Monday, 26 March 2012

The Feast of the Annunciation

File:Paolo de Matteis - The Annunciation.jpg
 (The Annunciation by Paolo de Matteis 1712, St Louis Art Museum)

This is today's thought from the World Community for Christian Meditation:

"She (Mary) was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the angelic message and could not understand the meaning of what was happening to her. We long for something to happen, for God to appear to us, for reality to flower in our lives of expectation and frustration. And when it does we can hardly recognise it and wonder what it really means. There are no final answers and the desire for God, for the everything we need, can never satisfied. We cannot equal the gift. That is why humility is wisdom.

All we can do is give up own point of view and learn to see everything from the perspective of the giver. But then we feel as if we are being annihilated. The ego begins to campaign for its rights. So we try to let God be the true centre while retaining a bolthole for our own self-centredness. The absurdity of this and the frustration it involves may take a long time to become evident.

Mary struggled and yielded her perspective as every loving parent, every loving person knows they are called to do. Her fiat, let it be done to me as you have said, was simultaneously a defeat and a victory, a collapse and a breakthrough, a death and the beginning of a new birth beyond the cycle of death and rebirth.

Our mantra is our fiat. Let it be."

Being deeply disturbed by God is an experience we share with Mary.  That sense of confusion at where and how we are being called to be, is part and parcel of the Christian vocation.  But self-surrender is no easy option - our ego sees to that.  For me, the "Yes" that Mary uttered must have been preceded by an experience like that of  the Patriarch Jacob wrestling with that angel!

File:Jacob Wrestling with the Angel.jpg

 (Jacob wrestling with the Angel, Gustav Dore)
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
And the revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
"Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"
(Orthodox Troparion of the Annunciation, attributed to St Athanasius)

No comments:

Post a comment