This is my supreme calling: every minute a prayer, every moment to love.
In the opening line of today’s Gospel, we read: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Jesus Christ, my Redeemer. The same Jesus that gave me that supreme calling many years ago. I was sitting on a granite bench, on the bank of Lake Champlain at a beautiful shrine. I was pregnant, tired, quiet, and prayerful. I had a lot of questions for him. I happened to look down at the ground and tucked under a bit of dirt and leaves lay a medal. It was a medal of the Sacred Heart, and it was inscribed with “Cor ad Cor Loquitor”—Heart Speaks to Heart.
Every minute a prayer, every moment to love. It was an answer to my many questions. Heart speaks to heart: the intimacy with a loving Father God who so desires my heart, your heart, all hearts, that he sent his son, as a baby, Jesus Christ:
“‘He who is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15) is himself the perfect man who has restored in the children of Adam that likeness to God which had been disfigured ever since the first sin . . . For, by his incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man. He worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.’ He, the Redeemer of man (John Paul II in Redemtor Hominis, 8, quoting Gaudium et Spes, 22).
The man Christ Jesus, as a baby in the womb of Mary. I reflect on this today. If I am to prepare the way of the Lord, if I harken to that voice crying out in the wilderness, then I will ponder Mary with child. I will not think of her in her majesty, nor my Lord in his kingship; not today. Today I will consider the truth that Mary carried him to term, that Mary tended to him as a child, that Mary was his human mother whom he loved with a human heart. This is how he has united himself with me, and you, and each of us.
How do I respond? How can I prepare for him this Advent—indeed, how do I prepare for his second coming?
Every minute a prayer, every moment to love. I recall my Redeemer came as a baby. I remember Mary, and I give her a nod—she who through ordinary life and through natural love carried the supernatural. I will try to emulate her; she is worthy of imitation. As Caryll Houselander so beautifully says: In the world as it is, torn with agonies and dissensions, we need some direction for our souls which is never away from us; which, without enslaving us or narrowing our vision, enters into every detail of our life. Everyone longs for some inward rule, a universal rule as big as the immeasurable law of love, yet as little as the narrowness of our daily routine. It must be so truly part of us all that it makes us all one, and yet to each one the secret of his own life with God (The Reed of God).
Every minute a prayer, every moment to love.