Thoughts of Mary – 17 May – “Mary’s Month”
Mother of the Eucharist
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“The Christian heart understands certain harmonies at once, in a surprising and miraculous way and this mystery which fuses together the dearest objects of Catholic devotion, the Eucharist and Our Lady, is one of the most consoling and delightful harmonies of our faith.
It is a doctrine and it is a fact …. I open the Old Testament and find the Song of Songs which presents me with two most beautiful comparisons (cf Song of Solomon 2:2-3) – “As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens.”
Can we not all see here, in the delicate image of the lily, Mary the Immaculate, beautiful and resplendent?
In the same passage I find: “As an apple tree among the trees of the wild forest, so is my beloved among young men.”
What is this tree, laden with fruit, which resembles the beloved?
This apple tree that grows among the trees of the wild forest, the fruit of which is wholesome and sweet to the taste?
Obviously, it is Jesus – the fruit of the tree is the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
Oh, what a wonderfully apt association of images!
The lily and the tree – Mary and the Eucharist!
The Church is compared to a lovely garden, “a garden locked.”
In it, the fountains play and herbs and fruits make it pleasant and perfumed like a garden of Paradise.
And see! beside the fountain blooms the lily, near at hand is the tree.
The faithful soul seeks for himself a place between the fragrant lily and the fruit-laden tree, between Mary and the Holy Sacrament and lingers with great delight in the shade of the tree. “I sat in his shadow….”
O Mary, pure lily, tender and delicate flower!
O Holy Sacrament!
O mysterious tree, truly the most beautiful of all the trees in the wild forest, because you are the Christ!”