Today we celebrate the Eternal Word’s becoming incarnate in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Here are some photos from Nazareth, which will be separated by a chapter from a book I am translating: The Communion of Mary. The chapter is entitled: ‘The life of the Most Blessed Virgin was a perpetual preparation for the Incarnation and Holy Communion’. Enjoy!
“In the counsels of eternal Wisdom, Mary having always been present in the thought and heart of God, the Lord could not destine her for a higher end than to create her to have through the Incarnation His Word made flesh for her Son, and the same Word made flesh for food through the Eucharist. God is the most perfect being. He cannot, therefore, refer Mary to an end higher and more divine than Himself. Now, through the Incarnation, Mary is united with Jesus Christ the Word of God, as a mother to her son whom she engenders and whom she feeds with her milk, and by Communion she is united with the same Jesus Christ as to His Father who feeds her with His body. The Incarnation and Communion are then the two ends to which Mary is referred. God could not, therefore, form greater intentions on Mary than to create her to engender His Son through the Incarnation as mother, and to receive Him through Communion as her food, like the faithful. In this wonderful design, His power is exhausted and His wisdom cannot go further.”
Here are some photos of the upper church.
“Now such is the order which God keeps in all His works. He raises up to a high dignity only those whom He has worthily disposed. Having thus determined in His eternal counsels to give to Mary in time His Son, Who is His Word, to be both her son and her food, He raised her to these two divine functions only when she was worthily prepared for them. In her, I find two preparations, the one on the part of God as the principle, and the other on the part of Mary as co-worker.”
Nazareth at night
From the roof of the basilica
“God who sees future things in the present, He whose knowledge plans the future, arranges in His wisdom the means to the end for which He intends things. The body of Jesus Christ being formed to be our victim on the cross and our food in the Eucharist, the heavenly Father in forming it in the womb of His mother gave it all the dispositions fitting for these two mysteries, just as He Himself affirms: O my Father, You disposed and arranged My body for the end for which You destine it.”
“God, Who does not act at random, still less in blindness, had to hold the same conduct towards Mary. This holy Virgin, having been created to receive Jesus Christ in her womb, both as her son through the Incarnation and as her food through the Eucharist, God, in creating her body which had to be the sanctuary of His Son, had to think of these two great mysteries for which He intended it. It is in this foreshadowing that He enriches her with original justice in her immaculate conception, fills her with a plenitude of grace, and ennobles her with a virginal purity. So that She can say, as well as her divine Son: You arranged my body and my soul for divine functions; the Most-High sanctified His tabernacle. This preparation can be called remote, having begun from her Immaculate Conception.”
“From this moment, Mary herself, as a faithful co-worker in the intentions of God, cooperates in them from the very moment of her Immaculate Conception. Mary’s life was a continual preparation for these two great mysteries. In the mystery of the Incarnation principally, she produces all the lights of her spirit, all the affections of her soul, all the movements of her heart: everything in her is referred to an end so divine, to a mystery so adorable.”
In the Grotto of the Annunciation
“But, since the Incarnation, where she became the Mother of God, communion with the body of her Son through the Eucharist being the highest end to which she can be referred, her life was a perpetual preparation for this divine action. “I am not afraid of asserting,” said one of the most learned interpreters of Sacred Scripture, “that the Blessed Virgin having been instructed by her Son about the ineffable mystery of the Eucharist, had to produce all her actions and all the practices of her virtues to prepare herself worthily for the communion which she had to make. Indeed, Mary was not going to receive Communion without light and without knowledge of what she did; but, being perfectly instructed about the dignity and the holiness of this august mystery, she prepared herself for it in a manner truly worthy of the Mother of a God and of a Sacrament so divine.”
“Here the Word became flesh.”