“Behold the handmaid of the Lord!” exclaimed the Blessed Virgin [Luke 1:38], and her whole life was passed serving Him in the most perfect manner. She is the model, royal and divine, of our Eucharistic service.
The spirit of a servant of Jesus is thus defined: Devoted love to the Blessed Sacrament in the spirit and virtues of the Blessed Virgin.
It is disinterested devotedness. He does not devote himself in order to be perfect or happy, to amass for himself a spiritual fortune, or to gain a beautiful paradise. No, he devotes himself through pure love of the Beloved. Devotedness longs for one thing only, and that is, to give pleasure and to fulfil duty.
This devotedness ought, then, to be a devotedness of pure love, most pure and Eucharistic. The Eucharist absorbs everything else. Jesus gives Himself entire, and He wishes us entire. But He brings with Him a sentiment of joy and happiness which spreads over our whole life. What! to be associated to the Eucharist, to adoration, to become one of the staff of Jesus Christ—what is there greater? Go, then, to this service with joy, with gladness. Love flies. It loves the service of Jesus better than its own repose, its own gratification. When we do not love, we go not quickly, we delay. But, like Mary, do you fly to the service, to the adoration of Jesus, who is waiting for you.
This service embraces several functions. There are some that directly regard His Person, such as the Mass, Adoration, the Office; there are others that refer to His household and to the good of His servants. But all are functions belonging to the royal service of Our Lord. Our Lord’s house exacts varied attention, varied material employments. We are not pure spirits. But in all these labors, it is the King that we must see, for Him that we must act.
What is this glory that we owe Him? It is to return to Him all the good that we do, to keep nothing for self, not to lay up for self a little sum of money, a little private purse. Let us be servants of the Blessed Sacrament, like Mary.
What a beautiful title! “The handmaid the servant of the Lord!” It is the one that Mary preferred. It is the only one that she ever gave herself. In taking that title of your Mother, you must take with it the duties and virtues that it implies: all are contained in the Magnificat: “The Lord hath had regard to the humility, to the lowliness of His handmaid” [Luke 1:48]. Ah, if anyone ought to be humble and devoted, it is the servant!
All Mary’s virtues, take them in their final character in the Cenacle, are nothing more than acts of her adoration. Mary adores by every one of her virtues. Adoration is the sum total of her whole life. To serve Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament in the spirit and in the virtues of Our Lady of the Cenacle, behold the life of a servant.
Text from Father Eymard’s Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (New York: Sentinel Press, 1903).