Contemplation naturally follows adoration and thanksgiving, whilst, at the same time, it nourishes and perfects them. Eucharistic contemplation is the look that the soul fixes on Jesus in the Sacrament, to know His perfections in detail, to see His goodness in the institution of the Eucharist, to study its motives, examine its sacrifices, weigh its gift, and appreciate its love.
The first fruit of Eucharistic contemplation is to fix, to recollect the soul in Our Lord, discovering to it the mystery of His perfections and the love of the in effable Gift of the Eucharist.
Mary before the Eucharist was in contemplation such as neither human nor angelic tongue could express. Jesus Christ alone, the object of it, knew its value. Mary had the highest knowledge of the love that Jesus had shown in instituting the Eucharist. She knew what combats His Heart had to sustain, and the sacrifices exacted of Him by the institution of this Sacrament; combats of His love against the incredulity and the indifference of the greater part of mankind; combats of His sanctity against the impiety, the blasphemy, and the sacrileges of which His Eucharist would be the object, not only from heretics, but even from His friends themselves; combats of His goodness against the ingratitude of Christians who neglect to receive Him in Holy Communion, thus refusing His best graces, His most tender invitations. But Jesus’ love triumphed over all these obstacles.
Mary had followed these combats, she had shared these sacrifices, and she saw the victory. She revived them in her adoration.
To appreciate the gift of the Eucharist, an adorer ought, like Mary, and with her, to go to Its source, to the sacrifices It demanded of Our Lord’s love. If that love is beautiful on Calvary, it is yet more beautiful in the Cenacle and on the altar. It is there love forever immolated. The sight of those combats and of that victory, will suggest to the adorer what he owes in return to a God so good. And then with Mary, His divine Mother, he will offer himself to Jesus in the Eucharist with his whole heart, to bless Him, to thank Him for so much love.
Text from Father Eymard’s Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (New York: Sentinel Press, 1903).