle where God dwells since “His kingdom is within us.” In our hearts, may the mysterious lamp be fed unceasingly by the oil of good works, and may it be kept constantly burning. Through the prayers prescribed by our rule, may our hearts exhale the aroma of pure incense, any may our guardian angels bear them up to the very throne of the Lamb without stain. Finally, let us heed within us the preaching of the Holy Spirit by the help of His grace, and let us always bear in mind that, like the visible temple which is rising on the grounds of Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix and which will soon be consecrated, we too have received our consecration in the waters of baptism, and were stamped with the seal of the children of God.
From a sermon on the Institution of the Eucharist
O my Savior, this [Blessed Sacrament] is no figure, no representation, no part of yourself. It is your whole person, with all your satisfaction for sin and your merit, which you offered for me as well as for your apostles, because you gave them and their successors in the priesthood through all the centuries to come the power to change bread and wine into your body and blood. You bid them and us to eat this bread and drink this chalice to “show the death of the Lord, until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:26) O incomprehensible invention of your wisdom, power, and love!
My Jesus, teach me how to love. Teach me to use each sacramental union with you as a preparation for the next, so that when my last Holy Communion comes I may but exchange one heaven for another, the heaven of you in my heart for the heaven in which I shall see you in all your beauty face-to-face. Amen.
from a meditation on the Corpus Christi procession
The Lord is going to be present as a king in the midst of his subjects, as a father among his children, and as a shepherd reviewing his flock. What do I mean? He is going to come forward as a conqueror in the midst of an army drawn up for battle but for totally peaceful ends in view. So, then, look at his retinue: the leaders of the world plus his ministers go ahead of him and walk with him; some wealthy people humbly follow behind him and bow in his presence; people crowd around him just as in the days of his life on earth. All is subdued in humble submission. Everything is submissive before him, proclaiming his splendor and majesty: the streets are strewn with flowers, houses all decorated, altars set up along his path, the canopy over him, the swinging of censers, the sound of church bells, the harmonious sound of voices and instruments.
What, then, is still missing in this triumph of his? Ah, the only thing that he desires the most and without which all this magnificent display is nothing in his eyes: the realm of our hearts. Let us be filled, therefore, with the dispositions we need for accompanying the most Blessed Sacrament, dispositions which I sum up in three principal ones: a living faith, a grateful love, and a spirit of sacrifice that brings us to make just amends to our Lord.