Sunday, March 25, 2007

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Another Solemnity to celebrate!

A Solemnity is a feast on a par with a Sunday and when said Solemnity falls on a Sunday, observance of it is moved to the next day, for a couple of reasons: first, Sunday always trumps all other feasts. Secondly, this is too important a feast to be completely trumped.

So, here we are, observing the Annunciation on the 26th, rather than on the usual day of March 25th. As in the case of the Solemnity of St. Joseph last Monday, we interrupt this Lent to bring you glad tidings of great joy.

I love this sane and balanced attitude of Mother Church. Although we are exhorted to sacrifice during Lent, "Mom" never lets us forget that our Lord is risen indeed, and even during a season of penance and self-examination, there are days on which we are fairly commanded to celebrate. Being an obedient Catholic, that is exactly what I will do.

A couple of ideas to consider:

Consider doing a spiritual adoption of a child conceived at this time of year, and in danger of abortion. No, you don't know the child's name, but that child is out there. (It was my friend Andrea who first introduced this idea to me when I was a new Catholic.) Then, pray for that child through the nine months from today until Christmas day (don't forget to point out to your children that the Annunciation is celebrated exactly nine months before Christmas.) At Christmas time, donate baby items to a crisis pregnancy center (some parishes do spiritual adoptions as parish-wide prayer project, holding a "baby shower" during Advent to collect needed items for donation.)

Or, consider "adopting" a child through a child-sponsorship program, such as this excellent Catholic organization: The Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, through which individuals and families can sponsor children, the elderly or a religious vocation candidate.

However we observe and celebrate this feast, I pray to remember the lesson that is at its core: Mary's fiat ... her "yes" to the Lord.

Where am I withholding my fiat? Is there something I need to say "yes" to that I'm resisting? If so, I pray that the Lord will grant me to grace to say, with Mary, "Let it be done to me according to Thy Word."

(The painting is "The Annunciation" by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1859-1937. There are so many incredible, beautiful pieces of art from which to choose for the Annunciation -- just Google "Annunciation" under "images" -- but I love the portrayal of the angel in this one, as something that is beyond our vision and comprehension.)


Margaret in Minnesota said...

I, too, love the image you chose for today's feast!

And your suggestion that we spiritually adopt a child is excellent. We always pray Fulton Sheen's prayer after every decade (I think it's his prayer, anyway) of "Jesus, Mary & Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn child, whom I have spiritually adopted and who is in danger of abortion."

Have a blessed Feast, dear Karen! Hugs to all.

Kristen Laurence said...

Have a wonderful Feast today, dear Karen! I love the idea of the spiritual adoption of a child in danger of abortion. Had it not been for blogging (and your blog), I would not have known about it. Thank you.

BTW, did I tell you the only reason there's a crown of thorns on my dining room table is because of the wealth of information on this beautiful blog?? I really can't thank you enough, dear friend! :)

Matilda said...

I chose the same picture! I had never seen it before I Googled it this morning and now I just love it!

Thank you for the spiritual adoption idea. We will most certainly make time to do this today!

Suzanne Temple said...

This is a great collection of links and ideas, Karen. Thanks for putting it together.

Dawn said...

Wonderful post, Karen! A blessed feast to you! :)

Karen E. said...

Margaret, I love the Fulton Sheen prayer!
Kristen, you're too kind. A picture of your crown of thorns, please? :-)
Dawn, Suzanne, and Matilda - thank you!

Alice said...

Beautiful, Karen, particularly the Spiritual Adoption.