BEHIND the cloud of the Sacred Species, as in a Heaven that is closer to us, I adore Thee, O Jesus, and recognize Thee as the One I will see face to face one day, the One Whose sight constitutes the happiness of the elect, the Son of God in Whom the Father is well pleased, the Son of Mary.
Thy glorious Heaven is too resplendent for us; we could not bear its brilliance. The love of Thy Heart for poor exiles inspired Thee to institute the Eucharist, which maketh Thee present here on earth with a presence so well suited to our weakness. Thou art here to give us a pledge and a foretaste of what we shall possess on high.
The pledge - that is to say, Thy promise. For Thou Thyself hast said, O Jesus, He who eatseth My flesh ... hath life everlasting. I am the Bread of Heaven: whoever believes in Me shall not die. [cf. St John 6:52] In this way Thou hast committed Thyself ... After giving this first gift of Thy Eucharistic presence, how couldst Thou not give Thyself to us later in Heaven?
The foretaste of Heaven. What is Heaven? It is the perfect possession of every good. Now, the Eucharist is "the Bread of God, the Bread of Angels, the Bread of Heaven." It is the possession of Jesus, His permanent presence, the sacramental manducation of Jesus. The mode differs, true: Jesus veils Himself for us, and we, for our part, are powerless to possess Him perfectly, and inconstant in remaining in His presence. Faith alone enjoys Him, while the senses remain excluded from contact with Him. The Essence is nonetheless the same, and in the Host as in Heaven, Jesus truly giveth Himself.
The foretaste is more than the pledge: it is an early participation in the promised and awaited good. It is already the beginning of the enjoyment of everything contained in the full possession. The Eucharist is thus called the Bread containing all delights. How can we not taste the Divine beatitude of the Bread of God, the seraphic joys of the Bread of Angels, and finally, something of Heaven itself in the Bread of Heaven?
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, I adore Thee instituting the Sacrament that transforms our earth into the vestibule of Paradise. In Thy Sacrament, Thou hast made Thyself the guide and the way that leads me to Heaven. Grant that through Thy merits and Thy mercy I may attain it someday. Turn my eyes away from all the vanities of the earth, and ordain that, no longer living for anything but Thee, I renounce every desire other than that of serving Thee for the rest of my life.
O Jesus Host, Thou doth fill our souls with grace,
and art for us the pledge of the blessed eternity to come.
Cf. Fr. J. Honoré Brousseau, s.s.s., Le Sacré-Coeur medité au Pied du Très Saint Sacrement, Apostolat de la Presse: Sherbrooke, Quebec, 1953.