Pope's Meditation at Conclusion of Marian Month

“We Wish to Join Our Voices to Mary’s, in Her Own Canticle of Praise”

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered during a celebration Tuesday in the Vatican Gardens to mark the end of the month of May, which is traditionally dedicated to Mary.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am happy to join you in prayer, at the feet of the Holy Virgin, whom we contemplate today on the feast of the Visitation. I greet and thank Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, the cardinals and bishops present, and all of you who have gathered here this evening.

As conclusion of the month of May, we wish to join our voices to Mary’s, in her own canticle of praise. With her we wish to praise the Lord for the wonders he continues to do in the life of the Church and of each one of us. In particular, it has been and continues to be for all of us a motive of great joy and gratitude, to have begun this Marian month with the memorable beatification of John Paul II. What a great gift of grace for the whole Church was the life of this great Pope! His testimony continues to illumine our lives and drives us to be true disciples of the Lord, to follow him with the courage of faith, to love him with the same enthusiasm with which he gave his own life.

Meditating today on Mary’s Visitation, we are impelled to reflect on this courage of the faith. She whom Elizabeth received in her home is the Virgin who “believed” in the Angel’s annunciation and responded with faith, accepting with courage the plan of God for her life and thus receiving, in herself, the Eternal Word of the Most High. As my Blessed Predecessor pointed out, in the encyclical
“Redemptoris Mater,” through the faith that Mary pronounced with her “fiat,” “she abandoned herself to God without reservations and ‘consecrated herself totally as the Lord’s handmaid, in the person and the work of her Son'” (No. 13; cf., “Lumen Gentium,” No. 56). Because of this, in her greeting Elizabeth exclaims: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Luke 1:45).

Mary truly believed that “with God nothing will be impossible” (v. 37) and, firm in this confidence, she allowed herself to be led by the Holy Spirit in the daily obedience of his plans. How can we not desire to have the same confident abandonment in our life? How can we oppose this happiness born from a profound and intimate familiarity with Jesus? Because of this, addressing ourselves to her “full of grace,” we pray that she will obtain for us also, from Divine Providence, the ability to say every day our “yes” to God’s plans with the same humble and sincere faith with which she pronounced hers. May she who, receiving in herself the Word of God, abandoned herself to him without reservations, lead us to a more generous and unconditional response to his plans, also when we are called to embrace the cross.

In this Easter Season, while we invoke from the Risen One the gift of the Holy Spirit, we entrust to the maternal intercession of the Virgin the Church and the whole world. May Mary Most Holy, who in the Cenacle with the Apostles invoked the Consoler, obtain for all the baptized, the grace of a life illumined by the mystery of the crucified and risen God, the gift to be able to accept increasingly in our life, the lordship of him who with his resurrection defeated death. Dear friends, upon each one of you, and of your loved ones, in particular all those who suffer, I impart from my heart the Apostolic Blessing.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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