Monday, November 21, 2011

Hail Mary

This weekend my husband, son, and I all traveled to Salt Lake City. My son did not want to go, but we thought it would be good for him to get out of Elko for the first time since he arrived there and that it would be good family time. Over the weekend, several issues came out that had been brewing in our relationship of which I was completely unaware.  God took the time to point out to me and to my husband wounds that my son still carries from our errors of years ago, and which have not ever fully healed.  Thank God that He did so, as such wounds when left to fester became the source of problems in every human relationship you have, tainting marriages and interfering with your ability to parent properly as well as causing difficulties in your ability to form and to maintain friendships.

After arriving at home yesterday, we realized that Randy did not have any clean laundry but he needed sleep as he had work in the morning.  I volunteered to stay up and do the laundry, and as I did so I began to read the Catholic blogs from New Advent (one of my favorite sites for Catholic news and blogs), and I came across a blog entry entitled "A True Story: The “Hail Mary” is a Powerful Prayer". Now, this isn't something that was news to me, I have my own stories about what invoking the Hail Mary has done for me and for my family, but I was intrigued by what they had to say.

I am so grateful to the author for his blog post, for it reminded me of a weapon in my Catholic arsenal that I had so taken for granted that I had forgotten to use it.  For months now I have been struggling with temptations that overwhelm me, and I had been trying to fight the battle with my own personal holiness and my own personal will power.  Yes, I had called upon the name of Jesus but it was not sufficient because my own faith is insufficient to properly invoke that name. In essence, I had been fighting a very real battle using nothing but a rubber sword and then wondering why I was so often defeated and wounded.

That night, before laying down to sleep, I recited the Hail Mary three times.  Not only was my sleep restful, but the dreams that stirred the temptations did not haunt me as they have been recently.  Furthermore, when I awoke I knew what I needed to do about healing the wounds my son carries, and about healing the distance that has crept into our family.  I knew we needed a 40 day Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  There is great power in consecrating oneself and ones family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There is great power in the rosary, and if there is one thing our family needs right now it is the most powerful tools heaven has to offer.  

In my arrogance and my pride, I forgot that my own personal holiness is nothing compared to Mary's. She, who was chosen by God the Father to literally carry Christ within her to all of humanity, whose heart and soul were never darkened by sin, is the best one to teach our family how to walk in perfect union with Christ.  I am weak to temptation because I have been enslaved by sin and so there are areas of my life that will always be weak to sin and thus easy prey for Satan and his angels.  Mary, however, being born free of sin was never under Satan's power, never corrupted by his temptations.  Therefore, she is strong enough against him to shield me and to teach me how to evade his maneuvers.

Hail Mary, Full of grace, the Lord is with thee; (Luke 1:28)
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of  your womb (Luke 1:42), Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God (if Jesus is God, then likewise Mary is the mother of God by logical extension);
Pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death (We ask her to pray, as we see in Revelations 8:4 that the prayers of the saints rise up before God and if she who carried the man-God within her is not a saint, then surely no one is).

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