The Word Among Us

June 2006 Issue

Let Us Not Lose This Moment!

St. Thomas More on Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist

By: St. Thomas More

When we have received our Lord and have him in our body, let us not then let him be alone. Let us not go out and be busy about other things and think no more about him. Anyone who would serve a guest this way is doing him little good.

But let all our attention be on him. Let us speak to him through devout prayer and converse with him through devout meditation. Let us say with the prophet, "Let me hear what God the Lord will speak" (Psalm 85:8).

Surely, if we set aside all other things and attend to the Lord, he will certainly, by inspirations, speak such things to us within us as will bring great spiritual comfort and profit to our soul. With Martha, therefore, let us see to it that all our outward activity is directed to him—to giving a kindly welcome to him and, for his sake, to his companions, that is, poor people. The Lord regards every one of them not only as his disciples but as his very self. For he says: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).

And let us also sit with Martha's sister, Mary, in devout meditation and listen well to what our Savior, who is now our guest, will speak inwardly to us. This time of prayer is a special opportunity: He who made us, he who bought us, he whom we have offended by our sins, he who will judge us, he who will either condemn or save us—this is the very one who has become our guest out of his great goodness. He is personally present within us for no other purpose than to be asked for pardon so that he might save us.

So let us not lose this moment or allow this occasion to slip away. We cannot tell whether it will ever come again. Let us try to get him to remain with us and say, as his two disciples who were going to the town of Emmaus, "Stay with us, Lord" (Luke 24:29). Then we shall be sure that he will not go away from us unless we unkindly push him away.

This passage is an adaptation of St. Thomas More's Treatise to Receive the Blessed Body of Our Lord.