Father Balthazar Alvarez said that a Christian must not imagine himself to have made any progress in perfection until he has succeeded in penetrating his heart with a lasting sense of the sorrows, poverty, and ignominies of Jesus Christ, so as to be able to support with loving patience every sorrow, privation, and contempt, for the sake of Jesus Christ.
“And Mary rising up in those days,” says the sacred text, “went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Jude” (Luke 1, 39).
Carissimi: Today’s Mass; The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
A Sermon for Sunday: Sunday XIX Post Pentecost; Revd Dr Robert Wilson
Our Lady’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth already engaged our attention while we were preparing for the Christmas festival. But it is only fitting to return again to an event so important in our Lady’s life; the mere commemoration of this mystery made on Ember Friday in Advent would be insufficient to bring forward all it contains of deep teaching and holy joy.
I have received your last letter in which you tell me you are sill undecided as to the state of life you should choose, and that having communicated to your Pastor the advice I gave you – namely, to go for that purpose to perform the Spiritual Exercises in the house you father owns in the country – the said Pastor answered you it was not necessary to go there to torture your brains for eight days in solitude, but that it was enough for you to attend the Retreat he would soon have for the people in his own church
One thing is necessary (Luke x 42). It is not necessary we should be rich, or honoured, or in the enjoyment of good health, but it is necessary we should be saved. For this end alone has God placed us in this world, and woe to us if we do not attain it!
Tell us, oh holy Lady, why thou didst undertake this long and difficult journey, and why thou didst thus hasten on thy way? I am going, she answers, to exercise my office of charity; I am going to console a family. If, then, oh great mother of God, thy office is to console and dispense graces to souls, ah come to console and visit my soul. Thy visit then sanctified the house of Elizabeth; come, oh Mary, and sanctify me also.