Daily Thought For April 18, 2018

The Bread that Keeps Us from Getting Lost
Now, this surely is a very true interpretation of the purpose of Holy Communion. It is to give me the courage to persevere. Too often probably to me…has come the same swift change from presumption to despair. Perhaps I had thought that I had finally quelled some temptation or sin that had long bothered me. A chance sermon or a passage in a book, or the remark of a friend, and at once the old world has come back to me.
Or it may be that it was some trifling but frequent failure that for long distressed me, and then was for a time overcome and driven from power. Always, however, the result was that, however successful for the moment, I found myself ultimately returning whither I had first begun. All the exceptional efforts and fierce resolutions and elaborate addition of prayers, all the feeling of having done great things, ended at best in a respite, which, after all the stress, appeared a complete victory. I thought to myself that the battle in that part of the field had been won, that I could rest now without precautions or guards. Then swiftly has come my fall, although months may at times elapse before my undoing is manifest.
But all the same, the effect in my soul is a quick despair. What is the use of struggle if it is always to end in defeat? I find myself utterly weary, hopeless. The old faults are still there unconquered—at least not slain.
Now, it is just at this moment of discomfiture that I need the voice of God’s angel to call me to the Bread and the Wine, for I have always “yet a long way to go.” By no means has the end come….
Rather, because of my weariness and dismay is my need for the food more urgent, that in that externally provided help I may walk the rest of my appointed path. Courage is my greatest requirement, and it is here I shall find it.
Father Bede Jarrett, o.p.
Father Jarrett († 1934) was a Dominican priest from England widely esteemed for his preaching, his 

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