36. EUCHARISTIC JESUS, MODEL OF THE PIOUS DISCIPLE
Always remember in the intentions all those of the Heart of Jesus. Ask for many and chosen vocations; ask for good mistresses for the postulants, for the novices and for the professed. Ask that Superiors may truly be Mothers and may govern with intelligence and maternal sense. Ask for many sister painters and sculptors, who would know how to worthily reproduce the divine beauty. Ask for Sisters fitted to dedicate themselves to the liturgical, priestly and eucharistic apostolate, in the sense meditated.
All the Sisters must contribute to obtain the graces for their Superiors, because the Superiors have to give direction, have to fulfill many difficult duties; they have to render to God a more rigid account.
The Superiors, on the other hand, must obtain graces for their daughters. They have to pray more, pray well and bring at heart all the persons entrusted to their care.
Nourish your daughters with divine grace.
Give good example of religious life, even if you have a greater responsibility of work and of things, even though at times, you are occupied with deeds that make common life less easy.
Ask for and try to have a maternal heart, not a heart made in a civil, public, military manner. The Superiors have the mission to accompany God's work in the persons. It is He who calls the daughters to make them saints; you must facilitate for them the way to holiness. It is necessary at times, to act with force but always with gentleness. Accompany God's work in the persons gently and wisely, with instructions, reminders, warnings, various helps and different forms of charity. The Superior is God's ally and she has to take care of his divine interests and to contribute to the realization of his divine will in the persons whom she takes care for Him.
Have the persons under your care reached the degree of holiness to which the Lord calls them?
Whoever has the ambition to govern is undeserving and incapable. If she should govern, it is not in God's name and she would carry a weight that satisfies her own vain desires, but is a burden for eternity.
There can also be a Superior who does not allow herself to be sufficiently enlightened by God, who does not communicate that which she has to. For a community, it is not enough to have the pantry full, to have provisions even for winter and to have together Sisters who are neither good nor joyful. The Superior is not the treasurer, she is the Mother and should be the sanctifier. Then, the Institute shall proceed well.
I have to tell you something which I must not omit or forget absolutely. You ought to take from the Tabernacle your virtue, your spiritual progress. You have to model your life to that of the Divine Master who lives in the Holy Tabernacle.
The Gospel virtues continue and are repeated here: in the Eucharist.
Jesus was humble, patient, good, not only 1947 years ago, but he still continues to be so in the Tabernacle. He was not only innocent, delicate and charitable then, but he is still, in the Eucharist.
The Pious Disciple must learn to model her virtue from the lessons she gets from the Tabernacle, more than from any other method or book.
Jesus makes silence, lovingly keeping silent according to his eucharistic state; he teaches and lives. It is necessary to tell the Pious Disciple: do as Jesus does, see how he behaves and do the same. You who often keep Jesus' company through the Visit, the Adoration, you should quickly learn to live like him. Jesus Host is your most attractive, most perfect model.
Blessed Eymard1 wrote much on the virtues of Eucharistic Jesus; I cannot describe them all in one meditation.
Open the divine book and consider this throughout the year: Jesus, model of holiness. One learns from those with whom she lives; the child imitates the mother and if you are the little ones of Jesus, imitate Jesus. Unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God.2 Whoever does not make herself small, shall not find a place in Jesus' Heart.
Humility. Jesus practiced humility in the manger, in Nazareth, in the public life. He practiced it in the passion, to the point of being like a sinner. He was so innocent, he never knew sin, he took upon himself all our sins. Jesus continues to humble him-self in the Eucharist. He is hidden here under the appearance of bread. How lovable he is in this annihilation. In cruce latebat sola Deitas, hic latet simul et humanitas.1 (On the cross was hidden your divinity, hidden here before us, too, is your humanity). Is it possible to lower more oneself ? He can indeed, say: Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.2
Obedience. Jesus obeyed Mary Most Holy and St. Joseph for 30 years; he always obeyed the Father, even in the passion and in death. Jesus obeys the Priest in the Eucharist. It is the Priest who pronounces the powerful fiat and Jesus makes himself present in the altar, allows himself to be exposed, locked up; he goes, comes, acts, always following that which the Priest commands. And yet, the Priest is not as holy as Mary, Jesus indeed, obeys even the undeserving.
These virtues of Eucharistic Jesus are meritorious, because in the institution of the Eucharist, he had accepted all. If at night before going to rest, you put the intention that your heartbeats, the circulation of the blood and the pulse beats are to be acts of love, so it really happens, and it is meritorious for the intention you placed previously.
