Ave Maria Meditations
With the Solemnity of the Assumption in the same month as the Feast of St. Peter Julian Eymard (founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers whose feast day was August 2nd), here is a meditation from him on Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament:
Our Lady: Model of Eucharistic Devotion
Our Lady’s offering of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary is the perfect model for your offering Holy Mass. She suffered with her divine Son. Never did a mother love her son as she loved Jesus; and so never did a mother share in her son’s agony so deeply as she shared the Passion. Jesus died because He willed to die. Mary must have willed her Son’s death, because, hard as it was to make this sacrifice, it would have been quite impossible for her will to be the least separated from His. He died out of love for us; this was His final proof of love. Aside from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, no human heart ever loved mankind so deeply as Mary’s Heart, and therefore she wanted to unite her will to His, offering to Almighty God this Holy Sacrifice out of pure charity for the human race.
Mary is truly your model in offering Holy Mass. Ask Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament to help you to share actively in Holy Mass by sharing in her spirit. She will teach you to imitate her by accepting willingly all the suffering which your service of God involves, your struggles against temptation, your difficult acts of virtue, your little penances-in union with the Victim Jesus on the altar out of love for God and mankind.
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament earnestly invites you to come and partake of this Bread of Life. It is through her that you are able to eat the Bread of Heaven even every day. It is through her prayers that God inspires you to receive It and grants you the grace to receive It frequently, even daily. Each time Jesus becomes present in the hands of the priest, the Life given to us by the words of Consecration comes originally from her. Surely it is through her special influence as Mediatrix of Graces that this Life is shared with you. Therefore, offer Jesus to the Father through her hands, and in Holy Communion ask for graces through her.
From her early years Mary adored the one true God in the Temple at Jerusalem. She adored her God Incarnate within her chaste womb from the time of the Incarnation to His birth. In Bethlehem she first adored Him in His visible presence as He lay in all His helplessness before her joyful eyes. From that time forward until His Ascension into heaven, she was the constant adorer of the Word-Made-Flesh in all the mysteries of His earthly life. The early Christians, all lovers of the Eucharist, who visited her frequently during her hidden life of adoration, must have taken away with them the spirit of her Eucharistic devotion. As she knelt before the sacred species, she truly influenced them to be ardent lovers of her loving Son in the Blessed Sacrament.
Ask Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament to teach you to prove your love for Jesus by visiting Him frequently in His tabernacle home, where He lives as the best Friend you have upon earth, ready to console and strengthen you in your trials.
It is the Eucharistic work of Mary to draw souls to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Since the Eucharist is the Source from which the graces of Redemption continually flow to mankind, what an ardent longing must burn in the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the flourishing of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. How earnestly she must stand at the side of the priest at the altar, encouraging him with devotion; how her loving hand guides her children to the Communion rail! The more the love and veneration of Mary is fostered, the more does devotion to the Eucharist flourish.
Through Mary we receive every grace, and consequently those graces contained in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The graces which come to us through the intercession of Our Lady are such as to move men toward the fruitful reception of the Blessed Eucharist. Dwelling now and forever in the glory of heaven, she draws those for whom Christ died on the cross to the Eucharist and disposes them to live even more perfectly with the Eucharistic life. She was the first to practice the duties of a truly Eucharistic life, showing us by her example how we ought to assist at Mass, receive Holy Communion, and visit the Most Blessed Sacrament. Consequently, the Church of God delights in hailing her as Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Choose Mary as your model of Eucharistic devotion. Offer Holy Mass, receive holy Communion, and visit Jesus in the tabernacle in full union with her, in the spirit in which she herself did so. Just as in your tenderest years you learned to love God at your mother’s knee, so now learn to love your Eucharistic God, as it were, at her knee, for you can safely believe that Mary is the shortest and surest way to the Heart of the Eucharistic Christ.
May Our Lady lead you to your sacramental Jesus! May she make you a fervent apostle of the Eucharist. May she make you Eucharist-minded to the extent that your very life may be the Eucharist-in union with her, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
St. Peter Julian Eymard