The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth is one of my favorite feasts. On so many levels, it speaks to my life as a cloistered heart.
Mary visited Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56) because she had BEEN Visited by God. She didn't 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. 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. You and I 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, 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.
What if I first visit the Lord in prayer, and then specifically visit every person I encounter with the love of Christ? This does not mean I have to say or do anything that will draw attention. It can mean that I pray a silent aspiration for the mailman, smile at a harried store clerk, relate to family members with patience. I might write a note to a friend, send an e-mail of encouragement, call a lonely relative.
My visitations can be simple and unnoticed. But as I carry the love of Christ to those around me, it just might be that Heaven will rejoice.
This is a repost from the archives of 5/31/17.