Sunday of Advent
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
18th December 2016
Mary's Wild Tranquility by Archbishop Fulton J Sheen
If a woman played such a role in the fall of mankind, should
she not play a great role in its restoration? In the
fullness of time an Angel of Light came down from the great
Throne of Light to a Virgin kneeling in prayer, to ask her
if she was willing to give God a human nature. Her answer
was that she "knew not man" and, therefore, could not be the
mother of the "Expected of the Nations". There never can be
a birth without love. In this the maiden was right. The
begetting of new life requires the fires of love. But
besides the human passion which begets life, there is the
"passionless passion and wild tranquility" of the Holy
it was this that overshadowed the woman and begot in her
Emmanuel or "God with us".
At the moment that Mary pronounced Fiat or "Be it done",
something greater happened than the Fiat lux ("Let there be
light") of creation; for the light that was now made was not
the sun, but the Son of God in the flesh. By pronouncing
Fiat Mary achieved the full role of womanhood, namely, to be
the bearer of God's gifts to man.
There is a passive receptiveness in which woman says Fiat to
the cosmos as she shares its rhythm, Fiat to a man's love as
she receives it, and Fiat to God as she receives the Spirit.
There is an undetermined element in human love. The parents
do not know whether the child will be a boy or a girl, or
the exact time of its birth, for conception is lost in some
unknown night of love. Children are later accepted and loved
by their parents, but they were never directly willed into
being by them.
But in the Annunciation, the Child was not accepted in any
unforeseen way; the Child was willed. There was a
collaboration between a woman and the Spirit of Divine Love.
The consent was voluntary under the Fiat; the physical
cooperation was freely offered by the same word. Other
mothers become conscious of motherhood through physical
changes within them; Mary became conscious through a
spiritual change wrought by the Holy
Spirit. She probably received a spiritual ecstasy far
greater than that given to man and woman in their unifying
act of love. As the fall of man was a free act, so too the
Redemption had to be free.
What is called the Annunciation was actually God asking the
free consent of a creature to help Him to be incorporated
into humanity. What God did, therefore, was to ask a woman,
representing humanity, freely to give Him a human nature
with which He would start a new humanity. As there was an
old humanity in Adam, so there would be a new humanity in
Christ, Who was God made man through the free agency of a
human mother. When the Angel appeared to Mary, God was
announcing this love for the new humanity. It was the
beginning of a new Earth, and Mary became a flesh-girt
Paradise to be gardened by the Adam new. As in the first
garden Eve brought destruction, so in the garden of her
womb, Mary would now bring Redemption.