Yesterday was the Feast of the Visitation and I probably forgot this fact while I was writing about my "funk" so I just thought I'd say a little about it now. The Visitation is the feast of Mary the Mother of Jesus going to Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. Its beautifully depicted in the Gospel of Luke and is a feast celebrated by the Church as well as one of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. It really is a beautiful passage of the Gospel and has great and profound theological implications that I've a small knowledge of but I thought I'd add my small ideas.
I can say that I probably didn't think too much about the Visitation before I became a mother. Aside from praying the Rosary and a couple Biblical History classes that involved comparing Old and New Testament passages, the Visitation didn't apply much in my life. But once I became pregnant the Visitation took on all sorts of meaning and really gave me great comfort.
I'm not one to wax poetical on the spiritual qualities of pregnancy, because I spent most of my pregnancies complaining, or go on and on about feminine ideas in the Bible, but when I speak of the Visitation and what its come to mean to me its brought real spiritual importance to pregnancy and opened my eyes to the great role of women in God's plan of salvation.
In pregnancy you just can't avoid the crazy emotional waves that it brings upon you. Almost every emotion comes and goes, as well as a truly overwhelming sense of responsibility. And in a way there is a loneliness that you cannot express even to your husband. It was at these times when I prayed the mystery of the Visitation that I felt such great comfort. Mary journeying to her cousin, giving comfort and help in her time of need, but also finding companionship for herself, someone who also understood the completely miraculous doings of God.
That the Gospels and the Church give so much honour to this event lends so much importance to the role of women in both motherhood and the history of the Church. It shows that even when in that pregnancy, full of sickness, sacrifice, and emotion that God's work is being done at supernatural levels. God has used what we sometimes think inconvenience, and pain to change not just our lives but the life of the Church through pregnancy. The beauty in both Mary and Elizabeth sharing the experience of pregnancy and supporting each other is something I think every woman wants and needs through her own pregnancy. And praying the mystery of the Visitation gave me many graces of comfort and understanding that I couldn't find anywhere else at times during my pregnancies.
I'm sure this Feast has given so many insights to different people over the centuries of the Church, and Mary has given so many graces through us asking her intercession through this beautiful mystery.