"Mary, in the delicacy of her charity, has such a profound sense of the needs of others, that as soon as she hears of them, she acts spontaneously and decisively to bring help. Having learned from the Angel Gabriel that her cousin was about to become a mother, she goes immediately to offer her humble services. If we consider the difficulty of traveling in those days, when the poor, such as Mary, had to go on foot over difficult roads, or at best, by means of some rude conveyance, and also the fact that Mary remained three months with Elizabeth, we can readily understand that she had to face many hardships in performing this act of charity. However, she was in no way disturbed; charity urged her, making her wholly forgetful of herself, for as St. Paul says, " Charity seeketh not her own" (1 Cor 13:5). . . Charity makes Mary forget not only her hardships but also her own dignity, which was greater than that given to any other creature. Elizabeth is advanced in years, but Mary is the Mother of God; Elizabeth is about to give birth to a man, but Mary will give birth to the Son of God. Nevertheless, before her cousin as before the Angel, Mary continues to look upon herself as the humble handmaid of the Lord, and nothing more. Precisely because she considers herself a handmaid, she comports herself as such. . .Mary's dignity approaches the infinite, yet she considers herself and behaves as if she were the least of all creatures."
(Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D)
Mary is our model and our mother. She teaches us how to live holy Christian lives, but is also our recourse when we falter in the pursuit of virtue. Immediately after the Angel Gabriel took leave of her, Scripture says Mary "arose and with haste to the hill country of Judea". Mary did not wait to be asked, she did not wait for a convenient time, but went with all sense of urgency to where there was a great need of her. The Blessed Mother practices charity in the midst of difficulties that often prevent us from doing the same.
Mary is the seat of wisdom, but is not Wisdom itself and was unaware of what the future held. She was just told that she would be the Mother of the Redeemer, but was given no further instructions beyond that: how was she to tell Joseph, how was she to raise this child, what would her role be, etc. But Mary does not give in to thoughts of anxiety. We may have been paralyzed by fear, and so refused to think of any other besides ourself at that moment; yet, Mary does not yield to these temptations, she does not focus on her own need but that of another.
It also does well for us to remember that Mary stayed with Elizabeth during the first three months of her pregnancy; the most difficult of the months. Mary does not indulge her own physical needs, but instead attends to those of one in greater need: Elizabeth who most likely had a difficult time carrying and bearing a child being advanced in age. Opportunities for charity never present themselves at convenient times, occasions for love do not wait for when we are well rested, well prepared. Even though many of the saints lived very poor lives, they always gladly shared what little they had with someone even poorer than themselves. In the same way, there is always someone in greater need than we are; we may be tired and worn out but perhaps our spouse is even more so. Our cross may be great, but perhaps our neighbor has an even greater one. True charity, true love is selfless not self-seeking, it seeks to give without gain. It is not done to serve our ego, but to serve another. Let us look to Mary, and ask her to help us practice true charity with great humility.