Monday, December 8, 2008

Praying to Mary

Many Catholics say the Hail Mary without much benefit. Yet others say it repeatedly as it provides them a perfect avenue into the heart and mysteries of Mary. Some recite it hurriedly without dwelling on the words they are saying. Whereas a select few have been known to begin simply saying the first two words: Hail Mary, and must stop as they are overwhelmed with her presence.

Just like the email someone sent me, perhaps the following may assist you to pray to Mary as a friend and confidant.

• One Hail Mary well said gives us more graces than a thousand that are said thoughtlessly.

• The Hail Mary is like a deep well that we can never exhaust. Our prayers can give God’s Mother great joy and obtain for us all the graces we need.

• St. Jerome tells us that “the truths contained in the Hail Mary are so sublime, so wonderful that no man or angel could fully understand them.”

• St. Thomas Aquinas, “the wisest of saints and holiest of wise men,” as Leo XIII called him, preached for 40 days in Rome on the Hail Mary, filling his hearers with rapture.

• Father F. Suarez, the holy and learned Jesuit, declared when dying that he would willingly give all the many learned books he wrote, all his life’s labors, for the merit of one Hail Mary prayerfully and devoutly said.

• St. Mechtilde, who loved our Lady very much, was one day striving to compose a beautiful prayer in her honor. Our Lady appeared to her and said, “Desist, dear child, from your labor, for no prayer you could possibly compose would give me the joy and the delight of the Hail Mary.”

• A certain man found joy in saying the Hail Mary slowly. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him smiling and announced to him the day and hour that he would die, granting him a most holy and happy death.

Once, our Lord asked St. Francis of Assisi to give Him something. The saint replied, “Lord, I can give you nothing for I have already given you all, all my .” said, “Francis, give Me it all again and again. It will give Me the same pleasure.”

So too with our Mother, she accepts from us each time we say the Hail Mary the joys and delight she received from the angel Gabriel. Many graces and joys filled the soul of Mary at that moment.

Now when we say the Hail Mary we offer anew all these graces and joys to Our Lady and she accepts them with great delight. In return she gives us a share in these joys.

(Thanks to Nick DiNunzio for forwarding this to me. Thanks to Sue Cifelli for letting me know that this was originally from her blog: I highly recommend her blog to everyone!)

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