A Catholic Monthly Magazine

The Visitation – Luke 1:39-45, 56

by John Ewen

Cousin, I was pushed out from the shade
by what I could not tell until
I saw you coming, shimmering in the heat
as if you were afloat above the ground.
What made you come now, at this time
I asked myself; how did you know?

Then you came closer, your voice -
there was a great leap inside me
even the earth itself seemed to lurch.
This was no quickening. My child knew
before me the presence of the Most High
the holiest of holies.

Blessed, O blessed and blessed again Mary,
you above other women. Before all mothers past
and yet to bear. O vessel of honour
how is it that you come to me?
you who carry the One Who Is Promised.  

Cousin, these are strange days.
and strange are His ways. Mary,
you are the one chosen of us all.
But I too am favoured. The Lord
is giving me, withered Elizabeth,
a son, one to be born out of due time. 

And my Zechariah in there
his tongue pegged for six months now.
What does it mean? But enough. Stay with me now,
let me rejoice and bathe in your radiance.
Stay a while cousin. Keep me strong for
the days ahead. And the coming years.   

Visitation, Philippe De Champaigne,1643-48

Visitation, Philippe De Champaigne,1643-48

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