Ave Maria Meditations
“It is in emptiness like the hollow in the reed, the narrow riftless emptiness which can have only one destiny: to receive the Piper’s breath and to utter the song that is in His Heart”
It is in Our Lady that God fell in love with Humanity. It is upon her that the Dove descended, and the love of God for Humanity culminated in the conception of Christ in the human race. When she surrendered herself to God, there was indeed a miraculous New Heaven and New Earth. The Spirit entered the world – light and wisdom and love, patience, fortitude and joy entered the human heart and mind, and in the sight of God a springtime of loveliness woke in the world. In the virginal emptiness of the girl, Mary of Nazareth, Christ was conceived; it was the wedding of God to a human child, and the wonder of it filled the earth for all time.’
‘This proved that God knew Our Lady’s trust in Him was absolutely without limit. Everything that He did to her in the future emphasized the same thing. His trust in her trust in Him. The one thing that He did ask of her was the gift of her humanity. She was to give Him her body and soul unconditionally, and – what in this new light would have seemed absurdly trivial to anyone but the Child Bride of Wisdom – she was to give Him her daily life…
He asked for her ordinary life shared with Joseph. She was not to neglect her simple human tenderness, her love for an earthly man, because God was her unborn child. On the contrary, the hands and feet, the heart, the waking, sleeping, and eating that were forming Christ were to form Him in service to Joseph.
Yes, it certainly seemed that God wanted to give the world the impression that it is ordinary for Him to be born of a human creature. Well, that is a fact! God did mean it to be the ordinary thing, for it is His will that Christ shall be born in every human being’s life and not, as a rule, through extraordinary things, but through the ordinary daily life and the human love that people give to one another.
Our Lady said yes. She said yes for us all…Our Lady said yes for the human race. Each one of us must echo that yes for our own lives. We are all asked if we will surrender what we are, our humanity, our flesh and blood, to the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to fill the emptiness formed by the particular shape of our life. The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be like Our Lady’ surrender, without condition and without reservation…to surrender all that we are, as we are, to the Spirit of Love in order that our lives may bear Christ into the world: that is what we shall be asked.
How much easier for her (Mary) 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 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 debt, by fears and temptations, subject to chance, to accident, to persecution, to the fortunes of war…
…In her brief historical life, of which we know so little, the history of the whole world is concentrated, particularly the lives of all the common people of the world, who often do not know themselves that they are Christ-bearers, living the life of the Mother of God. She began at once, as she stood up before the angel, and uttered her fiat, to live all our lives, and Christ in her was subject to the unknown, to the hazards of life in the world, as He is in us.
Caryll Houselander (The Reed of God)