Le cheminement intérieur de Marthe Robin est dévoilé grâce à la publication de son "Journal". Découvrez-le en ligne...
A great French mystic
The host as her only food
The progressive paralysis of her digestive tract prevented Marthe Robin from eating and drinking. Yet she did not die. The only thing she could swallow was the host that she received each week. Holy Communion became her only food.
She drew her strength from the Eucharist:
In Marthe's life, the words of Jesus in the Gospel became a reality.
"I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever hunger; no one who believes in me will ever thirst. Gospel according to St John, chap. 6, verse 35
Jesus, he is the one who nourishes me.
Marthe lived on the Eucharist
From 1930 onwards, when the disease reached her digestive tract, Marthe Robin could no longer eat. How did she survive? The Eucharist literally became her sole nourishment. It was not the substance of the host that fed her, because she only received communion once a week. She explained the following to the philosopher Jean Guitton, in 1958:
This is my only food. Someone moistens my mouth, but I cannot swallow. The host gives me a physical impression of food. Given that Jesus is my entire body, it is He who nourishes me. It's like a resurrection.
In an intimate union with God, Marthe saw the fulfilment of Christ's promise: "My flesh is real food and my blood is a real drink. " (Gospel according to St John, chap. 6, verse 55). The "Body of Christ" received during communion, gives life to the soul and even reaches that of the body. Marthe experienced the power of the sacrament in a very special way:
I want to cry out to those who ask me if I eat that I eat more than they, because I am fed by the Eucharist with the body and blood of Jesus.
I want to tell them that they are the ones who hinder the effects of this food inside them, they block the effects.
First Communion, a key moment
From the moment of her first communion, at the age of 10, Marthe experienced an intense connection with God:
I believe that my private communion was the moment when Our Lord took possession of my soul.
I believe he had already taken hold of me at that time. My private communion was something very sweet.
Her solemn communion took place four years later. Marthe then had a real desire for the Eucharist. On Sundays, when she took care of the animals, she would sometimes find a way of receiving the Eucharist.
Each communion was a transformation
In the journal that she kept on a daily basis between 1929 and 1932, Marthe Robin wrote, "each communion is a transformation." When she received communion, Marthe was not content merely to swallow and consume the host. She welcomes in her the living Jesus, whom she knew was alive. Little by little, she accepted to be transformed by Him.
One day she received these words of Jesus while she was receiving communion: "I come to you, I come into you." Christ was telling her that he was coming to improve her, enlighten her, make her better...
Communion is not a reward, it is a means of union and love and sanctification
This love that she received, because she gave up her whole life to God, allowed her to give herself more and more every day. Marthe did not withdraw and keep the extraordinary graces she received in the Eucharist to herself. She received communion in order to bring to God every human distress.
She goes into a state of ecstasy after each communion
After receiving the Eucharist, Marthe was one with her Lord and she would go into ecstasy.
The divine possession is so overwhelming, so strong and so powerful that I lose all human connection. I am carried away by Him in the light and in the love and in the beatific light. The union is so complete that it is as if I am a liquid in Jesus, becoming one with Him, in love and contemplation. The whole being is enraptured in God, which goes further than an ecstasy.
She experienced a very special and intense union with God. For many hours, nothing existed around her. Jesus filled Marthe with his communions and consoled her:
The beloved host pours an ocean of delights into my heart... This divine union and fusion of love is the strength and life of my soul. Jesus is the friend who comforts me in every situation.
Testimony: We received communion with Marthe
Two members of the Foyer de Charité in Châteauneuf account of having received communion in Marthe's room:
"As always at La Plaine, the father placed the Blessed Sacrament in the first room, on a piece of furniture that was transformed into an altar. Then, he went to Marthe's room while we stayed together as a group praying in front of Jesus in the host. The father returned to take the host and invited us to come in to be with Marthe for the communion.
After the rosary and prayers, the father prepared to give Marthe communion. But she hastened to say, ‘please, would give it to Mireille and Jeanne first? I would like to unite myself with their thanksgiving.’”
Very graciously, Marthe wanted to experience the joy of a shared thanksgiving with both women.
The key: to be united with God
Not every communion resulted in the same sense of joy or exultation: "My communion without any feeling of joy was the most fervent that I have ever experienced. At least I think.” Marthe asked that we prepare our souls for a long time before going to mass because,
a communion received without preparation and without thanksgiving (...) is of little use to the soul...
Receiving communion is an amazing union with God, but not in a magical way.
If I were asked, 'what is better, contemplative prayer or holy communion?’... Both are highly recommended. But if one were to be preferred over the other, I think I would say, contemplative prayer; because contemplative prayer is an attitude and an immediate preparation for holy communion.
It takes more effort to pray than to receive communion.
Marthe also experienced spiritual communion. Even when it is not possible to receive the host, it is always possible to be in communion with Christ by being in union with one's desire not to do one's own will but that of the Father:
Each day that I miss out on the joy of receiving the Holy Eucharist and several times during the day, I experience a spiritual communion, that is, the communion of the spirit and the heart.
In my life as a sick person, how sweet it has been for me to experience the communion of desire... If I had not known this way of receiving communion, I could not have lived.
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