Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Last Day of May


Consecration to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

I.

At the close of this beautiful month, which we have consecrated to thee, O Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, after having meditated upon thy greatness, admired the perfection of thy adoration and Eucharistic service in the Cenacle, it remains to give ourselves entirely to thee, so that thou mayest guard and direct us in our vocation as adorers.

I remit into thy hands the direction of my vocation and the graces of the sublime duties that it imposes upon me.

My vocation of adorer is beautiful, the most beautiful of all, since it retains me forever in the service of the Adorable Person of Jesus Christ in His Divine Sacrament., It is a privilege, since it gives me the right to go directly to His Divine Person without an intermedium.

My vocation is beautiful and sublime, since I share the functions of the angels and, if I dare say it, those of the Blessed Virgin herself, in the service of Jesus. But for this divine vocation, I should have some remarkable qualities, some true virtues, and, at least, ordinary piety but, alas! I have nothing of all this, and I am nothing! I can do nothing! I have, on the contrary, only defects, bad habits, and I am full of self-love. I have no humility, no meekness, no spirit of mortification. I know not how to pray nor how to make prayer. I possess only routine piety, with some meager ideas of virtue, narrow and limited. Alas, my God! Thou who shouldst have at Thy service all that is greatest, most perfect, and most holy, how hast Thou chosen me, poor infirm creature, a nothing full of miseries, still covered with the scars of my sins, all leprous still with the old man that lives in me?

How dare I accept this grace, to dwell with angels, to be in the same house with Thy Holy Mother, to remain in Thy company and in Thy presence?

Mary, my celestial Queen and my Divine Mother, I cannot accept the honor of becoming the happy servant of our Eucharistic Jesus, if thou dost not consent to form me, to raise me, and to clothe me with thy spirit, thy virtues, thy merits; if thou dost not take me for thy child, O thou who art the Queen and Mother of the servants of Jesus, thou who didst love only in Jesus and for Jesus!

1 remit, then, into thy hands, my good Mother, the grace and the training of my vocation. I give myself to thee, do thou give Jesus to me. Formed and presented by thee, O good Mother, Jesus, my sweet Master, will receive me kindly and love me in thee.

II.

If my vocation is beautiful, its duties are great and divine. I should pass my life in adoration at the foot of the throne of Incarnate Love, doing before that Eucharistic throne what the angels and saints do, and will eternally do in heaven, praising His infinite bounty, blessing His boundless mercy, thanking His love, devoting myself to His glory, immolating myself for sinners, and consuming myself for the extension of His reign on earth.

I ought to live always with Jesus in the Host, like the Blessed Virgin at Nazareth and in the Cenacle, like the saints in glory. I ought not to quit Him, even to serve and follow my neighbor. My mission is that of Magdalen, contemplative, with the Queen of the Apostles in the Genacle, praying before the tabernacle, converting the world by her prayer at the foot of the Eucharist; that of St. Teresa, St. Catharine of Siena, and of all those holy souls who carry on an uninterrupted apostolate of prayer and immolation.

I ought to honor in an entirely special manner the interior and hidden life of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, living unknown to men, even the pious and the holy, forgotten by my own, despised by the world, dead to all in order to live more freely and more purely with Jesus in God.

But how can I, all alone, fulfill duties so sublime? How dare I even approach Jesus to serve Him? Alas! all alone I should be ashamed of myself!

But, O my good Mother, since thou dost deign to become my teacher, thou wilt let me adore Jesus with thee, bless Him with thy praises, entreat Him with thy prayers, serve Him with thy hands, love Him with thy heart, glorify Him with thy sanctity. I will be thy disciple, thy child, and, shall I say it? a little Mary, another thyself, the servant of Jesus!

I shall tell thee simply and artlessly my faults, my good Mother! I shall make known to thee my ignorance, my little knowledge, my little success. I shall give thee the tiny flowers of virtue that I shall have gathered, and thou wilt offer all to Jesus, and myself along with thyself.

On this condition alone, do I hope to become a true servant of the Most Blessed Sacrament. My God, behold Thy humble servant! May it be done unto me according to Thy merciful goodness and Thy grace of love!

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Mother and Model of Adorers, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Thirtieth Day of May


Mary’s Triumph.

I.

On the day of her glorious assumption, body and soul, into heaven, Mary received the crown of all her graces. Truly, we may rejoice. We shall not lose our Mother. We only send her before us, to prepare our plans and to acquire for us rights over the heart of God. We can truly say to him: "Our misery is great. Yes, this earth is but a desolate valley, but it sends Thee what it has most beautiful, a marvel that it could not be expected to produce, Mary, Thy Mother! Look upon us with eyes of mercy for the sake of that blessed flower of our garden which we offer Thee. It is the purest and the most beautiful."

But Mary’s triumph is, also, that of Jesus. He will find again His Mother, He will again become a Son by her presence. Jesus loved His Mother so much—how, then, could He separate from her? He did it only through love of us. Having given her to us for Mother, it was right that He should allow us to enjoy the inestimable gift. But the time was come to recall that gift, and Jesus comes Himself to seek His Mother: Innixa super dilectum suum.—Mary died of love. The longing to see her Son, and to be fully united to Him, snapped her thread of life. Jesus is about to accord her a grand triumph. O what passed between Jesus and Mary at the moment of their meeting! We know the joy of a mother and a son meeting after a long separation. Jesus desired to see His Mother again, and, lo! she stands before Him! with what loving embraces He welcomes her!

II.

Jesus introduces her Himself into glory, for He owes her a reward. All her life Mary was poor and despised, but now the time has come to crown her with glory and honor. She enters heaven in splendor, such as was never before seen. She enters by a special gate, open for her alone. She could not pass through that of the simple elect. If the twelve Apostles are the twelve gates of heaven, Mary is the royal entrance to that country, the gate par excellence. O august and holy Gate! How good to pass through thee! Doubtless, the observance of the Law will give us sure entrance into heaven, but it is better still to confide one’s self to Mary’s compassion. Mary seeks only to save. Pass, pass by the way of mercy, and count not so much on your works and your fulfilment of the Law. Examine well, and you will find that fulfilment very imperfect.

Jesus led His Mother by the hand up to the throne of God. "Behold, O Father, her with whom Thou art associated, by choosing her to give Me My Humanity!" And the Father crowned her with her three most beautiful titles, Queen, Mother, Mediatrix. In Mary’s diadem, three pearls are shining with dazzling bright ness, namely, that of her humility, that of her poverty, and that of her sufferings.

III.

Mary was the most humble of creatures; in heaven, she is the most glorious. If she is seated on a throne the nearest to Jesus Christ, it is because she approaches nearer than any other to the perfection of His humility. She passed for a sinful daughter of Eve, she who did not undergo the shame of original sin. She followed her Son. The Jews regarded her as an ambitious woman—she who had never said one word to her own advantage.

