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Those who would receive Christ

As Mary was, so is the Church today, Virgin and Handmaid; at the beginning of the year’s liturgy, she waits for everything from the Lord’s grace. Those who would receive Christ and bring Him forth must become like her; it is such a birth which they are expecting from the feast of His Incarnation: for “how shall Christ be born into the depths of ourunderstanding if not within us, within our very souls” (St. Ambrose). It will happen to us when our souls are as Mary’s was. The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son…and His name shall be “God with us.”

Year by year we are to renew ourselves in judgment and penance, purge ourselves for a deeper gift of self, take on the virginity that can allow the birth of God within us. This is the content of the Christmas mystery: The Lord is near to all who call upon His Name…in the full certainty of expectation; all those, that is, who call upon His Name in truth: in humble acknowledgement of their own emptiness, and expect everything from God. The Lord is near, He is really a God Who walks with us, in all of whom Christ has lived since baptism. But this life is delicate as well as strong; it can suffer from too close and incautious contact with the world and sin; now is the time for us to renew it; let it be born again. May the fact of our salvation have increase by the frequent use of this mystery.

– Sister Aemiliana Lohr, O.S.B.

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