How to Pray the Angelus (The Angel of the Lord)

Are you familiar with the Angelus? Traditionally, Catholics pray the Angelus three times a day: 6am, 12pm, 6pm. Some Catholics pray the prayer just at noon, which is great too.

How to Pray the Angelus

Image by karigamb08 (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

This prayer is so beautiful and would make a great personal novena. If you are looking to sneak in some prayer into your busy schedule, this would be a great prayer to start with.

The Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace…

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary, full of grace . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary, full of grace . . . 

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, 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. 

The Immaculate Conception

Today, December 8, is the glorious solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It is a day that all Catholics should celebrate with joy and thanksgiving because this amazing gift to Mary is also a gift for us!

Immaculate Conception

Image by Murillo (1678) via wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

What is the purpose of the Solemnity?

This solemnity celebrates the great grace given to Mary in virtue of the fact that she was to be the mother of Our Savior: She was conceived without original sin.

We are all born with original sin thanks to our first parents, Adam and Eve. At baptism original sin is washed away. But for Mary, she was freed from original sin at the moment of her conception.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in articles 490-493:

“Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135

The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137″

This is a wonderful mystery that we would do well to meditate upon. I encourage you to go deeper into this mystery and for more information you can go here.

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31 Days of Prayer – Hail Mary

Piggybacking off of yesterday’s post, I want to encourage you to say the Hail Mary slowly and reflectively.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Cradle-Catholics are taught the Hail Mary at a young age and it is one of those prayers that are recited mindlessly. Yet, it is one of the most powerful prayers we can pray! Popes, saints, and others have written endless pages about the efficacy and power of the Hail Mary. There are even promises attached to praying the rosary.

The rosary is also scriptural. The first part (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee) comes from the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she is the bear Jesus, the Lord. The second part (Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus) comes from the Visitation when Mary went to her cousin, Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist.

The last part of the rosary (Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death) is our petition to Mary and asking for her intercession for our needs now and when we die.

Let us, today and every day, pray the rosary with attention and focus:

Hail Mary, full of the grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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.”

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31 Days Writing Challenge

Catholics and the Rosary

Rosary and bible

photo credit: Courtney Emery via photopin cc

In a previous post, I explained a little about the Catholic’s devotion to Mary. This week I want to write a little about the Rosary. Actually, a lot can be, and has been, said about the rosary and in an upcoming post I will point you to some resources that do a good job explaining why we pray the rosary.

However, before  I do, I want to point out one thing: Although we direct many of the prayers to Mary, the rosary is all about Jesus and meditating on the life of Jesus – and based on the Bible.

Let’s take a look at the mysteries of the rosary: During the Joyful mysteries, we meditate on the birth and early life of Christ, from when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would conceive a son, to the visitation to Elizabeth where John the Baptist “leaped for joy,” to the birth of Jesus, to His presentation in the temple and finally to His being found in the temple by Mary and Joseph.

During the Luminous mysteries, we contemplate Jesus’ public life. In the first mystery we think upon Jesus’ “baptism” by John. In the second we meditate on Jesus’ first miracle at Cana and the third mystery is centered on the proclamation of the kingdom and call to conversion. In the fourth mystery we meditate on the Transfiguration of Jesus and in the fifth we meditate on the Institution of the Eucharist.

The Sorrowful mysteries are centered on the suffering and death of Jesus. In the first mystery we accompany Jesus during his Agony in the Garden. In the second mystery we meditate on Jesus’ flagellation at the pillar. In the third mystery we see Jesus as he is mocked and receives the Crown of Thorns. In the fourth mystery we join Jesus as He carries His cross and in the fifth mystery we meditation on the Crucifixion and  death of Our Lord.

Finally, the Glorious mysteries allow us to rejoice in the great mysteries of the Resurrection (decade one) and Ascension of Jesus (decade two). In the third Glorious mystery, we meditate on the Descent of the Holy Spirit. In the fourth and fifth Glorious mysteries we honor Mary as she is Assumed into heaven and Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

I also want to encourage you to take a closer look at the prayers of the rosary. The Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Glory Be and even the Hail Mary are God-centered and Christ-centered prayers.

Even the Hail Mary is focused on Jesus. The first part of the Hail Mary comes from Gabriel’s greeting to Mary (from the gospel of Luke) and Elizabeth’s cry of joy (“blessed is the fruit of thy womb). In the second part of the prayer we are asking her to pray for us, just like we would ask our own mother to pray for us.

It would be impossible to expound on the rosary in this short post, but I hope you can begin to see how rich and Christ-centered the rosary is and why it is such an important devotion to Catholics. In tomorrow’s post I will share some links on the rosary that I trust you will find helpful.

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Catholics and the Rosary

Did you realize that the Rosary is all about Jesus? It is!

Our Lady of the Rosary

The Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers we Catholics can pray. A lot has been written and preached about the rosary and it is an integral part of our Church History.

Our Lady of the Rosary

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This particular feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was instituted by St. Pius V because the Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto was attributed to the praying of the rosary.

Sadly, there is a lot of misconceptions about the rosary and it isn’t always an easy prayer to pray. It can seem monotonous at times but the purpose of the rosary is to mediate on the life, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus. When prayed properly, and in the right spirit, the rosary can lift our hearts and souls to God. In fact, the rosary is so important, there are 15 promises attached to the rosary (as Our Lady revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche).

By the way, are you familiar with the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary? It is also known as the Altar Rosary Society and is world-wide. Most churches have an Altar Rosary Society and if there is one in your area, you should consider checking them out. I recently found out about them and joined the group in my parish. They do a lot of wonderful things for the church, both physically and spiritually.

So, on this beautiful feast day, don’t forget to take time to pray this most efficacious prayer! For more information on this feast go here and here.

God bless!

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