From The Joy of Full Surrender
God speaks today in the same way he spoke to our ancestors. There were no spiritual directors, then, and spiritual methods were not so clearly defined. Spirituality simply consisted of faithfulness to the will of God. It was not reduced to an art, minutely explained, containing so many directions, maxims, or instructions as there are today. Our present needs may require this, but in those earlier days, when God’s people were more simple and upright, it was enough to see that each moment brought a duty to be faithfully fulfilled. Their whole attention was fixed on that duty, like the hour hand of a clock that moves its necessary distance minute by minute. With their mind and spirit constantly moved by the impulse of the Spirit, they turned imperceptibly to each new task that God presented to them at each hour of the day.
Such were the secret springs of Mary’s life, the most perfect example of simple and absolute surrender to the will of God. Her reply to the angel, “Let it be with me according to your word,” (Luke 1:38), expressed all the mystical teaching of her ancestors. All that theology was reduced, as it still is today, to the purest, simplest surrender of a soul to the will of God in whatever form his will might present itself. This beautiful and noble attitude, the very essence of Mary’s spirituality, is brilliantly shown in the words, “Let it be with me.” Notice how perfectly those words match the words our Lord would have always on our lips and in our hearts: “Yet not what I want but what you want.” It is true that what was required of Mary at that moment was indeed something glorious for her. But all the splendor of that glory would have made no impression on her if she had not seen in it the fulfillment of God’s will.
It was God’s will alone that mattered to her. Whatever her occupations, commonplace or extraordinary, they were to her eyes only appearances, sometimes obscure, sometimes clear, within which she could worship God and recognize the workings of his almighty hand. She joyfully accepted the duty or suffering that each moment brought as a gift from him who fills with good things the hearts of those who hunger and thirst for him alone and have no desire for created things or empty fantasies.