Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Solemnity of the Annunciation

Another Solemnity to celebrate!

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 other ideas to consider:

Read these beautiful words from St. Bernard, "Arise, hasten, open."

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.)


Faith said...

the Right to Life group at our parish does this spiritual adoption. I think it is a wonderful idea.

Happy Feast of the Annuciation!

Leonie said...

Thank you for the link to the words of St Bernard!

Karen Edmisten said...

i love that picure!


Anonymous said...

Um, that painting is one of my hands- down all time favorites. So simple and beautiful.

If you visit my blog, you'll see it's place of prominence. :)

Thank you for the St. Bernard poem.