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Before he spoke I saw

every possible future

in the visitor’s light

including that which would be

the way.

There was no ‘Hail”

(though I love the prayer),

no “Fiat” spoken,

though it was that my whole being cried out;

all this was later translation, rendering and rendition

of what in the instant was a singular breathing

a transparent passage

a Communication heart to heart:

he knew

I understood

and the whole was new.



“Hail” there was, and “blessed” too, and “Fiat” as well, and

it is only in recalling that it is all condensed

to the absolute


In any event, it was.


(J. McGinty, Annunciation 2015)

The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner (1898)
The Annunciation,
Henry Ossawa Tanner (1898)


A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.

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