The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXXIV: “He Who Loves God Relishes Him above all Things and in all Things” (first entry)
Staying close to the Lord is a great wisdom that yields peace and joy. Kempis’s disciple, bemoaning the fact that the “old man” with sinful deeds and inclinations is still in him, longs to be completely filled with grace so that he can be perfected.
|Today’s Gospel reading: Lk 1:39-56
Today, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are presented the full episode of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth. Upon receiving the message of Angel Gabriel and accepting the blessing of becoming the mother of the Savior, Mary leaves quickly on a journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth who the angel tells her is also miraculously pregnant. Without a word being spoken, Elizabeth recognizes and declares the favors both she and Mary have received: Mary being blessed to be the mother of God and Elizabeth being blessed by her presence (being “filled with the Holy Spirit”). Mary then breaks out into the wonderful Magnificat, declaring the blessing she has humbly received and exalting the wonderful works of the Lord in the past and in the future.
Mary was “full of grace” — no sin ever touched her soul. Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit” due to the embryonic presence of the Christ child, the God-Man, in the womb. So should our desire be: to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be “possessed” by the Third Person of the Trinity.
Staying close to the Lord and His mother is the key. Let us have recourse to St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist (the little boy in her womb), who were filled with the Holy Spirit, for their intercession. Then we too will be able to confidently “cr[y] out in a loud voice” of the blessings of God we have received and to inspire others, whom He so much wants to impart the same, to be disposed to ask and receive them.
May “this blessed and desirable hour” come soon!