Friday, March 4, 2011

The Angel of the Lord

In January, I put in a bid for a large writing and publishing project like the one my company just completed for Massachusetts General Hospital. I knew we were strong contenders for this contract involving a major private school but I didn’t know the competition, and in such cases you can never be sure. This week, the school contacted me, asking for more details, and told me a final decision would be made next week.

I slept poorly last night, waking up at midnight and again at 4 a.m., so by 11:40 this morning I was ready for a break, which quickly looked like it was turning into a nap on my office couch. But as I began to doze, near noon, I realized that the Angelus would be ringing from our church steeple across the street and I wrestled with my better angel about whether, if I heard the Angelus, I should interrupt my nap and sit up to recite the prayers.

I was somewhere between here and nowhere when the bell rang, and after a moment of indecision, I sat up on my couch and began:

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
And she conceived by the Holy Spirit. . . . 

I was somewhere near the end of the Hail Mary, when another bell started ringing: The telephone. I finished the Hail Mary as I walked to the phone and checked the caller ID. It was the school.

Forgive me, Father, but I interrupted the Angelus and answered the phone. “Congratulations,” the school archivist said. “We‘ve decided to award you the contract. . . . ” We talked for ten minutes and I agreed to e-mail a draft contract on Monday. We said good-bye and I continued:

Pray for us O Holy Mother of God . . . 

The unbeliever will call this sequence of events mere coincidence. As a believer, I am not sure about that.

Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Mariam.


  1. beautiful. thanks for sharing. And congratulations.

  2. On a totally separate note, I discovered this blog while looking for something entirely different. This man sells books for university presses and I thought of you when I read this thoughtful post. Looking at small details in life and finding meaning..


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