By Ivonne Hernandez
We celebrate today the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary. To honor Our Lady, for the month of October, I will be re-posting the Eucharistic Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary, one set of mysteries each Saturday.
This post includes all five meditations on the Joyful Mysteries, so it is longer than usual. I encourage you to mark this page so you can come back to it as you pray the Rosary this week.
"All the mysteries have some relation to the Eucharist, for the Eucharist completes them all. They all tend toward the Eucharist; with the help of grace we must discover what is Eucharistic in the mysteries in order to nourish our devotion toward the Most Blessed Sacrament." – St Peter Julian Eymard
1. The Annunciation
“The Heart of Jesus answered that what was enough to effect the Redemption was not enough to satisfy His love; …"I love men more than the best of mothers ever loved her child! I will stay with them . . ." "Under what form?" "Under the veiled form of the Sacrament." Divine majesty objected to such a humiliation, greater than that of the Incarnation, and more self-abasing than the Passion itself: "The salvation of man does not call for such abasement." "But," replied the Sacred Heart, "I want to veil Myself and My glory, lest the splendor of My Person prevent my poor brethren from coming to me as the glory of Moses once did the Jews. I want to throw a veil over My virtues, lest they humiliate man and incline him to despair of ever attaining so perfect a Model. "He will thus come to Me more easily, and, seeing Me stoop down to the very confines of nothingness, he will come down with Me. I will have the right to say to him with more authority: 'Learn of Me, that I am meek and humble of heart.'”  - St Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Annunciation speaks to us of humility. The God of the Universe came down from Heaven to the womb of the Virgin, to become like us in all things but sin. To take on our humanity and weakness, to experience trials and pain, suffering and loss. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Can there be a greater act of humility? Yes! That same God, who loves us more than the best of mothers ever loved her child, decided that becoming human for a time was not enough for His love; that He wanted to remain with us until the end of days. He decided he would become our food. He would strip himself not only of His heavenly glory, but He would strip himself of any human glory, to become bread and wine. He would come down at the call of a priest and become flesh again. Only this time, it was not as a baby in the most perfect and beautiful womb, the womb of Mary. He would come down to wherever the priest would bring Him. He knew He would suffer greater humiliations as the Eucharist than He did as a man, but that did not matter. He had but one goal in mind: Communion with us. He had one desire: “Man will come down with me to the very confines of nothingness”. Deep calling into deep. His heart calling to our hearts. His love calling to our love. His Love ever present, inviting us to union, to communion. And through that communion we would help Him become incarnate one more time, but this time in us, when we become what we eat.
2. The Visitation
"She (Mary) eagerly sacrificed her privacy and the sweetness of contemplation, in order to go to her cousin Elizabeth, to felicitate her and to serve her. ...Mary did not receive the Word for herself alone. She rejoiced that we should be able participate in her happiness. Let us, then, unite ourselves with her when we receive Jesus. Let us sing her Magnificat. The Lord, in this mystery, has done great things in Mary; and He has also done great things in coming to us. Let us strive to imitate her virtues so that Jesus Christ may find in us, as in His holy Mother, a dwelling worthy of Him.”  - St Peter Julian Eymard
“‘The Eucharist is a burning coal, which sets us on fire.’ Fire is active by nature and tends to spread. When the soul is under the action of the Eucharist, it is forced to cry out: "O my God, what shall I do in return for so much love?" And Jesus answers: "Thou hast to resemble Me, to live for Me, and to live of Me." The transformation will be easy; when it is a matter of love, says the Imitation of Christ, one does not walk; one runs and flies.”  - St Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Visitation speaks to us of love of neighbor or charity. Why did Mary haste to visit her cousin? She had just had the most amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit. She had Jesus dwelling in her. Why didn’t she take some time to enjoy the moment, to take it all in? Precisely because she had Jesus dwelling in her. They became one. His wishes became her wishes. His love became her love. Her joy was such that it had to be shared. Mary did not have to choose between contemplating the mystery of God dwelling within her and loving her neighbor, and neither do we. We do not receive Jesus only for ourselves. He wants us to take Him to all those who can’t or won’t go to Him.