No one was so poor as Mary, and never was poverty so meritorious as hers, for she was the Mother of the King of heaven and of earth. To imitate the poverty of Jesus, she labored at Nazareth, begged in Egypt, and what could be poorer than the lowly house of Loreto? The justice of Our Lord owed her a compensation. As she shares all the merits, all the graces of her Son, she has the free disposal of them. All graces of salvation, both natural and spiritual, will be given us by Mary. She is rich with the riches of God Himself. And if Divine Justice did not oppose the inclination of her maternal heart, the gates of hell would soon be closed. The demon has been forced to acknowledge that he is never sure of a victory so long as he whom Mary protects, retains a breath of life. She supplicates, importunes, and, as it were, snatches from God the graces of mercy and pardon for the most hardened criminals.

Lastly, if happiness is in proportion to sufferings, no one in heaven is so happy as Mary; for having never loved so much as she, no one has ever suffered so much. Mary was tried by God. He martyred her constantly. Simeon s prophecy em poisoned all her joys. From the moment of its utterance, Mary took the place of Jesus, still too young to suffer publicly. At the foot of the Cross she is nearest to Jesus that she may suffer more. Because He wished her nearest to Him in heaven, He united her more than any other creature to His sufferings and humiliations on earth.

God has, in one word, crowned Mary with glory and honor as the masterpiece of His love. Above her there is only Himself: Solo tonante minor! But in the midst of her glory, Mary remembers that she is our Mother. She ascended to heaven before us only to facilitate our entrance, and to conduct us there. She herself will come to seek us at the supreme moment, and she will lead us by the hand, if we have known how to call her to our assistance.

Practice: Prepare the agonizing to receive Holy Viaticum. Notify the priest in time. Arrange for Our Lord a proper reception in the homes of the poor.

Aspiration: O Mary, give us Jesus Christ now and at the hour of our death!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Twenty-Ninth Day of May


The Perfect Servant of the Blessed Sacrament.

I.

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.

II.

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!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Twenty-Eighth Day of May


Mary’s Life of Union with Jesus.

I.

Mary lived in the Eucharist. He who loves truly, thinks, desires, acts, rejoices, or sorrows in the person loved, his natural center of life. Indeed, Jesus has said: "Where your treasure is, there is your heart." And to His Apostles: "Remain in Me, remain in My love as I remain in My Father's love."

Mary remained, then, in the Divine Eucharist, the Center of her love. All her thoughts, words, actions came forth from It as the sun’s rays come forth from that luminary. The Eucharist was the oracle that she consulted, the grace that she followed.

II.

But Jesus in the Sacrament lives the same life of love which consumed Him in the days of His mortal existence. In His Sacramental state, He continues to adore His Father by His profound annihilations. He is still the Mediator and Intercessor before the Divine Goodness for the salvation of men.

Mary united with Jesus in prayer, adding thereto the exercise and the merit of the virtues that Our Lord, in His glorified state, can no longer actually practice. To Jesus state of humiliation in the Sacrament, she responded by the virtue and acts of humility; to His condition of victim, by her actual endurance of suffering; to His state of propitiation, by her voluntary acts of mortification. To honor the hidden life of Jesus, Mary effaced herself aiming at being nothing more than a human appearance, as it were, whose whole being and substance are changed, transformed into Jesus Christ. She is poor, like Jesus in the Sacrament, poorer even, since she can experience the real privations of poverty. Like Jesus, she obeys, and honors His sacramental obedience by submitting to the last of the ministers of the Church. To imitate His obedience, so sweet, so simple, and so prompt, she is happy to obey, eager to yield at the least sign. In one word, Mary realizes in herself the Eucharistic life of Jesus Christ.

Mary, moreover, renewed in the Eucharist all the mysteries of the Savior’s mortal life, perpetuating and renewing her gratitude with ever increasing fervor.

III.

Such ought to be the life of the adorer, if he wishes to live in the Eucharist. But to reach this life of union, he must free himself from all slavery, from the life of self-love, which sees only self even in God’s service; which speaks to Jesus only of self, of its own personal interests, of its own affairs; which knows not how to entertain itself with Jesus by speaking of Him and the interests of His glory, of the desires of His Sacred Heart; which knows not how to remain calm and tranquil at His feet, satisfied with Him, desiring nothing but Him. He must free himself from that life which has not the patience to listen to Jesus, but which renders us like mercenaries impatiently awaiting their wages, as commissioners eager to set out on some journey.

Jesus has very few adorers who consider themselves sufficiently recompensed and happy to remain with Him, occupied in serving Him like the angels in heaven, like Mary in the Cenacle. He sees at His feet only beggars, or the fever-stricken, asking for help. In a royal palace, how ever, they w r ho assist before the throne know how to be courtiers, doing nothing but honoring the king by their presence. Alas! there is the reign of sense, and that costs the creature nothing. At the Eucharistic court of Jesus, it is the interior reign of His love, and we are afraid of it, we flee from it, we wish to act. Jesus alone does not suffice for us, we must have something besides Him!

Mary never lost the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. She acted only when He wished it, considering herself sufficiently occupied to be at His feet, sufficiently recompensed in possessing Him.

Practice: In union with Mary, to live the life of Communion and thanksgiving by interior recollection.

Aspiration: Heart of Mary, magnificent Throne of the Hidden God, be thou exalted to the heights of the heavens!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Twenty-Seventh Day of May


The Eucharist, the Center of Mary’s Life.

I.

Mary lived of the Eucharistic life of Jesus. Loves desires a life in common with the Beloved. At Bethlehem and at Nazareth, Mary had lived the poor and hidden life of Jesus; in Egypt, she shared His persecuted life; through the little villages of Judea, she led His apostolic life. She had shared His suffering life, consequently, with greater reason, she would live the Eucharistic life of her Divine Son, for it is the crown of all the others.

Mary lived by means of the Eucharist, a life altogether interior and hidden, silent, separated from the world, having only Jesus for witness and confidant. Her life was consumed in contemplating and thanking the sovereign bounty of the Eucharist. This thought absorbed her mind, and nourished it with truth. It sweetly filled her heart, which had no other desire, no other need than to love more, and always to give herself to Him more entirely. Mary’s body even shared the joy and heavenly peace of that life. It became entirely spiritualized: Cor meum et caro mea exultavernnt in Deum vivum—"My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in God, my Savior."

II.

This Eucharistic contemplation is more active than passive. It is the soul giving itself incessantly to God under the ever new and ever more and more delicious impression of His goodness, under the ever increasing action of His love, which purifies her, disengages her from earthly things, and united her more intimately to the Well-Beloved. Recollection is the first condition of this contemplation. The soul then free from the representations of external objects, disengaged from all irregular affections, goes straight to God as the needle to the pole. The soul, recollected and fixed on Jesus, nourishes herself with His truth, His goodness, His love. Prolonged prayer costs little or nothing, because, freed from all things, she can follow her Savior whithersoever He goes, nothing urging or calling her elsewhere; and be cause always recollected in herself, she can study, can fathom the deep mysteries on which she makes her prayer. She sees things as they really are in Jesus Christ. Recollection and contemplation strengthen her sight, and render it reflective and penetrating.

III.

How perfect must have been Mary’s contemplation before the Most Blessed Sacrament with the great light of her faith, the purity of her life, the perfect love of her heart! Assuredly, distractions, that fever of the mind and of the heart, came not to trouble the repose that she took in her Well-Beloved. Her soul, more united to Jesus than to the body that enveloped it, drank in long droughts of the living waters of grace and love. She forgot the earth to remain alone with Jesus alone; for love loves to isolate itself, to simplify itself, to concentrate itself in unity, in order to unite it self always more closely to the Beloved.

