24th August 1944.
I see Joachim and Anne's house once again. Nothing is changed inside, with the exception that there are many branches full of flowers, placed in amphoras here and there, certainly the fruit of the pruning of the trees in the orchard, all in bloom: a cloud varying from snow-white to the red of certain corals.
Also Anne's work is different. On the smaller of two looms she is weaving some lovely linen cloth and is singing, moving her feet to the rhythm of the song. She is singing and smiling. At whom? At herself, at something she is aware of in her inside.
I have written separately the slow and yet gay song, so that I might follow it, for she repeats it several times as if she rejoices in it. She sings it more and more loudly and with certainty, like someone who found a melody in her heart and at first whispers it softly and then, being sure, proceeds faster and in a higher tone. The slow and yet gay song (which I am transcribing because it is so sweet in its simplicity) says:
« Glory to the Almighty Lord Who had love for the children of David. Glory to the Lord! His supreme grace has visited me from Heaven The old tree has borne a new branch and I am blessed. At the Feast of Lights hope scattered the seed; Now the fragrance of Nisan sees it germinating. Like an almond-tree my flesh is adorned with flowers in spring. In the evening she perceives she is bearing her fruit. On that branch there is a rose, there is a most sweet apple. There is a bright star, an innocent little child. There is the joy of the house, of the husband and wife. Praise be to God, to my Lord, Who had mercy on me. His light said to me: “A star will come to you.” Glory, glory! Yours shall be the fruit of this tree. The first and last, holy and pure as a gift of the Lord. Yours it shall be and may joy and peace come upon the earth. Fly, shuttle. Fasten the yarn for the infant's cloth. The infant is about to be born. May the song of my heart rise to God singing hosannas. »
Joachim comes in when she is about to repeat her song for the fourth time. « Are you happy, Anne? You look like a bird in spring. What song is that? I have never heard anyone sing it. Where does it come from? »
« From my heart, Joachim. » Anne has got up and is now moving towards her husband, smiling happily. She looks younger and lovelier than ever.
« I did not know you were a poet » declares her husband looking at her with obvious admiration. They do not look like an elderly couple. In their glances there is the fondness of young couples. « I came from the other end of the orchard when I heard you singing. For years I had not heard your voice, that of a turtle-dove in love. Do you mind repeating that song for me? »
« I would repeat it even if you did not ask me. The children of Israel have always entrusted to songs the sincere cries of their hopes, joys and pains. I have entrusted to a song the task of telling myself and you a great joy. Yes, also of telling myself because it is such a great thing that although I am sure of it now, it does not yet seem to me to be true...», and she begins the song over again. But when she comes to the point: « On that branch there is a rose, there is a most sweet apple, a star...», her well tuned contralto voice at first trembles, then it breaks, and with a sob of joy she looks at Joachim and raising her arms she cries: « I am a mother, my darling! » And she takes refuge on his heart, between the arms that he has held out and has now clasped around his happy wife. This is the most chaste and happy embrace that I have ever seen in my life, chaste and ardent in its chastity.
And the sweet reproach is whispered over Anne's grey hair: « And you were not telling me? »
« Because I wanted to be sure. Old as I am... to know that I am a mother... I could not believe it was true... I did not want to give you the most bitter disappointment of all. Since the end of December I have perceived that my womb was becoming new and bearing, as I say, a new branch. But now on that branch the fruit is certain... See? That linen is for the one that is coming. »
« Is it not the linen that you bought in Jerusalem in October? »
« Yes, it is. I spun it while I was waiting... and hoping. I was hoping because the last day while I was praying in the Temple, as close as possible for a woman to be to the House of God, and it was already evening... remember that I was saying: “A little longer, a little more.” I could not withdraw from the place without receiving the grace! Well, in the growing darkness, from inside the sacred place, where I was watching from the depth of my soul, to obtain assent from the everpresent God, I saw a light, a spark of beautiful light depart. It was as white as the moon and yet it had in itself all the brightness of all the pearls and gems that are in the world. It seemed that one of the precious stars of the Veil, the stars placed under the feet of the Cherubim had become detached and bright with a supernatural light... it seemed that beyond the sacred Veil, from the Glory itself, a fire started which came quickly towards me and while cutting through the air, it sang with a heavenly voice chanting: “May what you asked for, come to you.” That is why I sing: “A star will come to you.”
