Almighty ever-living God,
who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary
was carrying your Son in her womb,
inspired her to visit Elizabeth,
grant us, we pray, that,
faithful to the promptings of the Spirit,
we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Today’s Western culture does not do enough to support motherhood. Women who become mothers by circumstance or by choice have to push back against social pressures that belittle this unique and beautiful vocation. Such pressures range from being economically productive to parenting techniques that break the natural attachment of the child to the parent, and from misguided encouragement that a woman can “do it all” to treating children as little more than an accessory.
Turning to Mary as our model to motherhood is a solution.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win. All the fighters at the games go into strict training; they do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither.
Mary Immaculate, star of the morning,
Chosen before the creation began,
Chosen to bring in the light of thy dawning,
Woe to the serpent and rescue to man.
Here, in this world of both shadow and sadness
Veiling thy splendour, thy course hast thou run:
Now thou art throned in all glory and gladness,
Crowned by the hand of thy Saviour and Son.
Sinners, we worship thy sinless perfection;
Fallen and weak, for thy pity we plead:
Grant us the shield of thy sov’reign protection,
Measure thine aid by the depth of our need.
Bend from thy throne at the voice of our crying,
Bend to this earth which thy footsteps have trod:
Stretch out thine arms to us, living and dying,
Mary Immaculate, Mother of God.