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제목 About the Pray Hail Mary-22th Pent (2019-11-10)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2019-11-10


About the Prayer Hail Mary - 22th Pent (2019-11-10)


Introduction


We Catholics say very often the prayer Hail Mary. This is a very great prayer, but because of this frequent repetition, we might say it by rote and merit this reproach of Our Lord Jesus to the Jews: “This people honours me with their lips but their heart is far from me” (Mt 15;8). In order to help ourselves to maintain our devotion while saying the Hail Mary, I will speak about the meaning of this prayer, based on the comments of a spiritual Master, Rev Fr Jerôme, Cistercian.

 


Part 1: The Archangel Gabriel’s words to Mary


The first part of the prayer is made of the words which Archangel Gabriel used on the Day of Annunciation. “Hail Mary”. We start our prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary by greeting Her. After that greeting, when we pray alone, we should stop a few instants in order to give ourselves time to pay attention to Mary and to give Her the time to pay attention to us. Indeed, in that prayer, there are 2 people involved: She and I. But when we meet somebody and want to talk to him, what do we do? We greet him and wait for him to pay attention to us before we continue talking. The same with the Blessed Virgin.

 


“Full of grace”: St Bernard said “God has placed in Mary the fullness of all His goods. That is why all the graces which we receive come to us through her hands”. This fullness of grace in Mary means not only that all the spiritual riches but also all hope and joy and strength are in the Blessed Virgin. Remember this passage of the Ecclesiasticus applied to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and virtue” (Eccli 24;24). When we pray to Mary, we get in contact with Her fullness of grace, and we can receive from it any grace we need.

“The Lord is with Thee”: this statement means also by correlation “Thou art with the Lord”. If the Lord is with Mary, Mary is with the Lord. And therefore, when we are with Mary, we are necessarily with Jesus, Mary being the uniting link! See how absurd and contrary to the Holy Scriptures is the teaching of the Protestants who want to exclude the Blessed Virgin from their prayers as if She were an obstacle to go to Jesus! The best way to be united to Our Divine Lord is precisely to stay united to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Part 2: St Elizabeth’s words to Mary


After repeating the concise but meaningful words of the Archangel Gabriel, we continue our prayer using what St Elizabeth said under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost: “Blessed art Thou amongst women”. Among all humans and all Angels, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been especially blessed, loved by God. And by reason of this predilection, God created Mary in a dignity surpassing all. But specifically, we mention that She has been blessed among all women. Mary is a real woman. And what are the chief characteristics of a woman? To be a loving presence in the house, to watch over everything, to make people feel at home, asking in return for herself only the right to serve and to be loved. Mary is above all women without being different, is excellent without being incomprehensible. She loves us tenderly and is perfectly attentive to each one of us in order to make us reach our eternal home. In return, She only requests our filial love.

 


“And blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus”. A child is usually everything for his mother: she can forget everything, even her husband, for the love of her child. And we can understand this restricted attention. But for Mary, nothing like this: her motherhood to Jesus is the foundation of her motherhood towards us. Her maternal care has been extended from Jesus to all of us. Indeed on the Cross, Our Lord realized a wonderful substitution by these words to his Mother and to St John: “Woman, behold your son”, “Behold your Mother”: at that moment, we have become the children of Mary, the fruits of her womb, and now not only Jesus is blessed but we are blessed too, as far as we acknowledge ourselves to be the children of Mary.


 

Part 3: The Church’s words to Mary


Now, after repeating the greetings and praises of the Archangel Gabriel and of St Elizabeth to Mary, the Church carries on the Hail Mary, mentioning the great title of the Blessed Virgin, the foundation of all her privileges: “Holy Mary, Mother of God”. All the Mariology or science of the privileges of the Blessed Virgin is inside this title “Mother of God”. It is because she was to be the dignified Mother of God that God made Her be conceived without the Original Sin, be preserved from any personal sin, remain a Virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus, be the close associate of Our Lord Jesus in the work of Redemption, be preserved from the corruption of death and be assumed into Heaven, and now be the giver of all graces. To be the Mother of God makes Mary reach the borders of the Divinity: nobody is closer to God than Her.

As you can see, up to now in the Hail Mary, we have addressed a succession of compliments to the Blessed Virgin and mentioned the reasons of her great power: The Lord is always with Her; She is blessed among all women; Jesus the Saviour is Her Son; She is the Mother of God. Because of these titles, Mary can obtain absolutely any grace for us. So, now full of confidence to be granted, we can present our humble request to Mary: “Pray for us poor sinners”. Here we might be surprised: this our request sounds a bit too short and too simple! Compare for example with the charismatics who like saying long prayers... Actually, everything is included in this simple request to Mary: “Pray for us”. Indeed, when the Blessed Virgin prays for us, it means that She adores the Divine Will and asks God, by the merits of Jesus, to grant the graces which He already planned to give at Mary’s request. When Mary prays for us, she always asks and obtains the best for us. And that is why it is enough to say “pray for us”: all our needs are included in this.

“Pray for us now”. Here again, when you pray the Rosary alone, stop for a few instants: because the Blessed Virgin is now praying for you, getting for you all the graces you need now to please God, to grow in Faith, Hope and Charity, to fulfil well your duties, to resist this or that temptation, to face courageously this or that trial. You are under her maternal care and protection at that particular moment. So, don’t carry on too fast…

“And at the hour of our death”. We ask again and again the Blessed Virgin Mary for the grace of a good death, that is to say to die in state of grace. This grace is the one which validates all the merits of our life, which seals the defeat of the devil against us, which opens to us eternal life. It is the most important grace of all our existence. Nobody has a right to it, not even the greatest Saints: it is a pure gift of God. So, what can we do in order to secure the obtention of this grace? Nothing better than to beseech the Mother of God and our Mother. And we must be sure that if during our life here below, we stay close to Mary, She will certainly not abandon us at the time of our death, that crucial time of our existence.

This is how Fr Jérôme expressed his confidence in the protection of Mary: “My Mother during my long journey on earth and my Mother at the time of my last breath, I beseech you to wrap me in the fallout of your coat during this short moment, from which afterwards, being sure of having passed through the door, I will emerge out all the sudden, and you will hear my laugh, the laugh of a child who laughs and laughs because, thanks to the care of his Mother, he has been successful in everything”.


Conclusion


This prayer of the Hail Mary, so simple in its wording, is very deep in its meaning, very powerful. Let us never get tired of repeating the Hail Mary, especially in the Rosary. But when we feel some boredom invading our heart, let us meditate the meaning of each sentence. It will help us to revive our devotion, to make our prayer be a prayer, that is to say a true, confident and loving conversation with somebody real, alive and very much attentive to us: the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Fr. Demornex(SSPX)