|Saint Meinard's Abbey, 1948 - Courtesy of Life Magazine|
St. Paul praises the obedience of Jesus to His Father, "He became obedient even to death." (Phil. 2). In this Sacrament Jesus goes further: not only to His Father is He obedient, but He becomes obedient to man; obedient not only to death, but obedient to the end of the world.
In obedience to the voice of man the King of Heaven comes from Heaven to the altar. He remains upon the altar to continue to practise obedience to men. Isaias puts the words on His lips: "Ego autem non contradico, "Whatever is asked of me, I never refuse to obey." (Is. 10). He remains motionless: He may be exposed in the Monstrance, or He may be shut up in the tiny Pyx; He may be carried to our homes, and through the streets; He may be given in Communion to those who are holy, or to the sinner.
St. Luke tells us Jesus obeyed Mary and Joseph while He was on earth; in the Blessed Sacrament He is obedient to every priest―"I never refuse to obey."
Now, Most Loving Heart of Jesus, let me speak to you―It is from you that all the Sacraments have come, but especially this Sacrament of Love. I want to give you as much honor and glory as you have given to your Eternal Father in every church in which you dwell―I know that, while you are on this altar, you love me with the same burning love with which you loved me when your life went out in bitter grief on the Cross. O Heart of Jesus, give light to those who do not know you that they may learn to know how beautiful you are. Through your merits set free from Purgatory, or at least give some relief to the souls that suffer there; for they love you and will love you in eternity.
For myself―united in this hour with all souls that love you on earth and in Heaven―I adore you, I love you, I thank you. O Heart that is without stain, purify my heart from all unruly clinging to creatures, and fill it with your holy love; O Most Sweet Heart, take possession of all my heart so that from today forward it may be all your own; so that forever I may say "Who shall separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3). O heart Most Holy, on my heart engrave the bitter sorrows that you bore for so many years, and with such great love, for me. So that, at the sight of them, I may from this day forward have a deep longing to bear all the pains of this life for love of you―or at the very least I may suffer them in patience. O Heart of Jesus most humble, give me a share in our own humility; O heart most gentle, give me a share in your own meekness. Take from my heart everything that does not please you; turn it all to yourself: so that I will not want or wish for anything at all but what you yourself want. To sum up everything―Let me live only to obey you, only to love you, only to give you joy. I know well that I owe everything to you: that my debts to you are very great. Little indeed it will be if I can wear myself out and use up my life for you.
Aspiration―O Heart of Jesus, you are the God of my heart and you alone.
Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.
A VISIT TO MARY
THE HEAVENLY ARK
The Ark in which Noe escaped the universal Deluge is a figure of Mary. St. Bernardine calls her "The Ark in which we escape shipwreck." She is the heavenly ark in which we find shelter while on earth and so escape the shipwreck of everlasting loss. But Esecius says that Mary gives shelter which is superior to that of the Ark of Noe because it is more universal, has greater strength, and is more kindly. With Noe only a few men and beasts found shelter: Mary receives all who seek protection under her mantle and she saves them all. How unhappy our lot would be if we had not Mary! And yet, with all this many still are lost. Why is this? O Mother, it is because they do not go to you: nobody could be lost ever if he asked your help.
THE HEAVENLY ARK
|Courtesy of Life Magazine|