Mary is the most comforting of all the Advent figures. The Word became flesh, and in the holy place of a motherly heart the earth gave birth to a world of God-humanity. What good does it do us to sense and feel our misery unless a bridge is thrown over to the other shore? What help is it to be terrified at our lostness and confusion unless a light flashes up that is a match for darkness and always is its master? What good does it do us to shiver in the coldness and hardness in which the world freezes as it goes deeper astray, unless we also come to know of the grace that is mightier than the peril of oblivion?

Advent’s holiest consolation is that the angel’s annunciation met with a ready heart in Mary.