Let the adorer, united to Mary adoratrix, apply with patience, with constancy, to the virtue of recollection, to the exercise of the contemplation of Jesus Christ, studying, at first, more to know Him than to enjoy Him; for love comes of truth known, and a grace of light is of more value than the greatest grace of sweetness and consolation. Truth remains, but sentiment passes.

O happy the soul which, like Mary, comprehends this mystery of love, who desires it, who asks it without ceasing, who incessantly exercises herself in it! The reign of God is in her!

Practice: Pray to Mary for the faithful perseverance of spouses consecrated to Jesus in the cloister and in the world.

Aspiration: Mary, like little new-born babes, we ask of thee our spiritual milk, Jesus in the Eucharist!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Twenty-Sixth Day of May


The Divine Spouse and King of the Heart.

I.

In her adoration, Mary aimed at honoring all the conditions of Jesus, at exalting Him under titles most dear to Him, and which establish most perfectly His empire over men’s hearts.

She adored Jesus under His title of Spouse of Souls. Union is the perfection of love. Jesus, in giving Himself substantially in the Eucharist, unites Himself to our soul as His cherished spouse. As Spouse, He gives us all His riches, He gives His very name, His Heart, His whole Self, but it is by right of return. The soul, His spouse, must live only for Him. Jesus is a jealous God. Woe to him that steals from Him the spouse of His Heart!

Now, Mary, like a good mother, would have the nuptials of her Beloved Son celebrated happily. As formerly at Cana, she prevented the confusion of the young couple, so does she adorn the faithful soul with her own virtues, that Jesus may find it deserving of Him. O yes!—the best preparation for Communion is that which Mary makes. Is it not the mother’s duty to clothe her daughter for the wedding day? On that day she despoils herself. Who can say the care that this good Mother takes of the spouses of the Eucharistic God, above all, of the purity of their hearts, that they may make the delight of their well-beloved Spouse?

But Jesus is also the Spouse of the Church, whose fruitful virginity makes Him the Father of the new generation of God’s children. Mary adored Him, also, as the Spouse of the Church, and she loved the latter as her daughter, indissolubly united to her very dear Son. Mary would have willingly given her life for the Church. She protected it, defended it by her incessant prayers. She gladly Watched over its progress and shared its dangers, suffering with it and for it. Though the Mother of the Church, she was at the same time its daughter. Like the most submissive of its children, she obeyed Peter and John and all other priests. She honored the holy ceremonies, she adored Jesus by the Church, by its worship, its liturgical prayers, its priesthood, and all its children. O what beautiful adoration was that which united Mary and the Faithful at the foot of the Blessed Sacrament! Heaven could not be jealous of it, for Mary was in the Church as the sun among the stars. God might well love the earth, and Jesus His tabernacle! It was the heaven of love.

II.

Again, Mary adored Jesus in His quality of King, for the Holy Eucharist is the Savior’s royalty. By it He reigns in hearts and over society. Truth, to triumph over men, must needs pass through the Eucharist, in order to catch some of Its sweetness, and to become persuasive and touching. As long as a man has not communicated, he has only the faith of truth, he has not yet the faith of love, the joyousness, the sweetness of faith. He has met Jesus on his way, he has conversed with Him without knowing Him well. The Eucharist alone will reveal to him, in all His power and light, Jesus Christ and all the secrets of Faith. By the Eucharist, then, Jesus is King of truth.

As of truth, so of the other virtues. The Eucharist is necessary in order that they may reign definitively in the heart. Communion is necessary to refine, to soften, to beatify them in the love of Jesus. Jesus must give Himself to me, in order to subjugate me by His love, and be able to say to me: "My child, give Me thy heart." In the Eucharist alone, the love of Jesus Christ is royally served, since in It He has a palace, a court, and adorers.

Mary, then, adored Jesus as her King, no longer in His poor and fugitive royalty of Bethlehem or of Egypt, nor as her Crucified King on Calvary, but in His permanent royalty, seated on His throne of glory, all veiled as He is, invulnerable to the darts of His enemies, invincible in His victory, glorious in the triumph of His love. Mary saw, realized the words of the angel: "He shall reign over the House of Jacob, and of His reign there shall be no end." She saw the Eucharistic thrones daily multiply. Every city, every village, becomes His court, and of fers to Him a palace. She beheld all virtues flourishing in the world by means of the Eucharist, and they are the royal crown of the God who Himself inspires and fosters them.

O what sighs, what prayers for the Eucharistic reign of Jesus, issued from Mary’s heart in the Cenacle! She asked, and she saw in the course of the ages, the Eucharist spreading, and the love of Jesus everywhere triumphing. In fine, Jesus will be loved, His Eucharist will find sympathetic hearts, and Its fire will envelop the world to renew it.

O Divine King! Yes, reign as Sovereign over my heart and my life as Thou didst over Thy Blessed Mother! May Thy truth be my ensign of honor, Thy virtues my arms, Thy love my word of command, and Thy greater Eucharistic glory the fruit of my victory!

This is the ardent prayer of my heart, which I offer Thee through Mary, the Queen of the Cenacle, and the Mother of adorers.

Practice: Pray to Mary constantly to extend the Eucharistic reign of Jesus Christ throughout the whole world.

Aspiration: O Immaculate Heart of Mary, nuptial couch, upon which the Spouse finds His delights, inflame us with the love that consumes thee!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Twenty-Fifth Day of May


Mary’s Apostolate.

I.

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!

II.
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.

III.

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!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Twenty-Fourth Day of May


Mary’s Prayer of Adoration.

I.

Mary devoted herself absolutely to the Eucharistic glory of Jesus. She knew that the desire of the Eternal Father was, to have the Eucharist known, loved, and served by all men; that the hunger of the Heart of Jesus was, to communicate to men all His gifts of grace and glory; that the mission of the Holy Spirit was, to extend and perfect in hearts the reign of Jesus Christ; and that the Church had been founded only to give Jesus to the world. All Mary’s desire, then, was to make Him known in His Sacrament. Her great love for Jesus felt the need of expanding, of consecrating itself as a kind of relief, so to say, for her own inability to glorify Him as much as she desired.

Since the scene on Calvary, men were her children. She loved them with a mother’s tenderness, and longed for their supreme good as for her own; therefore, was she on fire to make Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament known to all, to in flame hearts with His love, to see them chained to His loving service.

To obtain this favor, Mary made a perpetual mission of penance and prayer at the foot of the Most Adorable Eucharist. It was there she treated of the world’s salvation. In her magnificent zeal, she embraced the wants of the Faithful of all places and of all future time, who were to become heirs of the Holy Eucharist and to serve It.

But the mission dearest to her soul was, to pray continually for the success of the preaching and labors of the Apostles and of all members of Jesus Christ’s priest hood. It was not surprising, then, that those apostolic workmen so easily converted entire kingdoms, for Mary remained at the foot of the throne of mercy, supplicating for them the Savior’s good ness. Her prayer converted souls, and, as every conversion is the fruit of prayer, and since Mary’s prayer could meet no refusal, the Apostles had in this Mother of Mercy their most powerful helper. "Blessed is he for whom Mary prays!"

