Meditation On The History Of The Virgin Marie Immaculate Conception
ZURBARÁN, Francisco de
The History of the Virgin Maries Conception
The Virgin Maries conception was of two sorts. One was eternal in the mind of God, when he did choose her to be mother of the Saviour of the world, and allot her the most excellent gifts, that could be imparted to any pure creature: wherefore Nazianzenus saith, that no creature can be compared with the Virgin Marie, who surmounts all in grace and perfection. Another conception, was temporal in the year after the creation of the world according to Abulenis three thousand, nine hundred forty and six. Joachim was her father, and both her parents were noble no less of linage then virtue: who as Epiphanius and others so recount, albeit they were old, and lived many years in wedlock without issue, yet because they had great hope in God and had also vowed to consecrate unto him the child, they were to have, they did not cease to demand the same of our Lord continually, with prayers, fastings, and almes. For so we read in St Hieroms works, that yearly they divided their substance into three parts, giving one to the Temple, and ministers thereof; another to poor folks, and pilgrims: and reserving the third part for themselves. Finally after twenty years past, they obtained the desired favor: for the eight of December St. Anne conceived our ever Blessed Virgin Marie.
Points for Meditation
1. Consider how God, choosing the Virgin Marie for the mother of his only begotten son, did adorn her with great perfection, his custom being to bestow grace habilitie upon each one, according to the office and dignity he doth give him.
2. Consider how the virgin Marie was also preserved from original sin, for so much as God was able to do it, & that he should do so, it was no only convenient, but likewise did redound to the honor of Christ, to have a mother, that neither should be enemy to God, nor subject to the devil, as all those are, that be conceived in original sin.
3. Consider how St. Anne, which was great with child, did feel marvelous effects, because the grace of the virgin Marie, was so passing excellent and plenteous, that it redounded also to her mother.
1. Thrust not thy self into offices and dignities, for God doth give grace to those, whom he hath elected & chosen, to preeminence.
2. If original sin do male a man subject to the devil, and an enemy to God, what will actual sin do? fly it therefore more than death.
3. If thou also hast a desire to feel strange affects, have the virgin Marie always in thy hart.
Fr. Lucas Pinelli 1624