"The love of Jesus Christ is the most sure pledge of our future happiness, and the most infallible token of our predestination. Mercy towards the poor, devotion to the Holy Virgin, are very sensible tokens of predestination; nevertheless they are not absolutely infallible; but one cannot have a sincere and constant love of Jesus Christ, without being predestinated ... The destroying angel, which bereaved the houses of the Egyptians of their first-born, had respect to all the houses which were marked with the blood of the Lamb."
And it is also exemplified, as I verily believe, not only in formal and distinctive Confessions, not only in books intended for the educated class, but also in the personal religion of the Catholic populations. When strangers are so unfavourably impressed with us, because they see Images of our Lady in our churches, and crowds flocking about her, they forget that there is a Presence within the sacred walls, infinitely more awful, which claims and obtains from us a worship transcendently different from any devotion we pay to her. That devotion to her might indeed tend to idolatry, if it were encouraged in Protestant churches, where there is nothing higher than it to attract the worshipper: but all the images that a Catholic church ever contained, all the Crucifixes at its Altars brought together, do not so affect its frequenters, as the lamp which betokens the presence or absence there of the Blessed Sacrament. Is not this so certain, so notorious, that on some occasions it has been even brought as a charge against us, that we are irreverent in church, when what seemed to the objector to be irreverence was but the necessary change of feeling, which came over those who were in it, on their knowing that their Lord was no longer there, but away?
The Mass again conveys to us the same lesson of the sovereignty of the Incarnate Son; it is a return to Calvary, and Mary is scarcely named in it. Hostile visitors enter our churches on Sunday at midday, the time of the Anglican Service. They are surprised to see the High Mass perhaps poorly attended, and a body of worshippers leaving the music and the mixed multitude who may be lazily fulfilling their obligation, for the silent or the informal devotions which are offered at an Image of the blessed Virgin. They may be tempted, with one of your informants, to call such a temple, not a "Jesus church," but a "Mary church". But, if they understood our ways, they would know that we begin the day with our Lord and then go on to His Mother. It is early in the morning that religious persons go to Mass and Communion. The High Mass, on the other hand, is the festive celebration of the day, not the special devotional service; nor is there any reason why those who have been at low Mass already, should not at that hour proceed to ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin for themselves and all that is dear to them.
Communion, again, which is given in the morning, is a solemn unequivocal act of faith in the Incarnate God, if any can be such; and the most gracious of admonitions, did we need one, of His sovereign and sole right to possess us. I knew a lady, who on her deathbed was visited by an excellent Protestant friend. The latter, with great tenderness for her soul's welfare, asked her whether her prayers to the Blessed Virgin did not, at that awful hour, lead to forgetfulness of her Saviour. "Forget Him?" she replied with surprise, "Why, He was just now here." She had been receiving Him in communion.