Ave Maria Meditations
In addition to May 13th being the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, it is also the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Mother of the Holy Eucharist: The Blessed Virgin is called Our Lady of the Most Blessed-Sacrament because she is associated in a special way with the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. She gave us the sacred humanity of Jesus, which is the essence of this sacrament.
As St. Augustine says: “Him whom the heavens cannot contain, the womb of one woman bore. She ruled our Ruler; she carried Him in whom we are; she gave milk to our Bread.”
for Jesus is the blessed fruit of her womb. It was from her that He assumed the flesh and blood with which He nourishes us. When you see Mary in Bethlehem lovingly pressing to her heart her Child, her God, it is the future Eucharistic Christ. When you see Mary offering Him to the heavenly Father in the temple for our salvation, it is the same Jesus you look upon as a Victim for our altars, whom you receive into your soul as your Guest in Holy Communion, whom you adore as your Friend in the Tabernacle. He is all yours because Mary gave her consent to become His Mother.
Though it was out of sheer goodness that God decreed to give us His own Son in the Blessed Sacrament, Mary’s prayers must have had much to do with the carrying out of that plan; for she, too, must have prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.” And when Jesus instituted this holy Sacrament, He surely thought especially of His Mother.
But the relation between Mary and the Blessed Sacrament can be seen above all in her life after Good Friday when she began her new motherhood at the feet of Jesus in the Eucharist. If to live of the Eucharist and by the Eucharist was the very special spirit of the early Church-“And they continued steadfastly in the … communion of the breaking of the bread” (Acts 2:42)-it must have been the summary of her last years on earth. You can easily picture St. John, the Apostle of love, saying Mass each day in his own home and daily giving Mary the consecrated bread and wine of the Eucharist. There before the tabernacle she relived in memory all the happy and sorrowful events of her life with Jesus. In her heart and life the Eucharist took the place of His former presence in the flesh. Her ardent faith and intense love pierced the veil that separated her from her loving Son. Her heart and His burned with one flame of love to the glory of the Father there at the altar. How happy Jesus must have been to receive the homage that she paid Him. What joy He must have felt at the thought that His Sacramental Presence brought her such consolation.
Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is Mary’s Gift to you. Jesus, not satisfied with having Himself to all mankind in the Incarnation, wished to become united with each of us in a most intimate manner by means of the Holy Eucharist, for by an unceasing act of love He gives Himself to us in each Consecration and in each Communion. Mary’s heart is always conformable to her Son’s will. Having loved her sinful children so much as to sacrifice for them her only Son in His Passion, she loved them to the end by giving them the Holy Eucharist. Every day she renews her gift generously, because to each Sacrifice of her Son she gives her consent; each Consecration is her gift to us. Each Communion is a mystery of her love for us and a grace she obtains and bestows on us. This gift of her heart entitles her to be called the Mother of the Holy Eucharist.
St. Peter Julian Eymard
(picture used with permission from artist Tommy Canning)