Today is the Feast of the Visitation. The Anchoress’ God is Not Sophisticated Enough and David Mills’ Spirituality Without Spirits got me thinking about of this Feast day in the light of the thinking or befuddled thoroughly modern Woman of our Day.
The Visitation recalls that Mary is inspired by God to visit her older cousin Elizabeth now in her sixth month, carrying John who would one day be called the Baptist and be precursor to Mary’s own Son, now gestating in the paradise that is her womb. What wonders are unfolding in the secret of these holy wombs. Elizabeth prophetically greets the Mother of her Lord. Her child leaps at the Christ’s presence. Mary affirms Elizabeth’s utterance with her Magnificat. Mary exclaims with all humility and awe the saving works of God who at her “Fiat” is now enfleshed within her humble willing being.
Can the women of our age appreciate these moments in time and history? Has the history of our age made it impossible to grasp them beyond quaint story and mere myth. How can a thoroughly modern, maybe “spiritual” woman relate? An untimely pregnancy – Mary’s or Elizabeth’s; how would the average working woman, school girl or college graduated woman proceed? Would wonder and awe best describe our modern attitudes.
The Anchoress writes:
“You can also safely assume that you’ve created a “spirituality” based on your own conscience (or your subconscious self) when it turns out that all God really wants of you is for you to do what makes you happy. Oh, and “love and forgive and stuff.”
David Mills writes:
“We want the spiritual-ish, because God made us to want him yet we do not want to want him, and we do not want him on his terms. If our hearts are restless without God, as St. Augustine argued, they can be tranquillized with substitutes, of which “spirituality” is easier to find and much less costly than the alternatives. Drugs and drink are bad for you, and wealth and sex are hard to get, and achievement takes work.”
Mary and Elizabeth were unabashedly “religious” woman who had the living faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They loved God with all their hearts, and souls and beings. Their faith made demands on them, touched the hearts and minds and when “choice” entered their mental framework, it was prefixed with the word’s of Deuteronomy, “Choose life then that you may live.” The “spiritual” Woman of Today is she free or frustrated? Does she know Who is present in the gift of a child?