I am looking for the complete English translation of St. John Vianney's sermon, "Sermon sur la communion indigne" ("Sermon on Unworthy Communion").

It is part of the Sermons inédits (Unpublished sermons) collection sometimes tacked on to Volume 4 of his sermon collection Sermons du vénérable serviteur de Dieu Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney curé d'Ars: Sermons divers. Clean pdf scan of Volume 4 without the Sermons inédits section (1883) can be found here.

In French, the complete sermon can be found here or here. Various Internet sites have excerpts of the sermon in English (such as here), but I have yet to find the whole sermon in English.

2 Answers 2


Here is a DeepL NMT machine English translation of the OCRed text of Tome 4 des Sermons de saint Jean Marie Vianney:

Sermon on unworthy communion



Anima quæ peccaverit, ipsa morietur.

The soul that sins will die.

(Ezek. XVIII, 6.)

If every mortal sin, M.F., gives death to our soul, separates it from God for ever, and precipitates it into all sorts of misfortunes, what state must the most dreadful of all crimes, which is sacrilege, reduce it to? O my God, who can ever form an idea of the dreadful state of a soul covered with sacrilege? Yes, Jesus Christ tells us, when you see the abomination of desolation in the holy place, foretold by the prophet Daniel, understand it well. Alas! M.F., having chosen the heart of man to make it his dwelling place and his temple, Jesus Christ undoubtedly foresaw the profanations and the disastrous abominations that the devil would make of it through sin; what a sad and desolate thought for a God! But the greatest and most terrible of all sorrows is to foresee that His adorable body and precious blood would be profaned. O my God! Can Christians really be guilty of such a crime, the like of which hell has never been able to invent? Alas, St. Paul deplored it in his own time. One day, unable to make them feel the full darkness of this dreadful crime, he said to them, weeping bitterly: "What torment would not be received by him who would lay a parricidal hand on the body of a God made man, who would strike that heart... Ah, that tender heart which loves us to the point of the cross, and which would tear the blood from its veins!... Ah, this adorable blood shed for us, which has sanctified us in holy baptism, which has purified us in the sacrament of penance...; it would seem to be impossible to find punishments severe enough and Christians capable of such a crime. Alas!" he cried, "here is one still infinitely more dreadful, to receive unworthily the adorable Body and precious blood of Jesus Christ, to profane it, to defile it, to debase it; is such a crime possible?... Ah, at least, is it possible for Christians? Yes, there are monsters of ingratitude who carry their fury to such excess! Yes, M.F., if the good Lord were to show the communions of all those who are here, in the open, alas, how many would appear with their sentence of reprobation written in their criminal conscience with the blood of a God made man! The thought makes one shudder, and yet nothing is so common as these unworthy communions; how many have the temerity to approach the Holy Table with hidden sins disguised in confession! How many do not have the sorrow that the good Lord asks of them; how many do not make every effort to correct themselves; how many retain a secret desire to fall back into sin! How many do not avoid the opportunities of sin, and yet are able to do so? How many keep enmities in their hearts right up to the Holy Table! If you had had this misfortune, Mother, what words could I use to make you feel the horror of it? Ah, if I were allowed to, I would go to hell to pull out an infamous and treacherous Judas, still steaming with the adorable blood of Jesus Christ which he has so horribly profaned. Oh, if you could hear the screams and shrieks that he utters, if you could understand the torments that he endures because of his sacrifice, you would die of fright. Alas, what will become of those who, perhaps all their lives, have done nothing but commit sacrilege? Yes, Mother, sacrilege is the greatest of all crimes, since it attacks a God and gives Him death, and brings us all the greatest misfortunes.

