Happy Feast of the Visitation!

One year ago today on the feast of the Visitation, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, offered a series of reflections on some of the mysteries of the Rosary. Here is what he had to say about the Visitation:


Mary set out on a journey and "went with haste" (cf. Lk 1:39). Last Sunday I underlined Mary's way of acting: in spite of the difficulties, the criticism she would have met with because of her decision to go, nothing could stop her. And here she leaves "with haste." In prayer, before God who speaks, in thinking and meditating on the facts of her life, Mary is not in a hurry, she does not let herself be swept away by the moment, she does not let herself be dragged along by events. However, when she has clearly understood what God is asking of her, what she has to do, she does not loiter, she does not delay, but goes "with haste." St Ambrose commented: "There is nothing slow about the Holy Spirit" ... Mary's action was a consequence of her obedience to the Angel's words but was combined with charity: she went to Elizabeth to make herself useful; and in going out of her home, of herself, for love, she takes with her the most precious thing she has: Jesus. She takes her Son.

We likewise sometimes stop at listening, at thinking about what we must do, we may even be clear about the decision we have to make, but we do not move on to action. And above all we do not put ourselves at stake by moving towards others "with haste" so as to bring them our help, our understanding, our love; to bring them, like Mary, the most precious thing we have received, Jesus and his Gospel, with words and above all with the tangible witness of what we do.

The sort of listening leading to action that Pope Francis describes here is exactly what we hope to see in our HAPP participants. You come together in your small groups to read, ponder, and meet. You join yourselves in prayer to the divine life and love of God, passing through the hands of Mary to Jesus in consecrating yourselves to the Blessed Mother's Son and consoling His Heart. What comes next? [urlsecure.marianweb.net/shopmercy.org/product.php?PID=07270106|Turning to the faith to deepen your wisdom[/url], and then going with haste to do the works of mercy, just as Mary did.

She knew she was pregnant, and yet she went with haste to her kinswoman Elizabeth, who would need special care because of her age and miraculous pregnancy. The two women rejoiced together and waited out months of pregnancy together, the Mother of God and the mother of the greatest of the children of men (see Mt 11:11), praying, praising God, and living the communion of love to which we are all called.

So as you receive the tremendous gift of God in your hearts and lives, as you welcome into your body, as Mary did, through Holy Communion, ponder the mysteries of God in imitation of Our Lady, and then follow in her footsteps to the doorstep of those most in need of God's mercy. Learn wisdom, then live what you've learned by performing the works of mercy. Remember, as Mother Teresa always did, the words of Jesus, warning us of the standard by which we shall be judged on the Last Day:

Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. - Mt 25:40

If you consecrated to Jesus through Mary or completed the Consoling the Heart of Jesus retreat, we'd love to hear your story. Please take a moment and share your journey below. If you have pictures, we'd love to see them, too. Just email them to HAPP@Marian.org!


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