Nine Excesses of Love May Begin on the Feast of the Annunciation
From the Writings of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta – Volume 1
I begin. With a Novena of Holy Christmas, at the age of about seventeen, I prepared myself for the Feast of Holy Christmas, by practicing various acts of virtue and mortification; and, especially, by honoring the nine months which Jesus spent in the Maternal womb with nine hours of meditation each day, always concerning the mystery of the Incarnation.
In this way I would spend the second hour of the day, and then, so forth with the rest – I would be annoying if I told them all. And I would do this sometimes kneeling, and sometimes, when I was impeded by my family, also while working. In fact, the interior voice gave me no respite and no peace if I did not do what it wanted; therefore, work was not a hindrance for me to doing what I had to do. In this way I spent the days of the novena, and when the eve came, I felt ignited more than ever, with unusual fervor. I was alone in the room, and all of a sudden Little Baby Jesus came before me – all beautiful, yes, but shivering, in the act of wanting to hug me. I stood up and ran to hug Him, but in the act of squeezing Him He disappeared from me – and this occurred as many as three times. I remained so moved and ignited that I cannot explain it. But then, after some time, I did not take it much into account. I did not tell anyone, and from time to time I would fall into my usual defects. However, the interior voice never left me again; in everything it reprimanded me, it corrected me, it encouraged me – in a word, the Lord acted with me like a good father, whose child tries to deviate from the right path, and He uses all diligence and care to hold him back, so as to make of him His honor, His glory, His crown. But, oh Lord, too ungrateful have I been with You!