As I was laying in bed at 4:30 AM, I continued to contemplate something about the Annunciation. The fact that I am a Catholic blogger and I don’t know what to write about it and I have to get up and go to work at 9:30 AM. So instead of laying in bed sleepless and restless, I decided to take a hot shower and contemplate what to write about. Sitting in the shower on a chair with hot water running over me is my thinking and prayer space. No distractions from media or the internet to disrupt my thoughts. Just me, God, and hot water.
I had several ideas run through my head and decided that the easiest and quickest way to contribute something significant to Mary’s Magnificat and maybe get some more sleep, was to share some profound thoughts on the topic from others who have already thought long and hard on the topic and given us great spiritual insight.
9 thoughts for the 9 shopping months till Christmas.
These thoughts are taken from a variety of different Catholic sources consisting from left, right, conservative, liberal but all from baptized Catholics who believe that the Angel Gabriel came to Mary and she said Yes and at the moment the Word Became Flesh and dwelt among us.
To start off and keep in mind, these historic events took place on the day of the Annunciation.
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS ON MARCH 25
708 – Pope Constantine becomes the 88th pope. He would be the last pope to visit Constantinople until 1967.
1925 – Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an Catholic Southern American novelist, short story writer and essayist. She wrote two novels and thirty-two short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. Watch the PBS documentary on her life.
1927 –Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (4 October 1843 – 25 March 1927) was a Palestinian Christian nun who founded the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem (the Rosary Sisters), the first Palestinian congregation. She was canonized on May 17, 2015.
And Now the Meditations/Quotes
We call Saint Joseph, in hymns and in devotional prayers, the “comrade of angels” not only because of his angelic purity but also because, according to Saint Matthew’s account, angels were Saint Joseph’s counselors and guides. To Joseph the angel spoke in a dream the commands of God, and guided his steps in safeguarding the earthly life of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His most holy Mother. It is worth noting an important distinction in dignity between the immaculate Virgin and her humble spouse. Whereas the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Our Lady and solicited her affirmative reply to God’s plan of salvation, an unnamed angel appears to Saint Joseph, but only in a dream. This arrangement is significant: the Virgin Mary is requested to make a reply, namely to pronounce her fiat, thereby allowing the Incarnation to take place within her. Saint Joseph is neither consulted nor asked to fulfill a role. He is given a command and he fulfills it.
Father Thomas Kocik, When Silence Speaks Volumes: A St. Joseph’s Day Reflection (March 19, 2017) OnePeterFive
Within the Gospel of Luke, written around 80-100 C.E., we meet Mary as a young virgin betrothed to Joseph. The Annunciation story, only 12 verses long, not only defined Mary as obedient to the will of God but became a scene reimagined both in visual illuminations and written devotional materials. Luke was often referred to as “the painter of the Virgin” because he supplied the most details about Mary and became the model upon which others built to characterize the Mother of God.
When the “Anno Domini” calendar was first introduced in 525 C.E., March 25, which would later become the date of the feast of the Annunciation, was made the first day of the year. Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian monk, argued that this event commenced the age of grace. The first recorded instance of its celebration was at the ecclesiastical Council of Toledo in 656. Today, the feast of the Annunciation is observed throughout Christianity, including within Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Catholicism and Lutheranism.
Vanessa R. Corcoran, A pregnant pause: Mary and the Annunciation (November 30, 2018) America
Mary is told she has been chosen to be the Mother of God (not that God was to have a beginning as God, but that he would have a beginning as a man). Something the whole world is said to have been waiting for is now happening, or will happen, in her, the entrance of God into his Creation. In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Sam and Gollum arrive at the fires of Mt Doom to destroy the One Ring, the very thing all Middle Earth has been, perhaps unknowingly, been longing for since Sauron made it. In both cases an appointed time has come.
David Russell Mosley, Fiat and Doom, Mary and Frodo: Feast of the Annunciation and Destruction of the Ring (March 25, 2014) Letters From the Edge of Elfland @ Patheos Catholic
All art, however obliquely, points to the truth of the human condition and its need for redemption. Ultimately, this truth is answered in the Truth of the Incarnation and, therefore recalls that moment when the Mother of God said ‘Yes.’ It was that “Yes” that brought with it the possibility of heaven. So the Annunciation marks the moment when the real “stairway to heaven” opened before us: that is, through the Mother of God, a heavenly gateway as sweet as it is real, a “stairway” that does not need money to access for that pathway has already been bought with the Blood of her Divine Son and Savior.
K.V. Turley J.R.R. Tolkien, Led Zeppelin and the Annunciation (March 25, 2020) National Catholic Register
Contemplating God’s many gestures of love can lead us to a greater desire of becoming a special part of His mission. However, fear of the unknown can keep us from seeing how to do so.
Can you imagine the courage it took the Virgin Mary to say yes to God when she heard the good news from the Angel Gabriel?
Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Annunciation painting portrays Mary’s moment of ascent in a bold new way. Tanner takes this familiar episode and strikes a new chord by filling the scene with bold and passionate colors of red and yellow. Mary is suddenly awakened to hear God’s call. Notice how Tanner captures Mary just as she is “awakened” to see the light of God’s love. Despite her fear, she is facing it with eyes wide open. She does not hide as she listens to the good news of God’s mission for her life. The red surrounding her is a symbol of her passion for God’s call.
Like Mary, God’s message of hope can attract and repel us when it challenges us to rise higher than we think possible.
Jennifer Rundlett , 3 Paintings every Catholic should meditate on during Advent (November 11, 2019) Aleteia
In The Spirit of Liturgy, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) explained, “Jewish tradition gave the date of March 25 to Abraham’s sacrifice… This day was also regarded as the day of creation, the day when God’s word decreed: ‘Let there be light.’ It was also considered, very early on, as the day of Christ’s death and eventually as the day of his conception..” This date is also the officially celebrated Feast of the Annunciation, the celebration of the Incarnation, Mary’s fiat.
Considering its importance in Jewish and Christian tradition, it feels natural that Tolkien chose for March 25th to bear such significance to the history of Middle-Earth. Two major events took place on March 25th: first and foremost, it is the date on which the One Ring is inadvertently destroyed by Gollum; and later, it is also the date that Elanor the Fair is born.
Kaitlyn Facista, Why March 25th Might Be The Most Important Date of all History Tea with Tolkien
Fr. Damian Ference An Incarnational Day: The Annunciation, Flannery O’ Connor, John Paul II and Priestly Formation (March 25, 2015) Word On Fire
1642 Sir Isaac Newton (d. 1727)
1717 – Pope Pius VI (d. 1799)
1821 – Clara Barton, American nurse and humanitarian, founder of the American Red Cross. (d. 1912)
1890 – Robert Ripley, American anthropologist and publisher. (d. 1949)
1899 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor (d. 1957)
1924 – Rod Serling, American screenwriter and producer, who created The Twilight Zone. (d. 1975)
1946 – Jimmy Buffett, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor.
1949 – Sissy Spacek, American actress
1954 – Annie Lennox, Scottish singer-songwriter and pianist