BLESSED MARY OF JESUS LÓPEZ RIVAS
In the Spanish province: Memorial
Born in 1560 at Tartanedo (Spain) Maria López de Rivas took the Discalced Carmelite habit at Toledo in 1577 and made her profession the following year. She spent the rest of her life serving God in that Carmel, except for a brief period in 1585 when she helped with a foundation at Cuerva. She died at Toledo on September 13, 1640. Saint Teresa of Jesus thought extremely highly of her. She was a great contemplative, intensely devoted to our Lord, and often drawing inspiration from the liturgy.
From the Common of Virgins
Office of Readings
From the Interior Castle of Saint Teresa of Avila
(Dwell. VI, 7, 10-15; II, 1, 11)
No one comes to the Father except through me
What I mean by meditation is to busy one’s understanding in the following way. We begin to think about God’s goodness to us in giving us his only Son, but we don’t stop there: we go on to all the other mysteries of his glorious life. Or we begin with his prayer in the garden, and our understanding doesn’t stop until we picture him nailed to the cross. Or we take a single scene from the passion, and go on thinking about that one mystery, working out in detail everything that can be thought or felt about it. It is a very admirable and meritorious kind of prayer.
No soul that has received so much from God, such precious proofs of his love, can forget them. They are live sparks that can only intensify what we feel for our Lord. Anyone who says he can’t dwell on these mysteries is quite mistaken. He will often have them in mind, especially when they are being celebrated by the Catholic Church.
The company of our beloved Jesus, and his blessed Mother, is far too good to be given up. For my own part I could not wish for any blessing that had not been won for us by him, through whom every good thing comes to us.
Our Lord said himself, No one can come to the Father except through me, and Whoever sees me, sees my Father. So if we never look at him, or think about what we owe him and the death he underwent for our sake, I don’t see how we can hope to know him or do anything to serve him. (Without such good works, what good is faith? And what good are works unless they are joined to the merits of Jesus Christ, our only good, which alone have any worth?) And how can anyone persuade us to love our Lord?
R./ Let your hearts be comforted in the knowledge of Christ, God’s mystery: * in him lies hidden every treasure of wisdom and knowledge.
V./ You must live in him, be rooted in him, built upon him; * in him lies hidden every treasure of wisdom and knowledge.
Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. Blessed be God, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.
you enabled Blessed Mary of Jesus
to contemplate the mysteries of your Son
and become a living image of his love.
Give us through her prayers
the burning faith to seek Jesus in all things
and the love to prove by our actions
the presence within us of him
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.
Canticle of Mary
Ant. If you gladly share Christ’s sufferings, you will have far greater joy when his glory is revealed.
That’s an admirable, enviable life story. And a beautiful treatise on meditation. I have been led aside by contemporary focus on clearing the mind and relaxing… Many thanks for the reminder that Christian meditation is about active, focussed intentional thinking…