II.

Eucharistic adorers share Mary’s life and mission of prayer at the foot of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is the most beautiful of all missions, and it is without danger. It is, also, the most sacred, for it is the exercise of all the virtues. It is the most necessary to the Church, which has much more need of souls of prayer than of preachers, of men of penance than of men of eloquence. To- day, more than ever, we want men who disarm by self-immolation the anger of God irritated against the ever-increasing crimes of nations. We must have souls who, by their importunity, reopen the treasures of grace, which general indifference has closed. We must have true adorers, that is to say, men of fervor and of sacrifice. When they have become numerous around their Divine Chief, God will be glorified, Jesus will be loved, society will become Christian, conquered to Jesus Christ by the Apostolate of Eucharistic prayer.

III.

Mary’s apostolate, moreover, consisted in the very persuasive preaching of respect. Such sermons suit all, and a soul zealous to make the Eucharist known and loved, will, in union with Mary, aim thereat with great care. With what modesty and reverence this perfect adorer comports himself before the Blessed Sacrament! Like the angels, he kneels be fore the Divine Majesty. Entirely penetrated with faith, and absorbed in the divine presence of Jesus, he pays no attention to any one or anything around. Such adorers never present themselves before Our Lord without being suitably and modestly clothed, as if for a visit of ceremony. Any negligence in dress, or carelessness of manner, would indicate little faith and a disorderly interior.

As much as she was able, Mary remained on her knees at the feet of her God. That is the posture of adoration adopted by the Holy Church, the homage of the body, the humility of faith. On the knees at Jesus feet, is the place of love.

Respect in the holy place, above all be fore the Most Holy Sacrament, ought to be the great exterior virtue of adorers. This respect is the solemn profession of their faith, and at the same time it is for them the grace of their piety and fervor; for God always punishes irreverence in His sanctuary by the weakening of faith, and the withdrawal of grace and devotion. He who is irreverent or indecorous before Our Lord, should not be astonished at the coldness that he experiences in prayer. That would even be a small punishment compared with what he deserves; for he merits to be expelled from God s presence as a rude, unmannerly fellow, or a senseless fool.

Let us, then, be very severe on the subject of respect. Let us maintain a reserved exterior, a devout attitude, a rigorous silence, and an absolute guard over the senses. When in church, we must have eyes only for Jesus Christ. Friends must then be ignored. Jesus is all. The court has eyes fixed only on the king, it honors only the king. At sight of the profound and religious respect of adorers, worldlings will be forced to say: "Here is something grand, indeed!" The weak, the tepid, will blush for their tepidity and again recognize Jesus Christ, for example is the royal lesson of wisdom, and the most fruitful apostolate.

Practice: Pray for all First Communicants and for the catechists who prepare them.

Aspiration: Hail, Mary! who, by the apostolate of thy prayer, vanquished all heresies raised against the Holy Eucharist!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Twenty-Third Day of May


Mary’s Adoration of Propitiation.

I.

Mary adored her most dear Son in His character of perpetual Victim, always immolated on our altars, incessantly imploring by His death grace and mercy for sinners. Mary adored the Savior on this new Calvary, upon which His love crucified Him. She offered Him to God for the salvation of her new family, and the sight of Jesus on the Cross with His gaping wounds, renewed in her soul the martyrdom of her compassion. At Holy Mass, she beheld again her crucified Jesus, shedding His Blood in streams in the midst of sorrows and opprobrium, abandoned by God and man, and dying in the supreme act of His love. Mary, adoring her God present on the altar by the Consecration, shed abundant tears at the sight of men who make no account of this august sacrifice, who render sterile this Mystery of their Redemption, who dare offend and despise this Adorable Victim immolated under their eyes and for their salvation.

Mary would have wished to offer a thousand deaths to repair so many outrages; for the unfortunate creatures who thus rendered themselves guilty, were her children whom Jesus, when dying, had confided to her. Poor Mother! Was not one Calvary sufficient for her? Why daily renew her sorrows, and pierce her heart with new words of impiety?

Like the best of Mothers, however, in stead of rejecting and cursing sinners, Mary took on herself the debt of their crimes. She expiated them by sufferings, she became herself a victim at the foot of the altar, asking grace and mercy for her guilty children.

II.

Mary adored the state of prisoner that Jesus took by uniting Himself in separably to the Sacred Species. She contemplated His glorified Body, His feet, His hands, condemned to material immobility, His tongue speechless, His soul without exterior expansion, His love without arms, without wings, but tied, bound, unable to show men aught but His amiable chains.

"O happy bonds that keep Jesus in our midst," said Mary, "be ye blessed! Ye are fiery chains that attach me to this divine tabernacle! Silence of my God, how eloquent art thou to my heart! Sacred members of my Savior, you are still more dear to me than when the nails fastened you to the Cross, or when the folds of the winding-sheet encircled you! It is love that binds you here, and that forever, that I may make of Jesus my Treasure, my Prisoner of love, the Companion of my captivity here below, the God of my heart!"

III.

Mary adored the hidden state of Jesus’ Divinity and Humanity in His Sacrament, veiled that man might not attach himself to the glory and beauty of His Person, but should go unshackled to the Divinity of the Word. Jesus thus veiled Himself only to spiritualize man’s faith, to purify his heart, to stimulate his love, and to attract him to the infinite, to the ever-increasing and always new beauty.

Mary, then, adored Jesus veiled, but discoverable by love. She contemplated behind the cloud the beauty of this Sun that manifests Its ardor by the light which It gives to the mind, and Its presence by Its sweetness.

Mary honored the hidden life of Jesus by her own retired and solitary life. She passed the greater part of her time in making reparation for ungrateful man. At sight of the Eucharistic annihilations of Jesus, she would have wished to be annihilated, also, changed into a Sacramental Species, deprived of her own peculiar mode of life. She had, in fact, lost, transformed into Jesus her natural life, as the bread is transformed into the substance of Jesus Christ.

Seeing His Divine Mother at His feet, the Savior consoled Himself for men’s desertion. He loved the sacrifices that He had so generously made, and He preferred His state of annihilation to that of His glory. Mary, His Mother and the Mother of all adorers, indemnified Him for everything, and Jesus love found in describable satisfaction in receiving her prayers and her tears shed for the salvation of the world.

Practice: Assist at Mass to repair, in union with Mary, the crime of those that fail to do so.

Aspiration: O Mary, thou art the true mystical Table whereon we find the delicious Food of our soul, Jesus in the Eucharist!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Twenty-Second Day of May


Mary’s Eucharistic Contemplation.

I.

Contemplation naturally follows adoration and thanksgiving, whilst, at the same time, it nourishes and perfects them. Eucharistic contemplation is the look that the soul fixes on Jesus in the Sacrament, to know His perfections in detail, to see His goodness in the institution of the Eucharist, to study its motives, examine its sacrifices, weigh its gift, and appreciate its love.

