Yes, it is a necessity for us to see Our Lord, to feel Him near us, and to honor Him with our gifts.
If He demanded from us only interior homage, He would fail to respond to one of man’s imperious needs, for we know not how to love without testifying our affection exteriorly. The faith of Catholics may be weighed by their churches. If the light is constantly burning, if the altar linens are clean and neat, if the ornaments are well kept — O there is faith! But if Our Lord is left without ornaments in a church that is more like a prison — faith is wanting! Ah, how wretched we are sometimes on these points! We are ready to help on all kinds of benevolent works — but ask something for the Most Blessed Sacrament and we have no ears to hear. We contribute to the adornment of the shrine of some saint, or to some pilgrimage to effect a cure, but to the Most Blessed Sacrament — nothing! Will the King go in rags while the servants are decked in ornaments? We have no faith, no active, loving faith. We are Protestant in practice, though Catholic in name. Our Lord is there. We are incessantly asking Him for graces, for health, a happy death, and we do not honor His poverty by the least gift! Let us be silent, for we insult Him! "If," says St. James, "a poor man asks you an alms, and you send him away without giving him anything, saying to him: Go in peace, you are ridiculing him, you are a murderer!" Now, see! Here is Our Lord, and He has nothing; He is expecting everything from you. You come and say to Him: "I adore Thee, I acknowledge Thee for my King, I thank Thee for remaining in the Eucharist," and yet you give nothing to contribute to the honor of His worship! You insult Him. And when the priest is obliged to make use of miserable, shabby ornaments, because he has no others, it is the fault of his parishioners. It is scandalous! For all, yes, all can give to Our Lord. Experience proves that it is not the great nor the rich who contribute to Eucharistic worship, but the multitude of the poor. One day Our Lord saw unmoved the Pharisees placing large sums in the treasury; but when a poor widow threw in a penny, all that she had, He was filled with admiration. His heart was touched, and He could not refrain from saying to the Apostles: "This poor widow has done more than all the others because she has given of her substance." And so he that deprives himself of something that he may give a candle, a flower, gives more than he who can easily make large offerings. Jesus does not regard the greatness of the gift, but the heart that gives. Give, then, give to Our Lord. Console His abandonment; succor His poverty.