Does Holy Communion increase our love for God?

Mission Lab

Yes, Holy Communion is a source of the Theological Virtue of charity.

The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament which most fittingly increases man’s love for God, because it was begun and inspired by God’s love for man. St. John pointed to that love when he wrote: “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (John 13:1). Then the Evangelist tells us that the Savior gave us the Eucharist to show this love. The love of His Sacred Heart caused the wonderful mystery of the union that could henceforth be effected unceasingly on the altar.

Jesus once said: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49). Through the Holy Eucharist, Jesus casts fire into men’s hearts. He Himself is that flame of love.

Sanctifying grace, which we receive through Holy Communion, and which attaches itself to the very essence of our souls, brings with it supernatural powers that enable us to perform virtuous deeds. The most important of these deeds are acts of charity (sacrificial love) by which we love God above all things for His sake and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

At Holy Communion, Jesus is within us, bringing His most pure and holy love. He longs for our love and asks us to give Him our whole hearts and all of our love. Jesus’ love is a great gift, and it is in Communion that He gives it.

The only obstacle to this complete reign of Christ in us is our selfishness. We must die to our selfish lives in order to avail ourselves fully of the divine life. The Christ-life in us is a life of self-surrender and of love. Love yields our wills to Christ, and through them, our whole beings and all our energies. Christ gives Himself to us according to the measure of our love. If we give ourselves to Him unreservedly, with a pure heart, Jesus, in exchange, gives Himself to us as only God is able to do. St. John wrote, “So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).

If we yield to the workings of His grace, we will find our minds and wills more ready to do what Jesus will inspire us to do. If we do not put obstacles in the way of God’s grace and if our fervor in receiving Holy Communion continues, the life of Jesus will manifest itself more distinctly in us. Let our hearts, which love so little, be subjected to the transforming influence of the tremendous love of Jesus’ Sacred Heart, that we may become one with Him in Holy Communion.