Welcome! Holy Communion: Before and After

Welcome! Holy Communion: Before and After

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From a review of Welcome! in The Month, September 1904:

"Welcome is the title of Mother Mary Loyola's new book, and that is also the term with which the many readers of her former works will greet its appearance. It is, as the secondary title declares, an aid towards the art of using well the times before and after Communion, and the title of Welcome is in itself an illustration of the writer's felicitous power-to which Father Thurston calls attention in a short editorial preface-of giving expression to thoughts one has been long feeling but has not been able exactly to define. For what this one word "Welcome" does is to single out and set strikingly before us the underlying disposition which, whether in other respects we be joyous under consolation or dry and distracted under desolation, makes the one essential difference between a fervent and a lukewarm Communion.

Working on these lines Mother Mary Loyola arranges her chapters to accord with the different aspects under which the soul may need and desire to welcome its Lord in Holy Communion. Thus we have the Welcome of Mary as the grand example for us to follow, the Welcome of Faith, of a Creature, of a Child, of a Sinner, of a Friend, of a Patient, of Trust, of a Toiler, of Love, of a Cross-bearer, these and others of a similar kind-and finally the Last Welcome. Under each heading we have half a dozen pages of appropriate thoughts for the times before and after Communion, consisting partly of self-communing, partly of prayers; which last, however, are by no means cast in the rigid moulds so familiar to us in our prayer-books-of Acts of Contrition, of Desire, of Love, of Self-oblation-but range freely and naturally among the various affections of the soul."

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