In Silence and Waiting Is Our Salvation

The Annunciation by Fra Angelico

The Annunciation by Fra Angelico

In the midst of Lent, we celebrate the beautiful Solemnity of the Annunciation, the pivotal event which turned our world upside down, at least from our perspective. From God’s perspective, this was His plan all along, but if we stop and consider His plan - that the Divine would take on the flesh of a lowly creature, so as to secure their eternal salvation - it should leave us awestruck.

What was Mary doing in the moments just before the Archangel Gabriel appeared? Artists have usually depicted her doing ordinary things in serene silence - sewing, praying, reading (or in the East, drawing water). Ordinary, mundane things of life. But then, the announcement: she, full of grace, was chosen to be the mother of God. And then silence as heaven waited for her response. God awaited her agreement to this divine plan “because,” says Saint Thomas, “she represented the whole human race to whom God, in honor, left the merit of concurring freely in the work of salvation.”

Scarcely did Mary say her “Fiat”, when heaven descended to earth and men became capable of attaining Heaven - a moment unique in the world’s history. It is therefore not without good reason that on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, when mention is made of the Incarnation, we kneel, to give thanks to the great mercy of God, Who alone can work such miracles.

God forms an alliance with us through Mary. Yet we must understand, that which is done for us cannot save us without our own consent. God waits for us, for our humble concurrence to His plan for our lives. Through Mary’s intercession, may her humble “Yes!” become our own, and may her Son grow and be made manifest in our own hearts and lives.

Prayer: “O my God, You are Beauty, I am deformity. You are Light, I am darkness. You are Wisdom, I am folly. You are Life, I am death.” - Saint Catherine of Siena

Something to consider: It is tradition in the Church to stop three times each day and pray the Angelus, in the morning, at midday, and in the evening (usually about 6 a.m., Noon, and 6 p.m.). If you haven’t made this part of your daily devotional/prayer life, consider starting today (just schedule a daily reminder for the times you want to pray). For those of us who already practice this custom, we can ask ourselves, with what fidelity, devotion, and external reverence do I recite the Angelus?

Meditation quotes in part “March 25: The Annunciation” from Saints and Saintly Dominicans edited by Rev. Thomas a Kempis Reilly, O.P. (John Murphy Company, 1915).