Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb“
In the Gospel passage, Elizabeth is “filled with the Holy Spirit” and prompted to utter the now famous declaration that we repeat each time we pray a Hail Mary.
In looking at this encounter, we can take away a few important spiritual truths. The first is the powerful connection between Mary and the Holy Spirit. Notice in this scene, as soon as Mary arrives, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. This is consistent with the teaching of many saints, and truly exemplifies the famous quote from St. Louis de Monfort “When the Holy Spirit finds Mary in a soul, he hastens to it.” Let’s be encouraged to maintain a devotion to Mary and be ready for the power of the Holy Spirit to follow.
The second key point to take away is Elizabeth’s example to us. She was moved by the Spirit, and then declared a powerful truth to Mary. Let’s stop to put ourselves in Mary’s shoes for a moment. In the first chapter of Luke, immediately prior to today’s Gospel passage, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and told that she would be the Mother of the Son of God. Talk about life-changing news. Though Mary was likely felt very honored and excited, I imagine there were also emotions of confusion.
I believe that the Holy Spirit inspired Elizabeth’s words in order to give Mary assurance and encouragement. I know that there are people in my own life that need words of encouragement and truth spoken to them. I also know that I need to be more open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in speaking those words. What better way to start doing this intentionally than by inviting Mary more fully into our lives?
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How can you invite Mary into your heart during these last few days of Advent as you prepare for the coming of her Son, Jesus?
Are you 'running in haste' to share the Good News like Mary did to her cousin Elizabeth?
Who are the people in your life who are in need of words of encouragement this Christmas season?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I open my hear to you Lord."
"I am running in haste to greet you this Christmas."
"Come Holy Spirit, fill my soul."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Ask Mary to come into your heart today using the words of the Memorare. Mother Teresa used to pray a Fast Novena of 9 Memorare's in a row for her intention. Take time to pray the Memorare nine times throughout the day asking Mary to 'come in haste to your heart as you prepare for the coming of her Son.'
The Memorare: “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency hear and answer me. Amen.”
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"Today's Prayer was prepared by Liam Brady, an accountant in Chicago.
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