This morning at mass, I saw a group of elderly women sitting together. One by one, they had filed in- greeting eachother with laughs, hugs and big smiles. They rather loudly complimented outfits, and asked how all the relatives were. Throughout the mass, I noticed many similarities between them and my girlfriends and I. At times they struggled to hold back giggles, like when one woman's phone went off- not out of mockery, but simply from an overflowing joy. The abundant joy that comes from being with dear friends, especially when worshipping the Creator.
It reminded me of today's feast, the Visitation. The apostle Luke recorded the beautiful moment of their greeting, when "...Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy..." Friendship between women is a special gift. It's one of self-sacrifice, as Mary displayed when she travelled pregnant, to assist her cousin. It's one of joy, as seen in the above verse: where baby John literally leaps for joy in his mother's womb, in the presence of Mary.
Female friendships are a particularly special, safe place to discuss girly things: clothes, baby names, hairstyles, etc. But it is also a unique haven for the development of those feminine traits; the eye for beauty, the skill of nurturing and cultivating... Friendships as women, with women, are a holy gift.
We were made for feminine companionship.
Happy Feast of the Visitation! 🤍