I. - If I were speaking to idolaters or even heretics, I would begin to prove to them the reality of Jesus Christ in the adorable sacrament of the Eucharist. But no, no one has the slightest doubt about it. Alas, Jesus Christ should not be there for those who approach Him in a bad state of mind; but no, He is there for those who dare to present themselves with sin in their hearts, as well as for those who are in a state of grace. I only want to begin by citing an example which will strengthen your faith in this matter and give you an idea of the measures you must take in order not to profane this great Sacrament of love. It is reported in history that a priest who was saying Holy Mass, after having pronounced the words of consecration, doubted whether Jesus Christ was really present in body and soul in the Sacred Host; at that very moment the Sacred Host was stained with blood. Jesus Christ seemed to want, by such a great miracle, to reproach his minister for his lack of faith and to strengthen Christians in this truth of faith, that he is really present in the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Host shed blood so abundantly that the corporal, the altar cloths and the altar itself were reddened. When the Holy Father was informed of this, he had the corporal taken to a church, where it was worn every year on Corpus Christi in great veneration. But my intention is to show you as far as I can the greatness and horribleness of this sacrilege. No, this knowledge will never be given to mortal man; he would have to be God himself to be able to understand it; however, to give you a faint idea of it, I will tell you that he who has this great misfortune, commits a sin which is more outrageous to the good God than all the mortal sins which have been committed since the beginning of the world and those which may be committed until the end of the centuries. It is therefore quite impossible to show it to you in all its blackness; alas! however, nothing is so common as these sacrileges.

If I wanted to speak to you, M.F., about the bodily death of Jesus Christ, I would only have to paint you a picture of the torments he endured during his life; I would only have to show you that poor body all in rags, as it was after his scourging, as it is now on the tree of the cross; it would not take much more than that to touch your heart and make your tears flow. Indeed, who is the most hardened sinner who could resist it and not mingle his tears with that adorable blood? What young person, if I were to throw myself at her feet with a God who weeps for her sins, begging her in grace not to give her death, would her heart be harder than a rock, that immediately her tears would flow, and, trampling her pleasures underfoot, she would say goodbye to them forever. What miser, to whom I would present a God stripped of all things, naked on a cross, could still love the goods of this world? Who is the ungodly man whom I would wait for as he passes by, who runs like a desperate man towards the object of his passion, if I presented him with his God covered with wounds and blood, asking Him in grace not to take his life, would he not fall at his feet crying out for mercy? Alas! M.F., the death that we give to Jesus Christ by sacrilegious communion is still infinitely more awful and painful. When He was on earth, He suffered only for a time, and He died only once; still, it was His love that made Him suffer and die; but here, it is no longer the same thing. But here it is not the same thing. He dies in spite of himself, and his death, far from being advantageous for us as it was the first time, turns to our misfortune by attracting all sorts of punishments both in this world and in the next. Oh my God, how cruel we are to a God who is so good! Yes, M.F., When we reflect on the conduct of that treacherous apostle who betrayed and sold out his divine Master, who for many years had admitted him to the number of his dearest favourites, who had showered him with so many benefits, who had given him an office in preference to others, who had witnessed so many miracles ; When we remember, I say, the cruelties and barbarities of the Jews, who did to this divine Saviour all that their rage could invent, to this divine Saviour who had come into this world only to rescue them from the tyranny of the devil, to raise them to the glorious quality of children of God, We can only consider them as monsters of ingratitude, worthy of the execration of heaven and earth, and of the most rigorous punishments that the good Lord can inflict on the reprobate in all his power and just anger.

First of all, I say, M.F., that whoever has the great misfortune of taking communion unworthily, his crime is even more horrible than that of Judas who betrayed and sold his divine Master, and that of the Jews who crucified Him; because Judas and the Jews still seemed to have some excuse for doubting whether He was really the Saviour. But can this Christian, this wretched profaner, doubt it? Are not the proofs of His divinity evident enough? Do they not know that at His death all creatures seemed to be moved by it, and that the whole of nature seemed to be annihilated by seeing its Creator expire? Was not His resurrection manifested by an infinity of the most striking prodigies, which could leave no doubt of His divinity? Was not His ascension made in the presence of more than five hundred persons, almost all of whom shed their blood in support of these truths? But the wretched profaner knows nothing of all this, and with all his knowledge he betrays and sells his God and Savior to the devil and crucifies Him in his heart by sin. Judas used a kiss of peace to hand him over to his enemies; but the unworthy communicant takes his cruelty even further: after having lied to the Holy Spirit in the court of penance by concealing or disguising some sin, he dares, this wretch, to go and stand among the faithful destined to eat this bread, with hypocritical respect on his forehead! Oh, no, no, nothing stops this monster of ingratitude; he goes forward and consummates his reprobation. In vain, this tender Saviour, seeing him come to Him, cries out from the depths of His tabernacle as to the perfidious Judas: "My friend, what are you doing here? What, my friend, are you going to betray your God and your Saviour with a sign of peace? Stop, stop, my son; oh, please spare me. But, no, no, neither the remorse of his conscience, nor the tender reproaches of his God can stop his criminal steps. Ah, he goes forward, he is going to stab his God and his Saviour! Oh, heaven, what a horror! Can you support without trembling this unfortunate murderer of your Creator? Ah, is this not the height of crime and abomination in the holy place? No, no, hell in all its fury could never invent anything like this; no, no, the idolatrous nations could never invent anything like this in hatred of the true God, if we compare it to the outrages that a Christian who receives communion unworthily does to Jesus Christ.

