Let us pray this Advent for the faith that opens our lives to the Spirit of God.
Father all powerful God, Your eternal word took flesh on our earth
when the virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan.
Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice, which announces his glory
and open our eyes to receive the spirit who prepares us for his coming.
If Mary seems very far above us in our Christian life, it is because she far surpasses all creatures because of the special gift of grace given her to become the Mother of God. True faith is never a privilege or an honour it means dying a little, and this was specially true of Mary's faith at the moment of the Annunciation. The beauty of her act of faith lies in the fact that it is the Nuptial "yes" of a bride to her Bridegroom. Faith is the wedding ring of the Nuptial "yes" and God's corresponding part is faithfulness. God through the Holy Spirit fills a heart with love and this love moves a person to do what God wants. In the fullness of time an Angel of light came from the throne of light to the virgin kneeling in prayer, to ask her if she was willing to give God a human body. She thought that her virginity was an obstacle to conceiving and bearing Christ; far from it being a hindrance, her virginity was the means by which God the Father, by the power and operation of the Holy Spirit, made her the mother of His Son.
The Bible reminds us of the root calling of Mary, her openness to the Word, her fidelity as the 'most perfect disciple' and this is full of meaning for us kneeling in prayer, and engaged in prayerful vigil. On our part, a great attention and the availability of a pure heart are necessary as we ask ourselves:
- How can we give God a human nature and allow Him again, through the action of The Spirit, to make us the Mother of Christ in regard to others?
- How can we become ever more attentive hearers and faithful executors of the word of God?
- How can we welcome, conceive, guard, and bring forth the word as Mary did?
The empty manger helps us to see why Saint Clare wrote in her rule:
"I admonish, beg and exhort my sisters to always wear cheap garments out of love of the most Holy and beloved child who was wrapped in such poor swaddling clothes and laid in a manger and of his most holy Mother".
His mother carried him in her womb, may we carry him in our hearts; The virgin became pregnant with the incarnation of Christ, may our hearts become pregnant with faith in Christ. She brought forth the saviour; may our souls bring forth salvation and praise. May our souls not be barren but fertile for God.