Columba Marmion: Christ Must Reign in Our Hearts, and All Within Us Must Be Subject to Him Monday, May 21 2012 

You will notice that during Paschal time, the Church frequently speaks to us of life, not only because Christ, by His Resurrection, has vanquished death, but above all because He has reopened to souls the fountains of eternal life.

It is in Christ that we find this life: Ego sum vita [I am the life] (Jn. XIV, 6).

This is why, likewise frequently, the Church makes us read over again on these blessed days, the parable of the Vine: “I the vine,” says Jesus, “you are the branches; abide in Me and I in you, for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. XV, 4-5).

We must abide in Christ and He in us, in order that we may bear much fruit (Cf. Jn. 5).

How is this accomplished?

By His grace, by the faith that we have in Him, and by the virtues whereof He is the Exemplar and which we imitate.

When, having renounced sin, we die to ourselves, as the grain of wheat dies in the earth before producing fruitful ears (Jn. XII, 25),

when we no longer act save under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and in conformity with the precepts and maxims of the Gospel of Jesus,

then it is Christ’s divine life that blossoms forth in our souls, it is Christ Who lives in us: Vivo ego, jam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus [I live, yet it is not I who live, but Christ Who lives in me] (Gal. II, 20).

Such is the ideal of perfection: Viventes Deo in Christo Jesu [living unto to God in Christ Jesus].

We cannot attain it in a day; holiness, ingrafted in us at baptism, is only developed little by little, by successive stages.

Let us try to act in such a way that each Easter, each day of this blessed season which extends from the Resurrection to Pentecost, may produce within us a more complete death to sin, to the creature, and a more vigorous and more abundant increase of the life of Christ.

Christ must reign in our hearts, and all within us must be subject to Him.

Since the day of Christ’s triumph, He gloriously lives and reigns in God, in the bosom of the Father: Vivit et regnat Deus [He lives and reigns as God].

Christ only lives where He reigns, and He lives in us in the same degree as He reigns in our soul.

He is King as He is High Priest. When Pilate asked Him if He was a King, Our Lord answered Him: Tu dicis quia rex sum ego [you say that I am a King] (Jn. XVIII, 37); “I am, but My kingdom is not of this world.”

Columba Marmion (1858-1923): Christ in His Mysteries, 15, 4.

Columba Marmion: In Christ, All that is Mortal is Absorbed by Life Thursday, May 17 2012 

“Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over Him”….

[…] On the day of His Resurrection, Christ Jesus left in the tomb the linen cloths, which are the symbol of our infirmities, of our weaknesses, of our imperfections.

He comes forth triumphant from the sepulchre; His liberty is entire, He is animated with intense, perfect life with which all the fibres of His being vibrate.

In Him, all that is mortal is absorbed by Life.

[…] We know scarcely anything of this heavenly life of Jesus after He had risen from the tomb; but can we doubt that it was wonderful?

He had proved to His Father how much He loved Him by giving His life for men; now, all the price is paid, all is expiated; satisfied justice demands from Him no more expiation; friendship is restored between men and God; the work of redemption is accomplished.

But the worship rendered by Jesus towards His Father continues, more living, more entire, than ever.

The Gospel tells us nothing of this constant homage of adoration, of love, of thanksgiving, that Christ then rendered to His Father; but St. Paul sums up all in saying: Vivit Deo, He “liveth unto God.”

This is the second element of holiness: the adhering, the belonging, the consecration to God.

We shall only know in heaven with what plenitude Jesus lived for His Father during those blessed days; it was certainly with a perfection that ravished the angels.

Now that His Sacred Humanity is set free from all the necessities, from all the infirmities of our earthly condition, it yields itself more than ever before to the glory of the Father.

The life of the Risen Christ becomes an infinite source of glory for His Father; there is no longer any weakness in Him; all is light, strength, beauty, life; all in Him sings an uninterrupted canticle of praise.

If man gathers up into his being all the kingdoms of creation in order therein to sum up the song of praise of every creature, what shall we say of the unceasing canticle that the Humanity of the glorious Christ, the supreme High Priest, triumphant over death, sings to the Trinity?

This canticle, the perfect expression of the Divine life that henceforward envelops and penetrates with all its power and splendour the human nature of Jesus, is ineffable…

Columba Marmion (1858-1923): Christ in His Mysteries, 1-2.

Columba Marmion: If We Allow It to Penetrate Our Souls, We shall Feel the Love and Desire for this Divine Food Increase Within Us Friday, May 6 2011 

Now see in what terms the sacred writer, the instrument of the Holy Spirit, speaks to us of the manna.

You fed your people with the food of angels, and gave them bread from heaven prepared without labour, having in it all that is delicious and the sweetness of every taste.

For your sustenance showed your sweetness to your children, and serving every man’s will, it was turned to what every man liked.

The Church in the office of the Blessed Sacrament applies these magnificent words to the Eucharist.

We are about to see with what truth and fullness they express the properties of the Eucharis­tic Bread.

We shall see with how much more reason we can sing of the Sacred Host what the inspired author sings of the manna.

Like manna, the Eucharist is a food, but a spiritual food. It is in the midst of a meal, under the form of food, that Our Lord chose to institute it.

Christ Jesus gives Himself to us as the nourishment of our souls: My Flesh is meat indeed: and My Blood is drink indeed.

Again like the manna, the Eucharist is bread come down from heaven.