However, we read in history examples that make us shudder. We see that a pagan emperor, in hatred of Jesus Christ, placed infamous idols on Calvary and on the Holy Sepulchre, and he believed that he could not carry his fury against Jesus Christ any further. Hey! Great God! Is there anything comparable with the unworthy communicant? Oh, no, no, he no longer places his God in the midst of dumb and insentient idols, but, alas, in the midst of his infamous and living passions, which are so many executioners who crucify his Saviour! Alas, what shall I say? this wretch unites the Holy of Holies with murderous harlots and sells Him to iniquity. Yes, this wretch plunges his God into an intense hell. Can we conceive of anything more frightful? Yes, M.F., we are seized with horror when we see in history the profanations that have been made of the Holy Hosts.

I will tell you one that will horrify you. It is reported that a Christian woman, who was poor, had borrowed a small sum of money from a Jew and left him a dress of hers as a pledge. When the feast of Easter was near, she asked the Jew to give her the things she had given him for that day. The Jew told her that he would give her everything and hold her harmless if, after receiving Communion, she brought him the Holy Host. The unfortunate woman, so as not to be obliged to return the money, told him that she would. The very next day, she went to church, and after receiving the Sacred Host in her mouth, she immediately took it out, put it in her handkerchief, and took it to the unfortunate Jew who had only asked her for it in order to exercise his fury against Jesus Christ. Once he had it in his hands, he treated it with the utmost cruelty. We see that Jesus Christ constantly showed him how sensitive he was to the outrages that this wretch was doing to him. The Jew placed the Sacred Host on a table and struck it with a knife, and so much blood came out that the table was covered with it. He took it and hung it up by a nail, and whipped it until he was satisfied; he pierced it with a spear, and blood came out of it as when he was crucified; then he threw it into the fire, where it could be seen flying here and there among the flames without being harmed in any way; his rage led him to throw it into a pot of boiling oil: the water seemed to be changed into blood. The Holy Host, in that moment, took the form of Jesus Christ on the cross. This unfortunate man, struck with terror, ran to hide in a small room in his house. However, one of the Jew's children, seeing Christians going to church, said to them: "You must not go to seek your God any more; my father has put him to death. A woman, listening to this child, went into the house and saw the Holy Host, which was in the form of a cross. This woman ran to take a small vessel, and as she presented her vessel, the Holy Host resumed its former form and was placed in the vessel she had brought. This unfortunate Jew was so hardened that he preferred to be burned alive than to be baptized.

We cannot think of these horrors without shuddering. Alas! M.F., if we knew what sacrilege is, that is to say, the outrage done to Jesus Christ by one who receives Communion in an unworthy manner, the very thought would make us die of fright. This Jew, after having satisfied all his fury against Jesus Christ by treating this Holy Host so indifferently, resembles a venial sin more or less like a mortal sin, if we compare it with a sacrilege committed by a bad Christian who has the misfortune to approach the Holy Table without being in a state of grace. No, no, hell could never have invented anything more horrible than sacrilege to make Jesus Christ suffer.

