“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O full of grace! The Lord is with you.’ But she was shocked (διεταράχθη) by his word and pondered (διελογίζετο) what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus…’” (Lk 1: 26-31)
The All-Holy Virgin is deeply disturbed, even shocked, by the angel’s greeting. But She does not immediately say anything. She rather “ponders” what it might mean, and listens to what he has to say next. This is the reaction of one Full of Grace: She takes pause and listens, because grace places space between Her instinctive disturbance and Her words.
Today let me open up to God’s grace, and ask for His power to put space between my instinctive disturbances and my words/actions. Let me take pause, when I see or hear anything disturbing, “pondering” first and speaking next, or being silent next. Let me let God’s grace quiet my thoughts, if they rush to judgment, and hand over judgment to God; Let me let God’s grace soften any “feelings” of discouragement or dissatisfaction, before they develop into full-blown self-pity or resentment. Like opening a window and letting in some fresh air, let me detach myself a bit today from disturbances, and let God’s grace into the picture of whatever is going on. “By the prayers of the Theotokos, Saviour, save us.”