The first fruit of Eucharistic contemplation is to fix, to recollect the soul in Our Lord, discovering to it the mystery of His perfections and the love of the ineffable Gift of the Eucharist. This view, thoughtful and reflective, of the excessive love of Jesus preparing, instituting, and perpetuating the Adorable Sacrament, produces in us first, adoration, then praise, and lastly, expansion of love. A soul goes out of self in order to unite, to adhere to the Divine Object of her contemplation. Whence it results that contemplation is the essential part of adoration. It is its focus.

II.

Mary before the Eucharist was in contemplation such as neither human nor angelic tongue could express. Jesus Christ alone, the object of it, knew its value. Mary had the highest knowledge of the love that Jesus had shown in instituting the Eucharist. She knew what combats His Heart had to sustain, and the sacrifices exacted of Him by the institution of this Sacrament; combats of His love against the incredulity and the indifference of the greater part of mankind; combats of His sanctity against the impiety, the blasphemy, and the sacrileges of which His Eucharist would be the object, not only from heretics, but even from His friends themselves; combats of His goodness against the ingratitude of Christians who neglect to receive Him in Holy Communion, thus refusing His best graces, His most tender invitations. But Jesus love triumphed over all these obstacles. I shall love men under all circumstances, and their malice shall neither discourage nor conquer My good ness!

Mary had followed these combats, she had shared these sacrifices, and she saw the victory. She revived them in her adoration. She recalled them to the Savior, and she exalted the love that had made Him a victor.

III.

To appreciate the gift of the Eucharist, an adorer ought, like Mary, and with her, to go to Its source, to the sacrifices It demanded of Our Lord’s love. If that love is beautiful on Calvary, it is yet more beautiful in the Cenacle and on the altar. It is there love forever immolated. The sight of those combats and of that victory, will suggest to the adorer what he owes in return to a God so good. And then with Mary, His divine Mother, he will offer himself to Jesus in the Eucharist with his whole heart, to bless Him, to thank Him for so much love. He will consecrate himself to honor the various states of our Sacramental Jesus, practicing in his life the virtues that the Savior continues therein and glorifies therein most admirably. He will honor the profound humility of the Savior, which goes so far as to annihilate Him entirely under the Sacred Species. He will honor the abnegation of His glory and power, which makes Him the Prisoner of men. He will honor the obedience, which makes Him the servant of all. He will take Mary as the mother of his Eucharistic life, in order to aid him in his practical study. He will love her and confide himself to her as to the Mother of Adorers, which is the title most dear to her heart and most glorious to Jesus.

Practice: Pray incessantly to Mary for the interests of the Eucharist.

Aspiration: .Mary, no one can approach so near to Jesus as thou!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Twenty-First Day of May


Mary’s Adoration of Thanksgiving.

I.

To her act of humble and simple faith, to her adoration of self-annihilation, Mary added thanksgiving. After remaining abyssed in the sentiment of the grandeur of the Divine Majesty, veiled under the Sacrament, she raised her head toward the Thabor of love, to contemplate its beauty, and taste its ineffable sweetness. Mary gave thanks to Jesus for His love in the gift of the Eucharist, that sovereign act of His infinite bounty. Her thanksgiving was perfect, because she understood the greatness of the gift.

O how happy was Mary when, before the Last Supper, Jesus revealed to her that the hour for the triumph of His love had come, that He was about to institute His adorable Sacrament, by which, perpetuating Himself and living among us, each of the Faithful could share her happiness and, like her, receive Him into his breast; behold Him in some manner; and, in His Sacramental state, enjoy all the graces, and experience the mysteries of His mortal life! "After this Gift, in which I exhaust My power, I have nothing more to give to man except heaven!"

At this glorious news, Mary prostrated at the feet of Jesus, adoring in the effusion of her gratitude His too great love for men, too great for her, His unworthy handmaid. She offered herself to serve Him in His adorable Sacrament. She had consented to see the hour of her reward delayed that she might remain an adorer on earth commissioned to guard, to serve the Eucharist, happy to die at the foot of the divine tabernacle.

II.

In her adoration in the Cenacle, Mary daily renewed her thanksgiving: "How good Thou art, O my Savior!" she exclaimed,—"how good Thou art, my Lord and my Son! How couldst Thou love man to such a degree as to give him more than he can acknowledge, to invent what his heart can never understand! For love of him Thou dost exhaust Thy power and the treasures of Thy Heart!"

Then Mary gave thanks to each of the powers of Jesus soul, to each of the Savior’s members, which had co-operated in the institution of the Eucharist, offer ing to them the flames of love that consumed her heart.

O with what satisfaction, with what happiness Jesus received this first homage of His Blessed Mother, the first rendered to His Sacrament! O how His Heart rejoiced at having left for Mary’s consolation His Sacramental Presence! For Mary alone, Jesus would have instituted the Eucharist. Let us not be astonished at this. Mary’s adoration and thanksgiving were of more value, in the eyes of Jesus, than the united homage of all the saints.

Mary’s thanksgiving was, besides, most agreeable to Jesus, because recognition of benefits received and gratitude for them please Him above all else. That is all that He looks for from us. To adore by thanksgiving, is to adore well. It is to recognize the first of His attributes, that, above all, which He came to manifest here below, namely, His goodness. Let us tarry long at His feet.

Let us thank through Mary. A child receives, but it is his mother who thanks for him. United with the thanksgiving of Mary, ours will be perfect, and very acceptable to the Heart of Jesus.

Practice: Pray incessantly to Mary for seminarians, the altar boys of the various parishes, and for all the Faithful that they may acquit themselves with piety and reverence of their holy functions.

Aspiration: Mary, perfect handmaid of our Eucharistic Jesus, we bless thee!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Twentieth Day of May


Mary’s Adoration of Faith and Respect.

I.

How much might be said of Mary’s life of adoration in the Cenacle! Twenty-four years passed in that holy place in which Jesus instituted the Eucharist, in which He erected His first tabernacle! Mary was wholly employed in adoring and honoring Him in His Eucharistic life. She passed the greater part of her days and nights at the foot of that divine tabernacle, for there was her Jesus, her Son and her God.

When she left her poor little cell, to go to the oratory of the Cenacle, she began her adoration. She walked with an air of recollection, her eyes downcast, her step grave and modest, preparing herself in this way to appear before the God of the Eucharist.

When before the tabernacle, she prostrated with great devotion and profound respect. Then she composed her senses in simple and pious recollection, her person erect, her hands joined or crossed on her breast, or, better still, if alone, suppliantly raised toward the tabernacle upon which her eyes were generally turned.

II.

Mary adored with most submissive faith. She adored her hidden Son, veiled under a strange form, her love penetrating the cloud even to the sacred Feet of Jesus, which she venerated with the most tender respect, and to His holy and venerable Hands, which had consecrated and borne the Bread of Life. She blessed the sacred Mouth, which had pronounced the adorable words: "This is My Body! This is My Blood!" She adored the Heart all on fire with love, whence had issued the Holy Eucharist. Mary would have wished to lose herself, to annihilate herself before the Divine Majesty annihilated in the Sacrament, thus to render Him all the honor and homage due Him.

III.

