Vatican City, 1 June 2013 (VIS) – At 8:00 yesterday evening, Pope Francis participated in the praying of the Rosary held in St. Peter’s Square concluding the Marian month of May. The celebration was presided by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and archpriest of the Vatican Basilica. At the conclusion of the prayer and before imparting the Apostolic Blessing to the many faithful present, the Holy Father recalled the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth and offered a meditation dedicated to the mystery that shows how Mary faces life’s journey with great sensibility, humanity, and care.

“Three words sum up Mary’s attitude: listening, decision, and action. They are words that also show us the path before us of what the Lord asks of us in life,” the Holy Father said.

“Mary knows how to listen to God. But be careful: this is not a simple ‘hearing’ but a ‘listening based on paying attention, a welcoming, an openness toward God. It isn’t the distracted manner that we sometimes have when dealing with the Lord or others when we hear their words, but we don’t really listen.”

“Mary,” Pope Francis continued, “also listens to the facts. She reads the events of her life and observes concrete reality without stopping at the surface of things but going in depth to grasp its meaning. … This is also true in our lives: listening to God who speaks to us and listening to our everyday reality, paying attention to people and to facts because the Lord is at the door in our lives and He calls in many ways, putting signs along our path and giving us the ability to see them.”

“The second word,” the Holy Father continued, “is decision. … Mary doesn’t let herself be carried away by events, doesn’t avoid the burden of making decisions. … In life, it is difficult to make decisions. Often we tend to postpone them, to let others decide for us. Often we prefer to be caught up by events, chasing the fashion of the moment. Sometimes we know what we have to do, but we don’t have the courage or it seems too difficult because it means going against the grain. … Mary goes against the current. She listens to God, reflects and tries to understand the reality [of the situation] and decides to entrust herself completely to God.”

“Action,” said the pontiff, “is the third word. … Mary , despite the difficulties and criticism she received for her decision to leave, doesn’t stop at anything. …Mary isn’t rushed, doesn’t let herself by carried away by the moment. But when it’s clear what God is asking of her, what she must do, she doesn’t linger, doesn’t hold back but goes ‘in haste’.”

“Sometimes,” the Pope concluded, “even we stop with just listening, just reflecting on what we should do, perhaps we are even clear about what decision we should make, but we don’t take the steps to act upon it. Above all we don’t put ourselves in play, don’t move ‘in haste’ toward others to bring them our assistance, our understanding, or our charity.”