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, VICWe know the scene: the room, variouslyfurnished,almost always a lectern, a book; alwaysthe tall lily.Arrived on solemn grandeur ofgreat wings,the angelic ambassador, standing orhovering,whom she acknowledges, a guest.But we are told of meek obedience. No onementionscourage.The engendering Spiritdid not enter her without consent.God waited.She was freeto accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.Aren’t there annunciationsof one sort or anotherin most lives?Some unwillinglyundertake great destinies,enact them in sullen pride,uncomprehending.More oftenthose momentswhen roads of light and stormopen from darkness in a man or woman,are turned away fromin dread, in a wave of weakness, in despairand 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