As we try to continue our self examination and honour the discipline that we have taken on during Lent, into the midst of it comes crashing a Feast of immense proportion.
As Catholics, we believe wholeheartedly in the idea of life begins at conception. Thus, the Mystery of the Incarnation begins here. Why are we not engaged in the same feasting as we are at Christmas or on the Day of Resurrection? Should we not suspend the fast for this most glorious celebration?
There are those who could make a good argument that we should, and it is perhaps best to leave that to their consciences and those who accept their reasons. Eating and drinking to the Lord are always acceptable, and above custom, rule, and praxis. However, many instances of Christian piety would tell us to continue the fast in preparation for Paschaltide.
The Annunciation puts the Rose among the purple. In the time of our fast, we see that young virgin meekly accept the Archangel and his message, and agree to nine months of taking care of herself and thus the little one slumbering in her womb. From this moment, her body is not her own and she must live a life in respect of that. Likewise, we know that we are temples of the Holy Ghost and therefore not our own person. Indeed, it is that own person that we actively seek to crucify with Christ in order to rise with Him.
This is not an occasion for feasting. It is about a re-committing our very selves to bearing Christ in our hearts, striving to bring Him to birth in our lives. It is a time for purification, so that the focus of our lives is on the presence of the Holy Ghost within us and obedience to the Divine Will. Our Blessed Lady was indeed pure at this annunciation, and continued in that purity for her life, It is the same challenge that we must face in a world which seeks to rob us of that purity by distraction, and corruption.
Yet, while we still fast, we can rejoice! for joy is not a virtue that originates in the pleasures of this life, but bursts through the fleeting happiness caused by food, drink, and artificial merriment. In the midst of our purple, we can cultivate that Rose! We can still breathe in that glorious scent of sanctity that pours forth from all things holy. We can still look upon the face of our Lord and see that incarnation in its entirety from conception to death, resurrection, and ascension, and weep with joy that, in the midst of our purple, He planted the rose of Salvation.
We look at a world constantly falling to rack and ruin in the constant rejection of the beauty of Our Lady which gives unequivocal testimony to the fact that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!
Let us continue in our fast until Resurrection Day so that we see the rose in the purple, and then bring it through the blackness into the golden light of Eternity. Then we shall enjoy God's creation in our feasting, for it will be transformed by that Life beyond life.