Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Dec. 1, 2010 Wednesday: The Secret of Eucharist
Meditation 17: The Eucharist
I [Blessed Mother] will never forget the first time Jesus confided in me about the secret of the Eucharist...[Jesus] drew near me saying to me,
"O My Mother! I am going to speak of a marvel which fills My heart with joy; a stupendous miracle conceived only by the love of the one God: the Eucharist.
My love for man is so great that I sought a manner of being his food, his very substance and life, of giving this Body that you gave Me, this Blood which will wash away his crimes, of changing him into an angel, and of making divine life circulate throughout his being.
Look how rapidly My heart beats at the very thought of a gift such as will cost Me My life--yes, the sacrifice of the cross which will be perpetuated on the altars. But this does not matter; My love for man is so incomparable that I shall descend to this ultimate extreme, even descending into his very heart.
And this food for him will be so indispensable, that if he does not take it, he will not have life; and he who takes it, that is to say, who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, I will raise him up on the last day, and he will abide in Me and I in him; for I am the Bread of life and he who comes to Me will never hunger of thirst. Yes, I am the Bread come down from heaven...
I know that in the Sacrament of Love I shall be despised, hated, considered outrageous...I shall bear these horrible profanations and sacrileges even from those whom I call My own...
I will remain in order to be their Friend and the Balm that heals their wounds. A prisoner of Love, I shall seek companionship, ardor, consolation, for so many and such horrible sins.
I shall place fire on the earth; I shall inebriate holy souls with the sweetness of the cross; I shall pardon those who offended Me and cry aloud to sorrowful humanity: 'Come to Me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest!"
And with the love of His heart overflowing, He rested on my lap. I dried His tears and offered Him shelter in those souls who would have the mission of sacrificing themselves for the Church and its priests:
- who would not leave Him alone in the tabernacle even at night...
- who would count their happiness in sacrifice, and delight in Him...
- who would move in an atmosphere of love and live from the consecrated Host...
- who, humble, simple, obedient and mortified, would give themselves up to pain in all its forms...because consolation for them is to not be consoled...
- who would be always pure and always victims.
What a Rose, my child, is this one which I give you, the Rose of a vocation as there is none more precious. Cherish it for its worth, descending from heaven especially for you; it has cost Jesus Blood and tears; it was earned by the price of my own heart.
Do not injure Jesus, my child, for the coldness of men, the ingratitude of souls and the solitude of the tabernacle still wound Him with bitter disappointment.
About the Book and the Author
Roses and Thorns consists of a series of thirty-three meditations taken from the prayer life of Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (1862-1973), more commonly known as Conchita. The life and writings of this Latin American mystic have placed her on the road to sainthood. As a married lay woman, the mother of nine children and the founder of Obra de la Cruz (Work of the Cross), this is the fifth volume in a series of Conchita's meditations published by ST PAULS. She is now recognized as "venerable" by the Church. The title conveys, through the prayer experience of Conchita, that Mary has kept the thorns of sorrow for herself while she has asked that we receive the roses for our consolation and surrender.
This text centers around Conchita's devotion to the Mother of God. Mary communicates her experience of a Gospel event in each of these meditative reflections. She gives us a rose from her son so that we might more readily allow his word to penetrate our hearts. Mary, however, also lived these Gospel events as thorns, in that she shares in the same fate as Christ. Her sorrow grew in the knowledge that her son was neither known nor loved. Mary's maternal tenderness for each believer is apparent through her thorns or sorrows. Just as she offers us her rose "for our consolation and surrender," she invites us to accompany her in her sorrow. She gives us the rose yet keeps the thorns for herself, that we would come to know her motherly love and keep her company. Mary reveals to Conchita, "The sorrows were all for me, but the precious fruit derived from them -- for you." A unique aspect of these reflections drawn from the Gospels is that the Blessed Mother invites Conchita's readers to keep her company as she reflects on her separation from Christ after his Ascension. She teaches those who follow to "suffer with love, and to transform our suffering into gift."
Within the series of meditations, Conchita sees the rose as sprinkled with blood. It is the heart of Christ. One is encouraged to take on penitential practices as a means of reaching paradise. "If you desire to reach paradise, mount the cross; if you desire to hide yourself in this wound, sacrifice yourself." The thorns remain in the heart of Mary. The Blessed Mother is seen as Our Lady of Solitude through a post-resurrection narrative. Conchita asks, through Mary's intercession, that she might obtain the virtues necessary to become "a living portrait of the divine heart."
In another meditation, the Blessed Virgin urges Conchita to practice the virtue of simplicity, that she might more closely unite herself to God. She is urged to banish "worldly attachments," strip her soul of "all disorderly affections, refining virtues with the holy fire of the cross." The Blessed Mother describes her thorn as straying from a life of virtue: "roaming on other roads, erring on other paths, seeking the divine love without sacrifice, and seeing them die deceived by the brilliance of a false piety."
Christ is always the center of these meditations. The maternal role of Mary is given emphasis in that she teaches the fruit of a penitential love. The reader is urged to live in union with Mary so that one might more readily grasp the love and sentiments of Christ. The editors have provided a very readable text, making explicit the benefit of this spiritual journey for those drawn to such a devotion to the Mother of God. --Sr. Madeleine Grace, CVI in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, June 2008
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