Personally, I think Memorial Day should be a sobering reminder of the cost of war. As a result, we should be committed to avoiding armed conflict. For people in the United States, Memorial Day also serves as a secular All Souls Day.
On the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, today is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today the Church commemorates the Blessed Virgin's visit to the house of her kinswoman, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Of course, Elizabeth, married to Zechariah, was barren until, in her older age, she conceived a son who would be the forerunner of the Messiah (see Luke 1:39-45).
On Luke's account, as the Blessed Virgin approached, bearing God in her womb, Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit. As a result of this filling with the Spirit, the child in Elizabeth's womb leaped. It was Elizabeth who uttered a portion of the Hail Mary: "blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Luke 1:42).
The Visitation, as it is short-handedly known, is the second Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fruit of this Mystery is the love of neighbor. The fruits of the Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin's Rosary are the "So whats?" These Mysteries constitute the answer to the question "Why pray the Rosary?"
As I get older, being a habitual scripture reader practically my entire life, I am struck more and more by the simplicity of the narratives found in the Sacred Scriptures. In this pericope, the young woman Mary, sometime after discovering she is pregnant, makes her way to the (relatively) distant home of some beloved relatives.
According to Luke, Mary goes in the knowledge that the previously barren Elizabeth "has also conceived a son in her old age" (Luke 1:36). While according to this narrative, Elizabeth conceived her son in the normal manner but her conception is also miraculous, or least very providential. This is indicated by the words spoken to the young Nazarene woman by the archangel Gabriel: "nothing will be impossible for God" (Luke 1:37). This simple story makes clear how happy the two women are for one another.
Today is the last day of May, a month Catholics traditionally devote to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today take some time to pray the Rosary, reflect on the Joyful Mysteries. As the English Dominican, Father Vincent McNabb, who urged the faithful to pray the Rosary faithfully, exhorted:
The Incarnation is the centre of all our spiritual life. One of the means by which it is made so is the Holy Rosary. There is hardly any way of arriving at some realisation of this great mystery equal to that of saying the Rosary. Nothing will impress it so much on your mind as going apart to dwell in thought, a little space each day, in Bethlehem, on Golgotha, on the Mount of the Ascension (Michael Hennessy, “Fr. Vincent McNabb: A Voice of Contradiction,” Seattle Catholic, 29 April 2005)A note for deacons as well as for aspirants and candidates for the permanent diaconate: "devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints" are essential elements of a truly diaconal spirituality (see National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, sec. 113). In addition to the diaconal saints: Stephen, Philip, Lawrence, Francis of Assisi, Ephrem the Syrian, Vincent of Saragossa, etc., it seems that devotion to Saint Joseph is a necessary dimension of diaconal spirituality.
It's difficult for me to believe that today is the final day of the fifth month on 2021.