instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Now that you mention it

Therese Z writes about the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary as "the 'Girly' Mysteries":
When I pray the Joyful Mysteries, I'm sometimes struck by the intensely feminine spirituality of them. Not to the exclusion of men, but there is a special dimension accessible to women's understanding, I think.

One of the most notable is the Mystery of the Visitation. Mary, now pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit, but not married, goes, maybe even flees, to visit her relative Elizabeth in a distant town. Elizabeth, with some surprise, finds herself pregnant at an age where she must have lost hope. So we have two bemused women (holy does not stop bemusement, I'm sure) who come together, who visit.
I only recently became aware of the traditional pious belief that St. Joseph accompanied Mary on her visit:
St. Joseph probably accompanied Mary, returned to Nazareth, and when, after three months, he came again to Hebron to take his wife home, the apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19-25, may have taken place to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.
I have no firm opinion on the question, but I doubt I'm the only husband who knows his presence when his wife meets a beloved female relative doesn't make the moment any less girly.

Scripture records the conversation in the foreground. The conversation in the background I imagine along these lines:
JOSEPH: Hey, Zechariah.


JOSEPH: The main road through Jerusalem was in pretty bad shape, so we cut over onto that southeast trail at Jericho, you know, the one that goes past Bethany. We made pretty good time.


JOSEPH: Not much traffic, just muddy in spots. But what are you gonna do, this time of year?