On so many levels, The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth speaks - I would even say it sings - to my life as a cloistered heart.
Mary visited Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56) because she had BEEN Visited by God. She did not go to Elizabeth alone - she went with the Presence of Christ inside her.
As one living "cloistered for Jesus" in the midst of the world, I carry Christ inside me as well. Oh, not in the same unique way, certainly. But according to Scripture and Church teaching, I indeed carry Him within.
Mary went on a simple visit to Elizabeth. It was an occasion that I'm sure went unnoticed by many. A woman went to visit her kinswoman; something that happened all the time. No one would have cried out: "look, there goes Mary on mission!" or "how about that! This visit will be written of in the Bible!" From the merely human perspective, it was simply a time of normal interaction between two women, two relatives.
And so it is with us. We have opportunities every single day to visit people with the presence of Christ. In the everyday activities of life, we visit family members, neighbors, store clerks, e-mailers, callers on the phone.
I find it extremely helpful when I make a conscious effort to visit these persons with the love of Our Lord. That is: with an awareness of Christ within me. I have found that it makes quite a difference in my attitude when I think of things this way.
It is the essence, in my estimation, of going through the world with Jesus in the "cloister of my heart."
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The above is a slightly abridged version of the post here on May 31st, 2012.