VISIT TO THE BLESSED SACRAMENTThe visit to the Blessed Sacrament is, for the apostle, a type of audience, a school, where the disciple or the minister goes to meet with the Divine Master Way, Truth and Life.
Many methods are suggested for achieving the best results from this practice but the most suitable one for the publishing apostle is in honor of Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life.
In accordance with this method the visit is divided into three parts of equal duration.
This is an exercise of love of God made with your whole mind. The purpose is threefold:
1. To honor God, supreme and indispensable Truth, and to contemplate him in Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.
2. To summarize and elucidate all the knowledge, natural and supernatural, acquired during your intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation, and incorporate it into God's service.
3. To beseech [God] that all men and women may come to the light of truth in accordance with the gospel words: "Hæc est autem vita æterna: ut cognoscant te, solum Deum verum, et quem misisti Jesum Christum."1
In this first part there is thus a way for the mind to distance itself from error and to probe God's truths further.
In practice - To be effective, it must be quite simple and comprise three exercises: a) Put yourself in God's presence and ask forgiveness of your faults.
b) Summarize in your own mind the knowledge you have acquired during the day or week, or read a passage of Holy Scripture or Theology; then reflect on this and make an act of faith.
c) Ask God for the natural and supernatural gifts of "love-filled, intellectual light" for yourself and for others. In particular
ask for faith (the beginning of justification) and for the gifts of knowledge, wisdom and understanding; insight into your own office or state; awareness of God and of people's souls; the grace to prepare your mind for the beatific vision.
You can make these requests in either private spontaneous prayer, or by reciting the Creed, the act of faith, the glorious mysteries, various Psalms, the Veni Creator Spiritus...
This is an exercise of love of God made with your whole will.
The purpose is:
1. To honor God, supreme and essential Good, and to contemplate him in Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.
2. To meditate earnestly and [to make] a deep examination of conscience which will lead you:
a) to recognize the absolute sovereignty that God has over us and which leads us to render him the homage of our will. We do this by freely accepting the Commandments, the evangelical counsels and the duties of our state;
b) to reflect that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has become our Way and that by following him we can reach the Father and heavenly glory. Consequently, we promise to study these
divine examples so as to reproduce them in our own life.
3. To ask for the grace to bring our will and all its acts into conformity with God's will, following the example of Jesus Christ who always pleased the Father.
In this second part the aim is, in truth, to become real human beings, real Christians, real apostles following the One in whom there is the perfection, unbounded and supreme, of every true, sublime and far-reaching virtue.
In practice - a) reflect on some features of the life of the Divine Master;
b) examination, resolutions and prayers to live this new life in Jesus Christ. Both these exercises must lead to amendment and improvement and thus converge on the object of the particular examination.
For example, if you focus your spiritual work on patience, go about it in this way: reflect on the crib, then on Gethsemane, and later on, the road to Calvary; now get down to the nitty-gritty: compare your own patience with that of the Man of Sorrows, ask forgiveness, make resolutions, beseech Jesus to draw you into his holy way.
You can conclude with one of the following: Miserere, De profundis, Act of contrition, Sorrowful mysteries.
This is an exercise of love of God made with your whole heart and soul.
The purpose is:
1. To honor God, supreme and essential Life, and to contemplate him with Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ;
2. To acknowledge that Jesus Christ is divine Life and that he has come to pass on this life to us: "in ipso vita erat, et vita erat lux hominum";2
3. To reflect that Jesus communicates supernatural life to us, incorporating us in him, as members linked to the head, as branches to the vine: "Ego sum vitis, vos palmites: qui manet in me et ego in eo, hic fert fructum multum: quia sine me nihil potestis facere";3
4. To beg earnestly for the gift, the growth and the fruit of this life and all the graces you need for your own soul.
All this is highly useful for the apostle, since the exercise of the apostolate supposes a Christian life, a holy life.
Ask God for all this so that your soul, in Christ and with Christ, may tend solely to his glory and the peace of humankind: "Caritas enim Christi urget nos."4 This is life
complete in every way: "Vivo autem, iam non ego: vivit vero in me Christus."5 It is through the merits of the crucified Lord, through the Eucharistic sighs of Jesus, and through the sincere cooperation of the human heart that the old man ceases to live and - through the work of the Holy Spirit and the love of Mary - there is enfleshed the new man, Jesus Christ, who "ex Deo factus est."6 This grace, this interior and supernatural life, which is the life of the soul, is a merit for Paradise and will be glory in eternity. For the apostle it will be a twofold glory.
In practice - a) reflect on all the topics that constitute the object of this third part;
b) converse intimately with the Divine Master, discussing with him the interests of God, ourselves, everyone;
c) ask for particular graces, such as the theological virtues, especially for love of God, love of self and love of neighbor; the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance; the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of God; the eight evangelical beatitudes and the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit; the grace to always defend one's spiritual life by means of prayer and by
fleeing from the threefold enemy of the world, the flesh and the devil; as well as, of course, the call to perfection and zeal for the apostolate.
Among the prayers to be preferred and useful for this are the act of charity, the Beatitudes, a third part of the Rosary with the joyful mysteries, and so on.
1 Jn 17:3. * "This is eternal life, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent."
2 Jn 1:4. * "In him was life, and the life was the light of men."
3 Jn 15:5. * "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
4 2 Cor 5:14. * "For the love of God controls us."
5 Gal 2:20. * It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."
6 * Cf. Jn 1:13: "Is born of God."