The Annunciation. Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word. Every moment is an opportunity to say it – and relive this mystery in my present circumstances – again and again, and so to be taken deep into the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Presentation. How can it be that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? I take my heart and imagine leaving it shut in the tabernacle of the local church, right next to those consecrated hosts. That’s Jesus’ home, where He dwells with Mary. By leaving my heart all the way over there, inches from the Sacred Heart (how are we not annihilated in the intensity of its flame?), perhaps my heart can become a home for Jesus and Mary to dwell in.
The Nativity. And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. Well, I’ll leave my heart where it was before. Since I’m so close it’s no great leap of the imagination to gaze at those consecrated Hosts in the ciborium. The Virgin Mary was the first adorer of the Face of Christ. By adoring the Eucharistic Face I can join in! What else is there to do? Heaven is here; I only have to look.
The Presentation. And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. With a start I realise that dwelling there next to Jesus in the tabernacle I am on an altar, that is, an altar of sacrifice. Well, then, sacrifice must be made; and what do I have to offer? Myself, certainly – though I am not much. But close at hand are the Hosts. I can offer those. I offer them. It’s more than I can fathom, an unspeakable mystery.
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. Again, now that my heart is, in my mind, placed there next to the Eucharistic Jesus, locked inside the nearby church tabernacle, I realise it is an ideal place to think on the mysteries of the Rosary. And seeing him, they wondered. The seeking is met instantaneously with finding. Here He is.
So much of the sorrow in my life came from not seeking Jesus. With Him now there is only peace. God willing, I’ve still plenty of life left to live, and suffering and desolation will come in due course. But there’s no point worrying about that ahead of time. Right now I can only give thanks, and keep my heart where I left it. It’s a little scary – I mean, it is on an altar. If you linger around those you’re liable to get sacrificed the next time a priest walks up. Then again, doesn’t that happen at Mass?