Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Woman of the Eucharist

On this Saturday after (or before, in some countries) the Feast of Corpus Christi, let us contemplate this wonderful sacrament with Mary. As the words of this famous hymn puts it:

"Ave verum Corpus, natum
De Maria Virgine,
Vere passum, immolatum
In cruce pro homine,
Cuius latus perforatum
Unda fluxit et sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
In mortis examine."

'Hail, true Body,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Truly suffered, sacrificed
On the Cross for mankind,
Whose pierced side
Flowed with water and blood,
Be for us a foretaste
In the trial of death.'

The Lord took His flesh and blood from the Blessed Virgin; they are intimately bound as only a mother and child can be and moreover, also as Saviour and Redeemed, she who was chosen to be Mother of God. In a sense, we too share that intimate bond between Jesus and Mary when we partake of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of the Lord. Thus, Pope John Paul the Great in his encyclical, 'Ecclesia de Eucharistia' taught:

"In a certain sense Mary lived her Eucharistic faith even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God's Word. The Eucharist, while commemorating the passion and resurrection, is also in continuity with the incarnation. At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord's body and blood."
(para. 55)

The icon above of Our Lady of the Eucharist, portrays the Mother of God in the orans position, the posture of prayer. Shown in this manner, Mary, the "Woman of the Eucharist" also stands for our Holy Mother, the Church, who prays and intercedes for the world. In the centre of the Church, at her heart, is the Lord who give us His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. This great sacrament is the fons et culmens, the very "heart of the mystery of the Church", as Pope John Paul II said in his encyclical on the Eucharist. But this is heart is laid bare, open to all and the Lord gives Himself through Mary, through the Church to all people. As the Magnificat antiphon for Second Vespers of Corpus Christi puts it:

"O how sweet, O Lord, is thy spirit, who, to show thy tenderness to thy children, feedest them with thy sweetest bread from heaven, feeding the hungry with good things, and sending the disdainful rich away empty."

And so, together with Our Lady, let us give thanks and praise to God for the gift of His Son, for the gift of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist and sing her Magnificat. May we too share the Eucharistic faith of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

* * * * *

Of your charity, please pray for Christopher Angel, a friend of mine who is to be ordained to the priesthood today by Bishop Arthur Roche. Br Paul Mills and I shall be travelling to Bradford today for the celebration of this sacrament.


Blogger Foundation said...

You don't reckon that maybe you stretch the boundaries so far that you are at risk of deifying Mary and worshiping her?

12:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unda fluxit et sanguine,"

That's Mozart's pitiful text. And blood? Where's the water?

Byrd's setting is much more beautiful. And, even if he doesn't use the water either, at least he knows enough latin to omit the "et" as well!

7:38 pm  
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