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A Meditation On The Incarnation Of Christ, Sermons On The Life And
Passion Of Our Lord And Of Hearing And Speaking Good Words. -Thomas A Kempis

MY Spirit hath rejoiced: in God my Saviour. Rejoice this day, holy Mary: bringing forth the joys of a new salvation. Rejoice, Mother intact: because the glorious flower of virginity abides with thee. Rejoice, childbearing Maiden: because thou art free of the curse and reproach of women. Justly canst thou rejoice in Jesus, thy Saviour; for Whom the heavens contain not, thou dost nurse in thy lap: and with thy holy hands dost lay Him in the manger. Justly dost thou worship Him, Who is born of thee in time: for thou knowest He has a Father above thee, God Rightly dost thou offer Him a mother’s service: to Whom thou dost owe an unblemished begetting. Rightly does thy spirit rejoice in Him above all things: by Whose grace thou hast become so sublime and HEAVENLY. Let Heaven and earth praise thee: and all the beauty thereof render thee thanksgiving. Let my soul praise thee, Lady MOST DEAR: AND ALL MY INTERIOR EXULT IN THY PRESENCE WITH THE DEEPEST REVERENCE. The tongue suffices not, to proclaim thy praises: nor the mind to meditate thy greatness. Therefore with exceeding humility: I bow before thee, beauteous Mother of God. Accept my homage and with gentle love give heed to the desires of my heart.

My soul seeks to see Jesus: for I know that He is my good. Show me the hidden treasure: which thou hast lying near thee. I believe that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God: and the first-born of thy fruitful virginity. Him I acknowledge my God, Creator and Redeemer: born today for my salvation. Him I seek to see through thee: and reverently to worship. Thou hast wrapped Him in swaddling clothes; and so He cannot easily be seen: or recognized by strangers. FOR UNLESS THOU, HOLY MOTHER, DEIGNEST TO SHOW HIM: WHO SHALL BE WORTHY TO LOOK UPON HIM? For by thee we have access to the Son: and by the Son to the Father. Show Him therefore to me: and it is enough for me before all else. I ask not, nor seek any other comfort, but Jesus thy Son: my chief refuge, thy singular joy. My Lady, holy Mary, with a great desire I desire to see Jesus: Whom I know thou lovest before all and above all. My heart desires Jesus: my affection cries for Jesus. “If thou wilt see Jesus,” she saith: “then it behoves thee to have pure and clear eyes. If thou wilt see Jesus: strive to keep thyself humble and devout in all things. If thou wilt see Jesus: thou must leave all earthly things, and despise thyself.” O most beloved Mary, I know that I am exceedingly impure: and exceedingly unworthy to behold thy Son. But nevertheless I cannot rest: unless I first see Him. I am utterly unable to hold my peace: but from mighty affection I am compelled to importune. I know that He wishes to be asked; and that thou wilt willingly aid the petitioner: therefore I must not easily desist from my prayer.

Jesus, Son of God, have pity upon me, I crave; show Thyself to the soul that seeks Thee: and longs to behold Thy countenance. Why hast Thou been willing to come into the world; if Thou wilt not be seen by men? Why hast Thou deigned to be born; if Thou wouldst not also be recognized? And why hast Thou chosen to be laid here; save that Thou mightest be more easily found, and more openly seen, and embraced? I could not rise to Thee in Heaven, to see Thee: and therefore Thou hast come into the world to me that I might have Thee visibly before me. Do not then deny Thyself to me: otherwise Thou drivest me to weep. If Thou wilt not be seen: why didst Thou reveal Thyself to the shepherds? For they came in haste and saw. If Thou wilt lie concealed; why didst Thou call the Magi from the East to Thy cradle by the guidance of a star? But certainly Thou wiliest to be seen: for Thou makest Thyself be sought by many. Therefore I also will to see Thee. And although I am not a shepherd or a king, I am nevertheless one who would willingly be OF THY SHEEP: AND DESIRES TO BE RULED BY THY PRELATES. For if I do not see Thee, I shall not rest: and unless I embrace Thee, I will not hold my peace. Grant me therefore to see Thee: and Thou shalt see me be silent in peace. For Thou art that beloved: Whom I long to see. The heavens, the earth, the sea, and all things that are therein, I care not to behold: so that if only once I be able to gaze upon Thee. All things are narrow and little to me in comparison of Thee: until I merit to see and enjoy Thee. I say once: but I mean for ever. I ask little: but I desire it to be long. Now therefore satisfy my desire: and fill me with joy in Thy countenance. If thou deniest me this: know that Thou wilt sadden me not a little. And if Thou dost sadden me; who is there that can comfort me? Was it not to be consoled by Thee that I came to see Thee: and to rejoice much in the sight of Thee?

