I'm continuing my recap of a book of daily reflections about the Virgin Mary, because it is both informative and makes for easy blog writing.
Day Eleven is about the humility of the Virgin Mary, specifically, the Bible verse where Mary says, "Because he [God] has looked upon the lowliness of his handmaid; from now on, generations will call me blessed". Jesus will later echo that sentiment, saying that "he who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted".
Day Twelve is about the effects of the Visitation on St. John the Baptist. The Church Fathers agree that John was cleansed from original sin at this time, which is why he leaped for joy in the presence of Jesus, even though he was still in the womb. May we also rejoice to receive graces and sanctification!
Day Thirteen is about the trials and suffering that the Virgin Mary underwent. Though much loved by God, the Holy Family suffered much; Joseph and Mary's relationship, and later, they were forced to escape to Egypt to flee the people trying to kill them. Let us learn to be equally stalwart as they were, in the severest of trials.
Day Fourteen is about two titles of Mary: Star of the Sea and Morning Star. These titles were developed by mariners; just as they use stars to guide them safely through the seas, so the Virgin Mary can be used as a safe and sure guide that leads to God.
Day Fifteen is about three types of union, at the birth of Jesus. First, human nature was united to divine nature, in Jesus' flesh. Second, virginity was united to maternity, in that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth. Third, ardent love was united with humility.
Day Sixteen is about the presentation in the Temple, which is a traditional Jewish practice that cleanses a woman and her child after she gives birth for the first time. In their great humility, Jesus and Mary went through this ritual, even though they technically had no need of purification.
Day Seventeen is a consideration of the great obedience shown, during the presentation. Mary teaches "us not merely to avoid sin, but also its very appearance, and the occasions which may expose us to it. Let us learn, also, not to be satisfied with the testimony of our conscience alone, but to try to remove from others every occasion of thinking ill of us and of our actions."