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WHEN thou wishest to recall to mind the beginnings of our salvation, if thou delightest in that which is humble, thou canst consider with what peace the Angel Gabriel enters into the chamber of the most holy Virgin Mary, and with what reverence he salutes her. Do thou also enter with him, and attend diligently to every word that is spoken, as well by him as by her. Contemplate the modesty, the purity, the prudence, the humility, the bashfulness, and holiness of this most blessed Maiden; reflect that when she spoke these words, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word ” (St. Luke i. 38), immediately the Son of God, the omnipotent God, was ineffably conceived in her most chaste womb by the power of the Holy Ghost, became incarnate, and was made Man. Marvel at the wonderful mystery, at the immense charity of the Lord, who for us did not disdain to become our Brother. Venerate that most sacred womb; exult, and give thanks.

Then, arising together with the most pure Virgin, follow her when she ascends to the hills. Draw near, so that when she enters the house of her cousin Elizabeth, thou mayest hear the mutual salutation of the Virgin and the aged woman, and their mutual colloquy. happy women, of whom one bears in her womb the King of Glory, and the other the herald of 51grace! odoriferous vessels, breathing the perfume of perpetual gladness! blessed wombs, about shortly to pour forth new joys over the world! At length, when this most sweet Virgin returns thence, do thou also return; offering thyself to be her faithful companion and lowly servant. Lastly, in company with her, being with child, and with her holy guardian St. Joseph, proceed to Bethlehem: and arriving there, commiserate that most tender Virgin, who chose a stable f or her resting-place after her long fatigues. Behold her occupied in prayer, and intent upon heavenly contemplation; behold, admire, and love. Rejoice that in the darkness of the night our Lord, arising out of the deep, hath visited us; rejoice that, without pain and without detriment to her virginity, she hath brought forth for us a Saviour, God and Man. Be glad, for the Messias is born; be glad, for the oracles of the Prophets are fulfilled. Enter thou into the palace of the everlasting King, enter into the, stable; see what is the cradle of the Lord of lords; behold the Creator of the world, a little infant wailing with the sharpness of the cold. Kneel before that divine crib; embrace the tender little feet of thy Redeemer; fix thy lips on them, and kiss them again and again. Let love conquer shame, and let affection overcome fear. Say with devotion, say with humility and gratitude: We adore thee, dearest Babe; we adore thee, sweetest Infant; we adore thee, King Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace, the light of the Gentiles, glory be to thee for ever and ever. Hold Him, let Him not go, except He bless thee 52(Is. vii. 14, and ix. 6; Cant. iii. 4; Genes. xxxii. 26).

In like manner thou mayest occupy thyself with the remainder of the Life and conversation of the same Christ our Lord; space does not permit us here to treat of all that the Gospel history relates. And the little meditations which thou wilt make for thyself may perhaps be more sweet than those winch we have proposed. Those which we have prescribed are certainly very simple, and yet they are very sublime. Do thou, however, so consider the Life and actions of the Saviour, that thou mayest desire to love Him, and to imitate His humility, patience, charity, and compassion.

Even the bare reading of the Life of Christ will bring forth much fruit in thee, if thou receivest piously and reverently the words of the Holy Ghost, which have an unspeakable power concealed within them. For that woman who was suffering from an issue of blood, was healed by touching with faith the hem of our Lord’s garment, The letter of the Gospel is the hem of His garment.

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