But the man­na was only an imperfect figure; that is why Our Lord said to the Jews who recalled to him the miracle of the desert:

Moses gave you bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Of all the properties that Holy Scripture attributes to the manna, there is one which is particularly remarkable.

The manna was a food which accommodated itself to the taste and wishes of the one who partook of it: serving every man’s will, it was turned to what every man liked.

In the heavenly Bread, the Eucharist, we can also find, if I may thus express myself, the savour of all the mysteries of Christ, and the virtue of all His states.

We are not here considering the Eucharist any longer as a memorial, but as source of grace, and this is a fruitful aspect of the Eucharistic mystery.

If we allow it to penetrate our souls, we shall feel the love and de­sire for this divine food increase within us.

These are some of the marvels figured by the manna and brought about, for the life and joy of our souls, by the wisdom and bounty of our God.

How can we fall to surround these sacred mysteries with all our reverence and adoration?

Grant us, we beseech you, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of your body and blood!

Columba Marmion (1858-1923): Christ in His Mysteries, 2.18.2-3; from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Wednesday of the Second Week of Eastertide, Year 1.

Columba Marmion: Trusting in the Prayer of Jesus Our High Priest Monday, Mar 21 2011 

On the day of his ascension Christ, the supreme high priest of the human race, having conferred on us a legal title, bears us up with him in hope to heaven.

We must never forget that it is only through him that we can gain entrance there.

No human being can penetrate the Holy of Holies except with him; no creature can enjoy eternal happiness except in the wake of Jesus; it is his precious merits that win us infinite bliss.

For all eternity we shall say to him, “Because of you, Jesus Christ, because of the blood you shed for us, we stand before God’s face.

“It is your sacrifice, your immolation, that wins our every moment of glory and happiness.

To you, the Lamb that was slain, be all honour and praise and thanksgiving!”

In this interval of time until Christ comes to fetch us as he promised, he is preparing a place for us, and above all he is supporting us by his prayer.

Indeed, what is our High Priest doing in heaven? The Letter to the Hebrews gives the answer: he has entered heaven in order to stand now in God’s presence our behalf.

His priesthood is eternal, and therefore eternal too is his work as mediator. How infinitely powerful is his influence!

There he stands before his Father, unceasingly offering him that sacrifice recalled by the marks of the wounds he has voluntarily retained; there he stands, alive for ever, ever interceding for us.

As high priest he is unfailingly heard, and for our sake he speaks again the priestly prayer of the last supper:

Father it is for them that I pray. They are in the world. Guard those whom you have given me. I pray for them, that they may have in themselves the ­fullness of joy. Father, I will that they may be with me where I am.

How could these sublime truths of our faith fail to inspire us with unwavering confidence?

People of scanty faith though we are, what have we to fear? And what may we not hope?

Jesus is praying for us, and praying always. Let us then trust absolutely in the sacrifice, the merits, and the prayer of our High Priest.

He is the beloved Son in whom the Father delights; how could he be refused a hearing, after showing his Father such love?

Father, look upon your Son. Through him and in him grant us to be one day where he is, so that through him and with him we may also render to you all honour and glory.

Columba Marmion (1858-1923): Christ in His Mysteries, 2.16.5; from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year 1.

Columba Marmion: Christ is Upon the Altar with the Divine Life which Never Ceases Sunday, Feb 27 2011 

The Eucharist is then truly the memorial that Christ has left to us of his Passion and his Death. It is the testament of his love.

Wherever the bread and wine are offered, wherever the consecrated Host is found, there appears the remembrance of Christ’s immolation: do this for a commemoration of me.

The Eucharist recalls to us above all the memory of the Passion of Jesus.

It was on the eve of his death that he instituted it. He left it to us as the testament of his love.

But it does not exclude the other mysteries.

See what the Church does. She is the Bride of Christ. None knows better than she the intentions of her Divine Head.

In the or­ganisation of the public worship which she renders to him, she is guided by the Holy Spirit.

Now what does she say? Directly after the Consecration, she first of all recalls the words of Jesus:

As often as you do these things, you shall do them in remembrance of me.

And at once she adds, to show how closely she enters into the sentiments of her Spouse:

Wherefore, O Lord, we your servants together with your holy people, in memory of the blessed Passion of the same Christ Our Lord, and of his Resurrection from hell, also of his glorious Ascension into Heaven,

offer unto your most excellent Majesty…the holy bread of eternal life, and the chalice of everlasting salvation.

After the mention of “the Ascension to the right hand of the Father”, the Greeks likewise add, “that of the second and glorious coming of Christ”.

So then, although the Eucharist recalls the Passion of Jesus, it does not exclude the remembrance of the glorious mysteries which are linked so closely to the Passion of which they are, in a sense, the crown.

Since it is the Body and Blood of Christ that we receive, the Eucharist supposes the Incarnation and the mysteries which are founded upon or flow from it.

Christ is upon the altar with the divine life which never ceases, with his mortal life of which the his­torical form has doubtless ceased, but of which the substance and merits remain, with his glorious life which shall have no end.

All this, as you know, is really contained in the Sacred Host and given in Communion to our souls.

In communicating himself to us, Christ Jesus gives himself in the sub­stantial totality of his works and mysteries, as in the oneness of his Person.

Columba Marmion (1858-1923): Christ in His Mysteries, 2.18.1; from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time, Year 1.