Today, in hiddenness and smallness, the axis-tree of the world is replanted in an abyss of light. It is the Annunciation.
Yes. Our Lady says, Yes. And she becomes the gateway by which the Kingdom breaks through, after the long and longing years that would not relent.
In her, the Word is made flesh, God dwells among us in the blood and germs of human life. Now all of our words and all these mundane actions of ours must become fit to say, “God,” to each other.
One of my favorite mystics, Caryll Houselander, reflects on the import of this day:
“To put aside suddenly every motive except this single one, the forming of Christ in our life, is not so easy for ordinary people who are to remain ordinary.
“The surrender we shall make will ask…hard things of us straight away.
“The first of these hard things is that through being wed to the Spirit, we shall receive the gift of understanding.
“In the world in which we live today, the great understanding given by the Spirit of Wisdom must involve us in a lot of suffering. We shall be obliged to see the wound that sin has inflicted on the people of the world. We shall have X-ray minds; we shall see through the bandages people have laid over the wounds that sin has dealt them; we shall see the Christ in others, and that vision will impose an obligation on us for as long as we live, the obligation of love; when we fail in it, we shall not be able to escape in excuses and distractions as we have done in the past; the failure will afflict us bitterly and always.”
Our pulse must beat from the hearts of the New Adam and the New Eve—broken hearts, full hearts, passionate hearts. And beatitude will blossom in our mourning.
In Tennyson’s “In Memoriam,” Canto V, he speaks of “that large grief” in the soul, which he implies is shared with the soul of the world. In the dark, a candle is lit. God whispers to your heart—and a Yes means all is changed.
Happy Annunciation to you all!