“Come,” He saith, “good desirer: come and see. I am Jesus, whom thou seekest. If therefore thou seekest Me: suffer all else to depart. Bring hither thy heart: and see thy Lord. See in the spirit, as of old the HOLY PROPHETS SAW: WHO, ILLUMINED BY FAITH, foretold that I should be born of a Virgin. For the eye of the heart is needed here, and such an eye beholds Me: but the eye of the body is not wanted here: which often is found harmful. For who believes in Me: he sees Me. AND WHO LOVES ME: HE POSSESSES ME. Therefore by believing, thou shall see Me: and by loving, possess Me. Look therefore diligently and consider: and thy soul shall be comforted. See My humility and POVERTY: AND THOU SHALL FIND GREAT EDIFICATION. Behold all the things that are about Me: and thou shalt find nothing costly. See that when I was rich and full: I became poor and in want for thy sake. See that like a strange pilgrim upon earth: and not in my own house, but in an inn, I was born. Look at all this well.” Yea, Lord Jesus. Whence also my soul compassionates Thee, seeing Thy want: and my conscience is sharply reproved for its impatience and superfluity. If such be Thy beginning: what will yet be the end? But Thou, Who hast come to suffer: hast chosen poverty and abjection before wealth and honours. “See moreover My hands and feet; that I am bound as a helpless mortal, biding under a mother’s care; as one of the children of men weeping. How canst thou laugh: who considerest that God weeps for thee? See My face beautiful, pleasant, gracious: powerful to cast out all sadness and trouble. But do not, however, ponder merely this outward comeliness, which can be seen equally by the good and the bad; and which will yet be disfigured by My enemies: but direct the sight of the heart to the inner and abiding beauty. See therefore what love I bore towards thee: Who willed to be made mortal man for thee. See My wisdom, which I lost not; that I have assumed a nature without sin: and have undergone the penalty without guilt. See the fullness of grace which I have brought to the world: and the wondrous light which I have desired to infuse into all them that believe. No one of the saints or men had so great a desire for My incarnation: as the desire which I had to be incarnate. For as soon as the preordained moment arrived: with the message of the angel and the consent of Mary at once I was conceived God-man. See therefore My inestimable love; that I burned wholly for the salvation and redemption of man: and could refuse him nothing that was advantageous or necessary.”

“O if thou couldst now behold My most burning heart, and couldst feel at least in small part that divine charity which I bear thee: THOU WOULDST NEVER CEASE FROM LOVE AND PRAISE: THOU WOULDST NEVER WEIGH THY OWN TOIL OR GRIEF. See with the inner eyes of faith that the divine and the human nature have been united in one person; and that this most excellent union continues unbroken: and contemplate concerning each nature as much as thou pleasest and canst. For in Me are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom of God; and beside Me there is no salvation for any man living: nor hope of eternal life for the dying. Let thy eyes then be ever towards Me, and thy heart abide with Me: and above all things desirable repose thou in Me. For I am the Lord thy God, Who made thee: and assumed thy nature to draw thee to Me. Come to Me without fear: I am thy brother, prepared even to die for thee. Why dost thou delay? Draw near with haste; and dismiss all things else: that can hinder thee. If thou dost so, thou shalt find thy beloved, in Whom thou shalt most blissfully rejoice: and thou shalt more easily bear all things burdensome. Take especial care, that nothing unrighteous or impure come into thy heart, to wound or trouble thee: or vainly engage thee, or cause thee inner darkness. Between thee and Me nothing must come, that hinders union; or lessens charity, or takes away liberty: or stains purity, or troubles the interior of the heart.” “And who shall attain this, O Lord?” “He, who believes that nothing suffices him, save the supreme good, which is I: from Whom flows all good, in Whom are all the good things of Heaven and earth, of the sea, and all the abysses. He, who seeks Me only and alone before all things and above all things, and ever bears Me in mind; who despises himself for My sake; and loves Me purely for Myself: he can contemplate, and praise Me and rejoice with Mary in the Holy Ghost, now and for ever. Amen.”

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