The Importance of Thanksgiving after Holy Communion...

The beautiful Eucharistic devotee St. Mary Magdalene di Pazzi explained this doctrine splendidly, "The minutes that follow Communion are the most precious we have in our lives. They are the minutes best suited on our part for treating with God, and on His part for communicating His love to us."

St. Philip Neri, who put comedy into practicality, once noticed a man who always left the church immediately after receiving Holy Communion. St. Philip decided for the glory and honor of God that this man needed to be taught a lesson. He called two acolytes and asked them to take two candlesticks with lighted tapers and follow him home.

 The servers obeyed, and onlookers in the street stared in wonder at such a unique sight. The man, noticing the youngsters, finally asked why they were following him. They said that St. Philip told them to do so. He therefore returned to the church and asked the saint what was the meaning of this unwanted escort. St. Philip replied: "It is to pay proper respect to Our Lord, whom you are carrying away with you. Since you neglect to adore Him, I sent the servers to supply your place." The man saw that he was at fault, and kneeling before the altar, made his thanksgiving most devoutly. Needless to say, he remained in prayerful thanksgiving for a quarter of an hour.

Another saint who left many beautiful words of wisdom about thanksgiving after Holy Communion was St. Teresa of Avila. This wise saint and Doctor of the Church says that at this time, as no other, we "can so easily enrich our souls with virtues, or so rapidly advance to a high degree of perfection."

Teresa declares, "For we know that, until the accidents of bread have been consumed by our natural heat (up to 15 minutes), the good Jesus is with us and we should come to Him. If, while He went about in the world, the sick were healed merely by touching His clothes, how can we doubt that He will work miracles when He is within us, if we have faith, or that He will give us what we ask of Him since He is in our house? His Majesty is not wont to offer us too little payment for His lodging if we treat Him well.

Teresa encouraged her sisters back then, and may I say us today, to "delight to remain with Him at the hour after Communion. Remember that this is a very profitable hour for the soul; if you spend it in the company of good Jesus, you are doing Him a great service. Be very careful, then, daughters, not to lose it."

Additionally, St. Teresa gives us this great promise if we thank the Lord, "I tell you, and tell you again, for I should like to repeat it often, that if you practice this habit of staying with Him, not just once or twice, but whenever you communicate, and strive to keep your conscience clear so that you can often rejoice in this your Good, He will not, as I have said, come so much disguised as to be unable to make His presence known to you in many ways, according to the desire which you have of seeing Him. So great, indeed, may be your longing for Him that He will reveal Himself to you wholly."