Mary’s adoration was deep, interior, profound. It was the gift of her whole self. She offered herself entirely to the loving services of the Eucharist, for love lays down no conditions, no reservations. It no longer thinks of self, no longer lives for self. It is a stranger to itself, and it lives only for the God whom it loves. All in Mary turned toward the Blessed Sacrament as toward its center and end. A current of grace and love was established between the Heart of Jesus in the Host and the heart of Mary adoring. They were two flames united into a single one. God was then perfectly adored by His creature!

IV.

Following Mary’s example, the adorer kneels with the most profound respect. Like Mary, he recollects himself, and in spirit takes his place at her side to adore. Let him come before Our Lord with that modesty, that interior and exterior recollection, which wonderfully prepare the soul for the angelic office of adoration.

Under the Eucharistic veils that hide from his eyes the Sacred Humanity, let him adore Jesus with the faith of Mary and of the Holy Church, those two Mothers that the Savior has, in His love, given him. Let him adore his God as if he both saw and heard Him, for lively faith sees, hears, and touches with more certitude than the senses themselves.

Practice: Maintain sovereign respect in presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Aspiration: Mary, thou who didst serve the God of the Eucharist, be our divine teacher in that sweet service!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nineteenth Day of May


Life of Adoration in Union with Mary.

I.

In attentively considering the reasons that induced Our Lord to separate from and to leave His Mother, it seems to me that He did so because He distrusted our weakness and inconstancy. Our Lord feared that men, not knowing how to find and adore Him in His Sacrament, would become discouraged and forget Him. The child, as we know, does not search long. If he does not at once find what he wants, he changes his desire, and runs after something else. This is what Our Lord feared for us. So, He left us His Mother, whose mission it should be to take us by the hand and lead us to His tabernacle. The Blessed Virgin, then, became our Mother in view of the Eucharist. It is for her to show us how to find our Bread of Life, to make us appreciate and desire it. It is her mission to form us to adoration. She gathered at Jerusalem a community of pious women; she remained in the midst of them, distributing to each one her treasure and her grace of love. Her influence extended to the disciples, to the first Faithful. Like a true mother she reared her children, training them to virtue and to the duties of their state. What Mary did then she will do again for us. She will instruct us, showing us Our Lord in the Eucharist, sharing with us her own reverence for Him, and her devotedness to His service; for all that a mother has belongs to her children, and it is for them that she stores it up. Mary is a mother. She will, then, educate us. When the child goes wrong in its work, the mother is there to put it right. If it is sick, she cares for it. She never leaves her child, for she must fulfill her mission of teacher. It is Mary who will train you. She will inspire you with her manner of adoring, she will even make your adoration in you, for she can breathe into you the spirit of true and earnest adoration. It is only the heart of a mother that can make itself perfectly understood by her child. The Blessed Virgin must say to you: "Come, adore with me." Our Lord has given us Mary to be the bond of union between Him and us. Mary gives us the first attraction to Jesus. The child goes first to its mother, by instinct; the mother leads it to its father. But it does not run of itself to the father; at first, it follows the mother. Our Lord has, then, given us Mary for Mother, that she may be for us a first center of easy attraction. Before knowing the Eucharist, we knew the name of our Mother, we already loved her. Mary attracted us to herself. She formed us to the virtues necessary for the Eucharistic life. It was meet that it should be thus, and it is evident that there will be good vocation to the Blessed Sacrament, true devotion to the Eucharist, only among those that Mary shall have formed. Yes, yes! The child is formed only in its mother’s arms and on her bosom. To be agreeable to the Heart of Our Lord, all vocations must pass through Mary’s hands.

II.

Study your past life. Had you not a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin be fore devoting yourself to the Eucharist? You sighed for her purity, her love. Without knowing the Eucharistic life of Mary, you said: "O if I had her virtues to serve Jesus!" That was the first attraction. You behaved like a little child. When it cannot take its mother by the hand, it grasps her apron or the hem of her gown. If it leaves her for an instant it thinks itself lost. The mother is the center. She is always the center. We have need to live with her, to dwell with her. The Blessed Virgin is not like the saints, who gain for us certain graces once in a while; she obtains for us all graces. We have need of her at all times. Again, it is the mother who teaches the child the word that pleases the father. She composes the little speech for the child to recite; she prepares the feast according to the father’s taste. Do you see at what I am aiming? I would say to you: Adore Our Lord in the company of the Blessed Virgin. I do not say dwell in her. No! Jesus is there before you, that you may address yourself directly to Him; but do so in union with Mary. Live with her, live in her house. Since Our Lord has given her to you as a teacher, never adore without her. Say to her: "Sweet Mother, come with me. A mother always goes with her child. With out thee I should not know what to say."

Represent to yourself Mary on her knees in the Cenacle. Behold her adoring her Son hidden in the Eucharist. O how pleasing to Him were her words! How well she knew how to touch the heart of her Son! Kneel at Mary s side. Seek not to walk alone. Do not walk before her, but keep at her side. Make the same adoration as she does, offer the same homage. "O Jesus, I do not know how to adore, but I offer Thee the words, the ecstasies of Thy Mother’s heart, which is mine, also. I do not know how to adore, but I repeat to Thee her adoration for sinners, for the conversion of the world, and for all the wants of the Church."

By so doing, you will rejoice Mary’s heart. She will show you to Jesus, saying: "Behold, my Son, how I live again in this soul, how I again adore Thee in and by him."

O yes, if anyone ought to honor, love, and serve Mary, it is he who makes profession of living for the Eucharist. He has need of Mary, in order to adore. He must make but one with her in his adoration.

Ah! let the Blessed Virgin govern your life. Let her lead you to Jesus. She desires only one thing, the glory of her Divine Son and your happiness.

Practice: As much as possible, prepare yourself for Holy Communion by assisting at Holy Mass.*

Aspiration: The Divine Sparrow of the tabernacle has found in thee His nest, O Blessed Virgin, and He lovingly dwells therein.

*To us this practice seems strange, but at the time St. Peter Julien Eymard wrote these meditations there were two practices regarding Holy Communion which differed from the present day. The first is that the faithful received Communion at most only once or twice a month. The second is that Communion was not always received at Mass, but sometimes at an earlier hour in the morning before Mass. People would often spend a number of days preparing themselves to receive the Eucharist, at times up to a week. It was partly through the Saint’s efforts that the practice of more frequent reception of Communion became the custom. It was not fully realized until the latter half of the twentieth century.—Ed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Eighteenth Day of May


Our Lady of the Cenacle.

Let us follow our Mother to the Cenacle, and listen to the lessons that she gives us. She receives them from her Divine Son. With Him she converses day and night. She is the sweet and faithful echo of His Heart and His love. Let us love Mary tenderly, labor under her eyes, and pray by her side. Let us be to her tenderly devoted children. By so doing we shall honor Jesus who has given her to us for our Mother, that she may rear us in His love and according to her own life.

Place yourself, then, under Mary’s direction. Think her thoughts, speak her words, imitate her manners, perform her actions, tell her love, share her sufferings and all in her will speak to you of Jesus, the greatest service to Jesus, the greatest glory of God!

Honor in Mary, at the foot of the tabernacle, all the mysteries of her life. All were stations leading to the Cenacle.

