‘How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St Luke’s description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. “Those days” on which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse...
If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it he is forming himself; if we go with eager wills “in haste”, to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe he desires to be in that place, we shall find we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of his love.
And the answer to those impulses we shall get from others will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already weakened life within them...
We must be swift to obey the winged impulses of his love, carrying him to wherever he longs to be; and those who recognise his presence will be stirred, like Elizabeth, with new life. They will know his presence, not by any special beauty or power shown by us, but in the way that a bud knows the presence of the light, by an infolding in themselves, a putting forth of their own beauty.
It seems that this is Christ’s favourite way of being known, not by his own human features, but by the quickening of his own life in the heart, which is the response to his coming'.
Caryll Houselander, 1901-1954
O God, who didst lead the Blessed Virgin Mary to visit Elizabeth, to their exceeding joy and comfort: grant unto thy people; that as Mary did rejoice to be called the Mother of the Lord, so we may ever rejoice to believe the Incarnation of thine Only Begotten Son; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Collect for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon