In the intimacy of a bedchamber
              Your soul is awakened from sleep,
             Fragile flesh before angelic brilliance.
           Your rumpled night sheets tossed aside,
          You listen in peace with your whole self.
           To the question that will define history,
             Holding its breath for your answer,
                        All heaven pauses.

                   “LET IT BE DONE TO ME…”

                              Here it begins,
                      In such utter simplicity,
            In quiet strength, at the appointed hour,
          With the rippled rungs of time at your feet,
        And the broad lines of history at your back.
          At the balance of His grace in your will,
           Eve reborn, humanity to be redeemed
                Through a child, from a virgin
                       Whose name is Mary.

This poem is based on the painting The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner, housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

—Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ, is a retreat master, writer, and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. His weekly video reflections can be seen at



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