Thursday, October 29, 2020



Yes, there were other things that I foreknew
but could not bear to tell, seeing her eyes, -
knowing what two-edged anguish Joseph’s heart
was aching from.  For when I prophesied[1]
the sword of sorrow piercing Mary’s soul,
His arms yearned toward her, just as though he said,
“Not while I live to shield!”  But yet he spoke
no word, for Joseph is a silent man.
Such suffer most; I could not bear to say
the half of all I might have prophesied.

I told her of her own sharp sword of woe:
she only looked down at the Babe and smiled;
she scarcely seemed to heed; but had I told
what sword will pierce His Heart one bitter day,
she would have fallen there in the temple court
death-smitten with grief – and so I could not bear
to tell the half of all that I foreknew.

Just as she offered me her turtle doves,
(the price of Him they prized), and reached to take
back to her tender, mothering arms again
her Treasure - and the world’s – my mind’s eye saw
a thing that chills my very blood to tell:
There in the temple court a creature stood,
in form a man, but beast or devil, which,
I know not.  Gropingly, as one insane,
he flung a gift of silver down and cried:
“I cannot take this money, for it burns
my very soul! .... the price of innocent Blood!”[2]

But when I looked again, I only saw
the mother smiling down upon her Child –
and Joseph near them ... No, I could not bear
to tell the half of all that I foreknew.                                     

Sister Mary of the Visitation                                         
Magnificat.  February 1944        

[1] Luke II:25-38
[2] Matthew XXVII:

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