Feast of the Visitation:
Proclaims God's Greatness
St. Bede the Venerable
The Visitation of St. Elizabeth by the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated and explained in this excerpt from a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable (Lib 1,4:CCL 122, 25-26, 30) which is used in the Roman Catholic Liturgy's Divine Office of Readings for the Feast of the Visitation, May 31, with the accompanying biblical reading being from Song of Songs 2:8-14 and 8:6-7. Written in the early 8th century, it explains why the Magnificat, Mary's prayer on the occasion of the Visitation, is used daily in the liturgy of the hours (a.k.a the divine office) for evening prayer.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. With these words Mary first acknowledges the special gifts she has been given. Then she recalls Godís universal favors, bestowed unceasingly on the human race.
When a man devotes all his thoughts to the praise and service of the Lord, he proclaims Godís greatness. His observance of Godís commands, moreover, shows that he has Godís power and greatness always at heart. His spirit rejoices in God his saviour and delights in the mere recollection of his creator who gives him hope for eternal salvation.
These words are often for all Godís creations, but especially for the Mother of God. She alone was chosen, and she burned with spiritual love for the son she so joyously conceived. Above all other saints, she alone could truly rejoice in Jesus, her savior, for she knew that he who was the source of eternal salvation would be born in time in her body, in one person both her own son and her Lord.
For the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Mary attributes nothing to her own merits. She refers all her greatness to the gift of the one whose essence is power and whose nature is greatness, for he fills with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in him.
She did well to add: and holy is his name, to warn those who heard, and indeed all who would receive his words, that they must believe and call upon his name. For they too could share in everlasting holiness and true salvation according to the words of the prophet: and it will come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is the name she spoke of earlier: and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
Therefore it is an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church that we should sing Maryís hymn at the time of evening prayer. By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled, and by remembering the example of Godís Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue. Such virtues are best achieved in the evening. We are weary after the dayís work and worn out by our distractions. The time for rest is near, and our minds are ready for contemplation.
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How Mary and the Rosary Can Change Your Life
by: Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Talk 1: The Virgin Mary: Model of Faith
Some Christians seem to neglect her; others seem overly preoccupied with her. What is the true role of Mary in God's plan, her intended role in our lives now, and the proper form of devotion to her? In this talk, Dr. D'Ambrosio provides enlightening and inspiring answers to these questions from Scripture, common sense and the teaching of the Church.
Talk 2: A Fresh Look at The Rosary
There is something here for everyone-- those who have problems with the rosary, and those who've read every book on the subject. Drawing from scripture, history, Church teaching and personal experience, Dr. D'Ambrosio shares insights in this talk that will forever change the way you look at and experience this traditional devotion.
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Scriptural Rosary with Luminous Mysteries -- Rosary Meditation Aid
This pocket sized book includes not only the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries but also the Luminous Mysteries proclaimed by our late Holy Father Pope John Paul II. The Scriptural Rosary combines the Hail Mary's of the rosary with short passages from scripture and is arranged so that the story of each mystery, or decade, unfolds bead by bead. As a result, the Scriptural Rosary is a stimulating way to meditate more fruitfully on the mysteries, which is what the rosary is about. Perfect for praying the rosary together as a family or really in any group setting.