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Something to think and pray about this week

I’ve often thought about the angel coming to Mary. Our feasts and songs and icons celebrate the Annunciation. But I’d never thought about the moment when it was all over. I can only imagine it was something like what writer Annie Dillard experienced when she looked out on what she imagined was a field of angels. “I stood in pieces,” she writes, “afraid I was unable to move. Something had unhinged the world.” Later she describes the grave and stricken silence, the “unbearable green” and the “God-blasted, paralyzed” fields. People always comment on the bravery of Mary’s yes. I never quite understood this. Wouldn’t anyone say yes to an angel? But it seems unspeakably brave when I picture that later moment, when Mary stood before the God-blasted, paralyzed day and watched the angel depart.

—Excerpted from 2017: A Book of Grace-Filled Days by Amy Andrews