"Enfold me too in Love's last mystery..."
You bore for me the One who came to bless
And bear for all and make the broken whole.
You heard His call and in your open 'yes'
You spoke aloud for every living soul.
Oh gracious Lady, child of your own child,
Whose mother-love still calls the child in me,
Call me again, for I am lost, and wild
Waves surround me now. On this dark sea
Shine as a star and call me to the shore.
Open the door that all my sins would close
And hold me in your garden. Let me share
The prayer that folds the petals of the Rose.
Enfold me too in Love's last mystery
And bring me to the One you bore for me.
by Malcolm Guite
This beautiful sonnet by the English poet and priest Malcolm Guite captures the essence of today's celebration of the Annunciation, the commemoration of Mary's yes to God's will. Nine months from today will be Christmas, our celebration of the birth of Christ. It's all very neat and tidy date wise, but that is how we do things in our human chronos time.
There is nothing neat and tidy, however, about the conception, birth, life and death of Jesus the Christ. Just like there is nothing neat and tidy about our human journey. Many of us long for Love's last mystery to take away the sting of death and the pain of heartbreak. This day someone is mourning the loss of her daughter who took her own life, even as the mother remembers her daughter's birth. And another holds on fiercely to her beloved husband who battles pancreatic cancer, though he is beating all odds. Another young mother and child seek shelter from an addicted husband and father who is blinded by the demons of addiction. And two who love each other deeply are denied the sacrament of matrimony because they do not look like other couples. We "are lost, and wild waves surround <us> now."
So it is fitting that we pause to remember the Annunciation, how it all began, how Mary became God-bearer, how the greatest act of Love came into the world, as we pray that we will be "enfolded in Love's last mystery."
...especially this week as we are reminded of how humankind crucified that Love, that one "who came to bless...and make the broken whole."
Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation, 1898,
Oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art