Contemplate the Incarnation; it was accomplished in the silence of the Virgin Mary’s chamber at a time when she was in prolonged silence, her door closed.
Our Lord’s birth came during the night, while all things were enveloped in silence. That is how the Word of God appeared on earth, and only Mary and Joseph were silently with him. They did not overwhelm him with their questions, for they were accustomed to guarding their innermost thoughts.
The Virgin Mary “kept all these things in her heart, meditating on them in silence” [Cf. Lk 2:19]. She had so well absorbed the message of God that even Saint Joseph was unaware of it, and an angel had to come to him in the silence of the night to reveal the great secret [Cf. Mt 1:20-21].
Servant of God Père Jacques de Jésus
Conference 8, Silence
Thursday Evening, 9 September 1943
Jacques, P 2005, Listen to the silence: a retreat with Père Jacques, translated from the French and edited by Murphy F, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: The Dream of Saint Joseph is a large oil on canvas painting by Luca Giordano (Italian, 1632–1705) that was created circa 1700. It is part of the European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800 collection in the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Although it is not currently on view, the gallery label provides the following information:
Giordano’s creative composition includes two separate episodes related to Mary’s miraculous conception of Christ. On the left Mary kneels below a vision of God and the Holy Spirit, a representation (with the implied presence of Christ in her womb) of the Holy Trinity. On the right Joseph sleeps in his carpentry shop as an angel appears to him in a dream to explain the conception. Giordano went to Spain in 1692 at the invitation of King Charles II. The flood of pale, golden light and the use of luminous pastel tones seen here are hallmarks of Giordano’s late style and were enormously influential in Spain, where he worked for ten years.
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