In the evening, as I stood in the garden at Girard watering the plants after a dry spell, I could hear the Basilica bells ringing out the Angelus — that lovely prayer that Catholics pray 3 times a day.
As that sound echoed across the city to our monastery, as a reminder I began:
“The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary…..”
At that moment the tiniest bird I had ever seen landed in the stream of water that my sprinkles created and began a splashing bath.
Could the Holy Sprit take such a small form?
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Hail Mary….”
A young mother carrying her infant walked by and greeted me.
“Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Hail Mary….”
My prayer was made real by the shouts of angry voices on the corner.
And so I concluded, as we always do in the morning and at noon:
“Pour forth, we ask you, Oh Lord, thy grace into our hearts; that we to whom the incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of the Angel, may, by his passion and death be brought to the glory of the resurrection.”
The flowers stood straighter, the hastas seemed sturdier, the impatients were more colorful.
Where was that tiny bird? Where was that young Mom going? What hushed the angry voices?