"And now hearken, o daughter, to David and Abraham; and incline thy ear to our supplications; forget not thy people, nor us who are of the house of thy Father. For verily we are thy fathers by propagation, and thou art our daughter by generation from us: and it becomes thee, as being Mother of God, Queen, Lady and Mistress, for the sake of the King, Lord, God, and Master, born of thee to be mindful of us, as thou standest by Him, who to us terrible, to thee is pleasant, and grants thee all graces -- whence thou art called full of grace, as though full of all joy on account of the coming of the Holy Ghost upon thee. Wherefore all the rich among the people we entreat thy countenance,* enriched with such good things and spiritual contemplations, we cry to thee: Be mindful of us, most holy Virgin, who after childbirth didst remain virgin; and grant to us for these small words great gifts from the riches of thy graces, O thou full of grace. Accept them as though they were true and adequate praises in thy honour; and if there is in them any virtue and any praise, we offer them as a hymn from ourselves and from all c creatures to thee, full of grace, Lady, Queen, Mistress, Mother of God, and Ark of sanctification."+

"Let us consider, so far as we may be able, the sense that lies hidden in these words of David: Hearken, O daughter. That is [the royal prophet is represented as saying] for the rest my discourse is directed to thee, who didst take thy origin from me. My discourse is, I say to thee, through whom I send the same glad tidings to the Church of the Gentiles also. My discourse is to thee, who art to be espoused to the great King. My discourse is to thee, who art to conceive God the Word, as He Himself knows. Hearken, O daughter, and see: listen so diligently, that thou mayest even behold the effect with the very eyes of thy mind. Hearken both to me as I foretell these things with kindly affection, and to Gabriel who will make known the same to thee. Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear, since this is the propitious news of the world's redemption. Incline thy ear, and let thy hearing direct thy heart. And forget thy people and thy father's house: for the people whence thou hast contracted kindred, is evil, and brings thee shame: a people without wisdom is closely joined to thee who art by nature [or, origin] an immaculate shoot; and it is a fruitful culture of thorns that brings forth thy rose. But forget together with thy people also the very house of thy father. Hear the dignity which after brief space thou wilt acquire from this ineffable Conception. For prophet and king am I who will supply seed to thee: whilst thou shalt be shown forth to be the Mother of the King, who is Lord, not of earthly but of heavenly sceptres. And forget thy people and thy father's house: lest afterwards thou pay attention to this lower kindred: for thou shalt be changed into a queen. And hearken, he says, with what great love He who is the Maker and Lord of all will treat thee. For, says he, the King shall greatly desire thy beauty. The Father will Himself espouse thee for His own, the Holy Ghost will co-operate to those things which pertain to thy espousals, and the Son will assume the very beauty of thy temple. Deem not therefore that thou wilt bring forth a human infant, For He is the Lord thy God, and thou shalt adore Him, Himself thy Maker, and Himself thy Babe -- Him thou shalt conceive, and with all others adore as Lord.

* v. 13.

+ Orat. in Deip. Annuntiat, nn. 13, 14. Int. Opp. S. Athanasii.



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