Mary: Mother of the Eucharist

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‘With the Bread of Life and understanding, she shall feed him…’
– Ecclus. 15:3

Mary Invites us to Holy Communion
“Among the Biblical figures of Mary,” writes St. Peter Julian Eymard, “there are several which represent her inviting us to Holy Communion. Such is the table of the Temple upon which rested the loaves consecrated to the Lord. ‘Hail, Mary,’ says St. Ephraim, ‘spiritual table of faith, who dost offer the true Bread to the famished world!’

‘Why [asks Pinna] does this holy Doctor [St. Ephraim] give to Mary the title of table instead of ark, since the Ark contained the miraculous manna? Ah! it is because the Ark hid what it held; whilst the table exposed to view the food that was laid on it, and seemed to invite the guests to partake of it… It is because the Ark contained only manna, while the table holds not only bread, but all kinds of savory food and delicious drinks, also. Now, Mary, in offering Jesus to us in Holy Communion, gives us a Bread which has in Itself all flavors, and which satisfies every desire.'” ‘Instead of which things thou didst feed thy people with the food of angels, and gavest them bread from heaven prepared without labour; having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste’ (Wis. 16:20; Cf. Communion Antiphon for XIII Sunday after Pentecost, usus antiquior).

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In another place,” continues St. Peter Julian, “Mary is compared to the [sanctuary] lamp which ought, according to the Law, to be placed very near the table of the sanctuary. ‘What means this prescription?’ asks Conti. ‘Without doubt, to light up that holy table and the sacred loaves that it holds. It is thus that Mary attracts us by the light of her inspirations, in order to show us the Eucharistic Bread which will make our delight.'”

“But a still more striking indication of Mary’s power over the dispensing of this ineffable grace of Communion, is the word of St. Peter: ‘As new-born babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation…’ (1 Pt. 2:2)

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Cornelius a Lapide says that many interpreters understand by this spiritual milk the Eucharist, which in the early Church was given immediately after Baptism, and even to infants. The Eucharist has, indeed, the color of milk. Like milk, It is sweet to the taste, and like It, again, It marvelously nourishes the soul.

St. Peter’s expression, Concupiscite, “Desire ardently,” shows us with what eagerness we ought to desire this spiritual milk. ‘Do you not see,’ says St. Chrysostom, ‘with what haste little infants seize the mother’s breast? Ah! with still greater eagerness let us run to the source of this Blessed Beverage! Let us, like new-born babes, suck in the grace of the Holy Spirit.’ ‘Come over to me, all ye that desire (concupiscitis) me,’ says our Blessed Mother, ‘and be filled with my fruits’ (Ecclus. 24:26; Epistle for Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).

The Eucharist is, then, the milk of our soul. But how suggestive of Mary is this word “milk”! Who gives the milk to the babe but the mother? All you that thirst, come to the waters: and you that have no money make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money, and without any price’ (Is. 55:1; Epistle for Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, May 31).

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Who shall give thee to me for my Brother, sucking the breasts of my Mother, that I may find Thee without, and kiss Thee, and now no man may despise me?’ (Cant. 8:1)

Mary, give us that substantial Milk of our soul!… Thou dost give us in Communion a Divine Milk, God Himself changed into milk for our weakness, for our infancy, for, as St. John Damascene declares: ‘The Virgin’s milk is changed into the Flesh of the Saviour, and it is that Milk – that Milk, itself, without doubt – that we receive at the Holy Altar…” ‘Out of the mouth of infants (infantium) and of sucklings (lactentium) thou hast perfected praise, because of thy enemies, that thou mayst destroy the enemy and the avenger.’ (Ps. 8:3)

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St. Augustine, glancing from the Cross to the Altar, knew not by which God testified the more love for him, and he exclaimed: ‘… UPON THE CROSS HE OPENS TO ME HIS HEART; AT THE ALTAR, HE PRESENTS TO ME THE BREAST, AND FEEDS ME WITH DIVINE MILK!’ ‘He hath filled the hungry with good things…’ (Mary, Mother of all the Living, Lk. 1:53, echoing Ps. 106:9)

(From ‘Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,’ The Sentinel Press, 1903, by Father Eymard [St. Peter Julian]; Scriptures in italics have been added)

+ Happy Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Mother of God, and our dearest Mother!
+ And happy “feast of the Littlest Souls”
!

