The Immaculate Conception and Holy Communion

The Blessed Virgin is that chosen woman whose heel crushed the infernal serpent. In creating Mary immaculate, God gained the greatest victory over the devil, and re-established His empire in the world. As Master, He took possession of His own creation, and it was chiefly for His own glory that He preserved Mary from the original stain; for in all His works God seeks first the interests of His own glory.

Behold Mary. God had guarded her. He preserved her by a special privilege. She passed through the period of natural conception, as did all men since Adam. But God owed it to Himself to preserve her pure. Eve, the first mother, was stained; Mary, the true mother of the living, will be immaculate. God overshadowed her. She is His garden enclosed, His fountain sealed, of whose waters the King only shall drink. Satan will not dare approach Mary. She was born in the arms of God’s love. She was a true daughter of God. The Word should not blush for His Mother. As He gave her all that she possessed, God beheld His own honor and glory when He looked upon Mary. The Most Holy Trinity perfectly concurred in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The glory of the Three Divine Persons demanded it.

Thus was the glory of God repaired in humanity. The image of God was remodeled and restored. God may without fear come down and take up His abode in Mary, for she is a tabernacle purer than the sun. Mary is by her purity God’s heaven on earth. With her He will renew the world.

For us, adorers, there is still something more in the mystery of the Immaculate Conception. If God thus preserved Mary, it was because He wished to dwell in her. He wished to descend into a holy dwelling-place pure and perfect. The Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit purified Mary only to make of her a worthy tabernacle for the Divine Word. He had to create a new heaven for Him, one entirely pure. To receive Him into her bosom, Mary had to be immaculate. The Immaculate Conception is the remote preparation for Holy Communion.

Jesus should do the same when coming to us in Holy Communion. He should long for the moment in which we would force Him, as it were, to leave His tabernacle. He should come to us with joy, as if going again to Mary. He will do so if we are pure. He expects of us this preparation of purity. It is only that that He demands. Great purity in receiving Holy Communion ought to be for us the fruit of the Immaculate Conception. Without purity, all virtues are as nothing. If that be wanting, Our Lord will come to us with repugnance, our heart will be to Him a prison.

Text from Father Eymard’s Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (New York: Sentinel Press, 1903).

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