Quote of the day, 20 January: Hermann Cohen

Adorable sacrament, blessed spring from which my dry lips can drink the first fruits of eternal life, my heart is filled with joy. I need to bless you and sing your praises in songs of joy and thanksgiving. Indeed I have learnt that my brothers in Paris can now adore you each day in the practice of perpetual adoration.

The church bells in the city are ringing, and processional banners go before you. The Archbishop is promoting this devotion, calling Christians together to arrange the altars and asking the children to come and sing. He himself is taking part in this uninterrupted adoration from church to church, making it a kind of image of the eternal praise given by the blessed to God….

O adorable Jesus, adorable for me whom you have led into the solitude that you may speak to my heart… for me whose days and nights pass sweetly away in heavenly exchange with Your adorable presence; between the remembrance of today’s Communion and the hope of the Communion of tomorrow…

In the loving union of God with the poorest of His creatures; I fervently embrace the walls of my beloved cell, where nothing disturbs me from my only thought, where I breathe but to love your divine sacrament; where, freed from the burden of “perishable” possessions, stripped of all that holds to earth, and breaking through the snares which take the senses captive, I can, like the dove, fly upwards to the heavenly region of the Sanctuary, pierce the clouds of mystery enveloping Your Tabernacle, bask in the searching, rays of this bright Sun of Grace, plunged in an ocean of light, and consumed as in the flames of a glowing furnace. . . .

Then, taking shelter in the refreshing shade of this Tree of Life, I inhale the fragrance of the flowers, I enjoy the sweetness of the fruits…. I am soothed by the melody of your loving words, and, overcome with happiness and love, I fall asleep at the feet of my Beloved. …….

Let those come who knew me formerly, those who despise the God Who died for love of them…. Let them come, O my Jesus! and they will learn if You can change the heart.

Yes, worldly people, I say to you, prostrate before this Love so misunderstood—if you see me no more upon your soft carpets, straining to win applause, and courting empty honors, it is because I have found glory in the lowly a Tabernacle of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament—Jesus our God.

If you no more see me stake on playing cards the inheritance of a whole family, or rush eagerly after money, it is because I have found riches and treasures inexhaustible in the ciborium wherein is Jesus in the Sacred Host!

Servant of God Hermann Cohen

Augustine of the Blessed Sacrament, O.C.D.
Dedication of the canticles “For the Love of Jesus Christ” (excerpt)


Cohen’s biographer Father Timothy Tierney, O.C.D. writes, “on a frosty morning in the course of a Berlin winter, January 20, 1871, Hermann Cohen yielded his generous soul into the arms of eternal love.” Read Father Tierney’s account of Hermann Cohen’s final weeks of heroic service as a chaplain in Spandau Prison, his edifying witness in his final illness, and inspiring words as death approached. Join us in praying for the beatification of the Servant of God.

Tierney, T  2017,  A Life of Hermann Cohen: From Franz Liszt to John of the CrossBalboa Press,  Bloomington, IN

Featured image: Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. captures this image of Eucharistic adoration at Saint Jean Baptiste parish in New York City. (Some rights reserved)

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