So reads a responsory which, in the Liturgia Horarum, comes after the first reading of the Office of Readings on March 25.
Why did our Lady fear the light? Where does the detail come from?
The responsory was taken over from the old Breviary, so we don't have to wonder about on what grounds to criticise Bugnini & Co.. I tried the Protevangelium Iacobi, in case it has its origin in an apocryphal source, but no luck there.
The Latin has "expavescit de lumine" - which isn't quite the same. But what is the point, anyway, of this vivid little detail?
Could it be to provide a narrative reason as to exactly why our Lady was afeared? Perhaps it originated in a culture in which Angels did not (yet?) have the iconographical convention of big give-away wings, and so Light (rather than feathers) was how their presence was known.
In C S Lewis's interplanetary novels, the Oyeresu are described as manifesting themselves as pulses, scarcely perceptible rods, of light.
One of Lewis's motives in writing his interplanetary romances was to rescue Christianity from Religion (a point which, I think, Rowan Williams makes). Perhaps he felt that Angels, in particular, need to be rescued from the culture of the Primary School Nativity Play and the Victorian church window.
And perhaps, during this Mary Month of May, we might wonder if the Theotokos, also, needs to be rescued from Religion so that an apostate world can see her in her great might as a mega thauma, and wonder at her Immaculate Heart, and tremble?