FOURTH STAGE. Everything links up. Deep calls to deep. Now it is the SACRAMENTS. They are received and administered, no doubt, as something worthy of respect; but there is no longer any sense of the vital energy contained in them. The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle or in the holy tribunal of Penance is no longer able to make the springs of faith shudder even to the depths of his soul. Even the Mass, the Sacrifice of Calvary, has become a closed garden. Of couse, the soul is still far from sacrilege— let us at least believe that much! But there is no longer any reaction to the warmth of the Precious Blood. His Consecrations are cold; his Communions tepid, distracted, superficial. A familiarity without respect, routine, maybe even repugnance, are lying in wait for him now.As Dom Chautard himself notes, "Everything links up. Deep calls to deep." Indeed they do.
A soul does not find themselves waking up one day in heresy. Heresy is procedural. Just like one's diminishing of horror at their sin is.
Friends, do we find ourselves at this fourth and final stage? Are our Communions tepid, lacking warmth, distracted and superficial? Is this persistent? Have we approached Communion clinically - almost robotically, even? Have we approached the sanctuary at Communion-time out of simple routine? Now, we must be wary of being so afraid to receive Him that we become Jansenists. But we must also be in the habit of receiving Him with the dignity, decorum and respect He deserves - lest we become little more than savages.
Friends, where are we in the stages?
Regardless of how far down we have gotten, there is always a sliver of hope.
That sense of hope and turning back to God is what Dom Chautard will detail in the coming segments of our series.