Meditations on the hearts of Mary and Joseph right after the Annunciation and Incarnation

April 19, 2022 • 3 min

#Devotion #Humility #Incarnation #Joseph #Mary

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, page 176
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE VISITATION.

When Mary awoke from her ecstasy, in which saints have asserted that she was raised to the intuitive and beatific vision of God, she comprehended the dignity of her lot and how He that was Mighty had done to her great things.

To this exaltation she responded by plunging herself deeply into the thought of her own nothingness. Humbly prostrate with her face on the ground, she long adored within herself the majesty and goodness of God, whom with maternal tenderness she could now also invoke by the sweet name of son.

But we must not imagine that Mary had a vision only of joy and glory. She had pondered well all the prophecies concerning the Messias, how He was to be offered for the redemption of a sinful world, and cannot have failed to be familiar in particular with the description of His sufferings given by Isaias, who has been styled the fifth Evangelist, and the detailed reference to them which abounds in the Psalms of her own kingly ancestor, David. The shadow of the Cross must have lain upon her, and a vision of the lance and the nails, and all the ignominies and torments of the Passion must have arisen before her.

But, like her Divine Son, who, when coming into the world to offer Himself as the true sacrifice for sin, said, “Behold I come, to do Thy will, O God; I have desired it, and Thy law is in the midst of My heart,” so also Mary accepted all the suffering and the agony which was to be her portion, the Holy Spirit strengthening and supporting her by the certainty of the immense good which the whole human race would derive from the Passion and Death of the Incarnate Son of God.

Nevertheless, if by the power of divine grace Mary ever continued strong, resigned, and tranquil, still, in the very midst of these her maternal joys the sword which was one day to pierce her soul must have been visible to her even before Simeon’s prophecy had been addressed to her. So much was the world’s salvation to cost Mary!

Meanwhile, Joseph as yet knew nothing of the sublime dignity to which his spouse had been exalted. Mary met him as usual, with the same loving reverence, kneeling down to wash his feet when he returned wearied with his labours; but we are fain to believe that he must have experienced an undefined impression of veneration for her, and would have preferred to cast himself humbly at her feet.

If favoured souls are sometimes sensibly conscious of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in our churches, how much more must holy Joseph, whose spiritual senses were so delicate and refined, have felt his heart burn within him with divine charity, from the nearness of Him who now dwelt in Mary as His living tabernacle!

But she said nothing; perhaps was even more silent than was her custom. She went about her usual employments, she prepared the frugal meal, and all was the same, yet not the same, for a glory must have shone in the countenance of the august mother, and a fragrance of Paradise have pervaded that lowly dwelling.

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