Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saint of the Week: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Our Saint of the Week this week, in celebration of the diocesan Year of the Eucharist, is a French religious sister from the 17
Century, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. She is most famous for her role to play in salvation history as the “apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” But her role in that regard was founded solidly in her devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
Even from her early childhood, she was intensely devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. After four years of suffering from paralysis, she was cured miraculously by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at which time she vowed to consecrate herself to the religious life. And when of age, she entered the Visitation convent at Peray, where she was distinguished for obedience, humility, and love of suffering. Among the many visions that she received of Jesus, the most important were those in which the Lord told her that she was to promote devotion to His Sacred Heart.
The writings of Saint Margaret Mary are not extensive but they are eminently practical. Besides her autobiography, she wrote many letters to people who asked for her counsel. Among these is a long letter to a religious in which she describes diverse aspects of her devotion to the Holy Eucharist; her reflections in this regard eventually became part of the celebration of the old Octave celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi:
“Today, the Lord destines you to honor His glorified life in the Blessed Sacrament. That is why He wishes you to enthrone yourself on the Cross. He wants you to glorify Him by carrying lovingly all those crosses which He presents to you, without ever letting yourself grow weary or complaining of their length or weight.”
“Today, the Lord chooses you to honor His life of sacrifice in the Holy Eucharist. Therefore, you must offer yourself to His Sacred Heart as a victim of immolation before the Divine Sacrificing Priest.”
“Today, the Lord has chosen you to honor His humiliated life in the Blessed Sacrament. So you must offer yourself to Him as nothingness to its All. Your whole attention must be concentrated on annihilating self and rejoicing when others help you to do so.”
“Today, the Lord has chosen you to honor His active life in the Blessed Sacrament. As a faithful servant, you must do violence to yourself to labor fervently in the service of your master.”
“Today, the Lord wants you to honor His life wholly given to us in the Blessed Sacrament. You must be as a burning candle with no other desire than to be consumed in His honor. Surrender yourself to the Mercy of Providence and let Him do with you according to His designs.”
“Today, you will be the…spouse of the Well-Beloved who wishes to honor the Life of love of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Thus you must attend carefully surrendering yourself pure and innocent to please this Divine Spouse.”
In the life and writings of Saint Margaret Mary, therefore, we find a most intimate connection between the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Eucharist, such that we might even ponder that a devotion to one necessarily must involve at least some measure of devotion to the other.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque…pray for us.
~ Fr. Lewis
on Saturday, August 15 at 2:00PM