How can the Annunciation draw us closer to Christ?

A mother writing to her daughter reveals how Mary’s fiat leads us right to Jesus

SAN FRANCISCO — The ultimate “yes” to God is found in the account of the Annunciation, when Mary hands herself over to the will of God. We need to do the same, writes Sally Read in her new book, ANNUNCIATION: A CALL TO FAITH IN A BROKEN WORLD, and she tells readers how to do it, using Mary’s own words spoken to the angel Gabriel.

Written as thoughts from a mother to her daughter in a moment of questioning beliefs, Read, a Catholic convert herself, constructs ANNUNCIATION as a conversation, an intimate look at one of the most pivotal moments in human history.

Read is the author of three books of poetry, and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of South Dakota. She is a poet in residence of the Hermitage of the Three Holy Hierarchs, and lives near Rome. She also is a fellow of the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing at Birmingham City University, U.K.

Sensing the precarious nature of faith in an overwhelmingly secular world, Read, through meditation and anecdote, began writing down the compelling reasons for holding onto both God and Church. Taking the Annunciation as her template (that most fundamental “yes” to God), she explores common experiences of the spiritual life: His presence and invitation (“And He came to her”); the fears we have to let go of (“Do not be afraid”); the realization of our identity in God (“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord”) and what our vocation might be (“Let it be to me, according to your word”); and when God feels very distant from us (“And the angel departed from her”).

“If you ever wished for your own personal Road to Emmaus experience, this is the book for you,” Kendra Tierney, author of The Catholic All Year Compendium, says of ANNUNCIATION. “I felt as though Sally and I were sitting together in a charming Italian bistro while she was nonchalantly explaining all the complicated truths of our Catholic faith in a simple, conversational manner.”

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Sally Read, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or [email protected]) of Carmel Communications.

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