What Kinds of Annuniciations Have You Experienced?

This is an excerpt from the poem “Annunciation” by Denise Levertov. I read this poem last advent when on a wonderful Advent Retreat with Michael Fish, OSB Cam, at Santa Sabina Center in San Rafael, CA. The poem can be found on the Education for Justice website.

‘Hail, space for the uncontained God’
From the Agathistos Hymn, Greece, VIC

We know the scene: the room, variously
almost always a lectern, a book; always
the tall lily.
Arrived on solemn grandeur of
great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or
whom she acknowledges, a guest.
But we are told of meek obedience. No one
The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.
God waited.
She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.

Aren’t there annunciations
of one sort or another
in most lives?
Some unwillingly
undertake great destinies,
enact them in sullen pride,
More often
those moments
   when roads of light and storm
   open from darkness in a man or woman,
are turned away from
in dread, in a wave of weakness, in despair
and with relief.
Ordinary lives continue.
God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.
Source: “Annunciation” from The Stream and the Sapphire, by Denise Levertov. New York: New Directions Publishing, 1997
Let not the gate close
Let not the gate close

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