2. I say that to the perfidy of Judas, the unworthy comrade adds the ingratitude, the fury and the malice of the Jews. Let us listen to the tender reproach that Jesus Christ made to the Jews: "Why do you persecute Me? Is it because I have enlightened the blind, straightened the lame, restored health to the sick, and raised the dead? Is it then a crime that I loved you so much?" Such is the language that Jesus Christ addresses to the profa-nors of his adorable body and precious blood. And yet, He tells us through the mouth of one of His prophets, if this insult and this affront had been done to Me by enemies or by idolaters who never had the happiness of knowing Me, or even by heretics born in error, it would have been less sensitive to Me; but you, He tells us, whom I have placed in the bosom of My Church, you whom I have enriched with My most precious gifts; you who, through Baptism, were made My children, the heirs of My kingdom!You, my son, dare to insult Me with the most horrible sacrilege; you, my son, can still strike at the heart of the best of all fathers, who loved you to the death. Why, you ungrateful people, you are not yet satisfied with all the cruelties that have been done to my innocent body during my painful passion! Have you forgotten the pitiful state in which I was reduced after my painful and bloody scourging, where my body was like a piece of chopped meat? Have you forgotten, ungrateful men, the suffering I endured in carrying my cross, the many steps, the many falls, and the many times I was kicked up? Have you forgotten that I died on the infamous wood of the cross in order to rescue you from hell and open heaven to you? Ah, my son, will you not be touched again? Could I have carried my love for you any further? Stop, my son. Ah, please spare your God who loved you so much; why do you want to give me a second death, receiving me with sin in your heart?

Tell me, which one of us, after such tender and loving reproaches of his God, would have the courage to go to the Holy Table with a sin-stained conscience? My God, who can understand the blindness of these unfortunate people? Oh, if, before rising to give death to their God, they thought of those terrible words of St. Paul, that they are going to incorporate their judgment and condemnation, would they dare to carry their audacity to such excess? Could this God of love have thought, not that those who do not have the happiness of knowing Him, but that Christians are not yet satisfied with what the Jews made Him endure during His painful passion? On Calvary, could he have thought that the majority of Christians would become his executioners, would take his life, and would crucify him in their hearts by receiving him in their sin-stained conscience? Listen to what He tells us through the mouth of a prophet: Will He heal a soul that loves its wounds, that is, its passions? Will he inflame with the ardor of his love a heart that burns with the profane love of the world? No, no," he says, "as God as He is, He will never do it.

Yes, M.F., Jesus Christ, in a criminal heart, is without action and without movement, so that he who is unfortunate enough to receive communion unworthily, the spiritual death he gives to his God is even more surprising than the one he endured on the Cross. Indeed, M.F., if the Jews persecuted Him in such an unworthy manner, it was only during His death, but the unworthy communicant outrages Him in the abode of His glory. If the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary seemed so violent and painful, at least the whole of nature seemed to bear witness to its sorrow, and the most insensitive creatures seemed to be moved by it, and in this way seemed to want to share His sufferings. But here, none of this appears; he is insulted, he is outraged, he is bruised; ah! what shall I say? he is slaughtered by a vile nothingness; all is silent and all seems insensible to his sufferings. The sun is not eclipsed, the earth does not tremble, the altar is not overturned; can this God of goodness, so unworthily outraged, not complain more justly than on the tree of the Cross that He is forsaken? Should He not cry out, "Ah, Father, why have You abandoned Me to the fury of My enemies, must I die every moment?" But, my God, how can a Christian have the courage to go to the Holy Table with sin in his heart to give death to his God? No, no, hell in its fury could never invent anything more outrageous to Jesus Christ than the sacrilege committed by Christians.

