Most Blessed Sacrament
FR. STEPHANO MANELLI
Imprimatur: 1973, Naples, Italy
Holy Communion with Mary
Oh, how much it pleases Jesus to be received by a soul cleansed and clothed with His Divine Blood! And what affectionate delight He takes when such a soul is a chaste virgin! For "the Eucharist came from the Paradise of Virginity" (namely, Mary), said St. Albert the Great; and our Eucharistic Lord does not find such a paradise except in virginity. No one can repeat, quite like a virgin, with the Spouse of the Canticle of Canticles at every Holy Communion: "All mine is my true Love, and I am all His; ... He goes out to pasture among the lilies ... Come back, my heart's Love" (Cant. 2:16-17).
One praiseworthy way of preparing for Holy Communion is to invoke the Immaculate Virgin, to count on Her to enable us to receive Jesus with Her humility, Her purity and Her love --- praying rather that She Herself may come to receive Him in us. This pious practice is much recommended by the Saints, in particular St. Louis Grignon de Montfort, St. Peter Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe. "The best preparation for Holy Communion is that which is made with Mary," wrote St. Peter Eymard. A delightful illustration is given by St. Therese of Lisieux, picturing her soul as a little three or four-year old girl whose hair and dress were in disarray, ashamed to present herself at the altar rail to receive Jesus. However, she appeals to the Madonna, and "immediately," the Saint writes, "the Virgin Mary occupies Herself with me. She quickly replaces my dirty dress, ties up my hair with a pretty ribbon and adds a simple flower ... This is enough to make me attractive and enables me to take my place without embarrassment at the banquet of the Angels."
Let us try this method of preparation. We will not be disappointed. We will be able to say what St. Gemma exclaimed in ecstasy, "How beautiful it is to receive Communion with the Mother of Paradise!"
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