St Peter Julian tells us that “the Eucharist is a burning coal, which sets us on fire." This is the fire of God’s love, which burns but doesn’t consume and wants to spread like a wildfire. “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Luke 12:49) If we let it, this fire will transform us into Himself. We will become one with Him and will burn with His love. And just like Mary, we will hasten to our neighbor. We will bring Jesus everywhere we go and will sing his praises as we join our Mother singing her Magnificat, for the Lord has indeed done great things for us. When we let the fire of the love of God animate our lives, we grow perfect in charity. It is at this moment where true contemplation lives. Our life becomes a living prayer and we become God’s hands and feet in the world.
3. The Nativity of The Lord
"When He was born on the straw of the stable, the Word was preparing His Eucharist, which He considered the complement of all His other mysteries. He was coming to be united to man. During His life He would establish with man a union of grace, a union of example and of merit; but only in the Eucharist would He consummate the most perfect union of which man is capable here below. …
This heavenly wheat was as it were sown at Bethlehem, the "House of bread." See the wheat on the straw. Trodden down and crushed, this straw represents poor humanity. Of itself it is barren. But Jesus will lift it into position in Him- self, will restore it to life, and will make it fruitful.”  - St Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Nativity speaks to us of poverty and vulnerability. In the stillness of the night, Our Savior was born in a manger, a poor infant, completely vulnerable and dependent upon His parents. By the manner of His birth at Bethlehem, He teaches us detachment from all earthly things, not only in material possessions, but also in sprit. In the Eucharist, Jesus continues to teach us the lessons we need to prepare the way of the Lord, so He can be born in our hearts.
Jesus is poorer and more vulnerable in the Eucharist than He was at Bethlehem. He depends on man for everything, from the matter of His sacrifice, to the linens and the candles for His altars. He makes Himself vulnerable out of love. When we see Him in that state, we feel we can approach Him. We see ourselves in the mirror of the Host and realize it is ok to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with Him. We open our hearts and show Him our nothingness, our poverty, our brokenness. “A contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” (Psalm 51:19)
Just like the straw was “trodden down and crushed”, so our hearts, crushed by our sin, will become the poor bed our Lord is looking for. `“Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11) In the stillness of our hearts, our Lord will be born. He will bring with Him the infant virtues we need to grow. We will nourish them with the Bread of Life and water them with Living Water. Each time we receive Our Lord there will be less of us and more of Him. We will declare with John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30), until we can one day say “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me!” (Gal 2:20)
4. Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
"Our Lord would not delay to offer Himself publicly to His Father. Forty days after His Birth, He inspired Mary to take Him to the Temple. Mary carried her Infant in her arms, about to offer Him to the Father, and to buy Him back with two turtle-doves. Jesus willed to be purchased for these little creatures, which speak to us of His purity and simplicity."  - St Peter Julian Eymard
"(In the Eucharist) He obeys not only at Mass when the priest pronounces the words of the consecration, but at every moment of the day and night, whenever the faithful need Him. His permanent state is one of genuine and simple obedience."  - St Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple speaks to us of obedience. “He inspired Mary to take Him to the Temple.” Mary’s steps were inspired by Jesus, who had, even as an infant, only His Father’s will in mind. He wanted to offer himself publicly to His Father, and, at the same time, teach us about purity and simplicity.
Why was Jesus so eager to start teaching us about purity? Perhaps it is because purity of heart is a requirement for the beatific vision, which is our ultimate goal. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (CCC, 1716) St Peter Julian tells us that “The clearness of one's insight into the Eucharist is proportioned to one's greater or lesser love and purity of life.”  We are not pure enough to see through the Eucharistic veil on our own. We need Mary, our mother and perfect model, to help us. We need to ask her, with the simplicity of a child, to clothe us with her virtues so we can sit at the feet of Our Lord and learn from Him. The pure of heart can pierce through the Eucharistic veil and contemplate our Lord now, in this Heaven on earth, as we wait in hope for the day when we see Him with unveiled faces. In that contemplation, we will hear His inspirations.