But, you may ask, who are those who have this great misfortune? - Alas! M.F., how great the number is! - But, you will say to me, who could be capable of it? - Who could be capable of it? It is you, my friend, who have told your sins with so little pain as an indifferent story. Who is guilty? Is it not you, my friend, who after your confessions fall back into the same easy way of life; who have no change in your way of life; who always have the same sins to tell in all your confessions? Who is guilty of this? It is you, wretch, who have closed your mouth before accusing your sins. Who is guilty of this? It is you, poor blind men, who have understood well that you did not tell your sins as you knew them. Tell me, why do you dare to go to the Holy Table in this state? - You say it is because I want to make my Passover, I want to take Communion. - You want to take Communion, but where, unhappily, do you want to put your God? Is it in your eyes, which you have soiled with so many impure and adulterous glances? You want to receive Communion, but where will you put your God? Is it in your hands, which you have soiled by so many infamous touches? You want to receive Communion, but where will you put your God? Is it in your mouth and on your tongue? Hey, great God, a mouth and a tongue which you have so often profaned with impure kisses! You want to take communion, but where do you hope to place your God? Is it in your heart? Oh horror! O abomination! A heart that is darkened and blackened by crime, like a firebrand that has been rolling in the fire for a fortnight or three weeks. You want to take Communion, my friend; you want to make your Easter? When Judas, the infamous Judas, sold his divine Master, he was like a desperate man until he handed Him over to his executioners to be condemned to death. You have just sold Him to the devil, to the tribunal of penance, by hiding and disguising your sins; run, you wretch, and deliver Him to the devil. Oh, great God, will your nerves be able to support this body which is going to commit the greatest of all crimes? Rise up, wretched man, go forward, since Calvary is in your heart and the victim is before you, walk on, let your conscience cry out, only try to stifle your remorse as much as you can. Go, unhappy man, and sit at the Holy Table, and eat the bread of the angels; but before you open your mouth, soiled by so many crimes, listen to what the great Saint Cyprian is going to say to you, and you will see the reward of your sacrileges. He tells us that when a woman dared to come to the Holy Table with a sin-stained conscience and I was giving her Holy Communion, a thunderbolt from heaven fell on her and crushed her at my feet. Alas, my God, how can a person who is guilty go to Holy Communion to commit the greatest of all sacrileges? Yes, M.F., St. Paul tells us that if the Jews had known Jesus Christ for the Saviour, they would never have caused Him to suffer or die; but you, my friend, can you be unaware of the one you are about to receive? If you did not think of it, listen to the priest crying aloud to you, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who blots out the sins of the world." He is holy, He is pure. If you are guilty, unhappy, do not go forward; if you do, fear that the thunderbolts of heaven will come rushing down upon your criminal head to punish you and throw your soul into hell.

continued below

  • Many, many thanks for posting this.
    – DDS
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 5:06

…continued from above

II. - No, no, M.F., I am not speaking here of the temporal evils which sacrileges bring upon the world; I will pass over in silence the dreadful punishments which the Jews suffered after they had killed Jesus Christ. The story alone makes one shudder: they slit each other's throats, the streets were covered with corpses, blood flowed through the streets like water in a river; the famine was so great that mothers even ate their children.

St. John Damascene tells us that sacrilege is such a terrible crime that a single sacrilege is capable of attracting all kinds of misfortunes in the world; he tells us that it is mainly on profaners that Jesus Christ will pour out the gall of his fury throughout eternity. Here is an example which will show you the state of a profaner at the hour of death. It is reported that a poor wretch who had made sacrilegious com-munities during his life, saw a demon who approached him saying: This poor wretch cried out, "Alas, God's vengeance is upon me," and died in despair as he spoke these words. Yes, Mother, if we could form an idea of the magnitude of sacrilege, we would rather die a thousand times than commit it. Indeed, a Christian who is so unfortunate as to receive Holy Communion in an unworthy manner is guilty of the most detestable of all sacrileges, of the blackest of all ingratitude; let us say better, he poisons his heart, he kills his soul, he opens the door of his heart to the devil, and voluntarily makes himself his slave. Yes, M.F., the horror of his sacrilege comes from the fact that he profanes not a place or a holy vessel, but a body which is the source of all holiness, which is that of Jesus Christ. The enormity of his ingratitude is shown by the fact that he offends his benefactor with the most important of his benefits; and moreover, he uses himself to offend him. Sacrilegious communion is like a very sharp sword that he thrusts into his entrails, it poisons him as Judas was poisoned by his own, it gives the devil full power to seize him after he has taken communion. It would be better never to take communion, since it brings neither profit, nor pleasure, nor honour, but causes the greatest damage, very cruel remorse of conscience and eternal infamy. Saint Cyprian reports that a woman, on leaving communion unworthily, was seized by the devil, who tormented her so horribly that she herself became his tormentor; after cutting out her tongue, she died...

