Every time we come to Communion we say to the Lord that we come to Him
Who is the Saviour of sinners, but we also state that we consider
ourselves as the greatest of all. How much truth is there in such a
statement when we make it? Or how can we make such a statement? Is it
true? Can we truly say that we do consider ourselves the worst of all
sinners? John of Kronstadt in his "Diary" makes a point which I believe
is very important; he says that he also asks himself this very question,
and he can answer it in all honesty, because, he says, if others had
been given so much love, so much grace, so much Divine revelation as was
given to him, they would have borne fruit which he proved unable to
And so, this is a way in which we can ask ourselves questions when we
come up to Communion, and say the words of the prayer before Communion.
Is it simply that we repeat them because they are written in the books?
Or is it that we are aware - but aware of what? Aware of being sinners?
Yes, we all are aware of being sinners, more or less; but are we aware
of how much we have received from God and how little fruit we have
borne? It is only if we see vividly, clearly, the contrast between all
that was possible, indeed - all that IS possible, and all that we are,
that we can honestly say such words.
Let us reflect on them, because we cannot speak words of courtesy, words
of empty politeness to God when we pray. What we say must be true, and
we must make of every prayer a test of the truth of our conscience and
of our lives.
Let us take this with us until we receive Communion again, so that one
day, perhaps not at our next Communion, but after a long life of
searching, of praying, of passing judgement on ourselves, we can say
truly, "God, o God! How much you have given me, and how little fruit I
have borne! If anyone had been given what you gave me, he would already
be a Saint of God". Amen.