During October, we traditionally remember our Mother Mary and the Rosary, the prayer that she gave to St. Dominic for all of us. (feast: Oct. 7) The Sisters of Charity offer two contemporary ways of praying the Rosary by linking each mystery with intentions of special urgency in our time. Join with us in praying the Rosary for Peace in our troubled world, and the Rosary for Immigrants, their Advocates, and Families. Both are downloadable from our website at https://www.scny.org/spirituality/resources/
Following is a reflection on the Hail Mary from Michelle Francl-Donnay in Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press):
…I was reminded of advice given in the homily at the end of a week’s retreat: grace is not fragile. Whatever grace had been granted to us over the course of the retreat days wouldn’t vanish when we returned to the chaos that surely filled all our lives.
We do not need to handle grace carefully, afraid it will not be enough. Should we need it, it will find us. It will be enough.
When I pray the Hail Mary, I marvel at Elizabeth’s ability to see her young cousin as the Theotokos, the Christ-bearer. But I wonder if in my awareness of that tremendous grace, I overlook the everyday grace that I — that we — are also theotokoi, bearers of God within. That those words with which Gabriel and Elizabeth greeted Mary are meant for us as well. We are full of grace, the Lord is ever with each of us, and we are blessed. Sinners, true, but ever-blessed and ever-blessing.
This grace that we, like Mary, are offered is surely not fragile… This grace is resilient and resistant in the face of chaos. It is wide open to God at work in the world. This grace sustains us in joy and delight, in sorrow and pain, in the secular as much as the sacred. To be full of grace is to acknowledge that it fills everything we are, everything we touch, everyone around us.
Can we grasp a reality in which at each moment God is sending messengers to us, crying, “Hail, my child, full of grace, for the Lord is with you. Blessed are you, and blessed is everyone you meet”? That would be a wild grace indeed.
–Michelle Francl-Donnay, “Warm and Wild Grace,” from the August 2019 issue of Give Us This Day giveusthisday.org (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2019). Used with permission.