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A Sermon of St. Laurence Justinian

O Soul that loves God, 
 imitate her! 

    As Mary pondered all she had learned from what she read, what she heard, what she saw, how greatly did she increase in faith, advance in merit, and become enlightened with wisdom! More and more was she consumed with burning love!

Drawing life and inspiration from the heavenly mysteries that were being unlocked for her, she was filled with joy; she became enlivened with the Spirit, she was guided towards God, and she was kept humble in herself.

The effects of divine grace are such indeed that they raise one from the depths to the heights and transform one in an ever greater degree of glory.

Entirely blessed was the mind of the Virgin which, through the direction of the Spirit dwelling in her, in all things ever obeyed the command of the Word of God. She was not governed by her own judgment or opinions; rather, whatever wisdom indicated inwardly to her faith, she outwardly performed through her body.

It was surely fitting that divine Wisdom, which had built the house of the Church for its abode, should use most holy Mary as its instrument when concerned are observance of the law, purification of the heart, the doctrine of humility, and spiritual offering.

Imitate her, O faithful soul. Enter into the temple of your heart, that you may be purified in spirit and cleansed of the pollution of your sins.

In everything we do God considers our disposition rather than our actions. And so, whether we retire mentally to God  in earnest contemplation and remain at rest, or whether we are intent on being of service to those around us with good works and worthy undertakings, let  us be motivated only by love of Christ.

Thus the really acceptable offering of the purification of the spirit is that which is rendered not in a man-made temple, but in the temple of the heart, where Christ the Lord is pleased to enter.

From a sermon of St. Laurence Justinian on the Feast of the Purification,
Office of Readings, Saturday of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.