If you long for a better understanding of the Blessed Virgin Mary … if you desire a deeper relationship with God … if you are searching for just the right words to help lead your children to the faith … author Sally Read’s Annunciation: A Call to Faith in a Broken World (Ignatius Press) is the book for you.
The book is a spiritual love letter to Read’s daughter, Flo, who experienced God’s distance in an acute way the night before her first Holy Communion. “I want the party more than Communion,” her daughter lamented. “Maybe I shouldn’t do it.”
In that moment, Read writes, “I was a sad inquisitor in the lamplight by her bed — tiredly torn, like the mother of the bride when the cake has been iced and the feet have turned cold.”
Read finds that an event in the life of the Blessed Mother — specifically, the Annunciation, where Mary learns she will be the mother of the Savior — is the perfect launching pad for her attempts to communicate the love of God to her daughter.
As Read notes, “A priest once told me that every Communion is a mystical experience. It is true: our Mother said yes to her own extraordinary encounter so that you can encounter him too.”
The author uses verses from the Gospel according to Luke as a gateway for showing how God worked in Mary’s life on earth and how he continues to shape the lives of the rest of us.
For instance, the chapter entitled “And he came to her (Luke 1:28)” speaks of how God comes to us … the “merciful gift” of prayer … and the importance of “knowing God’s eyes” are on each of us individually.
Another chapter, “Do not be afraid (Luke 1:30),” speaks of how God revolutionizes suffering…how he is the “ultimate artist” who “completes everything we have the courage to begin.”
The fact that Read leaves the book as a legacy for her daughter is incredibly touching. The writing is exquisite — it is as if each word is a pearl on a necklace fashioned by someone passionately in love with God and deeply enamored of her daughter.
Read points out that Pope Paul VI once spoke of Christians having a double heart — one natural, the other supernatural.
She goes on to write, “What affects us here, in this life, doesn’t have to cancel out the bliss that is unleashed within us knowing that God is with us and loves us and that life extends beyond the here and now.”
Such wisdom makes Annunciation: A Call to Faith in a Broken World a beautiful gift for those struggling with hardship, but desiring to hold onto their faith in our troubled times.
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Copyright 2019 Maria V. Gallagher