14 Rules for Christian Living

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Dom Maurus Wolter, O.S.B.

“My omnipotence is great, and grace will enable you to give Me what I ask of you.”

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata (p. 117, ‘Jesus Appeals to the World’)

Only Divine Love can transform the ruins of this fallen world. More than anything, the world needs saints! “Oh,” said Our Lord to St. Gemma Galgani, “that I could make all understand how incensed My Heavenly Father is by the impious world! There is nothing to stay His Hand, and He is now preparing a great chastisement for all the world.” (p. 175–176, ‘Life of St. Gemma Galgani’)

Trust in God, and He will see to your sanctification. What a sublime calling! What a great duty!

“I cannot bear tepid and cowardly souls.” (cf. Rev. 3:16)

– Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

‘And Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto Him who died for them, and rose again.’ (2 Cor. 5:15) And how can we live unto Him, Who is Charity (1 Jn. 4:16), except by Charity?  “Let your whole life,” said Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani, “be one continual act of charity. I desire you in charity.” 

“Fill yourself with this Love and diffuse it over the world.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret de la Touche

Take heed of the following advice, dear reader – not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those dear to you, and for all those who have been redeemed by the Precious Blood of Christ.

(The following quotes have been taken from ‘The Principles of Monasticism’ by Dom Maurus Wolter).

Work Diligently

“The Lord couples sloth with wickedness, saying: Wicked and slothful servant.” (cf. Mt. 25:26)

– St. Basil the Great (p. 498)

Avoid Excessive Chatter

“Avoid excessive speaking for it extinguishes all reasonable thoughts and those which come to the heart from Heaven.”

– St. Dorotheus (p. 66)

Pray Frequently

“He who desires to pray frequently will find the mercy of Christ more abundantly.”

– St. Macarius (p. 139)

Join Prayer to Meditation

“Meditation and prayer are the two wings of charity.”

– Hugh of St. Cher (p. 214)

Love Silent Contemplation

“Arsenius, flee [men, the world], keep silence, and lead a life of silent contemplation, for these are the principles of salvation which prevent a man from committing sin.”

– Our Lord to St. Arsenius (p. 68)

Rid Yourself of Earthly Attachments

“Free yourself of the burden of this world’s goods, and I will personally fill you with those which are heavenly unto your soul’s supreme consolation.”

– Jesus to Ven. Juan de Jesus Maria (p. 280)

Seek God Alone

“And who can be more fortunate than he whose Creator becomes his wealth?”

– Julianus Pomerius (p. 293)

Bear with Humiliations

“If you long for the virtue of humility, you must not flee from the way of humiliation.”

– St. Bernard (p. 298)

Deny Yourself

“Unless a person renounces himself he cannot draw night to that which is above him.”

– St. Gregory the Great (p. 390)

Love Chastity

“O chastity, which begets spiritual joy and banishes sadness!”

– St. Ephraem (p. 374)

Avoid Gluttony

“We must take food not to the point of eating extravagantly or to the state of being glutted, but only so that the body can be properly sustained.”

– St. Isidore of Seville (p. 411–412)

Flee Idleness

“There is no thought so foul, so abominable, so evil and execrable to which idleness, which is so detestable, will not lead. For the heart of a man given to idleness is like a mill which, having no good grain to grind, but being nevertheless in continual motion, grinds on and wears itself out, even unto total destruction, unless such ruin is prevented by someone’s diligence. And it chops up dirty insects flying about just as readily as choice kernels of grain.”

– John Gerson (p. 505)

Admonish the Sinner

“If punishment lies in store for him who has the money and does not help with the same, shall there not be a greater punishment for him who has the opportunity to exhort and does not do so? In the former case the body is nourished, and in the latter, the soul; there you prevent temporal death, here, that which is eternal.”

– St. John Chrysostom (p. 629)

Know your Faith

“THE MAN WHO IS LACKING IN DOCTRINE WILL EVERYWHERE SUFFER DARKNESS.”

– St. Bede (p. 513)