Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary´s greeting, the infant leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid´s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Introductory Prayer:Lord I believe, I trust, and I love you. By the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, most gloriously assumed into heaven, may I be able to shed all mediocrity in my faith, remove any despair in my hope, and burn away any indifference in my love for you.
Petition: Lord grant me a faith like Mary’s, a lively active conquering faith that dispels the threats of temptation and despair.

1. All Generations Will Call Me Blessed    Mary’s declaration, “From now on will all ages call me blessed,” is reiterated on today’s feast day in a special way. On November 1, 1950, Pius XII made the solemn definition: "By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by Our Own authority, We pronounce, declare, and define as divinely revealed dogma: The Immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever Virgin, after her life on earth, was assumed, body and soul to the glory of heaven (Munificentissimus Deus, III, 44). Today we therefore join the generations in honoring and renewing our devotion to Mary as most blessed of all women. True devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in a certain vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith by which we are led to know the excellence of the Mother of God. Let us be moved to a filial love toward our mother shown by imitating her virtues.

2. Fidelity to Love    “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27). To whom more than Mary do these words of our Lord apply? Indeed, all is grace. She, more than any other soul, participated most fully in the saving act of our Lord. Her first privilege of grace was the unmerited gift of being immaculately conceived. Mary then cooperated with every actual grace given to her by God until the last moment of her earthly existence when she was gloriously assumed into heaven. Mary made it through the gauntlet of this world unscathed; her heart never once fell from the love of God. She was faithful to that first grace, and she returned her soul to God pure and immaculate – yes –, but even more, filled with fruit for the Kingdom as a result of her fidelity to love.

3. Mary, Model of Victory over Sin    We followers of Christ still need to strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin. In Mary we find a true model of victory. We need to turn our eyes every day to Mary, who shines forth for us as the model of virtue. By meditating on her and contemplating her in the light of the Word made man, we enter more intimately into the great mystery of the Incarnation and become more and more like Christ her son. Let it be seen in every act of our day, wherever we go, in every conversation, that Christ lives in us. Mary calls us today and everyday to her Son, to His sacrifice and to the love of the Father. Do I heed Mary’s call? 

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, help me to imitate your mother Mary. She knew how to cooperate with the grace of God in her life at every moment; may she be my guide on the way to fidelity. Let me honor your mother today on the feast day of her most holy assumption into heaven. May she teach me your virtues that she most perfectly imitated. In moments of temptation and despair let my eyes and heart turn to her and ask for her intercession. May her fidelity to you spur me to cooperate with your grace in my life. 

Resolution: I will reach out in charity to a relative in need to bring them the charity and kindness of Christ.

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