O my God, can a Christian have the courage to go to the Holy Table with hidden sins, or sins he does not want to correct, or, if you like, who in spite of so many past communions does not change his life? My God, how blind man is! Alas, it is only on the day of judgment that we will see all these abominations. Listen to St. Paul, speaking to the Corinthians: "You come to the table of the Lord with as little respect and religion as if you were at a profane table; you go to eat the bread of angels with as little decency as if you were eating material bread; can you wonder if you are burdened with so many evils? Alas! M.F., let us acknowledge with sincere tears that if we are burdened with so many misfortunes and so many punishments, it is only sacrilege that is the true source of them. How many wars, how many famines, how many diseases and sudden deaths! Fools, who attribute all this to chance, open your eyes and you will see that it is only your sacrileges. Yes, M.F., if we could describe to you all the consequences of a sacrilege, not one of you would dare to take communion. It is reported by St. God the King, who was Bishop of Amiens, that he forbade all priests to give absolution during the Easter holidays to all those who had eaten meat during Lent. A libertine, who was guilty of this crime, that is to say, who had eaten meat, took on the habit of a woman in order to deceive his confessor. This artifice succeeded, but to his misfortune: for no sooner had he received the body of Jesus Christ, than an invisible force overthrew him, and he began to foam like a madman, rolling on the ground and dying in his fury. No, no, M.F., whatever terrors unworthy communions may throw into the heart of man by the dreadful punishments they attract, they are still nothing if we compare them to those which Jesus Christ exercises on souls; and these punishments are usually hardening during life and despair at the hour of death. The good God, as a punishment for his abominations, abandons this unfortunate person to his blindness; the devil, who deceived him during his life, only lets him see it when he foresees that the good God has abandoned him; he goes from crime to crime, from sacrilege to sacrilege, he ends up not thinking about it any more, he swallows iniquity like water; finally, in spite of all the time and all the help he gets, he dies in sacrilege just as if he had been living there. Here is a very striking example, reported by a Jew who heard it from a priest to whom it had happened. When I was in a mission near Brussels," Father Lejeune tells us, "there was a devout woman .... It surprises you, no doubt, that she should die in this way, being able to make good the evil she had done; for me, it does not surprise me, because, sacrilege being the greatest of crimes, one deserves to be abandoned by the good God and not to know how to profit either from time or from graces.

