Slanting eyes of blue, unweeping
Stands my Swedish beauty where
Gusts of Irish rain are sweeping
Round the statue in the square;
Corner boys against the walling
Watch us furtively in vain,
And the Angelus is calling
Through Dungarvan in the rain
John Betjeman, The Unionist’s farewell to Greta Hellastrom (1922)
On the fourth Sunday in Advent we are reminded that Mary said
The Bible quotes it so well.
In prayers, Songs
even Old Testament prophets where hindsight is twenty- twenty.
Do we ever stop to thank her for her fiat?
I suggest that this week we stop and read and reread in silent prayer and reflection
the following prayers which come from the Bible.
They are a glimpse into Mary’s heart and what she pondered there.
Namely her love for and trust in God.
The first is the most well known prayer as far as I can tell.
recited by children learning how to talk to God
and by faithful Catholics many times during the Rosary.
Hail Mary full of grace
The Lord is with you
Blessed are you among women
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
in the late 1850s French painter Jean-François Millet, composed a painting. It was probably the second most famous painting in France, the most famous, probably being the Mona Lisa. The painting is of two farmers standing in a field at the twilight time of the day, bowed down in prayer. The working title of the painting was Prayer for the Potato Crop. The two farmers are probably a married couple. He probably got this image from his own childhood of working on a farm. So Jean showed this to his friend. When His friend saw the painting he immediately said it is the Angelus. So, Millet changed the name of the painting.
The first word of the prayer in Latin is Angelus, thus it is the name of the prayer.
It has the Hail Mary repeated between phrases. It is traditionally said at 6AM, 12 Noon and 6PM.
It is at these times, The Angelus is Calling us to prayer…
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
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.
The Canticle of Mary
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
All of these prayers show us her yes.
What about our yes as we reach for the end of Advent and see Christmas staring at us lovingly.
Ever wonder what salvation history would look like if God did not find a Mary?
So when the bell rings 3 times a day, stop and reflect and pray as
The Angelus is Calling…
At morn- at noon- at twilight dim-
Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
In joy and woe- in good and ill-
Mother of God, be with me still!
When the hours flew brightly by,
And not a cloud obscured the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be,
Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
Now, when storms of Fate o’ercast
Darkly my Present and my Past,
Let my Future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine.
Edgar Allan Poe, Hymn (1835)