Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

In the Temple…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on December 13, 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.

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Chapter 5: In the Temple

During the days that followed, she willingly set learning all her new duties. Unlike the other girls, she asked her teacher to be allowed to serve them all and to scrub the rooms and wash the dishes. Often she did her own work so quickly and efficiently that she was able to help the others in theirs. To each of her companions she was always sincerely kind, friendly, and humble…

Thus through the years she grew in wisdom and grace and infused mystical knowledge. Even as a child she had a remarkably advanced understanding of the Scriptures, and she loved to spend hours studying and meditating on them, especially on their inspired prophecies of the coming of the Redeemer of mankind in human form…

Very often during her ten years in the Temple, Mary would meditate on these and many other prophecies in the Old Testament, and then she would retire to her little cell at night and pray for many hours. When she thou God’s love for men and of how He was soon to come among them and suffer as one of them, in order to save them, tears flowed from her eyes as she prayed, and a supernatural light surrounded her…

Soon afterward, the Lord in His wisdom decided to train her further in the science of suffering. He suspended all visions and similar graces, and ordered all her angels to conceal themselves from her. Feeling utterly forsaken in this sudden and “dark night,” in her humility Mary began to fear that it was due to her unworthiness and ingratitude for such precious graces…

During these various tests, Mary never stopped praying to the Lord for help, and though she suffered from the strain and at times she wept, nevertheless without once losing union with God she successfully fought and conquered all these temptations…

[Throughout the] ten years that she spent in the Temple, the Lord continued to absent Himself from her view, with only a few rare exceptions. This was of course a source of keen and prolonged suffering for Mary, though she felt herself unworthy of His loving visits and continually sought to make amends for her own negligence…

(It is also during her years of service in the Temple that the death of her good parents, Anne and Joachim occurred.  Both times Mary was allowed to bring comfort to her parents mystically.  St. Joachim’s death, pp57-58; St. Anne’s death, pp61-62.)

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THE BLESSED VIRGIN SAID TO ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN:

“As soon as I understood that there was a God, I was always solicitous and fearful for my salvation. And when I heard more fully that God was also my Creator and Judge of all my actions, I loved Him intensely, and every hour I feared and pondered lest I should offend Him in word or deed

Hearing that this same God was to redeem the world and be born of a virgin, I was filled with such love for her that I thought of naught but God…Nothing pleased me but God. Ever I long in my heart to live in the time of His birth, if perchance I might be the unworthy handmaid of the Mother of God.”

AND TO VENERABLE MOTHER MARY OF AGREDA:

“It is true that on account of the blessings of the Lord, sin was impossible in me. But (this) was hidden from me.  I saw that as far as it depended on myself alone, I could fall.  Thus God left me in holy fear of sinning during my pilgrimage. From the instant of my conception until my death, I never lost this fear, but rather grew in it with time.”

AND TO ST. ELIZABETH OF SCHOENAU:

“The Lord did with me what a musician does with his harp.  The musician sets and tunes all the strings so that they give a sweet and harmonious melody, and then he sings playing on it. Thus God brought into harmony with His will my soul and heart and mind and all the senses and of my body.

Once when I was thinking that I never wanted to be deprived of God’s grace, I arose and went to read in the Scriptures, desiring something to console my soul. When I opened the book, the first thing I saw was this passage of Isaias: ‘Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.’  As I understood from this that the Son of God was going to choose a virgin to be His Mother, I immediately resolved heart, out of reverence for that virgin, to remain a virgin myself and to offer myself to her as a handmaid and always to serve her and never to leave her, even if I had to travel all over the world with her.

Thus did He do with me. For my mind yearned for the Son of God. My spirit burned with longing to have Him.  My whole soul became inflamed with such sweet bliss that it seemed to me as though I already had Him, but as the human tongue does not have the power to express my inner fire of love – I prayed only to keep my external senses, in order to place them at the service of that virgin.”

[emphasis added]

Previous Posts:

Anne & Joachim
Nativity (Birth) of Mary
Infancy of Mary
Presentation/Service to the Temple
* Part I
* Part II

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