Yes, M.F., sacrilege seems so awful that it seems impossible that Christians could be guilty of such a crime; and yet, nothing so common. Let us take a look at communions. How many confessions and communions will we not find made out of human respect! How many out of hypocrisy, how many out of custom! How many, if Easter were only every thirty years, would never take Communion, alas, how many others, who only see this precious time coming with difficulty, and who only approach it because others do, and not to please God and nourish their poor soul. This is clear proof, Mother, that these confessions and communions are worthless, since there is no change in their way of life. Do we see them after confession more gentle, more patient in their sorrows and the contradictions of life, more charitable, more inclined to hide and excuse the faults of their brothers? No, no, M.F., there is no longer any question of a change in their conduct; they have sinned up to now, they continue to do so. Oh, what a terrible misfortune, but one that is little known to the greatest number of Christians! Oh, my God, could you have thought that your children would take such an extreme stand against you? No, no, M.F., it is not without reason that a crucifix is placed on the communion table, alas, how often it is crucified at the Holy Table! Look at him well, my soul, you who dare to stab the dagger into this heart which has loved us more than itself; look at him well, he is your Judge, He who must fix your dwelling place for eternity. Probe your conscience well; if you are in a bad state, unhappy, do not advance. Yes, Jesus Christ has risen from natural death, and He will die no more; but this death which you give Him by your unworthy communions, ah! when will it end? O what a long agony! When He was on earth, there was only one Calvary to crucify Him; but here, so many hearts, so many crosses where He is tied! How great is the patience of my God, to suffer so many cruelties without saying a word, even to complain, being treated so indignantly by a vile creature for whom you have already suffered so much! Do you want to know, M.F., what a person does when he commits an act of indignity? Listen to him carefully, so that you may understand the greatness of your atrocity towards Jesus Christ. What would you say, M.F., of a man whose father was taken to a place to be executed, if, finding no gallows there to tie him up, he addressed the executioners, saying: You have no gallows, here are my arms, use them to hang my father? You could not see such an act of barbarism without shuddering with horror. How now! M.F., if I dared, I would tell you that this is still nothing, if we compare it to the dreadful crime committed by those who take communion in an unworthy manner. Indeed, what good has a father done for his child, if we compare it with what Jesus Christ has done for us? Tell me, M.F., if you were to make these reflections before going to the Holy Table, would you have the courage to go there without examining yourself carefully about what you are going to do? Would you dare to go there with sins hidden, disguised, confessed without contrition and without any desire to leave them? This is what you say to the devil when you are so blind and so foolhardy: "There is no cross or Calvary as there was in the past, but I have found something that can make up for it. - What?" says the devil, astonished at this proposal. - You say to him, "It is my heart. He has cast you down into hell, take your revenge in turn, slay him on the cross. - Oh my God, can one think of this without shuddering with horror? Yet, this is what he does who receives Communion in an unworthy manner. Oh, no, no, hell in all its fury could never invent anything like this. No, no, if there were a thousand hells for one profaner, it would be nothing, if we compare it to the greatness of his crime. St. Paul tells us, "What does one do when he takes communion unworthily? Alas, that wretch drinks and eats his own judge and judgment. According to the laws, criminals have been read their condemnation, but have they ever been made to eat their sentence of condemnation, and in this way, their condemnation and themselves become one and the same thing? It is no longer on paper that the sentence of condemnation of these profaners is written, but on their own hearts. At the hour of death, Jesus Christ will descend, with a torch in his hand, into these sacrilegious hearts, and will find there his adorable blood so many times profaned, which will cry out for vengeance. O divine Savior, will the anger and power of your Father be strong enough to strike these unfortunate Judases into the depths of the abyss? Well then! M.F., have you understood what an unworthy community is, you who confess with so little preparation, who give less care to it than you would to the most common and indifferent matter? Tell me, M.F., in order to be as calm as you seem to be, are you quite sure that all your confessions and your communions have been accompanied by all the necessary provisions to be good and to put your salvation in safety? Have you made a good case for your sins? Have you mourned them well? Have you done penance for them? Have you taken all the means that the good Lord has inspired in you to avoid falling into them again? Go back, my friend, to your past years, examine all the confessions and communions that were not accompanied by any amendment, no change in your life. Take the torch in your hand, yourself, to see the state of your soul, before Jesus Christ makes you see it himself to judge and condemn you forever. One thing alone should prevent you from falling into despair, and that is that you are alive and that the good Lord is offering you his grace to pull you out of this abyss, the depth of which is infinite, and that for this you need nothing less than the power of a God. Alas! M.F., how many Christians are now burning in hell, who have heard the same things that you are hearing today, but who did not want to take advantage of them, even though their conscience was crying out! But, alas, they only wanted to get out when they could not, and fell into hell. Alas, how many of those who are listening to me will have the same fate! My God, is it possible to know one's condition and not want to leave it? - But, you will say to me, who will dare to approach the Holy Table and who will dare to hope to have made a good communion in his life? If I get up to go to the Holy Table, will it not seem as if an invisible hand will push me away and strike me dead? - My friend, I am not telling you anything about this; search your conscience and see in what state it is; see if, on leaving the Holy Table, you would appear with confidence before the tribunal of Jesus Christ. -But, you will tell me, it is better to leave everything than to expose yourself to such a crime. - My friend, in giving you an idea of the magnitude of the sacrilege, it was not my intention to keep you away from Holy Communion, but only to open the eyes of those who are among them, to repair the harm they have done, while there is still time, and to lead those who hope to be exempt from this dreadful crime, to bring about a more perfect disposition.

What must we conclude from all this, M.F.? It is this: to make our confessions and communions as we would like to have made them at the hour of death, when we will appear before the tribunal of Jesus Christ, so that, always doing well, we may have heaven as our reward. This is what I wish for you.

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