Luke 1:26–31, 34–35
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.
In Mary, we see the most beautiful image of our union with God. She, the bride of the Holy Spirit, teaches us how also we, although not in that fullness of grace, but in a removed sense, must be brides of God the Holy Spirit, how his overshadowing power must also make us conceive God, in order that He be born in us, united, also in us, with human nature, our human nature. We must, under the beneficial influence of the Holy Spirit, be born to a new life with God, who lives in us, more than we live through ourselves.
Mary is thus our Guide on our way to the mystical union with God.
For the great Teacher of Mysticism, St. John of the Cross, the Holy Mother of God is the ideal of the soul that ascends to God and is drawn by God to Himself. His ascent to the tops of the Carmel where the divine Light radiates towards him, is, like in Dante’s ascent to Heaven, accompanied by the “Ave Maria”.
O Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine, Splendor of heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea, help me
and show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of heaven and earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart
to succor me in this necessity.
There are none that can withstand your power!
O help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.
Our Lady, Queen and Beauty of Carmel,
pray for me and obtain my requests!
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands!
English translations of the writings of Saint Titus Brandsma and their source texts are owned by the Titus Brandsma Institute and the Dutch Carmelite Province. The translators vary from one source text to another. The texts are freely available for personal use. We are deeply grateful to the Titus Brandsma Institute for providing these translations. For questions or requests contact the Titus Brandsma Institute.
All scripture references are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.
Don’t become discouraged and give up prayer, says St. John of the Cross. We offer varying novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as well as novenas to St. Joseph, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, and St. Edith Stein.Let us unite in prayer