Of the Expectation of our Saviors Nativity
The XV Meditation.
Of the expectation of our blessed Lady’s delivery: and of the Preparation for the birth of our Savior Christ. For that in Spain, eight days before the birth of our Savior Christ, we celebrate the feast of the expectation of our Blessed Lady’s delivery I insert here this meditation for that day, and the days ensuing till the Nativity: in which we are to consider the lively desires that three persons had of this sovereign delivery, and birth: that is to say: the child: the Virgin: and St. Joseph: in whom are represented the faithful, that firmly believe thus mystery, and in their imitation desire to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate it.
THE III POINT
1. Thirdly, I am to consider the assured hope that our blessed Lady had, that her Virginity should suffer no loss by this birth, firmly believing, that as she was a Virgin in conceiving the Son of almighty God, without the work of man: so likewise should she be in bringing him forth, without any evidence of her virginal integrity; for the experience of what was passed, assured her of what was to come, remembering that both these things were jointly prophesied by the Prophet Isaias, saying Behold a Virgin shall conceive, & bring forth a Son, whose name shall be Emanuel, which is to say being interpreted, God with us. These words she might revolve within herself, & with great admonition might say: ‘Whence to me so great good, that I should be this miraculous Virgin? what, is it possible that I had conceived within me that very Son whom the eternal Father conceived within himself? And that this Emanuel is with me, whom so many have desired to be with them: and that without loss of my virginity, he should issue out of me, to be, and remain with all universally?’
I give thee thanks (o most blessed Emanuel, for having chosen this humble Virgin for thy Mother. O that the hour of thy birth were now come, for albeit as thou art man, thou issuest out of me, yet as thou art God, thou wilt always remain with me. With such affections as these might the blessed Virgin be inwardly touched at this time, this hope filling her with great alacrity, for the great love she bare to virginity.
2. From hence it proceeded that she was free from those fears, that other childing women have, and from those cares of their delivery, which use to afflict them with great pain: for she only was careful to prepare her soul with notable acts of virtue, the better to serve her son, and likewise to provide (as far forth as her poverty would permit her) for all things needful for his birth. In imitation of her, I am to prepare myself for the Nativity, that I expect of the Son of almighty God, removing those impediments that I shall find in my soul, and adorning it with excellent act of virtues, according to that which in the precedent points we have declared, and to that which holy Church commandeth on those days, with the very words of St. John Baptist. Prepare the way of our Lord: make straight his paths: every valley shall be filled, and every mountain & hill shall be made low: crooked ways shall become straight, & rough ways plain: and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Which is to say: remove from you vices, that are contrary to the Savior that is born: and adorn you with virtues, like unto his. Remove the baseness of pusillanimity, the loftiness of pride, crooked intentions, and rough manners, endeavoring in all that is possible, to exhale your spirit to the highest with confidence, and to base it to the lowest with humility; directing your intentions to that which is heavenly, without any mixture of what is earthly; being meek, & gentle to all, without giving occasion of stumbling to any; for such is the Savior that is to be born, and with such dispositions you are to receive him. These four virtues opposite to the four contrary vices, I am to procure for the end aforesaid, by the meditation of our Blessed Lady the Virgin, saying unto her.
O most sacred Virgin, who with fervent desires expected the Nativity of thy Son, & with excellent works disposed thy self to behold, and to embrace him, negotiate for me, that I may remove from me the impediments of his coming, and may with great diligence prepare myself thereunto, Amen.
Luis de la Puente