3 Quick Takes on Catholic Prayers

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Image by Sharon Rayner

Image by Sharon Rayner

1.  We Know the Enemy

As conscience rights and religious liberty have become increasingly under attack in our country, the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, has reinstituted the lost practice of reciting the St. Michael prayer after the conclusion of each Mass said in our diocese. Over the years, several different versions of the prayer have been learned by the faithful, such that certain parts of the prayer often seem mumbled or garbled when prayed out loud by a group. Examples of the variations include:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our (protection, safeguard, defense) against the (wickedness, malice) and snares of the devil. May God rebuke (restrain) him we humbly pray. And do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the (Divine) power (of God), (thrust, cast) into hell Satan, and (all) the (other) evil spirits, who (prowl about, roam throughout) the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

But there’s one thing I’ve noticed that seems to happen every time: everyone comes together in a very definitive cadence on the word Satan. It’s always a hard stop. We know the enemy.

2.  It’s (almost) All Good!

There are four types of Rosary mysteries that we are called to meditate upon—and only ¼ are sorrowful. The rest are joyful, luminous, or glorious—it’s almost all good! And in the end, after we’ve lived out our own life’s version of the sorrowful mysteries, it is all good. Thanks be to God.

3.  Like Son, Like Mother

The Hail Holy Queen prayer, traditionally recited at the end of the Rosary, uses many adjectives to describe the virtues of Our Lady.

Hail Holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus. O clement, o loving, o sweet virgin Mary.

But if you capitalize the adjectives, they describe Our Lord!  She is the mother of Him, Who is perfect Mercy, Life, Sweetness, Hope, and Advocate. So when we meditate using the Hail Holy Queen, we can reflect on the unique human unity of Christ and His mother. Mary didn’t create His perfect virtue, but she certainly nurtured it as He grew from a Child into a Man in her home. So as we meditate, we can also reflect on how we nurture virtue in our children.

May God abundantly bless your prayer life!

 

Copyright 2015 Sharon Rayner
Image created by Sharon Rayner in PowerPoint using free clip art from clipartpanda.com

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