When the eternal God meant to stoop so low as to be fixed in our center, he chose for his mother a holy person and a maid. She received the angel’s message with such sublimity of faith that her faith was turned into vision, her hopes into actual possession, and her grace into glory. She who was now full of God, bearing God in her virgin womb, and the Holy Spirit in her heart, arose with haste and gladness to communicate that joy which was designed for all the world; and she found no breast to pour forth the first emanations of her overjoyed heart so fit as her cousin Elizabeth’s, for she was to be the mother of the Baptist, who was sent a forerunner “to prepare the way of the Lord” her son.
Let us notice how light and airy was the coming of the Virgin, as she made haste over the mountains; her very little burden which she bore hindered her not but that she might make haste enough; and as her spirit was full of cheerfulness and alacrity, so even her body was made airy and full of life. And there is this excellency in religion that when we carry Christ within us, his presence is neither so peevish as to disturb our health, nor so sad as to discompose our cheerfulness, but he recreates our body by charity and by securing God’s providence over us while we are in the pursuit of the heavenly kingdom. For as the Virgin climbed mountains easily, so there is no difficulty in our life so great, but it may be managed by those assistances we receive from the holiest about us.
—From The Life of our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)