Week 2, Day 1
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Servant of God’s Word
Scripture reading from the Gospel of Luke 1:26-38 – The Annunciation
Imagine yourself praying in your room; suddenly, an angel appears to you with a request from God. Would you be scared, surprised, shocked? Probably all of the above. What would you say to the angel? Would you say yes to the angel’s request?
Renewing our Faith
Mary is our model of faith: Her response to the angel, who announced that she would conceive and bear a son who would be the savior of the world, is perfect. Mary spent her whole life preparing for that day. She most likely prayed, read the sacred scriptures, followed God’s commandments, and dedicated herself to God’s service on a daily basis.
When God speaks to you and asks you to do something great for Him, will you be ready to say yes?
There are many prayers that we recite each day–the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and many others–but do we really think about the words that we are saying when we pray these prayers? The Our Father is the prayer that Jesus taught us. It is the perfect prayer for us to pray; but, if we just repeat the words, then we accomplish very little. These prayers are meant to bring us closer to God. We must think about the words we are saying when we pray. The goal is not to quickly recite the prayers and finish our prayer time. The goal of all our prayers is to grow in our relationship with God and get to know Him better.
Who wrote the Hail Mary? – The angel Gabriel wrote the first part at the Annunciation, “Hail Mary, full of grace“. St. Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the second part at the Visitation, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb“. Then the Church added the name of the fruit of her womb, “Jesus”, and continued with a prayer for her assistance, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen”.
When we pray, we must contemplate the words we are saying. What does it mean to contemplate? It means that we spend time thinking about the words we are saying, spend time with God – more than we need to, an excessive amount of time – just being with God. Our time of prayer is more than us doing something–talking or reading scripture–we also need to be quiet and listen for God to speak with us. God is speaking to each of us all the time, but we spend too much time talking and not enough time listening.
What is distracting you from hearing God? Answers will vary, but common distractions are the TV, electronics, cell phones, sports, friends, being too busy.
In our daily life, we seem to want to constantly be entertained by something. Using TV, music, and games, we are always trying to break the silence and fill it with noise. How can God get our attention and tell us what He wants us to hear if we never stop and listen to Him speaking?
Homework: Write down the Our Father and identify the different parts of the prayer. One part is a prayer of adoration, one part is a prayer of petition, another is praise, and another is intercession. The Our Father is the perfect prayer, the very model of prayer. We can write our own unique prayer based on the parts of the Our Father.
The words of the prayer are important, but the relationship with God is more important. The end goal of all prayer is a better relationship with God. We need to spend time with Him: this is the only way we will build the most important relationship of our life. Then we will be ready to do whatever God is calling us to do. We will be ready to say Yes to God, just like Mary did. She can help you to be ready. Just ask her to show you the way.
Daily Pious Practice Reminder
- Choose a verse from the bible to read and think about each day.
Eternal and All-Powerful Father, by faith you reveal to us what our eyes cannot see. Like Mary, may we keep your word planted in the good earth of our hearts, so that by your Holy Spirit it may bear its fruit in our lives. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reflection based on Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, edited by Fr. Nathan Cromly.