Thursday, July 2, 2009

Feast of the Visitation

When St. Luke tells us that, after the angel left, Mary "went with haste over the meadows" to visit her aged cousin, Elizabeth, the Church wants us to remember this in the feast of the Visitation on the second of July, so that we may always feel assured that Mary is ever ready to come to our aid.
~ Maria Von Trapp

The Magnificat
video
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,et exsultávit spíritus meusin Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátemancíllæ suæ.
Ecce enim ex hoc beátamme dicent omnes generatiónes,quia fecit mihi magna,qui potens est,et sanctum nomen eius,et misericórdia eius in progénieset progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;depósuit poténtes de sedeet exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit boniset dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,recordátus misericórdiæ,sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.
Glória Patri et Fílioet Spirítui Sancto.Sicut erat in princípio,et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.
Amen.
~+~+~+~+~

The Feast of the Visitation is one of the anniversaries I like best to think about; like all the joyful mysteries, its details are particularly accessible for a mother and housewife like me. The scene is founded in the mystery of Heaven and radiates the sublime, but is also grounded in realities that I understand. Our Blessed Mother, having just agreed to the most important task ever asked a human being and only just carrying the life of God in the Second Person in her womb, discovers the miracle of her elderly cousin's approaching motherhood. Miracle upon miracle!

And, what does she do? She packs her bags and goes on a visit. Of course! Is this not what any of us would do -- or would try to do? If we found out that a dear friend and relation, one who had assumed after many years that she was infertile, was soon to be a mother at last -- the least we would do would be to call her up or send her an e-mail congratulating her. Better than that, I'm sure most of us would do what Our Blessed Mother did: get ourselves in hugging distance as soon as possible. To praise God with her.

And then, I just bet that the rest of the visit was full of the homey things we would recognize ourselves. I can imagine the scenes of them sewing baby clothes together and preparing little St. John's bed. Mary would have helped with the cleaning and bread baking. Maybe she would have milked the goats or fetched the water for her older cousin who was farther along in her pregnancy. There would have been much smiling and laughing and quiet moments of awed reflection. And God would have been there with them, truly.

As He can and should be with us as we share with one another at any get-together: having coffee, one to one, with a good friend; catching up on the phone; chatting outside the church doors with a group of other mothers after Mass; hobnobbing on the internet... If we gather in His Name, there He is in the midst of us. Just like at the Visitation.

Happy Feast Day to all the Marys and Elizabeths out there! (And Lisas and Maries, etc...)


** Here's a Coloring Page for the day, by the way!

** You can click on the title of this post for the full explanation of the feast day at Fisheaters.

** The rendition of The Magnificat, above, was sung by our three boys, Kevin, Jon and Dominic, and their friend Tim, at school last Easter. I've used this video before -- it's my favorite; The Magnificat gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, but especially when I hear my boys singing it.

1 comment:

GrandmaK said...

Oh this is a wonderful way to start my vacation! Have a grand holiday! Cathy