In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O full of grace (κεχαριτωμένη), the Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.” (Lk 1: 26-29)

Mary was not an un-reflecting kind of person. She was “greatly troubled” by, and “considered in her mind,” what in the world an angel, – yes, an angel, no less, – was talking about. She needed to know more, because the “greeting” made no sense in the context of Mary’s life-experience thus far.

I’m thinking about this today, because I just read something that disturbed me in the works of the famous psychologist, Karl Jung, about us church-people often having “un-reflecting faith.” This is what Jung observes: “The Churches stand for traditional and collective convictions which in the case of many of their adherents are no longer based on their own inner experience but on un-reflecting faith, which is notoriously apt to disappear as soon as one begins thinking about it.” I was disturbed by Jung’s observation, because I think he is right. I mean, it seems to me he is right as far as we, the people of my Church today, are concerned.

I’m consoled, however, by the example of the Blessed Among Women, in those early times of our “traditional and collective convictions,” when the Holy Virgin was being introduced to them. She does “consider in her mind,” and have questions, but also has an open heart to the replies of God’s messenger, Gabriel.

So let me not hesitate today, to “consider in my mind” what it is God is telling me through His many messengers, including the people and situations He sends my way. This does not have to be a complicated process, in connection with His grace, when I connect with Him in heartfelt prayer. It is simple, even though it is not easy. Let me have an open heart to God’s replies, in my God-given conscience.

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