And She Conceived by the Holy Spirit: A Reflection on the Annunciation

The Angelus

Wherever you live, chances are you hear the church bells from time to time.  Perhaps you’ve grown so accustomed to their gentle pealing that you don’t even notice—but Catholic churches ring their bells three times each day:  at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 6:00 p.m.It’s called The Angelus—a call to prayer.  The Angelus is a traditional prayer to Mary, the Mother of God, which consists of three short “versicles” and responses, with three Hail Mary’s and a special concluding prayer.  The custom i … [Read more...]

A New Look at the Annunciation

The Annunciation - John Collier

Hail Mary, full of grace.On March 25—exactly nine months before Christmas—the Catholic Church commemorates the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish girl and told her that God would like her to be the mother of the Savior.  “How can this be,” Mary responded, “since I know not man?”Contemporary artist John Collier tells the story of the Annunciation in a fresh way in this painting, which can be found in the narthex of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in McKinney, Texas … [Read more...]