Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

A Summary… chpts 1-7

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on November 30, 2008

Greetings!: This is a continuation of an Advent reflection as seen from the eyes of the Mother of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please refer to the first post in this series: INTRODUCTION if you are a first time reader.



ST BRIDGET OF SWEDEN: Know that is not for your own sake alone that I speak to you, but also for the salvation of all Christians…

VEN. MOTHER MARY OF AGREDA: Many mysteries pertaining to My Mother…are still hidden,…I desire to make known to mortals how much her intercession is worth…If men would seek to please Me…if they would all begin to solicit her intercession from their whole heart, the world would find some relief.”

SISTER ANNA CATHERINE EMMERICH: I give you these visions – and I have ever done so – to prove that I shall be with My Church till the end of days.  But visions alone sanctify no one; you must practice charity, patience, and all the other virtues.” (emphasis added)

Chapter 1: St. Anne and St. Joachim

BEFORE TIME BEGAN, the Holy Trinity decreed that one day, after the creation of the world and of man and after man’s fall, God the Son was to be born of a Virgin Mother.  In order that this Mother should be the purest human being who ever lived, Almighty God decreed that she was to be miraculously exempt from all stain of original sin…

St. Anne was born in Bethlehem of rich parents who owned many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle.  But they regularly gave away to the poor a large part of their possessions and kept very little for themselves.  After Anne’s birth they moved to a beautiful country estate… near Nazareth.


One day Anne happened to be praying fervently to God to give her a husband who would help her to live according to the Divine Law.  And at the very same moment on another farm near Nazareth and unusually pious middle-aged bachelor named Joachim was also praying for God’s help in choosing a wife.

When the prayers of St. Anne and St. Joachim were presented by the angels before the throne of the Blessed Trinity, God decreed that this pure couple should unite in marriage…

The Very next day, Joachim…went and asked Anne’s father for the hand of his daughter.  And soon the couple were solemnly wedded…St. Anne was about 24years at the time, and St. Joachim was 42 years.  They made their home on the estate of Anne’s father.

Each year they divided all their rents and income and sheep into three parts.  Then they gave one third to the Temple for God’s service, one third to the poor, and they kept only what was left.

In their home they frequently talked together about God and the coming of the Redeemer, for which they prayed long and fervently.  Both Anne and Joachim had been serious even in their youth.  Now as they matured, they made a distinguished and devout couple.

In His wisdom Almighty God proceeded to purify them still further by giving them a heavy cross to bear, a cross which only grew heavier as the years passed: they remained childless.  Among the Israelites in those times, this was considered not only the greatest misfortunes and disgrace (1Sam 1:5,7,10-11)… But they took these humiliations with patience and continued to pray that God might bless their marriage with children.  Seven years passed without an answer to their prayers.

Then one day when Joachim was offering his sacrifice in the temple, the priest rebuked and insulted him saying, “Why do you come here, Joachim?  Your offerings are not acceptable to the Lord!”  His face burning with shame, the poor man withdrew to a corner of the Temple and prayed: “O Lord, my sins merit this disgrace.  But as I accept it according to Thy will, do not cast me away…”

That evening St. Anne was sitting under a great tree in her garden reading prayers… begging God to send Joachim home and to let them have at least one child – she was now 44 years.  Then she prayed…for the coming of the Messiah.  Just then the Archangel Gabriel suddenly appeared before her in resplendent form:

“Anne, servant of God, the Lord has heard thy petitions.  If He delays in their fulfillment, it is in order to prepare thee and give to thee much more than thou has asked…He sends me to give thee joyful news: He chooses thee to be the mother of her who is to give birth to the Redeemer of mankind! … now go to the Temple to give thanks to the Lord, and [you] shall meet Joachim at the Golden Gate.”

This time the Holy Spirit moved the priests in the Temple to accept Joachim’s offerings courteously, and several of his friends congratulated him.  Then two priests led him to the Holy Place and left him alone after burning incense on the altar.

While Joachim prayed on his knees with his arms extended, a bright angel appeared and told him that this childlessness was not a disgrace but and honor; for the child who was to be born of his wife would be the most perfect flower of the race of Abraham.

Next the angel took him into the Holy of Holies, anointed his forehead, and gave him a certain mystic blessing which freed him from all sensuality.  Then he led him back to the Holy Place and vanished, as Joachim sank to the floor in an ecstatic trance.  Soon the priests found him thus and revived him with marks of respect…He told the priests that he wanted to meet his wife at the Golden Gate, and they showed him the way…

Thus it happened that near the Golden Gate St. Joachim suddenly perceived his beloved wife coming toward him, her beautiful face shining with joy.  They hastened toward each other and embraced with tender emotion… As they now renewed their vow to offer their child to His Temple, they seemed to be rapt in a holy ecstasy.  A cloud of heavenly light enfolded them, while a great number of angels hovered over them…Never had a human couple achieved such supernatural purity of soul.

Thus did Almighty God prepare and purify Mary’s good parents until the great day at last came when the glorious mystery of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God took place.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN SAID TO ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN: “It is a truth that I was conceived without original sin and not in sin.  A golden hour was my conception.  My Son joined my father and my mother in a marriage of such chastity that a purer union has never been seen.  Sensuality was extinguished in them.  Thus my flesh was formed through divine charity.”

What is this Advent “thing” really all about?…

But just what are we watching and waiting for? The fulfillment of God’s promises—the time when every tear will be wiped away and all pain and suffering will end (Revelation 21:4). For the time when we will be gathered around God’s throne, completely immersed in [His]love and filled to overflowing with [His] divine life. We’re not waiting just for Christmas; we’re waiting for the fulfillment of everything that Christmas beganJesus’ glorious return!

Rather than passively waiting, try to spend this Advent actively anticipating the Lord. Invite [Him] to meet you in prayer and at Mass. Look for [Him]in the face of a stranger—or a difficult family member. Let the sights, sounds, and smells of the season lift your imagination and give you a glimpse of the celebration that awaits you.

“Lord, I praise [You] for being so committed to our salvation! Give me the grace to keep watching and waiting for [You].”

Courtesy of Word among us publication: Meditation excerpt for Nov 30, 2008: First Sunday of Advent


Coming soon: Mary’s birth


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