Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Magnify the Lord with Me
Mary and Elizabeth Carl Heinrich Bloch
Mary Visits Elizabeth
by St. Ambrose
When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary He
gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and
barren woman to show that God is able to do all that He wills.
When she hears this, Mary sets out for the hill country. She
does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or
doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience,
hastening for joy.
Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights?
The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, laborious efforts. Quickly, too, the
blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear: as soon as Elizabeth
heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb, and she was filled with the
Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is
the first to hear Mary’s voice, but John is the first to be aware of grace. She
hears with the ears of the body, but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the
mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence, but he is aware of the Lord’s: a
woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our
salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children
are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their
mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.
The child leaps in the womb; the mother is filled with the
Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit. John leaps for you, and
the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy Elizabeth is
filled with the Holy Spirit, but we know that though Mary’s spirit rejoices she
does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her son, who is beyond our
understanding, is active in his mother in a way beyond our understanding.
Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is
filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says: Blessed
are you because you have believed.
You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A
soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and
acknowledges his works.
Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness
of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only
one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul
receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from
sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the
greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit
rejoiced in God her Savior. In another place we read: Magnify the Lord
with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add
anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of
God, and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of
God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the
soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.
Source: The Liturgy of the Hours – Office of Readings