The soul that lives on the Eucharist ought to occupy itself with all the interests of the Adorable Sacrament. Now, the first, the dearest to Jesus, is the priesthood. By priests, the Blessed Sacrament is given to us. By them, Jesus receives the sacramental life which He consecrates to the glory of His Father; by them, He is more glorified than by even the most pious of the Faithful. He has given to them all His rights and all His power.
Pray, therefore, for the priesthood. Ask that vocations to it may be multiplied. Obtain for the people holy priests, men of fire and flame. This was Mary’s prayer, her apostolate of predilection. And now she protects holy vocations, she implores them of her Son. The priest is the privileged child of Mary.
It is she who trains him to piety when young, and shields his virtue. It is she who nourishes his fervor, who leads him by the hand to the foot of the altar, and who presents him to the Bishop, as she once offered Jesus in the Temple. She encourages him in the thousand sacrifices of study, in the combats against fear of the priestly responsibility.
Mary lives again in the priest, and through him continues her mission to souls for Jesus glory. The first Incarnation was made in Mary and by Mary. In her the Word took flesh. In the hands of the priest and at his word, Jesus Christ becomes our Bread.
The dignity of Mother of God is incomparable. She is the Mother of the King, consequently, the Mother of angels and of men. The priest is the father of our Eucharistic Jesus, the spiritual king of souls.
Mary reared Jesus. She nourished Him and cared for Him at every age. The priest, also, causes Jesus Christ to increase in souls. He leads them to follow Him, to entertain Him in their interior.
Mary, as Mother, has over Our Lord all the rights that maternity confers. The priest, also, has direct power over the Person of Jesus Christ. Mary is powerful only by Jesus. The priest, also, is powerful only by the graces that Jesus puts into his hands. He places Himself at his disposition, in order to give him a greater power of action.
She carried the Word made Flesh nine months in her womb, and that was all. The priest is never exhausted. He incarnates Jesus Christ every day.
Mary brought forth the Saviour in His mortal state, weak and for the Cross; the priest brings Him down upon the altar, but in His glorious and risen state. His glory does not appear to our gross eye, but the angels see it. It is a sun radiant toward heaven, but veiled to earth.
Text from Father Eymard’s Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (New York: Sentinel Press, 1903).
To be continued next Saturday . . .