Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Monday, March 26, 2012

Solemnity of the Annunciation, 2012



For this beautiful feast, we would like to share a meditation written by Sr. Mary Dominic and given at our Solemn Chapter on March 24!

When we think of the Annunciation, perhaps most of us call to mind the delicate brush of Blessed Fra Angelico, the artist. The Angel with colorful wings...and the innocent Mary--meekness filling her eyes and arms crossed in the form of humility. She questions the angel who appears to her in radiant light, "How can this be done since I have not known man?" She knows that the Lord is all-powerful, that he is sovereign over creation, she does not question in the spirit of doubt. The question comes instead from the fullness of her faith. She seeks to understand God's meaning, to know how this will be possible. Perhaps she thinks of St. Joseph and their betrothal. The angel responds to Mary's question; he tells her that the birth will come through the Holy Spirit. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." (Luke 1:35) But what does it mean to overshadow? It may remind us of the Holy Wind, the Ruah that swept over the face of the deep at the creation of the world. Or the breath that swept across the face of Adam: "The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7) St. Paul explicitly ascribes to the Spirit the power of resurrection (cf. Romans 8:11). And there is the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel's wasteland--also a prefigurement of the resurrection--written in spirals of dust and sand. (Ezekiel 37:3-5)

There are few words in the Scriptures regarding our Blessed Mother. She remains obscure and delicately veiled in the archives of her secret union with God. She all but disappears in the cast of characters that the New Testament brings forth. Yet that is the strength of the Blessed Mother. God finds her in her littleness, her smallness, in the pondering of her heart and in the quiet fervor of her love. Her power is made perfect in weakness.

 In considering the words of the Lord, did Mary perhaps look back on her people's history? Before her irrevocable "Yes", did she remember Esther standing before King Ahasuerus, providing the means to save her people from annihilation through the strength of her words--her "yes" in obedience to God's grace?

And so, she consents...by faith offering her life to God by the words, "Be it done unto me according to Thy will..." (Luke 1:38) Like her, we are asked to say the same. To give our consent to the will of God even though we may not know every ramification that is asked of us.

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