The Visitation

Today is the  feast of the Visitation,  and in the readings Venerable Bede recalls Mary’s prayer in which she says, “My spirit rejoices in God my savior.” Like other great teachers of prayer, Bede likes to reflect on the  great prayers found in the scriptures.

“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.”

He would be born “in time” Bede says. We learn from Mary to believe in the One who “fills with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in him.” She calls on God, her savior who acts “in time.”

As he comments on the Magnificat, Bede offers a simple explanation for one of the night prayers of the church:  the Salve Regina.

“Hail Holy Queen,

mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope….”

“It’s an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church to sing Mary’s hymn at the time of evening prayer. By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled, and by remembering the example of God’s Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue, which needs strengthening in the evening. We’re weary after the day’s work and worn out by our distractions. The time for rest is near, and our minds look for contemplation.”

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