Daily Devotion to the Theotokos
Fourteenth Day of the Month
art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. How
is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me. For behold, at the
sound of thy greetings, the babe in my womb leapt with joy.”
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The unborn babe leapt for joy when he heard your voice, O Theotokos, and the venerable Elizabeth reverenced you as the Mother of her Lord. Is it possible to truly believe in Christ as Lord, God and Saviour, and yet not reverence you as His most holy, ever virgin mother?
Think of the wonder of her childbearing, Christian people and recall how John the Baptist as an unborn babe, joyfully received the word of her greeting.
Christ dwells in His Church, fulfilling Her in all things. The Orthodox Church calls out to us constantly with the sound of Her divine services and the words of holy hymns. Does your heart leap for joy within you when you hear these greetings of the Holy Church calling you to Christ? Are you, like the prophet, glad when they say to you, “let us go into the house of the Lord”? Are you, Orthodox Christian, attuned to the life and meaning of Jesus Christ, so that throughout the week, you look forward with longing, to going to God’s house and joining your brothers and sisters in the Divine Liturgy? Do you feel a spiritual hunger within you that can be filled only by the Communion of the Holy Mysteries?
Do you feel these things, or do you try to fill your emptiness with the things of this world so that you cannot rejoice at the spiritual greetings of the Church?
Like Elizabeth, we have a developing child within us. That child is our soul, which is growing toward spiritual maturity. Blessed is the person who, when he hears the spiritual greeting of the Church, feels that child leap for joy. If you do not feel this, then it is time to pray and fast until you acquire such feelings. Turn to the Mother of our Lord in heartfelt prayer:
Blessed and ever-virgin mother of
Christ our God, I beseech you to have pity on your servant. I am
bound by the things of this world and too often listen to the voice of the evil-one who leads me away from the Church. My darkened
soul does not seek the Light of your Son, and I do not always rejoice when
I hear the Church calling me to worship. Pray for me, O Full of grace, that
the blinded eyes of my soul may be opened, and leap with joy and longing when
I hear the greeting of the Church calling me to the house of my Lord, God
and Saviour Jesus Christ.