When I think of Mary carrying the infant Jesus and presenting Him at the Temple, a story our parish priest once shared comes to mind. He said that one day, as He was carrying the Monstrance to the teens during Eucharistic Adoration, He heard Jesus tell him “Just take me to where I need to go and I’ll do the rest.” Jesus was inspiring his steps just like He inspired Mary’s. As an infant He couldn’t walk to the Temple to offer Himself to the Father. He needed Mary. In the Eucharist He can’t get to where He needs to go by himself. He needs man. He needs the priest to bring Him to the altar, to bring Him to the sick, to bring Him to those who want to receive Him. And He needs us to bring Him to the rest of the world. Let us grow in purity and simplicity, so we can listen to the inspirations of Jesus in the Eucharist. We can then let Him guide our steps, and bring us with Him, in obedience, to the will of the Father.
5. Finding of Jesus in the Temple
“Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is His own Light, His own means of being known, just as the sun is itself its own proof. To make Himself known, He has only to show Himself. We need not resort to reasoning to understand that; a child does not have to discourse with itself to recognize its parents. Our Lord manifests Himself through the reality of His presence as parents do. … He speaks only one word, but a word that rings in our very hearts: "It is I! . . ." And we sense His presence, we believe in it more firmly than if we were to see Him with our eyes.” - St Peter Julian Eymard
The mystery of the Finding of Jesus in the Temple speaks to us of devotion. Devotion keeps us coming back to the practices we know will bring us closer to God, even when we feel we have lost Him. When Mary and Joseph lost sight of Jesus they were filled with anxiety and worry. We too lose sight of Jesus in our lives. Often, we let ourselves get carried away by the cares of life, and when we look back, we realize Jesus is not with us anymore. We think He is lost, that He left us, but it is we who are lost. It is we who turned our eyes towards something else. It is at those times that devotion to the Blessed Sacrament will be our saving grace.
It is in the reality of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament that we will find ourselves. Only through that light of Truth we will be able to see our hearts the way God sees us. As we contemplate Jesus in His own light, He will reveal ourselves to us. He will reveal the areas that are distracting us from following Him. We will be able to see our nothingness, and not be afraid, since He is veiled in nothingness Himself. He will draw us to Himself and speak to our hearts. We will find ourselves in Him, because He is the Way.
Mary and Joseph eventually found Jesus in the Temple. After they found Him, they brought Him home and He stayed with them. Jesus wants to remain with us always. We must do everything in our power to remain in His presence. “Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4) We need the Eucharist, our daily bread. St Peter Julian calls love for the Most Blessed Sacrament, the “mother and queen of all other devotions and the sunlight of piety.” This devotion will be our sustenance for the road. When our hearts are filled with fear and anxiety because we can’t see Jesus, we need but to turn our eyes towards Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. St Peter Julian tells us that “our Lord sees as far as your home; He listens to you from His tabernacle. He can see us from Heaven; why could He not see us from the Sacred Host? Adore Him from where you are; you will make a good adoration of love, and our Lord will understand your desire.”  Let us then turn our eyes towards Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and listen as he whispers in our hearts, “It is I!”
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p.38
 Eymard, Our Lady of The Blessed Sacrament, p.59
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p.262
 Eymard, The Real Presence, P.237
 Eymard, The Real Presence, P.135
 Eymard, Our Lady of The Blessed Sacrament, p.72
 Eymard, The Real Presence ,p. 61
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p.102
 Eymard, Our Lady of The Blessed Sacrament, p.26
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p.191
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p.315
 Eymard, The Real Presence, p.319
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
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