The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can better imitate the gratitude of his Blessed Mother and by pursuing the Virtue of Piety so he can grow in devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Feast of The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – May 31 – Lk 1:39-56
The Blessed Virgin Mary, having given her fiat to be the “Mother of God”, travels some 80 miles (perhaps guided by St. Joseph) to the hill country of Judea to assist her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth in her miraculous pregnancy. There are mysterious echoes of the Old Testament in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s journey. In the Old Testament, King David travels to the hill country of Judea to reclaim the lost Ark of the Covenant which is overshadowed by God’s presence (Ex 40:35); the Blessed Virgin Mary travels to the same area and is the Ark of the New Covenant in which the Son of God resides. King David finds the Ark and is overwhelmed by feelings of unworthiness; Elizabeth has the same response when she greets the Blessed Virgin Mary. King David leaps with joy in the presence of the Ark; John the Baptist leaps with joy in Elizabeth’s womb upon drawing close to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus in her womb. King David returns the Ark of the (Old) Covenant to Jerusalem; Jesus will return to Jerusalem and, in His Passion and Resurrection, establish the New Covenant.
Elizabeth is miraculously moved by the Holy Spirit. Though the Blessed Virgin Mary is only a few weeks into her pregnancy and does not “show”, Elizabeth recognizes the Blessed Virgin Mary’s miraculous conception (“Blessed are you…blessed is the fruit of your womb”). Elizabeth is divinely inspired to exalt the Blessed Virgin Mary, as “the mother of my Lord.” Mysteriously, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s voice is heard by John the Baptist, still three months away from birth in Elizabeth’s womb, and causes John to leap with joy.
The Magnificat (Latin: “magnifies”) begins with the Blessed Virgin Mary’s grateful response to the blessings God has bestowed upon her. She acknowledges she is a simple and humble handmaiden (Greek word, doulé, means “female slave”) who solely exists to do God’s will (“My soul magnifies the Lord”). Astoundingly, the Blessed Virgin Mary prophetically announces, “all generations will call me blessed.”
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Despite being the Son of God, Jesus, in His human nature, “grew in wisdom and stature” (Lk 2:52) in the Holy Family through the magnificent guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the perfect heroic virtue of St. Joseph. Marvel at how the Son of Mary was inspired by the Holy Mother of God with prayers such as the powerful and enduring Magnificat, just one beautiful example of prayer Jesus heard from His mother (CCC 2599).
Imitate the gratitude of your Blessed Mother
Realize: Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, every Catholic man should show his thanks for God’s many blessings (life, health, freedom, food, shelter, protection, family, friends, work, etc.).
Believe: Reflect upon the Magnificat of Our Blessed Mother (CCC 273, 722, 971, 2097, 2617-2619, 2622, 2675).
Pray: Blessed Mother, pray for me that I might grow in the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I always thank your Son for my many blessings and I regularly join with His Holy Catholic Church in praying your beautiful Magnificat.
Grow in devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Realize: The “Hail Mary” and the Rosary provide Catholic men the beautiful ability to draw closer to Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
Believe: Reflect upon Praying in Communion with the Holy Mother of God (CCC 1674, 2673-2682, 2708).
Pray: Blessed Mother of God, pray for me that I grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I increase my devotion to you, and I more frequently seek your intercession on my behalf to your Son.