Of the Expectation of our Saviors Nativity
The XV Meditation.
Of the expectation of our blessed Lady’s delivery: and of the Preparation for the birth of our Savior Christ.
For that in Spain, eight days before the birth of our Savior Christ, we celebrate the feast of the expectation of our Blessed Lady’s delivery I insert here this meditation for that day, and the days ensuing till the Nativity: in which we are to consider the lively desires that three persons had of this sovereign delivery, and birth: that is to say: the child: the Virgin: and St. Joseph: in whom are represented the faithful, that firmly believe thus mystery, and in their imitation desire to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate it.
THE II POINT
1. Secondly, I will consider the fervent desires of the most sacred Virgin to see her Son born, and that the happy hour of his nativity was now arrived. First, that she might know face to face him, that was not only her Son, but the Son also of everliving God; to behold that sacred humanity that he had taken from her flesh, and to enjoy his excellent beauty.
2. Secondly, to adore him, to serve, and nourish him, and to do towards him the office of a mother, in gratitude for that great favor that he had done her, in electing her to that end. And therefore with great tenderness of heart she might apply to him that of the Canticles: Who shall give thee me (O my Son) Vt inueniam teforis, & deosouler te. that I may see thee out of this thy enclosure, to kiss thee, to cherish, and to serve thee, as thou does merit?
3. Thirdly, that the world might enjoy that good, that was enclosed in her: for albeit she exceedingly loved him, yet she would not have him for herself alone, but for all, because he was incarnate for all universality. And as Hop that is delayed afflicteth the heart, every day seemed to her a whole year: though on the other side she was most contented to contain him within her, understanding that such was hie pleasure. With these considerations I am to move my heart, and to awake therein fervent desire, that this Son of almighty God might be born spiritually within my soul, and within the soul of all men, that by all he might be adored, served, and loved, repeating to this end certain verses of the Psalms, and of the Prophets, which holy Church useth in the time of Advent: which are to say:
Awake o Lord, thy power, and make hast to save us. Would thou wouldest break these heavens, and descend, that in thy presence all my vices might be dissolved. O Heavens distill from on high this divine dew: O clouds rain for me this just one: and open o thou earth, and bud out to me this Savior: show thy mercy , o Lord, and graciously give me thy Salvation. To this purpose I may frame certain ejaculatory prayers, like to those which in these days the holy Church useth, in those seven Antiphons which are sung at Evensong, calling our Savior Christ by those names, which he holdeth as he is God, or as he is man, by reason of the offices he doth in those souls, whom he visiteth: And therefor I may say unto him:
O infinite wisdom, come to govern me in the way of heaven! O splendor of the glory of the Father, come to illuminate me with the splendor of thy virtues! O sun of justice, come to give light, and heat of life to him, that is seated in the shadow of death! O King of kings, descend to govern me! O master of nations, come to instruct me! O Savior of the world, make hast to save me. And in this form may be framed other such like petitions, according to the time, conforming myself herein to the spirit of the Catholic Church.
4. Finally, I may spiritlize the desires of the blessed Virgin, and of her Son whom she bare in her womb, quickening my desire, that those good purposes, which by the inspiration of the holy Ghost I have conceived, may come to light, and be effected in such time, place & season, as God shall require, absolutely conforming myself to his most holy will. For as the infant conceived, naturally desireth to come into the light of this world at his due time, and if he cometh not, he torments his mother, and dieth, endangering likewise herself; So the good purpose, which the holy Ghost inspireth me with of altering, or bettering my life, is as it were crying, and desiring to come to light in his due time. And if by negligence, or contempt, it be not effected, it torments the conscience with remorse, and useth to be an occasion of great falls, almighty God permitting them as a chastisement, for having extinguished the spirit, & the good purposes that proceeded from his inspiration. And hereupon the holy spirit saith, that Desires kill the slothful: that is, desires conceived by the virtue of almighty God, and not accomplished through our own sloth.
Luis de la Puente