In This House of Brede

“Even at Vespers in these days Abbess Catherine, as if echoing the abbot’s words, thought, as the antiphon to the Magnificat was sung, of the Visitation, when the Virgin Mary, with the angel’s announcement beating in her heart, had gone “in haste,” as St. Luke says, to visit her far older cousin. Why, wondered Abbess Catherine, did theologians always teach–and we take it for granted–that Mary went simply to succor Elizabeth? Probably She did do that, but could it not also have been that she needed the wisdom and strength of an older woman? How wonderfully reassuring Elizabeth’s salutation must have been: “Whence is this that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” a recognition without being told, and Mary, as if heartened, touched into bloom by the warmth and honor of that recognition, had flowered into the Magnificat.”

In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden



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