Purity. Jesus was so pure and he wanted and wants purity around himself: spotless linens, innocent souls around himself. How gladly Jesus goes to pure souls; how gladly he comes to dwell in virginal hearts! He has the holiest thoughts, purest affections for the persons and for his (P)Disciples who are his Brides; Jesus has the purest love. Jesus is the fragrant lily that pleases the Father. Appearing from Heaven and looking at the Tabernacle, the Heavenly Father says: This is my beloved Son. My favor rests on him.1 If you will imitate Jesus Host, the Father shall also tell of you: This is my beloved daughter. My favor rests on her. It is necessary to be similar to Jesus, that the Father would find us conformed to his Son's image.
Poverty. Jesus is so poor in the Tabernacle. He clothes himself of the most common, ordinary appearance of bread and wine. You must also dress up poorly and have common religious habits. There is no elegance in Jesus, nor external beauty; he takes everything from charity, he receives everything as offering in his public ministry. We make the house for him, we pay the rent for him. He lives in houses made of stone and sometimes, in wooden boxes. At times, the chalices, monstrances, pyxes are very poor and even when they are of precious material, it is always a cold material, a lifeless mineral. He is really the poor in spirit, for the love of the Father. Who shall have a poverty similar to that of Jesus?
Here he is, presenting himself to us as model of religious virtues, of silence, humility and thus, of all the other virtues.
Jesus is in the Tabernacle for love. The Eucharist is mysterium fidei1, gratiae et charitatis. Could the charity of the Divine Master perhaps goes further? Could he do more than this? Accipite et manducate.2 (Take this and eat it). Could he do more than to give himself as food, to let himself be eaten? When the men then heard Jesus talking of the eucharistic mystery, they were scandalized and they abandoned him, taking him as one who is mad. Read it in chapter 6 of St. John.3 What an excess of charity is that of God's Son, hidden in the humble appearance of bread!
Learn charity. Love, love, love! Be with the Sisters willingly, even with those who are less sociable, even with those who displease you. It is not only to think well, but to desire what is good, to speak well and to do good when you can. Make life beautiful and joyful to those who live together with you. May religious life be truly a preparation to Paradise and a prelude of Paradise. No sadness, no sulking, no envy; walk in peace, in joy and in love.
While St. Paul tells us that charity1 is the first and the most important virtue, he also tells us that patience is the first condition of charity. Learn patience from Jesus in the Tabernacle. At times, there is chatting in the Church and Jesus keeps silent; there is lack of respect and he is not offended; one goes to communion with indifference and he does not withdraw. Hearts full of pride and imperfections go to him and all the same, he gives himself to them. He arrives up to this point: sometimes, persons who are in sin, sacrilegious souls go to him and all the same, he comes even if he is placed near the devil.
Loving and active silence. The (P)Disciple is distinguished for this virtue, for her inclination to and practice of silence. It is not a silence of indignation, melancholy, nor fruit of natural tendency, but a silence of love.
Jesus talks with the Father but his voice is not heard; he speaks with souls, but he does not disturb; he speaks silently to every heart. Jesus interrupted his eucharistic silence in very few times. For example, he did it with St. Mary Margaret,1 with St.Catherine,2 with St. Thomas3 and with other Saints.
Do you have a silence which imitates that of the Divine Guest of the Tabernacle? In many abandoned churches, Jesus is left alone so many hours, night and day. He keeps silent and does not complain. Iesus autem tacebat.4 (Jesus remained silent). And he still does.
As one of the principal means of sanctification, the Pious Disciple has silence done in imitation of that of the eucharistic silence. It is not only silence in established times and places, but silence on the defects of others, silence on everything that can discourage, disturb and dishearten the persons. It is a silence that edifies. Sometimes, it is needed instead to say things, to speak, however, may it be true charity that urges us then.
If your discourses had been such, that as you pray you feel less recollected, more disturbed and distracted, it is a sign that your conversation was unholy.
The two disciples of Emmaus were talking of holy things. The traveller with his hurried pace, caught up with them. The Divine Master asked them: What are you discussing as you go your way?1 If Jesus would ask us: What are you talking about?, what could we answer? Would we not blush many times? Talk of Jesus, of beautiful things, of your duties, of the good examples; talk of the religious life, of holy readings, of things that make the person joyful and serene. Talk as how Jesus and Mary were talking.
You do not need to look for many sublime books, for many models. Imitate your model, read your book: Eucharistic Jesus.
1 Cf. note 354.
2 Cf. Mt. 18, 3.
1 Eucharistic hymn: Adoro te devote, 3rd strophe. Cf. The Prayers of the Pauline Family, p. 300.
2 Mt. 11, 29.
1 Cf. Mt. 3, 17.
1 Missale Romanum, “Canon Missae”, Verba consecrationis super calicem.
2 Ibid., Qui pridie...cf. also Mt. 26, 26.
3 Cf Gv 6,59ss.
1 Cf. 1Cor. 13, 1-13.
1 St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690).
2 St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Doctor of the Church.
3 St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Doctor of the Church.
4 Mt. 26, 63
1 Lk. 24, 17.