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Visitation and Daily Life

Congrégation de Notre-Dame

We asked sisters in formation (candidates, novices or sisters who made temporary vows before final profession) to explain what Visitation means to them, in their daily lives.


The Visitation in my daily life means being very attentive to the calls of God to be able to share the richness with the neediest, to listen, or simply to be with simple people. I am sharing this photo because the Visitation touches me deeply. Here, we are on our way to visit an old woman who has been bedridden for eight years. This experience revives the spirit of Mary when she rushes to her cousin’s home. Today, I went out in haste, like Mary, to be with the simple people. Also, through my apostolate, I am more attentive to this type of Visitation daily. It makes me enter the depth of what the person is sharing and leads me to a beautiful encounter. I am able to pray for these people and help them with what is within my reach. All these experiences make me revive my spring fountain to give them the freshness of unconditional love.

Sofía Barrientos Izaguirre, CND


To me, the Visitation is going to meet someone. This person can be me or someone else.

For the Visitation with myself, it is actually the time that I take to be with myself in an intimate and personal way. It could be by listening to music, reading a book of my choice or any other activity that I like or that brings me joy. It is also the time that I take to swim through my day’s history to try to see the aspects that were beautiful and dark like when I was sad, angry, etc.

Usually, my meeting with the other is done through conversations after which the people that I talked to feel joy, the desire to further discover things to come, relief, inner peace, etc., and this feeling is mutual.

There is also the meeting with Christ: the time that I take daily to be in the presence of the Lord.

Tonye Frédérique Grégoire, candidate


To answer this question, I see it in a first stage like in the mystery of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, whose Visitation is one of the mysteries connected to the Incarnation. When the Angel of the Lord brought the announcement to Mary, the same Angel informed Mary that her cousin was six months pregnant in her old age. These two big announcements made to Mary pushed her to visit her elderly cousin whom God also had mercy on. Therefore, it is a joyful meeting to share the good news from God and to make oneself available to one in need like Elizabeth. As for the second stage, personally, the Visitation can mean the action of visiting someone, or even an intervention that can be done toward the other. It can also be the help offered to someone where we never stop talking about God in our actions, gestures and words. In my daily life, I live the mystery of the Visitation in three stages:

1)        In myself. I live this mystery with Jesus; I welcome it into my daily life through my prayer, Lectio Divina and the Eucharist. Therefore, this joy and peace that live within me, I share with others, and this leads me to be available to welcome the other so that I can listen better in a mutual exchange.

2)        With my sisters. I live it by being of service wherever the need arises without having to be reminded, as well as by sharing the word of God and supporting them in their joys and sorrows.

3)        Outside. I also live it by bearing witness to God in my life, in fulfilling my duty to others, always being attentive to others, listening to them and taking their joys and struggles to heart in order to present them to the Lord in my humble prayers and to sing the wonders of God together.

NGO NGUIDJOL Jeanne Odette, candidate

 


First, the word “Visitation” has two dimensions, namely to visit oneself and to visit the other (unknown).

To visit oneself: it is this movement that makes contact with the inner self, to be able to master and know oneself, to have a certain knowledge of oneself as much on the spiritual and human level as on the psychological level.

To visit the other (unknown): first of all, I cannot claim to visit or know others if I do not have complete mastery and knowledge of myself. Therefore, to visit the other is to go toward the other (unknown) to share the knowledge of the grace received, to support. This support can be material, physical, moral or spiritual.

This “going toward” is characterized by that of Mary to Elizabeth. Therefore, personally, the Visitation is a movement of charity from Christ urging me. It is a divine experience that transforms a simple woman into a prophetess and a fetus into a forerunner. Here, I am referring to Elizabeth who prophesied and John the Baptist, the forerunner. Mary presented herself to her cousin in a very natural, sisterly and simple way. She had no limits because she offered what she was and what she had. There are three movements that come into play in the account of the Visitation: the mind, heart and body. The Visitation can be talked about if and only all these parts are involved.

First of all, as a consecrated person, I live the Visitation in the community where, every now and then, I share my days with my sisters in community, the joys and sorrows, both at the community and family level.

In my daily life, I am able to laugh at myself, appreciate myself, feel the movements of myself and be in touch with them.

I visit my sisters in community by teasing and with my sense of humour that help to give life, to lighten the community atmosphere.

I live the Visitation daily by showing concern for each one of my sisters in community, by bringing them love selflessly.

My Visitation also reaches my know-how through various artistic activities like the making of soap, rosaries, etc. All this promotes “going toward” and strengthens the bonds of fraternal communion and mutuality since we experience these activities in complementarity, joy, welcoming others as well as their limitations and know-how. It is a beautiful activity to collaborate and listen to the movement of the talents displayed in each one and put into service.

My personal, communal and apostolic prayers are also meeting places, both at the personal and community level. The accompaniments, reception of the sacraments, Lectio Divina, contemplation and many other forms of prayer help me to make this movement to go beyond and reach the unknown, which can be me, the other or God.

I feel in Visitation in my place of apostolate, in the coordination for Justice and Peace, with the young people in the parish, in the village, in the vocational group and at the peripheries thanks to my openness to the different teachings from colleagues, my contribution toward the understanding of certain events, and learning the local language of the children. There is a dimension of communion that seeks to help the person stand up. I receive this immensity of love without charge.

The Visitation gives me a more familiar character of mutuality. It is a crossroads where there is a meeting between what I bring to the other and what I receive from my neighbour. Discretion in the mystery of the Visitation is fundamental. Following the example of Mary to her cousin, let us be women and men of Visitation for Mary visits us every day. It is a feast of countless visits, very simple. May God transform our short daily visits into Visitation.

Ndzana Nancy, CND

 

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