When Our Lady stood up, a queenly child, and uttered her fiat to the Angel of God, her words began to make Christ’s voice. Those first words of consent had already spoken Christ’s last words of consent; her “1 commit myself to you, do whatever you like with me” were already spoken by Christ in her; they were one and the same with his: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.
At that moment, when Our Lady received the love of the Holy Spirit as the wedded love of her soul, she also received her dead Son in her arms. The trust which accepted the utter sweetness of the Infant Jesus between her own hands, looking at her with her own eyes, accepted the stiff, unresponsive corpse that her hands embalmed. This was her Son, but more, even more, God’s Son. She trusted God, she understood on earth that which many mothers will only understand in heaven; she was able to see her boy killed, lying there bruised from head to foot, wounded and dead, and to believe the Father’s cry: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
God asks for extreme courage in love; the Bride of the Spirit must respond with strength like his own strength. Our Lady did this. How much easier it would have been for her, had she been asked in that moment in time to withdraw from the common life, to tear up her heart by its roots and, renouncing all “earthly joys,” bring forth Christ in cloistered security. How much easier for her if she had had at least a guarantee for the safety of the precious burden, Christ, in her. But she was consenting not only to bear her own child, Christ, but to bear Christ into the world in all men, in all lives, in all times; not only in secluded lives, protected lives, the lives of holy people, but into the lives of those haunted by worry, by poverty, by debts, by fears and temptations, subject to chance, to accident, to persecution, to the fortunes of war. She was consenting not only to give birth to Christ, not only to give life to him, but to give him death.
THE VIRGIN OF THE INCARNATION
PRESENCE OF GOD – I draw near you, 0 Virgin Mary, with a lively desire to enter into the secret depths of your interior life, so that you may be my light and my model.
“It seems to me that Our Lady’s .attitude during the months that intervened between the Annunciation and the Nativity is the model for interior souls, for those whom God has chosen to live within, in the depths of the unfathomable abyss” (Elizabeth of the Trinity)
If Mary’s whole life was one of recollection and concentration on God, it must have been especially such at the time when, overshadowed by the power of the Most High, the Word became incarnate within her. The Angel Gabriel found Mary in solitude and recollection. The Angel being come in, says the Gospel; the expression “come in,” leads us to believe that Mary was “within” her house. The Angel reveals to her in God’s name what will take place in her. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Lk 1:35).
From that moment God made Himself present in Mary in a very special way, present not only by essence, knowledge, and power, as He is in all creatures; present not only by grace as He is in the souls of the just; but, far more, the Word of God was in Mary by ” corporal presence, ” as St. Albert the Great says. Although retaining her humility, Mary was perfectly conscious of the “great things” that were taking place within her; her sublime canticle, the Magnificat, is proof of this. Nevertheless, she kept the great mystery hidden in her soul, hidden even from Joseph, and lived recollected in the intimacy of her spirit, adoring and meditating: she “kept all these words, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19).
God never gave Himself to any creature more fully than He did to Mary, but no one ever understood better than Mary the grandeur of the divine “Gift”; nor has there ever been a more loving, more faithful guardian and adorer of it. “If you but knew the gift of God!”
There is one created being who knew this gift of God, one who never lost a particle of it … the faithful Virgin, who kept all things in her heart. The Father, inclining toward this creature so beauteous, so unaware of her beauty, decreed that she should be the Mother in time of Him who is His Son in eternity. Then the Spirit of Love, who presides at all the workings of God, came upon this Virgin and she uttered her Fiat! ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done unto me according to Thy word.’ The greatest of mysteries was accomplished, and through the descent of the Word into her, Mary was forever seized upon and held by God.
In what peace, what recollection, Mary went to and lent herself to everything! How the most commonplace things were divinized by her-for she remained ever in adoration of the Gift of God yet that did not hinder her from spending herself externally when there was question of practicing charity. The Gospel tells us that Mary … went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda … and saluted Elizabeth. Never did the unspeakable vision which she contemplated within herself diminish her exterior charity.
O Mary, I love to contemplate you as you adore in profound recollection the great mystery which is taking place within you. You are the first temple of the Blessed Trinity, the first adorer of the Incarnate Word, the first tabernacle of His sacred humanity.
“O Mary, temple of the Trinity! Mary, you bore the divine fire; Mother of Mercy, from you has blossomed forth the fruit of life, Jesus! O Mother, you are that new plant from which we have the fragrant flower, the Word, the only-begotten Son of God, because in you, fertile land, was sown this Word. O Mary, fiery chariot, you bore a hidden fire which was concealed beneath the ashes of your humanity.
If I look at you, O Mary, I see that the hand of the Holy Spirit has inscribed the Trinity in you, by forming within you the Incarnate Word, the only Son of God. a Mary, I see this Word given to you, within you” (St. Catherine of Siena).
Fr.Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene OCD
St. Louis de Montfort’s Prayer to Mary
Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father. Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son. Hail Mary, faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Hail Mary, my Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign. Hail, my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul. Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently thine. I now give myself wholly to thee without keeping anything back for myself or others. If thou seest anything in me which does not belong to thee, I beseech thee to take it and make thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine.
Destroy in me all that may displease God; root it up and bring it to nought. Place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to thee. May the light of thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind. May thy profound humility take the place of my pride; may thy sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination.
May the continuous sight of God fill my memory with His Presence; may the burning love of thy heart inflame the lukewarmness of mine.
May thy virtues take the place of my sins; may thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of God and make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but thine to know Jesus, and His Divine Will; that I may have no other soul but thinke to praise and glorify God; that I may have no other heart but thine to love God with a love as pure and ardent as thine.
I do not ask thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotions, or spiritual pleasures. It is thy privilege to see God clearly, it is thy privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is thy privilege to triumph gloriously in heaven at the right hand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men, and demons. It is thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as thou willest. Such, O heavenly Mary, the ‘best part’, which the Lord has given thee, and which shall never be taken away from thee–and this thought fills my heart with joy.
As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was thine, to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures, to suffer joyfully without human consolation, to die continually to myself without respite, and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death, as the humblest of thy servants. The only grace I beg thee, for me, is that every moment of the day, and every moment of my life, I may say, “Amen, so be it, to all that thou art doing in heaven. Amen, so be it, to all thou didst do while on earth. Amen, so be it, to all thou art doing in my soul,” so that thou alone mayest fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.
The Annunciation: The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Response
You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.
The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.
Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.
Answer quickly, O Virgin! Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.
Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open: arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.
Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt, O Virgo, super omnia benedicta.
Translates as: I am all yours, and all that is mine is yours, O Virgin, blessed above all.