August 29, 2012

Feast of the Visitation (Part 2 of 2)

 I've been agonizing over how to properly articulate the depth of Elizabeth's response to Mary during the Visitation, when I came across this writing from the last two pages of then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI's) book, Daughter Zion:

“One more remark in conclusion: Luke recounts in the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth that when Mary’s greeting rang out John ‘leaped for joy in his mother’s womb’. To express that joy he employs the same word σκιρτᾶν (leap) that he used to express the joy of those to whom the beatitudes are addressed. (Lk 6:23).  This word also appears in one of the old Greek translations of the Old Testament to describe David’s dance before the Ark of the Covenant after it had returned home…something is expressed here that has been  almost entirely lost in our century and nonetheless belongs to the heart of faith; essential to it is the joy in the Word become man, the dance before the Ark of the Covenant, in self-forgetful happiness, by one who has recognized God’s salvific nearness. Only against this background can Marian devotion be comprehended. Transcending all problems, Marian devotion is the rapture of joy over the true, indestructible Israel; it is a blissful entering into the joy of the Magnificat and thereby it is the praise of him to whom the daughter Zion owes her whole self and whom she bears, the true, incorruptible, indestructible Ark of the Covenant.”

If you know me, you know I'm not advocating liturgical dance here.  But the saturating physical depths of the infant John's joy is pondered beautifully here.  That's why Benedict is the pope!

Thank you to Terri at, "At The Back Of The North Wind" ( ) for posting this excerpt, which was a text from her beloved son, Justin.

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