HEAVEN AND HOME ARE NOW ONE
Ah, the Feast of the Annunciation! The joyous celebration of the single most important moment in history that was to decide our fate, the instant when Our Lady said "yes" to being Jesus's mother and God's Son was conceived in her womb. Mary's Creator grew in her when He was tethered to her uterine wall by umbilical twine because she had consented to be His Mother.
As a means of celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation, I've gathered some pieces of gorgeous poetry and sublime insights from the Saints and some of our great writers that pay tribute to Mary and in particular her Fiat.
St Thomas Aquinas: "At the Annunciation the Virgin was asked to give her consent in the name of the whole human race."
Pope Leo XIII: "The eternal Son of God, having willed to assume man's nature for his redemption and glory, and thereby to contract a mystic marriage with the whole human race, would not bring these espousals about until Mary, acting on behalf of humanity, had given her free and untrammeled consent."
St Anselm: "God's mother is our mother, too. The mother of Him in whom alone we hope, whom alone we fear, is our mother. We have for our mother the mother of Him Who alone can save us, who alone will be our judge"
St John Henry Newman reminds us of the prophecy of Isaiah, "He has sent His Prophet to announce to us, "A Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel", and we have the same warrant for hailing her as God's Mother as we have for adoring Him as God."
St Bernard: "The Word is coming, but Mary is the way whereby He comes."
St Augustine: "By what homage can human frailty ever sufficiently acknowledge that it owes Heaven to thee!"
St Bernard: "The state to which God exalted Mary in making her His mother was the highest state which could be conferred on a pure creature; so that he could not have exalted her more."
Padre Pio on Mary: "She spurts like a ray of light from the thought of God. She shines like the Morning Star over the whole creation."
Pio also said, "All grace passes through her hands" which was also taught in an earlier age by St Bernard, "As every mandate of grace sent by a king passes through the palace gates, so does every grace that comes from Heaven to the world pass through the hands of Mary."
Caryll Houselander: "It is upon her that the Dove descended, and the love of God for Humanity culminated in the conception of Christ in the human race."
Sister Mary Julian Baird's poem on The Annunciation made it real for me that for Mary when she conceived Our Lord, "Heaven and home" became one, "Nazareth was home to her, until an angel voice shook down the stars and Love's wings shadowed the sun. Heaven and home are one now; exile is not. Light dwells within her: wherever she walks is God."
St Ambrose: "Adam from the virgin earth, Christ from a virgin."
St Irenaeus: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied through Mary's obedience, for what the virgin Eve tied by incredulity, the Virgin Mary unloosed by faith"
May I wish you and yours a very happy Feast of the Annunciation! May we all sing as our forefathers did when they offered The Gaelic Litany to Our Lady:
O Sign of Tranquility.
O Mother of Orphans.
O Solace of the Wretched.
O Beauty of the World.
O Ladder of Heaven.
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The first classic painting was executed by John William Waterhouse, the second by Leonardo Da Vinci. Sister Mary Julian Baird's poem The Annunciation is taken from The Refuge of Beauty.
Caryll Houselander's lyric is found in The Reed of God.
Padre Pio's ecstatic words of praise for Our Lady were recorded by intrepid author, Maria Winowska, during Pio's lifetime and published in her book, The True Face of Padre Pio.
Much of this post was furnished by Fairest Star of All, a carefully curated selection of poetry and praise to Our Lady compiled by Francis Edward Nugent.