“Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.” – Luke 1:39-45
By Fr. Thomas Keating (Excerpt from The Mystery of Christ, Chapter 1)
Difficulties give God the opportunity to refine and purify our motivation. They give us an opportunity to make a greater surrender. God prepares us for the reception of his word the way a farmer tills a field in order to prepare it for the seed. God’s preparation is like a tractor harrowing the field. Going one way, it tears up the soil and turns it over; going the other way it does the same as it criss-crosses the field. But everywhere it goes, it turns up new rocks buried unnoticed in the soil, each a possible destroyer of forthcoming seed.
Advent is a time of preparation. God prepared the soil of Mary’s heart with incredible graces, culminating in the double-bind that enabled her to attain a new level of self-surrender….Time is time to grow. Time is time to transform all the elements of life so that we can manifest Christ in our chronological lifetimes. The example of Mary is saturated with symbols of the most arresting kind to awaken us to the proper human response to the Eternal Word coming into chronological time and transforming it. The pleroma or “fullness of time” that Paul speaks of, when Christ will be “all in all,” depends on our personal contribution as living cells in the body of Christ.