The Annunciation

The Annunciation, 1898 by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Philadelphia Museum of Art

In honor of the Blessed Mother, we offer these prayers and reflection.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary, Virgin and Mother,
you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
welcomed the word of life
in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes”
to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

–Pope Francis,  Evangelii Gaudium, excerpt

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I believe Mary is the model for being used by God. Mary recognized the gift perfectly. As you see in her Magnificat, God is doing all of this.  Mary just allowed it to happen. And we, just like her, are just standing here saying: “Let it be done.” All we can do is let it happen. So the language of Mary is the language of allowing, receiving, surrendering, trusting.

  –Richard Rohr, OFM

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Mary of rattling tea cups and homemade cookies
Mary of open door, open hearth, open heart
Queen of warmth and hospitality
Mary of varicose veins and chapped hands
Strong, fragile woman
Vulnerable, unshakable woman
Believer in love, reality, people, God
Back stooped and ear bent in listening to life’s stories and to the giver of life
Stubborn fidelity to life in the face of death
Unflinching spirit that stares light into the darkness of the tomb
Heart that breaks and pours love over the thirsty earth
Missing her son when he is gone to another home
Looking up in the sudden expectancy of hearing his voice
Smiling wryly to herself and waiting
Waiting, gestating the kingdom once more
Growing in expectancy of second birth – this time her own
The moment of reunion rushes to meet her with open arms
And their laughter rocks the universe
Sending happy shock waves to echo in our dreams
Tugging our reluctant mouths into smiles of hope and anticipation
Amen, it will be so, Amen.

–Rev. Edward Farrell, Gathering the Fragments, Ave Maria Press, 1987)