The Visitation – Histories, Hands, Sons Intertwined

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have come to know the meaning and the consequences of ‘social distance’. At best, we have been allowed to constitute a small group – a bubble – of family or those with whom we normally share our lives. If it is true that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ then there are many hearts experiencing the prolonged absence of physical contact.

This Christmas, how many grandparents are longing to hug their grandchildren and to feel their hugs in response? So much is communicated in a touch that words cannot express. The French Christian philosopher, Jean-Louis Chrétien, suggests that the first evidence of the soul is the sense of touch. And while it is said that hearing is the last of our senses to go in death, touch is surely the first sense we register when we are born. The most natural desire is for a mother or father to embrace their new-born child. That first touch communicates welcome and recognition, it is security and safety, it is the beginning of an independent but connected life. We see it again and again running through all the representations of the nativity, but is it also central in the scenes of the visitation.

Source: Thinkingfaith

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