Feast of the Visitation
Today we celebrate the memory of Our Lady going to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth was three months pregnant with John the Baptist. There is a common mistranslation from Luke's Greek in this passage: "the child in my womb leapt for joy." It should really be translated as "the child in my womb danced a dance of joy," or as we would say in Ireland, "the child danced a gig!" Dancing in the Lord, as David did when he brought the Ark back to Jerusalem, is one of the purest forms of prayer. It is when the body and soul unite in giving praise to God.
In this passage we also have that wonderful prayer of Mary, the Magnificat. We say it every day at evening prayer and yet it still delights our heart every time we really think of what it means. God asked a lowly maid to become mother of His Son. And she said "Yes." What a wonderful gift Our Lady gave to us. Had she refused we would not have been saved. The Magnificat is the joyful song of the greatest contemplative that ever lived. Jesus is reported to have said to one of the great mystics, "Mary had more virtue than all the people who ever lived put together." She was pure of heart in the fullest sense of the word. She was so open to God that when she was asked to obey God her obedience was so humble that the Word of God could become alive in her!