Meditation 13 - The Annunciation: The Handmaid of the LordMeditation 13

1. Mary’s Response — Imagine this scene before you and try to be spiritually present there as intensely as possible…  the angel has now completed his assignment; He has fulfilled his mission and waits in silence…  He awaits Mary’s reply.  Look upon the entire universe… upon God Himself in this most solemn moment… what a moving sight! — Draw close to Mary and beg Her not to delay Her reply…  tell Her that all of the descendants, all of the unhappy children of Eve that have been born as slaves to sin, await Her word of redemption and of grace…  that the whole world and indeed Heaven itself breathlessly await Her reply. — And undoubtedly the silence is broken…  Mary is going to speak…  the angel trembles with eager anticipation…  Mary has laid Herself prostrate on the ground and these simple yet sublime words, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”, blossom forth from the depths of Her soul…

Now it is the angel who is troubled; even with the whole of his angelic understanding he is not able to comprehend such humility, such holiness. — The Queen of queens, the Lady of Heaven and Earth, the blessed amongst all women…  is at the same time handmaid…  She recognizes it, She knows it to be so, She does not grow ashamed, She does not hide it. — She Herself proclaims it before the whole world and even appears to take great interest in making known to us that in all of Her grandeur She is forever the handmaid of the Lord. — Enter into the Heart of God Himself…  what must God feel upon seeing Her behavior, upon hearing these words?

If He fills the humble and poor of spirit with good things, what must God do with her, His handmaid?  With what delight would He say to Her, “You make yourself a handmaid?  I make you a Queen”…  and as Queen He would command all of the angels of Heaven to venerate Her in that same instant. — Do the same yourself and venerate such grandeur and such profound humility.

2. True Slavery — But do not merely remain in this servitude of just words. — You yourself have also spoken words of offering, of surrender, of enslavement to God, but later…  how have you fulfilled them? — In Mary it is not so…  She says what She feels and She acts according to Her word…  for that reason She adds, “Let it be done unto me according to your word.”

Meditate a while and savor the true meaning of this phrase, “let it be done”, the formula of true enslavement. — I am a slave, a handmaid, and for that reason I have nothing, I cannot want anything, beyond God. — Everything must come from God, nothing from this handmaid. — For that reason this phrase implies a total, complete, perfect, and absolute renouncement of Her being…  No will, no freedom, no desire of anything beyond that which God wills and disposes…  what enslavement!

But what is more, this enslavement should not be withheld, even before sacrifice, regardless of how great or painful it may be. — Mary acts consciously…  She is fully aware of the step She is going to take…  She does not act rashly…  She thinks, reasons, objects to the angel, puts forth Her doubts and Her solutions, etc.…  She clearly acts with full knowledge of the cause.  Therefore, even now She knows everything that She must suffer if She is to be the Mother of God… She knows that torments await Her, torments which will make Her the Queen of all Martyrs…  that it will be a true sea of bitterness, and yet, nevertheless, She knows that this is the will of God, and that is enough for Her. — She puts forth Her doubts until She knows with certainty what it is that God wants.  But once She knows what God desires She has only one reply: “Let it be done unto me”. — Bring to mind Christ’s words in the Passion.  He too says “not my will but yours be done”.  Is it not the same as our Lady’s “Let it be done unto me”?  What harmony between Son and Mother! — This is enslavement, this is holiness, this is the only possible solution to your self-love. — Are you like this? — Do you also place this “let your will be done” into practice and most especially when your self-love rebels?  Ask Mary that you may imitate Her in carrying out this phrase.


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