Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Imagine a great and glorious victory in a battle that ends a war – some terrible, brutal war that threatens the very existence of the country. The soldiers who fought bravely in this battle finally arrive home to be reunited with their loved ones. But when the soldiers get home, there is no official welcome, no banners or signs, no band or parade – just silence and empty streets. How wrong would this be! Great deeds must be accompanied by celebration, thanksgiving and public honors. The soldiers deserve it – and we must offer it.

The sad reality is that, when we fail to publicly honor and thank our Mother, Mary, we are doing something far more inappropriate than failing to give a parade to soldiers after a great war is won. Mary deserves our honor, our public honors, celebrations, thanksgiving and respect – she has merited to bear the very Son of God in her womb for our salvation. What more needs to be said?

Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that prayer and religion is all about us – about provoking a profound thought, a subtle spiritual feeling, peace or joy. These things are definitely part of prayer, but the true, guiding purpose of prayer is more objective – it’s not about us. For example, we pray honoring Mary because she deserves our respect, gratitude and honors. It’s about her – and with her, it’s about God.

May 31st, 2013