Monday, May 27, 2013

Three Obedient Bees

The Feast of the Visitation is this coming Friday, May 31st.  It is a feast I love, for it celebrates an event embodying much of what I want to live as a "cloistered heart."

The Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary love this feast as well.  Certainly they do.  They take their name from the scene of the visitation, when our Blessed Mother visited Elizabeth because both had first been Visited (one uniquely) by God.

In 1610, St. Jane de Chantal and two others stepped into a little house in Annecy, France, and thus the Order of the Visitation began.  Just the three of them, gathering to serve God for one reason only:  He had called them.  They did not know the path ahead.  They were not thinking centuries into the future.  They came in simple obedience, to love, to adore, to serve.

These ladies were, said Bishop Francis de Sales,  "like three little bees in a beehive or three innocent doves in a nest."  "Looking upon them with great joy, he said 'you are blessed because the Lord has chosen you.  Your courage is great; God will be your King.'  He then handed over to Madame de Chantal a compendium of the constitution which he had composed for them and said, 'follow this path, my dearest daughter, and see that it is followed by all those whom Heaven has destined to walk in your footsteps.'" (from Every Day with St. Francis de Sales, Francis J.  Klauder SDB ed., Salesiana Publishers, 1985,p.  159)

403 years later, people still walk in the footsteps of these first three women.  I present the following  as "evidence" of this fact.  If you have any interest at all in nuns or in cloistered life (are you smiling yet?), I strongly encourage you to take a look at this 6-minute video.

Amazing, isn't it, what God can do with three obedient bees...?