A Meditation on Henry Ossawa Tanner's 'The Annunciation'

Yet you do not blink.
In the intimacy of a bedchamber
Your soul is awakened from sleep,
Fragile flesh before angelic brilliance.
Your rumpled night sheets tossed aside,
You listen in peace with your whole self
To the question that will define history.
Holding its breath for your answer,
All heaven pauses.
LET IT BE DONE TO ME
Here it begins.
In such utter simplicity,
In quiet strength, at the appointed hour,
With the rippled rungs of time at your feet,
And the broad lines of history at your back.
At the balance of His grace in your will,
Eve reborn, humanity to be redeemed
Through a child, from a virgin
Whose name is Mary.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The committee “will focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in our Church.”
Michael J. O'LoughlinAugust 23, 2017
During an exchange with a nun at a town hall, the Republican leader of the House argued that government is ineffective in fighting poverty.
Michael J. O'LoughlinAugust 22, 2017
I wondered if it is because he sees the unseen that his prayer was slower, perhaps more sincere than mine.
Louis TemplemanAugust 22, 2017