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Frequent Communion is an effectunl means of getting all Vertues, and in particular, Internal Peace.
96. There are four things the most necessary to get Perfection and internal Peace: The first is Prayer, the second Obedience; the third frequent Communion; the fourth internal Mortification. And now since we have treated of Prayer and Obedience, it will be fitting to treat also of Communion.
97. You ought to know that many Souls there are that deprive themselves of the infinite benefit of this precious Food, by judging that they are not sufficiently prepared, and that no less than an Angelical Purity is necessary for it. if thou hast a pure end, a true desire of doing the Will of God, without looking at sensible Devotion, or thine own Satisfaction, come with confidence, because thou art well disposed.
98. On this Rock of Desiring to do the Divine will, all difficulties must be broken, all scruples overcome, all temptations, doubts, fears, resistances and contradictions: And although the best Preparation for the Soul, be often Communicating, because one Communion disposes it for another; yet I will shew the two ways of Preparation: The first for the exteriour Souls which have good Desire and Will. And the second, for Spiritual Ones which live Internally, and have a greater Light and Knowledge of God, of his Mysteries, of his Operations and Sacraments.
99. The Preparation for the exterior Souls, is to be Confessed and retire from the Creatures, before the Communion to stand still and consider whet is to be received, and who is it that receives it, and that he goes to do the greatest business in the World, which is to receive the great God. What a singular favour is that Purity it self condescends to be received by Faith! Majesty by Vileness! the Creatour by the Creature!
100. The second Preparation in order to the interiour and spiritual Souls, must be to endeavour to live with greater Purity and Self-denial, with an universal taking ones self off from the World, with an inward Mortification and continual Retirement: and when they walk in this Way, they have no need of any actual preparation, because their Life is a continual and perfect Preparation.
101. If thou do’st not know these Vertues in thy Soul, for the same reason thou must often draw near to this Soveraign Table to get ‘em. Never let it hinder thee, to see thy self dry, defective and cold; because frequent Communion is the Physick that cures those diseases, and increases Vertue: for the same reason that thou art Sick, thou must go to the Physian; and that thou art Cold to the Fire.
102. If thou drawest near with humility, with a desire of doing the Divine Will, and with the leave of thy Confessor, thou mayst receive it every day, and every day thou wilt grow better and better. Never be afraid for seeing thy self without that affectionate and sensible love, which some men say is necessary: because this sensible affection is not perfect, and ordinarily it is given to weak and nice Souls.
103. Thou wilt say that thou feelest thy self indisposed, without devotion, without fervour, without the desire of this Divine food, so as to ask how thou must frequent it? believe for certain, that none of these things doth hinder or hurt thee, whilst you preserve this purpose firm, not to sin, and your Will determined to avoid every offence: and if thou hast confessed all those that thou couldst remember, doubt not but that thou are well prepared to come to this Heavenly and Divine Table.
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