Monday, December 19, 2011

Hail, space for the uncontained God!

So, in the words of the sixth century Greek Agathistos Hymn, the angel came to Mary.  The final and great visitation as we wait expectantly for God to act in our midst.    And the imagination conjures with pictures of great angelic visitations;  of that messenger of God that displays itself in the majesty of Gabriel –

When Gabriel hit the bright shore of the world,
Yours were the eyes saw some
Star-sandaled stranger walk like lightning down the
The morning the Mother of God
Loved and dreaded the message of an angel.
(Thomas Merton: The Messenger - 1941)

But, suppose it wasn’t like that, no ‘Star-sandaled stranger’ come from God.  That Mary spoke her fiat mihi we believe.  Yet what was the cause of her Yes to God?  Her willingness to become ‘space for the uncontained God’ who visited her with power from on high is echoed in the lives of thousands who in faith and trust, open themselves to life.  For life.  And wait.

And that waiting! 

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
(T.S.Eliot: East Coker – 1941)

Yet we are not to wait alone, forsaken by God.  In all this waiting we have to have our eyes fixed on God to be ready for His coming into our open space.  When God is ready.  Perhaps that’s the most difficult thing, for so often we want to be sure, now, that our fiat has been heard.  That God will act in us that we might be theotokos.  Yet Mary waited and we must wait even though, at times, faith and hope and love might seem impossible and, like her, turn and turn again to our ever-present yet seemingly absent God.

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.

No comments: