The Annunciation

The Annunciation by D. Werburg Welch
The Annunciation by D. Werburg Welch

Loveliest of all Marian feasts, the Annunciation reflects  a moment of unequalled faith, both on the part of God and of Mary. That God should put such trust in humanity, and Mary such trust in him! One cannot fail to be encouraged. We are, as Hopkins rightly perceived, not mere carbon but immortal diamond, capable of holding within ourselves the immensity of God.

I think it is the little details of the story that make such an impact. We see Mary almost thunderstruck by the angel’s message. As so often, awe comes out of a dazed kind of doubt or disbelief. A momentary questioning, followed by a wondering acceptance of so great a destiny. How many of us would be reckoning our lost hopes and fears rather than embracing what God asked of us?

Mary is a model for all who would be contemplatives in the way in which she treasures things in her heart. She is a model for every Christian, male or female, in her readiness to embrace the demands of the Word. On this day, above all others, she is a reminder that youth can do great things for God, that age and experience count for nothing beside love of God. It is a day for wonder and gratitude, a day for reaffirming our love and trust. It is also a day for rejoicing that God has such great love for us.


9 thoughts on “The Annunciation”

  1. ‘Loveliest of feasts’ -yes, and for me the feast with the loveliest images- da Vinci, Botticelli, Crivelli and the rest.
    Thank you for introducing me to this image by Werburg Welch. I am always fascinated by the two spaces depicted; the space occupied by the Mary and that occupied by Gabriel. Here the angel’s wing and the virgin’s foot both delicately cross over to the other’s realm.
    Thank you too for explaining the digital widgets generated by our names.

  2. The depiction above is one of my favourites. D.Werburgh grasps the importance and significance in a spiritual icon of prayer.
    I think that Mary’s dowry should return to the ancient custom of a Holy Day of Obligation, perhaps our Bishops may be enlightened one day, soon.

  3. A bit late on yesterday’s post–especially enjoyed the radio spot. I think it gave you a chance to explain the vision of HMT and what you are trying to accomplish with your on-line retreats . It is about the outreach and providing others the space and the support for prayer and reflection.

    On the larger issue of the fund raising –I can’t imagine that is an easy thing to do. It must be hard to put yourselves out there to ask for financial support. But how are you going to be able to add new sisters to the community or offer in person services to others if you do not have the financial means to support those efforts?

    So thank you for all you do and for sticking your necks out to do the hard work of fundraising. I hope things go well and in a time frame that works well for you.

  4. I very much like your comment that youth can do great things for God. I wish we would say that more often. Of course, it often takes a life time to grasp the meaning of Mary’s yes. But that a young woman, possibly nearly a child even, would take on such a mission… Wow…

    Thank you. And yes, great illustration!

  5. Thank you for your comments. D. Werburg was a wonderful person. (We went to the same school about 67 years apart and played our own private version of ‘old school tie’.) Her artistic career was not without its difficulties: she even came under papal censure for being too ‘modern’ and the frontispiece she designed for a history of Stanbrook got cut out by the papal penknife!

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