The Perfect Servant of the Blessed Sacrament.
Ecce ancilla Domini—"Behold the handmaid of the Lord!" exclaimed the Blessed Virgin, and her whole life was passed serving Him in the most perfect manner. She is the model, royal and divine, of our Eucharistic service. Her service in the Cenacle sums up her whole life. There she renewed all its phases, all its graces; there her virtues acquired their supreme perfection, which was to render them worthy of heaven and of the immense glory that awaited her. To attach himself to this last link of Mary’s life, is the grace of a servant of the Eucharist; to imitate her virtues and her devotedness, is his strength and his rule.
The spirit of a servant of Jesus is thus defined: Devoted love to the Blessed Sacrament in the spirit and virtues of the Blessed Virgin.
It, is disinterested devotedness. He does not devote himself in order to be perfect or happy, to amass for himself a spiritual fortune, or to gain a beautiful paradise. No, he devotes himself through pure love of the Beloved. Devotedness longs for one thing only, and that is, to give pleasure and to fulfil duty. Now, Our Lord does not ask us to serve Him in the outside world, even in souls; but He says to us: "To ascend My throne of love, I must have adorers. Without adorers, I cannot be solemnly exposed. You will remain with Me, you will be My adorers. You will be attached to My person. You will exist for Me as I shall for you. You shall go so far as totally to renounce your own will, for I want it for Myself. Renounce your personal interests, I will assume them. A king desires to build up the fortune of his subjects, though he does not tell them what he is going to do." So, the field that we have to cultivate is Our Lord Himself, He alone. He retains us for Himself, and commits Himself to our care. And the reward of this devotedness what is it? It is to live near the King, to please Him, to be His favorites. Ah, let us serve Him for His own glory, and efface ourselves in everything!
This devotedness ought, then, to be a devotedness of pure love, most pure and Eucharistic. The Eucharist absorbs everything else. Jesus gives Himself entire, and He wishes us entire. But He brings with Him a sentiment of joy and happiness which spreads over our whole life. What! to be associated to the Eucharist, to adoration, to become one of the staff of Jesus Christ—what is there greater? Go, then, to this service with joy, with gladness. Love flies. It loves the service of Jesus better than its own repose, its own gratification. When we do not love, we go not quickly, we delay. But, like Mary, do you fly to the service, to the adoration of Jesus, who is waiting for you.
The service of Our Lord is our share with Mary. You are called to serve Him, and not yourself. You must guard against using terms that indicate a low understanding of this sublime service. You must not say: "I am going to perform my service." No! No! All employees talk that way. But you must say: "I am going to the service of Our Lord." There is a great difference between the two expressions, and above all, between the two thoughts. A courtier knows that it is proper to say: "I am in the king’s service." Ah, well! we say: "I am in the service of Our Lord." By that we efface self, we lose sight of self, and we put Our Lord in the foreground.
This service embraces several functions. There are some that directly regard His Person, such as the Mass, Adoration, the Office; there are others that refer to His household and to the good of His servants. But all are functions be longing to the royal service of Our Lord. Our Lord’s house exacts varied attention, varied material employments. We are not pure spirits. But in all these labors, it is the King that we must see, for Him that we must act.
Devotedness to the glory of the Blessed Sacrament.—What is this glory that we owe Him? It is to return to Him all the good that we do, to keep nothing for self, not to lay up for self a little sum of money, a little private purse. Let us be servants of the Blessed Sacrament, like Mary; servants who have no more interest, no more individuality, who are absolutely consumed in the service of Jesus.
What a beautiful title! "The hand maid the servant of the Lord!" It is the one that Mary preferred. It is the only one that she ever gave herself. In taking that title of your Mother, you must take with it the duties and virtues that it implies: all are contained in the Magnificat: "The Lord hath had regard to the humility, to the lowliness of His handmaid."—Ah, if any one ought to be humble and devoted, it is the servant! What, if a servant should wish to choose in his master’s service, to economize his moments, keeping time for self?
And all Mary’s virtues, take them in their final character in the Cenacle, are nothing more than acts of her adoration. Mary adores by every one of her virtues. Adoration is the sum total of her whole life. To serve Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament in the spirit and in the virtues of Our Lady of the Genacle, behold the life of a servant. His motto is: "All for the service of Our Eucharistic Jesus in union with Mary!"
Practice: Consecrate yourself to works of Eucharistic devotion, in order to imitate Mary, the handmaid of Jesus in the Cenacle.
Aspiration: Mary, Mother of fair love, make us love Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as thou didst love Him!