The company of a dear friend is sweet indeed. In this valley of tears is there anything sweeter to us than the company of Jesus, the best friend we have. He wants to do us good in every way, and for this He dwells with us always. It is in this place that we can speak with Jesus at our pleasure; here we can open our hearts to Him; we can lay bare our wants; we can ask Him for His grace―in a word, it is here that we speak face to face with the King of Heaven: all barriers fall away and we speak to Him with confidence.
Joseph was a happy man indeed, greatly favored by God, when God came down into his prison to bring him consolation. We are told in the Holy Scriptures: "He came down into the prison cell with him, and he did not forsake him in his bonds." (Sap. 10). But our good fortune is greater than Joseph's; because we have Jesus, God made Man, with us in this land of exile. Not a day of our lives passes, but He is with us to give us His help―always loving and full of pity. It is a great comfort to a poor man in prison when a dear friend comes to visit him―to talk to him; to raise his hopes, to assist him: these kind attentions help to lighten his afflictions.
Jesus, our best of friends, is here in this Sacrament and His presence gives us courage. He says to us "Here I am with you all days"―I am here expressly for your sake, I have come from Heaven into your prison, to console you, to help you, to set you free. Give me a welcome. Make me welcome always. Embrace me and you will not feel your unhappy state; later on you will come with me to my Kingdom, and then I shall make you happy and your joy will be full.
O Jesus, your love passes all understanding: you have stooped so low to show us your kindness; you have come down in abject humility on our altars to be close to us. Here and now I resolve to visit you often; I will make every effort I can so that I may have the full benefit of the surpassing joy of your sweet presence―your presence is the joy of the Saints in Heaven. I would that I could be with you always―adoring you and telling you how I love you. I beg of you to stir me from my apathy when I neglect to visit you because I have grown cold, or have become too much engrossed with the things of this world. Stir up within me an intense longing to keep close to you always in this Sacrament.
Ah! My Jesus, how deep is my regret that I have not always loved you; how deep is my regret that I have not always been pleasing to you. But this consolation remains to me―I still have time and I can love you now; I can love you not only in the next life but in this life too. My highest Good, my Love, my Treasure, my All―I want to do this. I want to love you in very deed; with all my power I want to love you.
Aspiration―My God, help me to love you.
Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.
A VISIT TO MARY
TO KNOW YOU IS GOD'S GIFT
TO KNOW YOU IS GOD'S GIFT
Thus speaks the devoted Bernardine de Bustis, "Do not be discouraged, poor sinner, for if you go to this Lady with trust you will find her; and in her hands you will find the fullness of mercy and bounty." Poor sinner, do not lose courage, whoever you are. Go to this Lady with the certainty that you will be helped: you will find her, and her hands will be filled with mercy and with favors. Be quite certain that the longing of this gentle Queen to do you good is much greater than the wish you have to be helped by her. "She wishes more to do you good than you wish to receive her gifts."
To know you, my Lady―this itself is God's gift to me and I am very grateful to Him for it. If I did not know you or if I forgot you, what a calamity it would be for me! Then the chance of my salvation would be poor indeed. But I do know you, my dear Mother. I bless you, I love you and I have full confidence in you. In your hands I place my whole life.
Aspiration―Blessed is he who knows you, O Mary, and who trusts in you.
Prayer After Each Visit