From The Joy of Full Surrender
The power of the Most High will overshadow you, said the angel to Mary. This shadow, behind which is hidden the power of God for the purpose of bringing forth Jesus Christ in the soul, is the duty, the attraction, or the cross that is offered to us at each moment. These are, in truth, only shadows like those in nature that, like a veil, cover the objects of our senses and hide them from us. In the same way, in the moral and supernatural realm, the duties of each moment, like dark shadows, conceal the only thing that should hold our attention: the reality of God’s will in them. This was the way Mary perceived them. As these shadows spread themselves over her mind, far from deluding her, they only increased her faith in the One who is unchanging and unchangeable. Withdraw, Archangel! You are only a shadow. Your moment has passed. You have delivered your message and you are gone. Mary passes beyond you without stopping. The Holy Spirit, with whom she has been filled under the outward appearance of your words, will never leave her.
There are remarkably few extraordinary events in the exterior life of the holy Virgin. At least there are none recorded in Holy Scripture. Her life is pictured as outwardly very ordinary and simple. She did what others in a similar state of life might do, and suffered what they might suffer. She went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. Other relatives do that, too. She took shelter in a stable as a result of her poverty. She returned to Nazareth, from which she had been driven by the persecution of Herod, and lived there with Jesus and Joseph, who supported themselves by the work of their hands.
Such was the daily bread of the holy family. But what a divine nourishment Mary and Joseph received from this daily bread for the strengthening of their faith! It was like a sacrament to make all their moments holy! What treasures of grace lay concealed in these moments under the guise of the most commonplace events. That which was visible might happen to anyone, but the invisible, when understood and discerned by faith, was no less than God himself working great things. Bread of angels! Heavenly manna! Pearl of great value! Sacrament of the present moment! You bring God under the poor and humble appearance of the manger, the hay, and the straw! But to whom do you give him? “He has filled the hungry with good things,” (Luke 1:53). God reveals himself to the humble in the lowliest things; but the proud, who attach importance only to outward appearances, cannot find him even in great things and are sent away empty.