An angel of the Lord appeared to her and said: ...thou shalt conceive and shalt bear a Son (Judges 13:3).
Fear not, neither be you afraid (Deut. 1:29).
The Gentiles shall see thy just one, and all the kings thy glorious one, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of God (Isa 62:2,3).
"I am the Mother of fair love." Mother of Christ, Mother of the Lord's anointed! What must have been the feelings of our Lady when she realized for the first time that she had actually been chosen to fulfill that office?
She, a little village maid of an out-of-the-way place of small account in the eyes of the world. How she must have wondered at God's ways! One can imagine wonderment to have been the predominant feeling next to her profound humility and self-abasement, a feeling that would break forth later, as we know it did, in childlike joy and thanksgiving: "My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."How often she would repeat those words when, after the birth of her divine Babe, she clasped Him to her heart, and murmured to herself: "My Beloved is mine, and I am His; His turning is towards me". Then, at other times, when, infant-like, He would grasp the folds of her dress with one little hand, and throw the other round her neck in the position so familiar to us in the picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel, how the words would well up in her mind: "His left hand is under my head, His right doth embrace me!" Familiar as she was with the Canticle of Canticles, she would see its fulfillment in many a little daily incident. When her divine Child joined with other little ones in games suitable to their age (for, as our Lord later did not disdain to be present at the festivities of a marriage-feast, we cannot think He would have held from innocent recreation in His early years) she would say: "My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart"; and when He turned His steps homeward, and she heard the sound of His voice, rejoicing, she would exclaim: "The voice of my Beloved: behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills." And many a time, when she watched Him through the window where she sat at her embroidery, by which, tradition tells us, she helped greatly to the support of the holy family, He would turn and give a loving look at His humble devoted Mother, she would think or say to St Joseph: "Behold, He standeth behind the wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices." When describing her Boy to those who had not been privileged to see Him, would she not almost unconsciously make use of the words of the same Canticle: "My Beloved is ruddy and white, chosen out of thousands. His head is as finest gold...His eyes are as doves...His cheeks are as beds of aromatical spices...His form as of Libanus, excellent as the cedars, His throat most sweet, and He is all lovely. Such is my Beloved...O ye daughters of Jerusalem"? One might go on multiplying such instances, as when the Holy Child would go down to eat the fruit of His apple-trees, or to the bed od aromatical spices to gather herbs for His mother, or when the two would wander forth into the field to see if pomegranates, vines, and other fruits of the earth were in flower or good condition; but enough has been said to show that the mind of the Mother of Christ was ever filled with her divine Son. "He was all in all to her." And can we not imitate her in this? He has told us how we can actually be as a mother to Him - by fulfilling His holy will - and we should strive to feed our minds with the thought of Him, His perfections, His beautiful ways, as Mary did, and so we shall never want to grieve Him by prefering our will to His. Can we not say to our Lady, in the words of the beautiful hymn, which of late has become so popular amongs us?
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
What can I do for thee?
I will love thy Son with the whole of my strength,
My only King shall He be.
Yes, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This will I do for thee,
Of all who are dear and cherished here,
None shall be dear as He.
Mother of Christ, pray for us!
Credits: text after "My Queen and My Mother", painting of the holy family in their domestic surrounding is that of Rembrandt.