Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I am the Mother... of holy hope... (Ecclus. 24.24, from the Epistle for the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor - the Epistle also for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel). What do we need our Blessed Mother, who, with two wings of a great eagle (Apoc. 12.14), "hastens," says St. Alphonsus (cf., in our post "Mary in the Sacred Scriptures: Our Help"), "in Her mercy to succor us" Christians, for? What do we hope for from the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord every time we have recourse to Her maternal aid? The written Word of God teaches us: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1 Cor. 15.19); therefore, Our Blessed Mother says She is the Mother of holy hope, and St. Louis de Montfort, in his "True Devotion to Mary," treats those who have recourse to Our Lady only to gain or obtain goods, benefits, favors and advantages for their 'psycho-emotional' consolations which they derive from physical, academic, social and economic well-being as "false devotees, pleasing neither to God nor to His holy Mother" [the master of most subtle deception - the devil - could play well here with the exercise of his preternatural powers (the powers of angelic nature distinct from the supernatural which alone is God's) to keep these poor souls of "interested devotees" - like the pagans and materialist Jews - in their false devotion].
On this Feast of the Visitation of Our Blessed Mother, the Beloved (Our Lord in the sacred Book of the Canticle of Canticles) teaches us what are we to expect rightly from the Mother of holy hope who, like Her Beloved Son, cometh, leaping over the hills... like a roe or a young hart... [ariseth], [making] haste... (from the Epistle, Cant. 2.8-14): the springtime not only of a life of grace but of the operation of the Spirit of Truth and of Love Divine by the flowering of His seven gifts and twelve fruits to their fullness - for the infant leaped... for joy. Winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come, the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs, the vines in flower yield their sweet smell (Cant. 2.11.13).