F.W. Faber: The Precious Blood Is Living in the Chalice Monday, Jul 18 2011 

We need not go to Jerusalem, we need not have lived eighteen hundred years ago, to find the Precious Blood, and worship it.

[…] We actually worship it every day in the chalice at Mass. When the chalice is uplifted over the altar, the Blood of Jesus is there, whole and entire, glorified and full of the pulses of His true human life.

The Blood that once lay in the cave at Olivet, that curdled in the thongs and knots of  the scourges, that matted His hair, and soaked His garments,  that stained the crown of thorns and bedewed the Cross…;

that same Blood is living in the chalice, united to the Person of the Eternal Word, to be worshipped with the uttermost prostration of our bodies and our souls.

When the beams of the morning sun come in at the windows of the church, and fall for a moment into the uncovered chalice, and glance there as if among precious stones with a restless timid gleaming, and the priest sees it, and the light seems to vibrate into his own heart, quickening his faith and love, it is the Blood of God which is there, the very living Blood whose first fountains were in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

When the Blessed Sacrament is laid upon your tongue, that moment and that act which the great angels of God look down upon with such surpassing awe, the Blood of Jesus is throbbing there in all its abounding life of glory.

It sheathes in the sacramental mystery that exceeding radiance which is lighting all heaven at that moment with a magnificence of splendour which exceeds the glowing of a million suns.

You do not feel the strong pulses of His immortal life. If you did, you could hardly live yourself. Sacred terror would undo your life.

But in that adorable Host is the whole of the Precious Blood, the Blood of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, and Calvary, the Blood of the Passion, of the Resurrection, and of the Ascension, the Blood shed and re-assumed.

As Mary bore that Precious Blood within herself of old, so do you bear it now.

It is in His Heart and veins, within the temple of His Body, as it was when He lay those nine months in her ever-blessed womb.

[…] The whole of the Precious Blood is in the chalice and in the Host. It is not part: it is the whole. We may well tremble to think what sanctuaries we are, when the Blessed Sacrament is within us.

Frederick William Faber (1814—1863): The Precious Blood, pp. 23-34.

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F.W. Faber: There is Precious Blood to be Had for the Asking; and What It Gives is Grace Tuesday, Jul 5 2011 

What is there in the world worth anything except grace? Oh, how childishly we let ourselves be run away with by all manner of follies, which have nothing to do with the interests of Jesus.

How stupid it is of us! What time we waste! What harm we do! What good we leave undone! And how sweetly patient Jesus is with us all through it!

[…] Graces keep coming; merits keep multiplying; almost as fast as the blessed beatings of the Sacred Heart.

Meanwhile, all the time that Heart is yearning over us with enraptured love, we are saying, I am not obliged to do this; I need not forego this pleasure; I must keep down religious enthusiasm.

[…] To receive…all the natural gifts and ornaments of St. Michael, his power, strength, wisdom, beauty, and all the rest, would be nothing compared with one additional degree of grace, such as we get a score of if we resist an angry feeling for a quarter of an hour; for grace is a participation of the Divine Nature.

[…] Fix upon any evil or calamity of the Church you please, and I am ready to show you it would never have taken place, if her children had had a true esteem of grace.

[…] Only pray that men may have a truer esteem of grace, and you will be a secret apostle of Jesus.

All graces are in Him; Ho is the fountain and the fullness of them all;

He longs to pour them out over dear souls, souls that He died for; and they will not let Him; […] Go and help Jesus. Why should a single soul be lost, for which He died ?

I say, why should one be lost ? It is a horrible thing to think of a lost soul, most horrible. And why should they be lost? why?

There is Precious Blood to be had for the asking; and what it gives is grace.

But men do not care about grace. St. Paul spent his whole life teaching people about grace, and praying for grace for them, and that they might use grace rightly when they had got it.

When the Fountain of all grace is springing up like a living well of joy in the heart after Communion, ask Him to open all men’s eyes to the beauty of His grace, and so will you cause His grace to multiply, and with the multiplication of grace His interests to prosper.

For thus stands the case with our dear Lord, that the more He gives away, the richer He becomes.

Frederick William Faber (1814—1863): All for Jesus, pp. 32-34.

