Friday, May 15, 2009

The Fifteenth Day of May


Mary after the Resurrection.

I.

As Mary had suffered in union with her Son dying upon the Cross, so did she live of His happiness and joy after His resurrection. Mary’s life was always conformed to that of Jesus, which it faithfully reflected.

To whom was the first visit of Jesus risen? Assuredly, to His Mother. It was just that, having participated more than any one else in the sacrifice of His death, she should receive the first news, the first grace, the first joy of the resurrection. Hardly had He issued from the tomb glorious and triumphant, when He went to visit her. He had parted from her in tears, He returned to her in joy. What a moment for Mary when her risen Christ embraced her with all the respect and love that she deserved! What passed in that blissful interview? Scripture does not tell us, but we may imagine things the most delightful. What a glorious reception in Mary’s little room! Love’s contemplation alone can picture what passed therein. Without doubt, Jesus appeared to His Mother in all His risen beauty. No Apostle saw Him in such beauty as did Mary. The spiritual sight is proportioned to holiness, and so Mary penetrated even to His interior beauty, the perfection of His love, His happiness. She must have seen the glory of His Divinity at that blessed moment, since theologians declare that she was at times privileged to see God face to face. Our Lord conversed with her. He showed her His hands and feet, which had been pierced with nails, those dear hands and feet that she had kissed with so many tears on His descent from the Cross, and that were now radiant with purest light, whose wounds shot forth luminous waves, for the greater the suffering of any member, the greater its glorification. Mary must have kissed those Wounds in transports of joy, and felt the influence of the floods of grace that flowed from them. She must have seen Jesus Sacred Heart through the pierced side. He showed It to her now beating, now palpitating with life, and shooting forth flames of love. Ah! we cannot doubt that Mary pressed her lips to It in holy tenderness. And if St. John, from having laid his head upon that Divine Heart, hidden in the Sacred Side and under Our Lord’s clothing, drew from It, nevertheless, so many graces, what must it have been for Mary when she embraced It, kissed It uncovered and palpitating under her pure lips? Then it was that she comprehended still more perfectly that suffering and glory, death and life are but one and the same thing before God.

II.

But our Lord came not alone to visit Mary. He was followed by a cortege of all the saints who had arisen with Him, from the Patriarchs down to St. Joseph and the Good Thief. All came in the suite of their triumphant King to salute their Queen. Adam and Eve, to whom God had promised this daughter, this Mother of the Savior Messiah, prostrated themselves at her feet. It was to her after Our Lord that they owed their pardon. It was she who had given them their Liberator. And to all the felicitations of the saints of the Old Law, who thanked her for having given them a Savior, Mary replied, without doubt: Magnificat "My soul doth magnify the Lord, because He has regarded the humility of His servant." And St. Joseph, and St. Joachim, and St. Anne, were they not come, also, to make to this daughter, this heavenly spouse, their visit of respect and love? The sight of her must have filled them with joy, for she was the pure reflection of the splendor of Jesus.

At last, Our Lord left His Mother perfectly consoled, embalmed with His divine presence, in order to go to Magdalen and the Apostles. No doubt, He often returned to see her before His Ascension, and talked over with her all the events, the joys, and the sorrows of His mortal life.

III.

From the silence of the Evangelists on that apparition, as well as upon all the rest of Mary’s life, we may draw precious instruction. After having giving Jesus to the world, it was for Mary to hide herself. She had to remain in the shade, in order to become the model of interior souls, the patroness of the lowly and hidden life. Mary’s mission after her Son’s resurrection was only one of love and prayer. Our Lord seems to have kept for Himself alone the secret of His Mother’s life. He desired it entirely for Himself.

There is also another reason. Jesus concealed Himself in the Blessed Sacrament, He veiled Himself still more than in His mortal life. Mary had to imitate that state, share that annihilation. As Jesus deprived Himself of speech, movement, and sensible action in the Eucharist, Mary was no more to speak, no more to appear in the world. Because Jesus had become a silent prisoner, Mary devoted herself to guard Him in the secrecy of a life entirely given up to prayer. Had not Mary consecrated herself to this state, we adorers of the Eucharist could never have found in her our model. But Mary, the unknown servant and custodian of the Holy Eucharist, is our Mother, and her life is our grace.

As the light and heat of the sun in crease until it reaches its meridian, so Mary became more perfect every day. Her last years were filled with love of such breadth and extent, such depth, that we can form no idea of it.

The resurrection of her Son produced in Mary this prodigy, that it buried her, transformed her into the resuscitated life of Jesus, a life entirely interior, invisible, separated from all created things, and uninterruptedly united with God. Let us in this imitate our Mother. Let us remember that the more interior the life, the more perfect it is; that a covered fire is long-lived, but uncovered it soon burns out. There are few who wish to live the life of annihilation, because it is the final immolation of self-love. But it is the portion of souls who, like Mary, desire to love only Our Lord and to be known only to Him.

Practice: Live in union with Mary the risen life that Jesus leads in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Aspiration: Hail, Mary, vessel of pur est gold, which contains sweetness it self, our Eucharistic Jesus, the Manna of our soul!

2 comments:

shadowlands said...

Whoever wrote this post has themselves known suffering deeply.Such retrieval of truths is only possible in resurrection after extreme loss,in some way.
I am a very noisy person,naturally. I know I have to become more silent.I have felt Mary almost saying Shhh..to me during the day,in a very gentle yet authoritative way.I have so much inner noise to be sifted and silenced.I found hope here today.

Fr Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. said...

These meditations were written by St. Peter Julien Eymard. He did indeed know suffering in his life and found solace in silence before the tabernacle.

It is very difficult to shut off and shut out the noisiness of life and simply be present to our Lord. It takes practice and perseverence, much like learning a skill or building muscle. By consistantly trying every day and asking our Lady to obtain the grace for us it becomes easier. Yes, there will be ups and downs so rather than looking at yesterday or the day before wait and look at the past two or three weeks and months to measure the results.

With Jesus and Mary all things are possible if we surrender to them.