Careen into grace

by Fr. Jeff

I’m enjoying my reading of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I came across these lines tonight:

There was something awful and revolting in the memory of what had been bought at this fearful price of shame. Shame at their spiritual nakedness crushed her and infected him. –Part II, Chapter 11.

The allusion to Genesis is clear. She is not in a situation where she “felt no shame” (Gen. 2:25). Instead, her conscience echoes back to the Fall:

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel. –Genesis 3:15

Anna feels alone and full of shame. Like Eve, she said “yes” when she shouldn’t have.

Today we celebrate a different “yes.” On this feast of the Annunciation, we remember the “yes” that repairs shame and crushes the iniquity that infects Anna Karenina. Teach me to trust in You so that I may 

careen into grace.