Find in her life in the Cenacle the model and the consolation of your own life. True, in the Cenacle, this august Queen kneels as adoratrix and servant of the Blessed Sacrament. Kneel at your Mother’s side, adore and pray with her, and you will thus continue her Eucharistic life on earth.

When you go to Holy Communion, clothe yourself with the virtues and merits of Mary, your Mother, and you will communicate with her faith and her heart. O how happy Jesus would be to find in you the image of His sweet and holy Mother!

When you labor for the Eucharistic adoration, unite with Mary’s intention and joy when working for Jesus in the Sacrament, and you will be happy.

O how Mary will love you if you serve her Jesus well! How she will protect you if you labor only for the glory of Jesus! How she will enrich you if you live only for the love of Jesus! You will render her still more a Mother, since you enable her more perfectly to discharge her mission as Mother of the adorers of Jesus.

But be modest like her. Remember her modestly in the angel’s presence, and reflect with what modesty she served her Son in the Sacrament.

Be pure like Mary. Remember that, to guard the flower of her virginity, she would have refused even the glory of the divine maternity.

Be humble like Mary, entirely lost in her own nothingness, entirely abandoned to God s grace.

Be sweet and amiable like Mary. Mary was the expression of the sweetness of the Heart of Jesus.

Be devoted like Mary. Mary loved even to Calvary. She loved even to death. It was on Calvary that she became the Mother of love. It is there that you will become a true adorer, worthy of the Cenacle, worthy of Jesus and Mary.

Practice: Labor zealously for the adornment of the Eucharistic altars, particularly for those of poor churches.

Aspiration: The Lord, Mary, has adorned thee as the tabernacle of His choice, and Jesus in the Host has made it His delight to dwell in thee!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Seventeenth Day of May


Mary, Our Mistress in the Cenacle.

I.

"Disciple, behold thy Mother." When Mary heard from Jesus lips these words so consoling to us, she could have died of sorrow. Alas! the disciple instead of the Master, John instead of Jesus, the creature instead of the Son of God! But the divine Mother lovingly accepted the substitute. She covered us with Jesus blood and merits, and began to love us with a boundless love, so far as to be happy in tarrying still twenty-four years here below, in order to nourish us with her love and incomparable favors, and in spite of her intense desire to be at once united to her Son in glory.

Mary’s mission will be to superintend our Christian education. Jesus acquired all the treasures of grace. Mary will have but to draw from them, to distribute the bread that He left us, to make us follow the law that He gave us. Jesus could not remain among us in His glorified state. We should have been afraid of Him. He remains, indeed, in the Sacrament, but His love deprives Him of all exterior action, whilst keeping Him there to render Him more attractive, more accessible to all. But behold our Mother, who is His, also. She possesses the secret of His Heart and of His life. She is going to bring Jesus virtues down to our level, showing us under that amiable and easy aspect how to imitate what a Mother alone knows how to present.

O how beautiful and touching will be the words of Jesus repeated by Mary’s lips! How amiable, how easy of imitation are His virtues, so sublime in them selves, going to become when explained to us by Mary! How beautiful and lovely Jesus will be when painted by Mary! How easy will our education be under so good a Mistress!

II.

She will conceive, will form and perfect Jesus in us. She conceives Jesus in us, she gives Him to us. The Father has delivered to her His Son, that she may give Him to us. The world was unworthy to receive the Word directly from God. Mary was our Mediatrix in the Incarnation, and she continues to exercise that function. No one comes to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and embraces His holy law, no one obtains the Faith that saves, but by Mary’s prayers. Her mission, and she is faithful to it, is to give Jesus. He must be received from her hands, and in vain shall we seek Him elsewhere. Moreover, Jesus will increase in us only by Mary. All the graces of spiritual progress will come to us only through her. It was under her maternal direction that He grew at Nazareth, and He wishes us to follow the same law. We see in the Gospel, also, that all His principal favors were granted through Mary and with her. By her He sanctified St. John the Baptist; He glorified His Father, and constituted Himself our Model at Nazareth under her eyes; He strengthened at her prayer, the faith of His disciples at Cana; lastly, on the Cross, He solemnly charged her with the duty of forming us. It is, in short, by Mary that He will perfect Himself in us. The perfection of Jesus in us is properly the work of the Holy Spirit. But as the Spirit of Love willed to make His Masterpiece, the Sacred Humanity of Jesus, in union with Mary, so to establish in us the perfect image of the Savior, to transform us into other Christs, He claims Mary’s co-operation. The more of Mary he finds in a soul, the more powerfully He works therein. Ask all the holy souls in whom reigns sovereignly the love of Jesus, whence they drew it, and they will tell you that it was from Mary. Is she not the Mother of beautiful love? Has she not the secret of the Spirit of Jesus? She has it in plenitude.

It is for Mary to give us the family spirit, if we may so say. For that she takes all the qualities of Jesus, all His virtues, and passing them through her maternal heart, she renders them sweeter and easier, and thus encourages us to imitate them. By Mary’s love, we proceed even to the sanctity of Jesus. By living of Mary s holiness, we live of Jesus sanctity.

III.

How beautiful it would be to study Mary instilling into some little child the idea of Jesus, rousing some youth to generosity in the service of Jesus, preparing him for First Holy Communion, and leading him to make choice of a holy and suitable state of life! By the sentiment of her love and piety she makes an impression on his heart that even future disorder cannot efface, a habit of respect and of love for her which will last even in forgetfulness of God. Mary’s grand and winning presence accompanies us everywhere in life. Happy he who has received from her his first education! Mary will be to him a lever to raise him from evil; her name will always rouse in his heart a thrill of love.

It is, again, Mary who educates the Christian maiden. From infancy she inspires her with her own piety, her own love for Jesus. She lights in her heart a noble flame. She excites in her a divine ambition. She shows her her own immaculate lily, and, making of it a crown for her, she presses her to her motherly bosom. Kissing her with a chaste and maternal kiss, she says to her: "O my daughter, be a lily, be the spouse of my Divine Son! Give Him thy heart, and receive His virginal ring. Look at my crown, the reward of my love for virginity, and be doubly my daughter."

Thus Mary forms virgins, guards and defends them. Adducentur virgines post eam. Mary is their Queen.

This is the education that Mary gives. She makes piety sweet and easy. What she did in the first days of the Church, she still continues. Like us, the Apostles had the Eucharist. But the first education is not given by the father. An education destitute of maternal tenderness, always shows the want. Sanctity fashioned by Jesus alone, is more austere. That which Jesus and Mary form together is more winning, witness St. John and St. Paul. Let Mary lead us to Jesus, let her make us know and love Him as she knows and loves Him. In that consist sanctity and happiness.

Practice: Pray to Mary that all in their last agony may receive Holy Viaticum worthily.

Aspiration: Hail, Mary, celestial Cloud, which sheds the Eucharist over the world like a beneficent dew!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Contact Information

A number of readers have asked questions in the comments. This is a wonderful way to ask questions that may be helpful to others or for people to add their insight if applicable. However some readers may have questions of a more personal nature that they would rather not ask in the comments or wish to contact me about some other matter. In order to make that easier I will soon be adding a contact service to the sidebar. Until then, please feel free to contact me at my email address which you will find by clicking on the link "view my complete profile" at the bottom of the "About Me" section of the side bar.

