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The Ponderings of an Immaculate Heart

  • FATHER GABRIEL OF ST. MARY MAGDALEN, O.C.D.

To have even a slight understanding of Mary's prayer we must try to penetrate the sanctuary of her intimate union with God. 


sacredheart11321No one has ever lived in closer intimacy with him. Let us reverently observe this intimacy from the viewpoint of the divine maternity. Who can imagine the secret communications between Mary and the Incarnate Word while she carried him in her virginal womb? Although there was nothing to distinguish her exteriorly from other women in the same condition, yet, in the secrecy of her heart she led a life of the closest possible union between God and a mere creature. Omnis gloria ejus ab intus—all her glory is from within (cf. Ps 44:14). All Mary's glory and grandeur were interior. In this true sanctuary which concealed the Holy of Holies, Mary, living ciborium of the Incarnate Word, was aflame with love, absorbed in adoration. Carrying within her the burning furnace of charity, how could Mary not remain all inflamed by it! 

The more she was inflamed with love, the more she understood the mystery of love which was taking place within her. No one ever penetrated the secrets of Christ's heart as Mary did, or had a greater knowledge of the divinity of Christ and of his infinite grandeur. No one ever felt, as Mary did, the consuming need to give herself to him, to lose herself in him like a little drop in the immensity of the ocean. This was Mary's unceasing prayer: to adore perpetually the Word made Flesh within her; to unite herself closely with Christ; to be immersed in him and completely transformed in him by love; to join the infinite homage and praise which ascended continually from the heart of Christ to the Trinity, and to offer this praise unceasingly as the only homage worthy of the divine Majesty. Mary lived in adoration of her Jesus and, in union with him, in adoration of the Trinity.

There is one moment in the day when we, too, can share in this prayer of Mary in a most excellent way: the moment of Holy Communion, when we receive Jesus, real and living, into our heart. How we need Mary to help us profit from this ineffable gift! She teaches us to submerge ourselves with her, in her and our Jesus, that we may be transformed in him; she teaches us to unite ourselves to that adoration which ascends from the heart of Jesus to the Trinity, and she offers it with us to the Father.

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Acknowledgement

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. "The Ponderings of an Immaculate Heart." Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year (1952).

Divine Intimacy is undoubtedly the classic Carmelite work on meditation – a book that helps one arrive at intimate union with God by the practice of considering holy truths. It is a book that shows how to join prayer and action and put the Catholic doctrine on the spiritual life into practice daily.

The Author

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., (18931953) was a Discalced Carmelite priest who became one of the most revered masters of the spiritual life. He acquired a vast knowledge of the ways that lead to holiness and to union with God. His experience with souls, whom he guided to the heights of perfection, was outstanding. He was an expert in the spiritual and mystical doctrine of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) and of St. John of the Cross. The Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of St. Joseph in Rome were the heirs of the Father Gabriel’s vast output of published works and private manuscripts. For ten years, he guided these nuns as their confessor and spiritual director, and it was they who helped him to arrange his material in line with the course of the liturgical year, while following the ascent of the soul to transforming union with God, or to ‘Divine Intimacy.’ Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. is the author of Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year.

Copyright © 1952 Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
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