A few months ago, I found a copy of this delightful painting in a thrift store and I was so excited! It reminded me that I had heard of the Angelus prayer but I knew very little about it. The Holy Spirit must have known I needed a nudge because he also put a little book in my path. Praying the Angelus by Jared Dees found its way into my hands and I knew God was leading me to this prayer.
Since I took art history in college, I have always loved The Angelus painting. This was many years before I would become Catholic. I have always been drawn to its simplicity. There is something moving about these two peasants praying in the middle of a field. I look back and see how God was able to touch my heart even when I was turned away from Him.
First, I wanted to learn more about the Angelus, and Jared Dees’ book was just the thing. It’s a small book so I was able to satisfy my curiosity quickly! I really appreciated Jared’s openness about how he too felt called to this prayer and yet he struggled at first to make it part of his daily life.
He’s honest right up front: “Praying the Angelus is a discipline.”
But then he gives us a beautiful reason for persevering in the practice.
“Each time we stop what we are doing and pray; we reorient our lives and our time toward God, the source of our lives and the inspiration for our work.”
I was most impressed by how he explains that praying this won’t solve all our problems.
“Many (perhaps most) people who take up these practices soon find disappointment and boredom in them. Feeling of peace, mercy, love, and certainty can often be present in daily prayer, but they are never automatic and often inconsistent.”
It’s good that we have reasonable expectations about what we’re getting into and what we expect to come from the practice of praying the Angelus or any other Catholic devotion we might have.
I am looking forward to trying out this devotion. Since I just had a new baby who wakes up anytime between 5 and 7 AM, now is not the best time. I intend to start praying the Angelus starting in Advent.
I will keep this little book handy for when I do begin because the author provides some beautiful meditations for every line of the Angelus prayer. I always appreciate when authors do this because I often find my mind draws a blank about how to really soak up a new prayer intentionally. It helps me when someone shows me the way first before I make it my own.
This is a great prayer practice because it does not take a lot of time. I’ll leave you with this quote from the book in hopes of inspiring you to honor the Lord by praying the Angelus!
“To stop and to pray at specific times each day is to give those times back to God.”
Do you have a devotion to the Angelus? Is this something you’ve always wanted to try?
Praying The Angelus is available on Amazon.com.
Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.
Copyright 2017 Sterling Jaquith
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