My Beloved the benevolent August, 2018
Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing
We are blessed during the month of August by St. Mary’s fast and feast. St. Mary the Mother of Light is the treasure of virtues that we learn a lot from. In serving the needy, we contemplate on the virtue of benevolence in secret and we take the example of St. Mary in her serving of Elizabeth during her pregnancy in old age.
St. Mary found out from Archangel Gabriel that Elizabeth, an elderly lady, was pregnant. “Now indeed Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible” Lu. 1: 36-37
St. Mary did not find that out from Elizabeth, for the Bible says, “Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” Lu.1:24-25,
After St. Mary submitted to the divine message given to her, she said to the angel, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” Lu. 1:38. The Bible says, “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” Lu 1: 39-40
The visit of St. Mary to Elizabeth was a fruitful and joyous visit:
- The Holy Spirit descended on John the Baptist when he was in his mother’s womb confirming what the angel said to his father Zachariah “He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” Lu. 1:15
- Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Lu.1:41
- Mary the Mother of Light, whom the Holy Spirit came upon as the message came from the angel, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called Son of God.” Lu. 1:35. She praised the Lord with a beautiful praise, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” Lu. 1:46
- Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months then went back to her home Lu.1:56. The Virgin’s visit to Elizabeth was a blessed and fruitful visit, but it was accomplished quietly and in secret. For St. Mary did not mention to the angel that she will visit Elizabeth when she learned that she is pregnant. The virgin stayed with Elizabeth for three months, but no one knew about her presence there and then she left quietly. We did not hear that she participated in celebrating the birth of John the Baptist or naming him on the eighth day.
The one who likes to do good, does not care to advertise their doing good or bringing people’s attention to it.
The thing that impairs a charitable deed most is advertising about it. There is a difference between acknowledging the good deed – as we acknowledged the good deed that St. Mary did – for spiritual benefit and encourage doing good, and advertising about the charitable deeds; this focuses on the person doing the charity and praising him, but not on the charitable deed itself. Also, there is a difference between acknowledging the charitable deed and advertising the deed as a tool to collect funds.
We can learn from our Mother the Virgin to do good quietly as our Good Lord taught us, “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matt. 6:3-4 May the Lord bless your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity programs.