F.W. Faber: Our Hearts Are Enlarged While We Are Magnifying God Thursday, Mar 24 2011 

There is nothing…which so multiplies graces upon us, or causes God to throw the doors of His treasury so wide open, as the devotion of thanksgiving.

[…] Many persons try to advance in spirituality, and are held back, as it were, by some invisible hand.

The fact is, and they do not realize it, they have never been thoroughly converted to God.

They have stayed too short a time in the purgative way of the spiritual life, or they have bargained with God, and kept back some attachment…so as to be spared the pain of conversion.

Now thanksgiving swiftly but imperceptibly turns our religion into a service of love;

It draws us to take God’s view of things, to range ourselves on His side even against ourselves, and to identify ourselves with His interests even when they seem to be in opposition to our own.

Hence we are led to break more effectually with the world, and not to trail its clouds and mists along with us on our road to heaven.

[…] And what is all this but to make our conversion more thorough and complete?

Neither is the effect of thanksgiving less upon our growth than it is upon our conversion.

All growth comes of love; and love is at once both the cause and effect of thanksgiving.

What light and air are to plants, that is the sense of God’s Presence to the virtues; and thanksgiving makes this sensible Presence of God almost a habit in our souls.

For it leads us continually to see mercies which we should not otherwise have perceived, and it enables us far more worthily to appreciate their value, and in some degree to sound the abyss of Divine condescension out of which they come.

Moreover, the practice of thanksgiving in ourselves leads us to be distressed at the absence of it in others; and this keeps our lore of God delicate and sensitive, and breeds in us a spirit of reparation, which is especially congenial to the growth of holiness.

Our hearts are enlarged while we are magnifying God, and when our hearts are enlarged we run the way of His commandments, where we have only walked or crept before.

We feel a secret force in overcoming obstacles and in despising fears, and altogether a liberty in well-doing, which we used not to feel before.

[…] Our hearts are crowned with thanksgiving.

Frederick William Faber (1814—1863): All for Jesus, pp. 288-290.

F.W. Faber: Jesus Belongs To Us Thursday, Jan 20 2011 

Jesus belongs to us. He vouchsafes to put Himself at our disposal.

He communicates to us everything of His which we are capable of receiving.

He loves us with a love which no words can tell, nay, above all our thought and imagination;

and He condescends to desire, with a longing which is equally indescribable, that we should love Him, with a fervent and entire love.

His merits may be called ours as well as His. His satisfactions are not so much His treasures as they are ours.

His sacraments are but so many ways which His love has designed to communicate Him to our souls.

Wherever we turn in the church of God, there is Jesus.

He is the beginning, middle, and end of everything to us.

He is our help in penance, our consolation in grief, our support in trial.

There is nothing good, nothing holy, nothing beautiful, nothing joyous, which He is not to His servants.

No one need be poor, because, if he chooses, he can have Jesus for his own property and possession.

No one need be downcast, for Jesus is the joy of heaven, and it is His joy to enter into sorrowful hearts.

We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate our obligations to Jesus, or the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us.

All our lives long we might talk of Jesus, and yet we should never come to an end of the sweet things that are to be said about Him.

Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done; but then that matters not; for we shall be always with Him, and we desire nothing more.

He has kept nothing back from us. There is not a faculty of His Human Soul which has not had to do with our salvation.

There is not one limb of His Sacred Body which has not suffered for us.

There is not one pain, one shame, one indignity, which He has not drained to its last dreg of bitterness on our behalf.

There is not one drop of His most Precious Blood which He has not shed for us; nor is there one beating of His Sacred Heart which is not an act of love to us.

[…] We know our own unworthiness. We hate ourselves for our own past sins.

We are impatient with our own secret meanness, irritability, and wretchedness. We are tired with our own badness and littleness.

Yet, for all that, He loves us with this unutterable love, and is ready, if need be, as He revealed to one of His servants, to come down from heaven to be crucified over again for each one of us.

Frederick William Faber (1814—1863): All for Jesus, pp. 13-15.

F.W. Faber: Five Signs of Spiritual Progress (Part 2) Monday, Oct 11 2010 

Continued from previous post…

FOUR
But it is a still greater sign that we are making progress, if we have a strong feeling on our minds that God wants something particular from us.

