Annunciation

A Call to Faith in a Broken World

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Sally Read converted from atheism to Catholicism when her daughter Flo was only four, yet from the beginning Flo accompanied her closely—sharing her excitement, discoveries and passion, yet aware that old friends and family did not share their beliefs. This consciousness of ‘two worlds’ led to a great many questions in Flo, and some rebellion—which culminated two nights before her First Communion in suddenly questioning whether she should receive the Sacrament at all.

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).

Drawing on Scripture, lives of the saints, and the lives of people she has known personally and professionally as a nurse, Read shows how God is with us  always—through suffering, spiritual dryness and depression, as well as in joyful and mystical ways. This book was inspired by a mother’s loving response to a daughter—but what has resulted is something that will speak to any believer engaged in the bliss and bewilderment of a relationship with God.

Sally Read

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

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