Marie du jour: 19 May

The Virgin Mary shares this condition of creaturehood with us.

God is pure act, as the philosophers say; that is, he is the total realization of all possibility. We are not pure act; we have not realized all possibilities of being that are in us. Our being evolves as our heart intensifies its affections and perfects them. Our body grows and then declines. God himself is pure actuality, pure act. Nothing in him is in the state of possibility, passing from nonexistence to existence. All is infinite existence in him.

The human person, on the contrary, far from being this totality of realization, is a creature of infirmity and dependence. Remember what I was saying to you regarding creation? Nothing exists that cannot be annihilated instantly, if the creative action ceases to operate. It is this way, because we are not self-existent beings, as the words of Our Lord to Saint Catherine of Siena indicated: “You are she who is not.” This is the foundation of our being. We are not; we have only a borrowed being, unceasingly renewed by God. The Virgin Mary shares this condition of creaturehood with us. By herself she was not; she was totally dependent, as we are totally dependent.

Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D.
Virginity in God and in Mary
Retreat for the Carmel of Pontoise, Conference Six 
Wednesday evening, 8 September 1943

Annonciation_MetMuseum_FrenchSculpture
Virgin of the Annunciation
French, ca. 1300–1310
Limestone, traces of paint
Gallery Label: Interrupted in her spiritual meditations, the Virgin Mary modestly recoils from the archangel Gabriel (now lost), whose message foretells the birth of the Christ Child. The statuette’s sensitively carved features and slight smile, elongated proportions, and graceful draperies show stylistic analogies to courtly art in Paris.
Metropolitan Museum of Art / Open Access

 

Listen to the Silence - A Retreat with Père Jacques (pp. 41-42)
Translated and edited by Francis J. Murphy
ICS Publications © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

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