Note: As a personal, spiritual discipline, I write a prayer for each of the forty days of Lent; each petition focusing on a theme, truly, relating to a care or concern weighing on my mind and heart, at times, vexing my soul and spirit…
On The Annunciation: O Jesus, as Gabriel, messenger of God, appeared to Your Mother-to-be, the Blessed Virgin Mary, saying, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you” and proclaiming Your coming birth, may this angelic announcement rekindle my faith that You, through Your Spirit, are conceived in the womb of my soul and that, in my living and doing, I may bear the likeness of Your lovingkindness in the world. Amen.
Illustration: The Annunciation (1898), Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937). Of the many, nearly countless depictions of The Annunciation, I favor Tanner’s, in historical part because he is one of the first African American painters to gain international renown and in artistic part because of his imaginative visualization of the angel Gabriel not in human form, but rather as a vertical white line of celestial luminescence and of Mary with a posture and countenance that capture her wonderment in doubtful expectation.
 See Luke 1.26-38