The soul that lives on the Eucharist ought to occupy itself with all the interests of the Adorable Sacrament. Now, the first, the dearest to Jesus, is the priest hood. By priests, the Blessed Sacrament is given to us. By them, Jesus receives the sacramental life which He consecrates to the glory of His Father; by them, He is more glorified than by even the most pious of the Faithful. He has given to them all His rights and all His power.
Pray, therefore, for the priesthood. Ask that vocations to it may be multiplied. Obtain for the people holy priests, men of fire and flame. This was Mary’s prayer, her apostolate of predilection. And now she protects holy vocations, she implores them of her Son. The priest is the privileged child of Mary.
It is she who trains him to piety when young, and shields his virtue. It is she who nourishes his fervor, who leads him by the hand to the foot of the altar, and who presents him to the Bishop, as she once offered Jesus in the Temple. She encourages him in the thousand sacrifices of study, in the combats against fear of the priestly responsibility. The priest formed by Mary! good and holy priest, most acceptable to Jesus!
Mary lives again in the priest, and through him continues her mission to souls for Jesus glory. The first Incarnation was made in Mary and by Mary. In her the Word took flesh. In the hands of the priest and at his word, Jesus Christ becomes our Bread.
The dignity of Mother of God is incomparable. She is the Mother of the King, consequently, the Mother of angels and of men. The priest is the father of our Eucharistic Jesus, the spiritual king of souls. He is a God on earth, terrenus Dens, who has received all the riches of God, who opens and closes heaven.
Mary reared Jesus. She nourished Him and cared for Him at every age. The priest, also, causes Jesus Christ to increase in souls. He leads them to follow Him, to entertain Him in their interior, until He has reached the perfect age, and has transformed the soul into Himself.
Mary, as Mother, has over Our Lord all the rights that maternity confers. The priest, also, has direct power over the Person of Jesus Christ. Mary is powerful only by Jesus. The priest, also, is powerful only by the graces that Jesus puts .into his hands. He places Himself at his disposition, in order to give him a greater power of action.
But Mary, under certain conditions, may envy the privileges of the priest. She carried the Word made Flesh nine months in her womb, and that was all. The priest is never exhausted. He incarnates Jesus Christ every day. His consecrating power is inherent in his priesthood. Like unto the Father, who engenders the Son without ever exhausting Himself, like the sun, which daily renews the gift of its light and heat, so is the priest of the Most High.
Mary brought forth the Savior in His mortal state, weak and for the Cross; the priest brings Him down upon the altar, but in His glorious and risen state. His glory does not appear to our gross eye, but the angels see it. It is a sun radiant toward heaven, but veiled to earth.
The mission and duties of the priest and those of Mary, in regard to the Eucharist and to souls, are the same. That of the priest is one of adoration and of the apostolate. The priest is, first of all, an adorer and the guardian of the Blessed Sacrament. He is, above all, a man of prayer: "Nos autem," said the Apostles, "orationi et ministerio verbi instantes erimus."—"Let us give ourselves to prayer and preaching." He must unite himself to the prayer of the Victim that he prepares and offers. He must begin at the foot of the altar his exterior apostolate.
Mary in the Cenacle!—Behold the Divine Mother in this first duty. Her office there is that of adorer. She adores by taking care of the Eucharistic worship. She repairs the glory of God outraged by sinners. She consoles the love of Jesus unheeded by His own. To the Father she offers Jesus; to Jesus she shows her maternal heart; to the Holy Spirit, she presents souls, His inheritance and His Temples, that He may renew and animate them with His love.
Behold what the faithful priest, who understands the favor of the Savior’s love for him, owes to Jesus!
The second priestly function is, to announce Jesus Christ to the people. Mary is here again his sweet protectress. She educated Jesus, and she revealed the mysteries of His life to the Apostles and the Evangelists. She spoke of Him incessantly, and made Him loved by all around her. She was the zelatrix of Jesus.
Now, behold what the priest has to do: To preach, to make Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament known, to spread His worship and His reign with indefatigable zeal. For this he addresses himself to Mary, who loves priests with a love of predilection. She loves them in Jesus, her Son, whose ministers they are; she loves them for the glory of God and the salvation of souls whose Apostles they are.
The priest has duties to fulfil toward this tender Mother. He ought to be second to none in the honor he renders her, the tender love that is due her. He should zealously make her known and loved.
And for us. if we love the Eucharist, if we desire that It be served, preached, adored by all, let us incessantly beg of Jesus, through Mary, holy priests, apostolic workmen, faithful adorers. The glory of the Blessed Sacrament and the salvation of the world are the price.
Practice: Pray constantly for vocations to the priesthood, and exercise toward the priests of Jesus the most devoted and respectful charity.
Aspiration: O Queen of the clergy, send workmen into the vineyard of thy Divine Son!