Reflection for the Feast of the Annunciation
Sister Nicole Kunze, OSB, Prioress
March 25, 2022
As women of the Annunciation, today’s feastday is always special to us. This year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the decree that established us as an independent community in the Diocese of Bismarck, it is extra special.
With our community’s anniversary in mind, I think it is only appropriate to look at how both Saint Benedict and the Virgin Mary can assist us in leading a life centered on God and responding to the many ways He calls us throughout our lives.
Let’s start with Saint Benedict. There aren’t a lot of facts about his life, but there is much we can glean from the Rule he left us. It all starts with the very first word of the Rule – Listen. During every moment of our lives, we have so many noises coming at us. When that noise blocks out our ability to hear God’s voice in our lives, it is a problem. Benedict invites us to take the time to listen. We need to find noise-free times in our day where we can pause and let the voice of God enter into our hearts. We can’t answer God with our ‘yes’ if we aren’t able to hear what He is asking of us.
In the Annunciation, Mary’s example in her fiat, her yes to the Lord, shows us how to be open and available to whatever we may be called to do or be. The angel Gabriel reassured her in her moment of doubt, saying “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” The 140 sisters who volunteered to become the founders of Annunciation Monastery did not know what was going to happen, but each sister said “Yes” to God and worried about the details later. Those sister volunteers waited nearly 3 years for the decree to be approved. Would you or I have had that type of patience and trust? Or, would we have had the faith to trust this community would eventually start and jump into the formation process with them like Sisters Helen and Madonna did? All of these sisters trusted, much like Mary, that God would fulfill his promise and bring this good work to fruition. All of you sisters followed the example of these founders as you answered God’s call with your own ‘yes’.
As we celebrate and remember all the women, including ourselves, who answered God’s call with ‘yes’, let us also look forward and open ourselves to the calls and questions that God will continue to put before us. May we have the faith and trust to continue saying ‘yes’ to the Lord.