Contemplation: Mary’s Example

Nilo A. Lardizabal, OP

When the angel Gabriel visited the young Mary to announce the coming of Emmanuel, he was met with a woman who was both wise and strong-willed. Perhaps Mary paused for a while, and then gave the “yes” that will change the world forever.

Her question to the visitor was classic: “How can this be since I do not know any man?” This was not a doubtful query; it was something coming from a deep sense of faith. Let’s look deeper into her question. It seems that she knew that this ‘annunciation’ event will happen, but did not know how or when it will occur. When she received the response of the angel: “The Holy Spirit shall overshadow you. . .” It was here where she gave her “fiat”.

Question. How did Mary know about the coming of Emmanuel? And how come she was quick to respond to that ‘yes’? Two answers. Her faith prompted her to trust in God as this miracle would unfold in her life. And second, it was because she contemplated the promise made in the book of the Prophet Isaiah chapter 8, verse 10: “The virgin is with child and bears a son and calls his name Emmanuel.”

In other words, she knew what Scripture was foretelling because she was contemplating them in her heart. It was because she was immersed in prayer, study and meditative contemplation that she realized the promise and fulfillment of God’s plan to her. This could not have happened the way it was had Mary paid little attention to contemplation and prayer.

This Annunciation event – so rich in meaning – teaches us first of all to trust in God at all times. The Apostle Paul taught that himself in his Letter to the Philippians 4:6 - “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” God unfolds His plans only for our good. This was a promise in Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, plans not to harm you, but to give you a hope and a future.”

And secondly, Mother Mary’s contemplation leads us only to Jesus, and no one else – He is the reason for our contemplation. This Marian dimension is about Jesus’ love for us. Just as Mary contemplated and realized the plan of God for her through faith and reading the Scripture, so we too are expected to trust God and love the Scriptures as well.

This reflection is a challenge to us: How prayerfully do we read and contemplate Scripture? Reading the Bible is not about quantity but quality. Our Mother Mary showed us the way – contemplation of the plan God has for us.

The Marian dimension therefore is seeing God working in our lives. Have we seen him with us all this time?

Prayer: “Lord, teach me to pray as I ought. I am always in wanting. Send your Mother Mary to teach me the way of contemplation so that I may know your will for me. Let me trust wholeheartedly in your promise and guidance, and then lead me finally to your bosom where your embrace will be the fullness of Marian contemplation – seeing and loving my God and my all. AMEN.”

The Second Coming of Christ will take place in your lifetime.

According to this book which contains a series of incredible messages and prophecies to an Irish seer, our present generation will witness the Second Coming of Christ.

Click here to read a book review that summarises the key messages of the book.

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