We remember the gift of Mary, woman of faith and mother of Jesus, in a particular way during the month of May. On the very last day of the month, we celebrate the feast day of the Visitation. During this month, we could take Mary’s visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, as a way of being for our living, most especially after the recent months of restrictions.
- Mary saw her cousin’s need – Let’s open our eyes to the world around us…..let’s notice those who are in need, perhaps of friendliness, hope, care, concern, kindness, support, shelter, also those who are being treated unjustly, with injustice, discriminated against
- Mary responds – We take a moment to see what response is needed….so we listen to the person’s need….not what we would like to do. We can respond by reaching out, or listening, showing that we have heard someone….Our response might be to give time, give what we can to the other person, reaching outside myself to step into the other person’s need.
- Mary’s visit brings joy – Joy is one of the gifts of the Spirit….we see that the Risen Jesus brings hope, joy and peace to the lives of his disciples….let’s find way to bring joy to another
- Mary stays only as long as she is needed – Mary remains while she is needed, and let’s Elizabeth’s need guide her. This might be a good guide for us as we begin to make visitations and receive other visitors…..We give thanks for those who bless us with their presence.
Other ways you might like to pray with Mary during the month:
- Create your own sacred space to Mary in your home or garden
- Acquaint yourself with the many titles for Mary e.g. Our Lady of the Rosary , Mother of Perpetual Help , Our Lady of Lourdes , Our Lady of Knock , Our Lady of Sorrows , Our Lady of Victories, Immaculate Conception , Queen of Heaven. These titles offer us some sense of who Mary is for us…..
- Bring flowers or pray at a Marian statue or shrine in your church or in your locality. Notice the grottos, big and small in your area. Visit a grotto somewhere else in your county.
- Join the virtual pilgrimages taking place at weekends in Knock
- Say the rosary as you make your daily walk
- Take particular care of the words in the Magnificat – pray with them.
- Listen to some Marian hymns (Ave Maria, Schubert/ Gounod) as a prayer during car journeys.
- Notice and enjoy the signs of the resurrection in nature – the scent and variety of flowers, the promise of hope in new seeds sown, the butterflies emerging, the Dawn chorus – think of the Darkness into Light movement of Pieta House. Join in, or say a prayer for those bereft by suicide.
- Pray the joy of the Regina Coeli
- Pray Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary for Protection from Coronavirus
- Join a Rosary group – Legion of Mary 24 hour prayer – Commit to a half hour period