29. PRIESTLY APOSTOLATE IN THE SPIRIT OF MARY MOST HOLY (I)
The Eucharistic apostolate is at the root of all the works and activity of the Church. The Church cannot give a greater good than Communion, has no other loftier life and greatest support but the Eucharist. If all men and women would understand what it means: God with us, the Tabernacle; the value of the Holy Mass, what is received in Communion, all would turn to the Eucharist. There is but one suffering which should pierce the heart: that of not having taken enough advantage of the Eucharist and if there could be a possible remorse in eternity, it shall be that of having failed to obtain all the graces that we can from the Eucharist.
All blessings are in Jesus, but Jesus was given to us through Mary. God could have chosen another way, instead he willed this way, and gave us Jesus and every blessing per Mariam! ex muliere1 (through Mary! from a woman).
The mission of the Pious Disciple is similar to that of Our Lady. We will find many consolations in this truth. There is something which is a mystery, not in itself, since God willed it, but for us. God disposed that the woman be a weaker being than man, yet, man has to take life and formation from the woman. As in the natural life, so it is in Christianity. The woman is not a priestess, nor has the duty to preach, nor the power to govern, nor is she an ordinary administrator of the sacraments. The Priest, however, receives all from the woman; from Mary, everything came to the Priest.
The Most Holy Virgin was always announced by the prophets as the one who should give the Savior to the world. So was it announced in the earthly Paradise: I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring.1 Redemption was carried out by Jesus through Mary. The world's salvation is worked out by the Priest, yet, coming from the Woman. Egredietur virga de radice Iesse et flos de radice eius ascendet 2; ecce Virgo concipiet et pariet3 (A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots; the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son).
Mary is the Mother of the first Priest, she is the Mother of every Priest and of all those who fulfill the priestly office.
Since she should become Mother of the Savior, she appeared immaculate on earth. This mystery was revealed to her in the Annunciation and for this, she pronounced her fiat!4 She presents Jesus to the shepherds,5 to the Magi;6 she brings him to the temple,7 in Egypt;8 she accompanies him in Palestine,9 lives with him in Nazareth,10 gives him the permission to begin his public life,11 the consent to die. In the Ascension, she presents and hands him over to the Father. Mary is always the Woman, who gives Jesus, therefore, she is not only the greatest apostle, but the Apostle, the Queen of the Apostles.
Jesus is the Apostle 'par excellence'. Mary is the Apostle, not like Jesus, but in a very much greater way than all the other apostles. The first Apostles and the apostles of all times are worthy of this name, in as much as they participate in the apostolate of Jesus and Mary. Whoever makes herself more similar to Mary, participates more in her apostolate. This is your vocation: to parti-cipate in Mary's apostolate.
All of the privileges of Mary Most Holy were directed to render her Mother of God and Queen of the Apostles. For this, we honor her Immaculate, the One Assumed into Heaven, but above all, as Queen of the Apostles, because we sum up in this title all her privileges.
What is the similarity between the duty of the Most Holy Virgin and that of the Pious Disciple? Aside from the eucharistic apostolate, the Pious Disciple should fulfill the priestly apostolate, namely: to pray for vocations, to help in their development, to assist and to bring them to completion, to accompany them in their passage to eternity.
Mary accomplished this duty towards Jesus; the Pious Disciple accomplishes it towards alter Christus,1 the Priest.
Mary gave us Jesus; she was the good sacristan who prepared the Host for the Sacrifice, the Victim. Jesus was formed with the pure blood of the Virgin Mother. When we receive the consecrated Host, we receive something of Mary in us. Heart of Mary...with your virginal blood, you formed the beautiful heart of the Lamb adored, that redeemed the world.2
In the Tabernacle, there is Jesus, fruit of Mary. In the Mass, Jesus is sacrificed, Son of Mary. The world possesses the greatest wealth, which is the Real Presence, that comes from Mary.
We have been redeemed by Jesus and together, by Mary, who therefore, is co-Redemptrix. If Paradise was reopened, if we have been baptized, if there is the Church, the Pope, the Mass, if we are religious, we owe everything to Mary.
The Lord still wants to give his blessings through Mary and through the persons who continue Mary's mission. He wants alterae Mariae! - (other Marys!) who are to give to the Church and to the world other Christs. The Priesthood is perpetuated in the Church through Mary and through the persons who consecrate themselves to the care of vocations. There are mothers of families who offer one of their children to the Lord and they do a very great thing; there are pious women who collaborate with the priestly ministry and enjoy the fruits; there are others who still go further and have very close relationship with Mary Most Holy.
Mary fulfilled the priestly service to Jesus; incomparable was her dignity. She was also the natural Mother of the first and Eternal Priest. The Pious Disciple becomes spiritual mother of the Priest, which means much more than adoptive mother or benefactress. The Pious Disciple gives more, because virginity is immensely fruitful. Our Lady became Mother of God because she was a Virgin. You are virgins and you can become mothers. Virginity generates Priests for God's Church; prayer obtains and sustains them. To seek also for material help, to offer service, to contribute to the Priest's formation, these complete your maternal work. United to the Priest's ministry and sharers in Mary's mission, you obtain abundant fruits from the preaching, teaching, writings, work of the Priests.
However, may you always be prudent and remember, that it is not this or that Priest whom you have to help, but the same Priest: Christ!
The more you are spiritually united, the more you are corporeally separated. The more mortification is there, the more shall be the strength.
The world awaits for other Christs, coming through other Marys.
I was not inspired to constitute the Priests in a different way. I wanted to give them first, the mothers. What a great mission, therefore, is reserved for you. Thank the Lord and follow Mary.
1 Cf. Gal. 4, 4.
1 Gn. 3, 15.
2 Is. 11, 1.
3 Is. 7, 14.
4 Cf. Lk. 1, 26-38.
5 Cf. Lk. 2, 16.
6 Cf.Mt. 2, 11.
7 Cf. Lk. 2, 42.
8 Cf.Mt. 2, 14.
9 Cf. Mt. 2, 23.
10 Cf. Mt. 4, 13
11 Cf Mt 3,13ss.
1 Usual expression of St. Pius X (elected Pope on August 4, 1903; died on August 20, 1914).
2 From a song of praise to the Sacred Heart of Mary; the Pious Disciples were exhorted by Fr. Alberione to sing it often and with devotion.