What child will ours ever be, since it reveals itself as the light of a star in the Temple and in the Feast of Lights says: “I am”? Did you perhaps foresee rightly when you thought I would be a new Anne of Elkanah? How shall we name our creature, whom I perceive talking to me in my womb as sweetly as the melody of waters, with its little heart beating repeatedly like the heart of a pretty turtle-dove held in one's hands? »
« If it is a boy we shall call him Samuel... If a girl, Star. The word that stopped your song to give me the joy of learning that I am a father. The form it took to reveal itself in the holy shade of the Temple. »
« Star. Our Star, because, I don't know why, but I think it is a girl. I think that such sweet caresses can only come from a most sweet daughter. Because I do not bear her, I have no pain. It is she who takes me on a blue flowery path, as if I were supported by holy angels and the earth was already far away... I have always heard women say that it is painful to conceive and to bear. But I have no pain. I feel strong, young, fresher than when I presented you with my virginity in my far away youth. Daughter of God – because this creature born of a barren stump, is more of God than ours – she gives no pain to her mother. She only brings her peace and blessings: the fruits of God, her true Father. »
« Mary, then, we shall call her! Star of our sea, pearl, happiness. The name of the first great woman in Israel. But she will never sin against the Lord and to Him only she will give her songs, because she is offered to Him: a victim before being born. »
« Yes, she is offered to Him. Male or female, as it may be, after rejoicing for three years over our creature, we shall give it to the Lord. Victims ourselves with her, for the glory of God. »
I do not see or hear anything else.
« Wisdom, after enlightening them with dreams at night, descended “breath of the power of God, pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty”, and became Word for the barren one. He, who already saw His time for redemption close at hand: I, Christ, Anne's grandson, almost fifty years later, by means of the Word, will work miracles on barren, diseased, possessed, desolate women and on all the miseries of the world.
But in the meantime, for the joy of having a Mother I whisper a mysterious word in the shade of the Temple that contained the hopes of Israel, of the Temple now at the end of its life, because a new and real Temple is about to come on earth, no longer containing the hopes of one people, but the certainty of Paradise for the people of the whole world, and for centuries and centuries until the end of the world. And this Word works the miracle of making fertile what was barren. And also the miracle of giving me a Mother, Who not only had the best disposition, as was natural She should have, being born of two saints, but, unique creature, had not only a good soul as many others still have, not only a continuous increase of goodness because of Her good will, not only an immaculate body, but had an immaculate soul.
You have seen the continuous generation of souls from God. Now think what must have been the beauty of this soul which the Father looked fondly on before time existed, which formed the delight of the Trinity, which Trinity longed to adorn it with its gifts, to present it to Itself. Oh! Most Holy Mary that God created for Himself and then for the salvation of men! Bearer of the Saviour, You were the first salvation. Living Paradise, with Your smile You began to sanctify the world.
The soul created to be soul of the Mother of God! When this vital spark derived from the more lively throb of the Threefold Love of the Trinity, the angels rejoiced because Paradise had never seen a brighter light. Like a petal of a heavenly rose, a mystical and precious petal, that was a gem and a flame, the breath of God descended to give life to a body quite differently than for others. It descended so powerful in its ardour that Guilt could not contaminate it, it came through the heavens and enclosed itself in a holy womb.
The world had its Flower, but did not yet know, the true, unique Flower, that blooms eternally: lily and rose, sweet-smelling violet and jasmine, helianthus and cyclamen blended together and with them all the flowers on earth in one Flower only: Mary, in Whom every grace and virtue is gathered together.
In April the land of Palestine looked like a huge garden and the fragrance and colours delighted the hearts of men. But the most beautiful Rose was still unknown. She was already flowering to God in the secrecy of Her mother's womb, because my Mother loved since She was conceived. But only when the vine gives its blood to make wine and the sweet strong smells fill the yards and the nostrils, She would smile to God first and then to the world, saying with Her most innocent smile: “Here, the Vine that will give you the Bunch of grapes to be squeezed in the winepress, so that it will become eternal Medicine for your disease, is amongst you.”
I said: “Mary loved since She was conceived!” What is it that gives light and knowledge to the soul? Grace. What is it that removes Grace? Original sin and the mortal one. Mary, the Immaculate, was never deprived of the remembrance of God, of His closeness, His love, His light, His wisdom. She was therefore able to understand and love when She was but flesh forming around an immaculate soul that continued to love.
Later, I will let you contemplate mentally the depth of Mary's virginity. You will have a spell of heavenly ecstasy, as when I allowed you to consider our eternity. In the meantime consider how to bear a creature free from the Stain that deprives one of God, gives the mother a superior intelligence and makes a prophetess of her, although she has conceived in a natural and human way. The prophetess of her daughter, whom she calls: “Daughter of God”. And consider what would have happened if innocent children had been born of innocent First Parents, as God wanted.
Man, you state that you are setting out to be “superman”, and with your vices are only setting out to be “superdemon”. The possibility of existing and living without the contamination of Satan, leaving to God the administration of life, knowledge, and goodness, would have been the means to make you “superman”, not wishing more than what God had given you and which was little less than infinite. And thus, in an evolution towards perfection, you would have been able to generate children, who should be men in their bodies and sons of the Intelligence in their souls: victors, strong, giants over Satan, who would have been vanquished so many thousand centuries before the hour, when he will be humiliated, and all his evil with him. »