The Sixteenth Day of May


Mary, Our Mother in the Cenacle.

I.

It is to our best interest to honor with an entirely special devotion the life of Mary in the Cenacle, altogether given up to the service and glory of the adorable Eucharist. We must try to catch something of her spirit and her love, in order to render to our Divine Savior present among us, a worship of adoration more agreeable and more perfect in union with that which His most holy Mother offered Him. To become good servants of the Eucharist, we must be docile and devout children of Mary. It was not an empty claim that Jesus from the Cross gave us over the heart of His Mother. By that testament of love, we take His place in Mary’s heart. That good Mother loves us henceforth as her true children.

Let us, then, breathe in Mary’s spirit. It is the same as that of Jesus. She inhaled it from its divine Source. She is full of His grace, in order to communicate it to us. She is the only true and perfect copy of His virtues. She labored for three and thirty years, the Divine Original before her eyes. She possesses all the secrets of the Savior’s love for men. She shares His unbounded love for us. like Mary, let us tenderly love, let us love devotedly! She loves us as Jesus loves us. She loves us as only a Mother so good and so powerful can love.

II.

Her great mission is to form Jesus in us. It is the mission that He gave her on Calvary.

Mary wished at that moment to die with Jesus at the foot of the Cross. But when the flame of the love of her virginal heart encircled His Divine Person, Our Lord seemed to say, when giving to her St. John: "By My sacrifice I become the Savior and the Father of the great human family; but these poor children still so young, must have a mother. O strong Woman, be thou their Mother! Love them as thou has loved Me, as I have loved them. It was through love for them that I became man, and that My Heavenly Father made thee My Mother. It is for them that I am giving My Blood and My life. I love them more than Myself, and I transfer to them all the claims that I have to thy maternal love. Whatever thou wilt do for them, will be done for Me. I remit into thy hands the fruit of My Redemption, the salvation of mankind, the care of My Church, the service of My Sacrament of Love. Form for Me true adorers in spirit and in truth, that they may adore Me as thou hast adored Me, that they may serve Me as thou hast served Me, that they may love Me as thou hast loved Me!"

This was Jesus last legacy, signed with His Blood, and ratified by the heart of Mary, His divine Mother.

She ascended Calvary with Jesus to die with Him. She came down from it with the disciple, her son of adoption, with the holy women, her daughters, and went to the Eucharistic Cenacle, there to begin her Christian maternity at the foot of the Divine Sacrament.

It is she who will form for Jesus in the Eucharist His court of honor, it is she who will train for Him His servants.

O do not doubt it! If you have entered into the Cenacle, if you have the happiness of knowing, loving, and serving the Most Holy Sacrament, it is to Mary that you owe it. It is she who demanded you of the Heavenly Father as a guard of love for the Eucharistic King. It is she who preserved you pure in the midst of the world, who led you by the hand to the foot of the Eucharistic throne.

O thank this good Mother! You owe to her all the graces of your life, and the greatest of all, that of loving and serving, by consecrating your entire life to Him, the King of kings on His throne of love.

Practice: Render to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament the respect, the duty, and the love of a true child.

Aspiration: It is thou, O Mary most amiable, who dost nourish thy children with the Bread of immortality.

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!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Fourteenth Day of May


Mary’s Compassion.

I.

Mary had neither original nor actual sin to expiate. She had not, like Jesus, been charged by God with the weight of our iniquities. How was it, then, that all her life she suffered so much; first, from the foreseen death of her Son, which was incessantly before her; and secondly, from His actual sufferings on Calvary itself?

It was because suffering is the law of love. It was Mary’s love that made her a martyr; and because she loved more than any creature, she suffered an incomparable martyrdom. It was, again, because suffering is the actual glorification of Jesus Christ in us. By suffering, we continue and finish His sacrifice. Again and above all, it is because maternity is purchased by suffering. In bringing into the world her spotless Son, Mary escaped that law; but when she was to become our Mother, to bring us forth to grace, she felt all its rigor. What did Jesus Christ not suffer in order to create us anew in Himself? And Mary, also, stood at the foot of the cross, and underwent in her heart all the torments of the Passion, in order to become our Mother by adoption.

Let us reflect upon Mary s share in the Passion of Jesus. Let us, if we can, comprehend the part she took in it.

II.

By supernatural light, Mary saw Jesus in the Garden of Olives. She shared in His prayer, His sadness, His agony, for there was so much sympathy of life and love between those two Hearts!
She afterward saw Him betrayed by Judas, abandoned by all, denied by Peter, alone before His judges, without a defender, ignominiously buffeted, treated as a fool! Ah, poor mother! How cruel that absolute abandonment must have been to her! What! is there no one, not even among his friends, who will take up His defense? Will no one dare even to recognize Him?

And when St. John recounted to her the scenes in Pilate’s judgment-hall, the iniquitous condemnation to death, her heart must have burst with grief. When she arrived at the pretorium, she heard the strokes of the scourging, she saw Jesus exposed with Barabbas and presented to the populace as the equal of that malefactor; she heard the Ecce Homo, and the ferocious cries of the impious multitude: Tolle tolle, cracifige! "Let Him be crucified! Let Him be crucified!" To snatch Him from His executioners,—ah! poor Mother!—she had only her tears!

III.

She followed Him to Calvary. She met Him upon that dolorous journey which He was moistening with His Blood. Their eyes, their heart, their sorrow united in one same sacrifice, and in one same perfect resignation.

Behold Jesus on Calvary! Mary gazed on Him as they inhumanly and cruelly despoil Him of His garments. She beheld Him extended on. the cross, and she heard the blows of the hammer that fastened to it His hands and His feet. What a spectacle for a mother! She, too, was crucified. The blows rebound, and inflict wounds on her.

She saw Him when they raised Him above the earth. She followed Him with her eyes. Hardly was the cross planted firmly in the ground, before that brave Mother, spurning all obstacles, hastened to the feet of her beloved Son. There, abyssed in an ocean of sorrow, she contemplated Him. She felt every one of His pains. Her soul was fastened to His wounds. She was stronger than death, but more crucified by her union with Jesus than by all deaths and all martyrdoms.

She listened to every word her Son uttered, and she laid it up in her memory in order to repeat it. She saw His Blood flowing, His life ebbing away. Without being able to relieve Him, she heard Jesus asking for water—O what sorrow for a Mother!—And, at last, she heard Him complaining of being abandoned even by His Heavenly Father! Her well-beloved Son yielded His last sigh, and what did Mary do? Ah! she agonized in sorrow and love. She received His sacred Body in her arms, she embraced it with the tenderness of a mother, she adored It with the faith of a Christian, she entombed It as the desolate widow her only son. And after all was over, she wept. Her life thence forth was passed in recalling the sorrows of His Passion, in order to renew her own martyrdom, and the glory that her sufferings would render to God. She often made the Dolorous Way, being the first to teach us that devotion so pious, so powerful with Jesus, and so useful to the soul, the Way of the Cross.

Practice: In union with Mary, to repair by every possible means the sacrileges committed against the Eucharist.

Aspiration: O Mother of love, grant that we may feel the immensity of thy grief at the sight of thy Jesus outraged in the Blessed Sacrament!