January 10, 2022 • 8 min
I explained one perspective of the Our Father yesterday, and I think I have some useful thoughts on the Hail Mary too, that I’d like to share with you. And some more examples of how to meditate on the Rosary which I thought of today.
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with Thee.
This is a greeting. When we pray the Hail Mary, it’s a social event! We’re greeting another person. “Hail” was the old fashioned word for greeting someone formally, and we start off with that to honor her.
Now, who is worth socializing with? People socialize with those who made them happy to be around, these are their friends. Or with anyone who we might receive some benefit or advantage from by being around them. Or with relatives, because it’s who they were born into the world with, and often who we bonded together with in hard times.
All of these are most true of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She will make us the happiest to be around, because she is the best possible friend we can have, being “full of grace.” Being near her will give us the most advantage, for “the Lord is with” her. And she was given to us as our Heavenly Mother by Jesus on the Cross, so she is our relative.
Blessed art Thou among women,
And Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.
And why are all these things true about Mary more than anyone else? Because she’s the most blessed by God. And why? Because she’s the Mother of God, she was found worthy to bear the Word Incarnate in her most chaste womb for 9 whole months. This is her “heavenly credentials” so to speak.
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
The first half of the prayer should convince our hearts to trust her, to love her, to realize that God loves her, and that God listens to her attentively.
So what do we do now? Start asking for favors! I mean, if you knew the mother of a King personally, and you were poor, wouldn’t you go visit her? And you’d address her formally in her honor, but since you were good friends for decades, you could also ask her directly for favors, completely trustingly.
We may not have been great friends with Mary, but she is loving and sweet, and will overlook that as long as we’re going to try being her friend now.
Just think of that! Mary, the Mother of God, wants to be our friends! Us! Wow. What honor, what kind of compliment can any person on earth give us that equals this?
Now, and at the hour of our death.
There’s two times we most need her help: now, and the hour of our death. Why not all the times in between, you say? Because all those will eventually become “now” at some point. But after we die, there will be no more time to ask for help. So we’d better ask “now”!
I personaly believe she also interprets this as spiritual death of mortal sin, and even for one Hail Mary, she will give some graces to those who have fallen into mortal sin, or even have gone into complete spiritual blindness and apostasized, so that these poor souls will have some opportunity of coming back to Jesus.
Okay. I told you about the Hail Mary, but I promised also to tell you some examples of praying the Rosary.
Consider today’s mysteries, the Joyful ones.
“Help us to be pure and chaste” because Mary and Joseph were pure virgins, pure of heart and mind and body and soul, and a Virgin Child was born from this virgin marriage, and especially this Immaculate Virgin.
“Help us to be devout and pious” because she was reading the Bible prayerfully when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her.
“Help us to be humble and obedient” because she did not respond with false humility by rejecting God’s offer, but simply said “behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word.”
“Help us to have Jesus in us wherever we go” because Mary went to visit Elizabeth while Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, was within her body, heart, and soul.
“Help us to help others in their need” because Mary went to visit Elizabeth as soon as she found out this elderly relative of hers was pregnant, and stayed with her most of the time of her pregnancy to help in all her needs.
“Help us to sing your praises” because that’s what Mary and Elizabeth did, they sung God’s praises. That’s how they socialized. Isn’t that a wonderful way to socialize? Talking about football can get old, and not everyone likes the same video games or movies, but everyone can have loving God in common, if only they try.
“Help us to offer all our gifts to you” because the Kings from the East brought Jesus all their gifts.
“Help us us to bear you to full measure in our souls” because this is the whole point of Christianity: that Christ is finally born in our souls just as he was born into the world.
“Help us to worship you with revence and awe” as the shepherds must have reverently listened to the countless choirs of angels singing God’s praises that Holy Night that Christ was born.
“Help us to be diligent” because Mary and Joseph, being poor, had to offer the birds as their gifts, and I bet they caught them themselves, being young, healthy, and active. Plus they journeyed that whole way.
“Help us to offer You everything we have” because Mary and Joseph offered Jesus to God the Father, since every child—and everything we have—belongs more to God than to us.
“Help us to hide our gifts” because Mary did not need to do the ritual purification because of her great privilege of being the Virgin Mother, but she went anyway so nobody would know until the right time. God will have us use all our gifts one way or another, but we spoil them by revealing or using them too soon, or for personal advantage such as flattering words of others (which isn’t actually an advantage in reality, but so many people think it is that I mention it here).
Finding in the Temple
“Help us to diligently strive to find you whenever we lose you” in case we fall into mortal sin or spiritual blindness, because Mary and Joseph worked hard to find Jesus as soon as they found out He was not with them.
“Help us to listen to your wisdom with simplicity of heart” because Jesus was teaching even the teachers in the Temple, asking them questions in apparently the Socratic method, and St. James says that if anyone asks for wisdom, he will receive it as long as he has a simplicity of heart and intention.
“Help those who are separated from you and each other to be reunited with you and with each other in you” because Mary and Joseph found their whole happiness in having Jesus and each other, and each other with Jesus. To be united with one another is not always a good thing, but is most blessed and happy and good when we are united with Jesus, and then with each other in Jesus and with Jesus and through Jesus.