Love

guadalupe

In addition to my previous post on Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Those eyes of Our Lady…they’re looking off, down, to the side, ever so maternally, and also contemplatively. Just imagine for a moment they turn to you. I don’t know what I’d do; I’d be just utterly struck dumb. She’s so lovely and full of love.

But of course she is looking at you, and at me. We never leave her gaze. Right now the Mother of God, crowned with twelve stars, clothed with incandescent light, is praying for you and beseeching her Son, by all the sufferings, sorrows, and joys of her life, to rescue you from whatever mire you might be in. And He has seen fit to give to her the disposition of all the graces He earned by the sufferings, sorrows, and joys of His own life. She is so near. Call on her and she will guide you ever so gently to Christ, who loves you.

United to Jesus Christ, we become, in Him, adopted children of His Father. United to Jesus Christ, we become, in Him, adopted children of His Mother. She loves you.

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Guadalupe: icon of Jesus

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Consider the Virgin of Guadalupe as the icon of Jesus enwombed. He had already dwelt in her by faith and by the singular pouring out of sanctifying grace at her Immaculate Conception, a grace which of course was not just for a moment but permeated her entire being like thick dew for every moment of her existence until the present time. Now he dwelt in her as her Son, soul and divinity, and body and blood that he took from her. He may have been as small as a pea, but He had already saved the world by the obedience of His incarnation.  The sun had gone into the moon, and the moon ought to have burnt up, but no, it was perfectly prepared, and burned without being consumed. It was entirely transparent to the sun within. Look at it and all you see is sunlight. The light surrounding Our Lady of Guadalupe – that’s the sun’s light from her child. How very like to a church tabernacle she is! Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

I want to become that small: small as an embryo, completely dependent on my heavenly Mother for my life and breath. Give me this grace, Holy Mother. I look to you, beautiful Lady of Guadalupe, and adore the Christ within you, and I ask to be drawn into your own loving contemplation whenever I receive Holy Communion.

How can it be that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

As a postscript: Since Christ sanctified human nature in every stage of life as he passed through it, it follows that he sanctified too the hidden childhood of the embryo. He gave dignity to all the children who have died in the womb in their sweet innocence – whether by natural causes or by murder. All of them shall be knit back together with the rest of us at the resurrection of the dead, and then, I think, we will see how much Our Lady of Guadalupe dearly loved them and kept them in her prayers for the sake of her tiny Son.

 

Mary, the ideal of the communicant

This tabernacle sits in a side chapel of St. Sulpice in Paris. Here, St. John gives Holy Communion to the Blessed Mother. Think of all that’s going on here. The young priest whom Jesus loved is given God’s mother to be his own at the foot of the Cross, and now he gives Jesus back to her. The sorrowing mother who had received Jesus on behalf of the entire world at the Annunciation in a little embryo and seen Him taken up to Heaven receives Him again in the guise of bread – and still for the salvation of the world. The hands that give her Jesus are Jesus’ own through the priesthood of St. John. The connection between Annunciation and Holy Communion is not lost on us, much less on her. She repeatedly gives her Fiat over and over again. She becomes again and again the perfect tabernacle of God.

And though she has passed through her great trial of suffering at Calvary, it is in union with the Eucharist that she suffers afresh for love of her Son. Whenever her Son in the Blessed Sacrament is desecrated or abandoned, she feels the pain of seeing her Son crucified, and her communion becomes a reparation of love.

So we can ask Mary to help us, and to acquire her spirit of total submission and reparation when we take Holy Communion. For my part, when I go up to receive, it’s still difficult to get my mind around it all, and being in a state of grace does not remove the sense of unworthiness. All I can really do is entrust the communion to the Blessed Mother, give my thanks, and then stop worrying, because she knows best how to receive Him.

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The secret of the Church

Next to the pierced heart of Jesus lies another also pierced.  It aches with His and burns with love like His.  It accompanies the divine Heart in the many silences of desolation and abandonment.  It does not speak but chooses simply to remain beside.

Only God knows what graces Mary has obtained out of her silent adoration.  The world turns its face away from what makes things beautiful – but she turns her face forwards to the Eucharistic Jesus and shines with unmatched beauty like the moon.  And then she turns to her children and embraces them with the gentlest tenderness.

I want to be like one of those little angels in the old medieval Marian paintings, entirely concerned with a single fold of Our Lady’s flowing blue garment, gingerly lifting it with both hands and looking to see that nothing is disturbed.  Or perhaps I would forget my duties and wrap myself up in the folds of her robe.