We are sometimes aware that the Holy Spirit is drawing us in one direction rather than in another, that He desires some fault to be removed, or some pious work to be undertaken.

This is called by spiritual writers an attraction. Some have one persevering attraction all their lives long. With others it is constantly changing.

With many it is so indistinct that they only realize it now and then; and not a few seem to be without any such special drawing at all.

It implies of course an active self-knowledge, as well as a quiet inward eye of prayer; and it is a great gift, because of the immense facilities which it gives for the practice of perfection; for it almost resembles a special revelation.

To feel then, with all sober reverence, this drawing of the Holy Ghost, is a sign that we are making progress.

Yet it must be carefully remembered that no one should be disquieted because of the absence of such a feeling. It is neither universal nor indispensable.

FIVE
I will venture also to add that an increased general desire of being more perfect is not altogether without its value as a sign of progress: and that, in spite of what I have said of the importance of having a definite object in view.

I do not think we esteem this general desire of perfection sufficiently. Of course we must not stop at it nor be satisfied with it. It is only given us to go on with.

Still, when we consider how worldly most good Christians are, and their amazing blindness to the interests of Jesus, and their almost incredible impenetrability by supernatural principles, we must see that this desire of holiness is from God, and a great gift, and that much which is of surpassing consequence is implied in it.

God be praised for every soul in the world which is so fortunate as to possess it! It is almost inconsistent with lukewarmness, and this is no slight recommendation in itself:

and although there is much beyond it and much above it, yet it is indispensable both to what is beyond and what is above.
Nevertheless we must not be blind to its dangers.

All supernatural desires, which we simply enjoy without practically corresponding to them, leave us in a worse state than they found us.

In order to be safe we must proceed without delay to embody the desire in some act or other, prayer, penance, or zealous deed: yet not precipitately, or without counsel.

Frederick William Faber (1814—1863): Growth in Holiness, pp. 23-36.

F.W. Faber: Five Signs of Spiritual Progress (Part 1) Monday, Oct 11 2010 

Are we getting on? …Here are five signs. If we have one of them, it is well; if two, better; if three, better still; if four, capital; if all the five, glorious.

ONE
If we are discontented with our present state, whatever it may be, and want to be something better and higher, we have great reason to be thankful to God.

For such discontent is one of His best gifts, and a great sign that we are really making progress in the spiritual life.

But we must remember that our dissatisfaction with ourselves must be of such a nature as to increase our humility, and not such as to cause disquietude of mind or uneasiness in our devotional exercises.

It must be made up of a rather impatient desire to advance in holiness, combined with gratitude for past graces, confidence for future ones, and a keen, indignant feeling of how much more grace we have received than we have corresponded to.

TWO
Again, strange as it may sound, it is a sign of our growth if we are always making new beginnings and fresh starts. The great St. Antony made perfection consist in it.

Yet this is often ignorantly made a motive of discouragement, from persons confounding fresh starts in the devout life with the incessant risings and relapsings of habitual sinners.

Neither must we confound these continual fresh beginnings with the fickleness which so often leads to dissipation, and keeps us back in our heavenward path.

For these new starts seen something higher, and therefore for the most part something arduous; whereas fickleness is tired of the yoke, and seeks ease and change.

Neither again do these beginnings consist in changing our spiritual books, or our penances, or our methods of prayer, much less our directors.

But they consist in two things chiefly: first, a renewal of our intention for the glory of God; and secondly, a revival of our fervour.

THREE
It is also a sign of progress in the spiritual life, when we have some definite thing in view: for instance, if we are trying to acquire the habit of some particular virtue, or to conquer some besetting infirmity, or to accustom ourselves to a certain penance.
All this is a test of earnestness, and also a token of the vigour of divine grace within us.

Whereas if we are attacking no particular part of the enemy’s line, it is hardly a battle; and if we are shooting without an aim, what can come of it but smoke and noise?

It is not likely we are advancing, if, as people speak, we are going on in a general way, without distinctly selecting an end to reach, and actively forcing our way to the end we have thus consciously selected.

Frederick William Faber (1814—1863): Growth in Holiness, pp. 23-36.