Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Annunciation

The Annuncation, by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898, oil on canvas
When the angel spoke, God awoke in the heart of this girl of Nazareth and moved within her like a giant. He stirred and opened His eyes and her soul and she saw that, in containing Him, she contained the world besides.
The Annunciation was not so much a vision as an earthquake in which God moved the universe and unsettled the spheres, and the beginning and the end of all things came before her in her deepest heart.
And far beneath the movement of this silent cataclysm Mary slept in the infinite tranquility of God, and God was a child curled up who slept in her and her veins were flooded with His wisdom which is night, which is starlight, which is silence.
And her whole being was embraced in Him whom she embraced and they became tremendous silence.

-- Thomas Merton
The Ascent to Truth (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1951, p 317)

HT to Jim Forest


  1. Thank you for this.
    PS: The painting is great - and new to me.

  2. Thank you. Have a blessed nativity and may your journey be as our Lord's from god to god from light to light

    Br. William

  3. Difficult to believe but the writing is lovely.


From Dorothy Day’s editorial in the Catholic Worker on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.