Day 2: Pondering the Hail Mary and the Mystery of the Incarnation
Action: Today devoutly pray one decade of the Rosary: the 1st Joyful Mystery – the Annunciation
Continued Reflections on the Hail Mary and Mary’s Response to God:
In the first week’s class I asked us to ponder the Hail Mary, which, when prayed with devotion reminds us of the most incredible event in of all the world’s history – when God became man!
I gave those present the Scriptures Luke 1: 26- 38 and Philippians 2: 5- 11 (they can be found below) and asked them to pray with and ponder these readings.
I ask us to continue to do ponder these, because I believe that they, perhaps as no other Scriptues, will help us to grow in the knowledge of God, Mary and ourselves and will help us to renounce whatever is keeping us from uniting ourselves to God in this time when we are asked to do just these things as part of our preparation.
This is why I chose to continue to reflect further on those Scriptures – while paying particular attention to how Mary responded to God’s call.
My hope is this provides an example of pondering and reflecting on Scripture that will guide us through these days of preparation and beyond.
Meditation on Mary’s Response to God:
When pondering the Hail Mary, the words of the Annunciation are its backdrop, for the very words “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you” were spoken to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel.
As we ponder further the Annunciation, I am drawn to Mary’s response to God.
Mary listened and paid attention to the Archangel Gabriel’s words… she pondered them… and wondered what they might mean…they caused her fear and they led her to pose the question: “How can this be?”
Wondering, “What do you want of me? Do you want something different for me than the vow I had felt called to make with Joseph?”
When assured that God wasn’t rejecting her (and St. Joseph’s) vow of virginity…
She reflected on this great and awesome Child, this Son of the Most High, Who was the One Who fulfilled God’s promise to King David, Who would be the everlasting King of Kings, the Messiah for Whom she and all of God’s people had been waiting for for centuries would be conceived in her womb through the overshadowing and the Power of the Most High… that God Who would come upon her through His Holy Spirit…
The Son of God would be born in her!
She heard then, also, the further words of the Archangel Gabriel, giving her news that provided Mary’s humanity with a tangible, physical sign that could be verified…
In the realm of the mystery of God, where so much is unseen, this would be something Mary could see and touch: her relative, Elizabeth, who was barren and of old age, would also bear a son and was already six months pregnant
“for nothing is impossible for God!”
Mary took all this in – the greatest news in the history of the world – the event that would change the world forever – but only with, and in, and through her – and she responded:
“I am your handmaid, O Lord. Let it be done unto me according to Your Word.”
How wondrous is His plan to become one with us!
And how amazing is Mary’s yes!
What wonders God has in store for us also, for
“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us everything else besides?” Romans 8: 32
How greatly does He want to become enfleshed in us as well!
But, do we believe this?
Do we believe that He became man because He truly wants to be with us?
Do we believe He longs to use us to bring birth to him in this world that is so far from him?
Do we believe that nothing is impossible for Him?
Do we respond like Mary?
Do we listen and ponder God’s voice?
Do we even hear Him amid our daily lives?
One way to hear him is to take time to pray and ponder His Word in Scripture.
We can be assured of hearing His Voice speaking to us in the Scriptures – for it is God’s living Word.
It is unlike any other book because God breathes His life into it!
His Spirit is speaking to us NOW!
Yet, as I mentioned in the first video teaching, so often we gloss over Scripture. Perhaps it’s because we have heard it (so often) before… Our brain shuts down and we say to ourselves… “heard this, been there, done that”… and we stop listening… we stop pondering… we essentially shut God down. We fail to listen…
In response to this weakness in ourselves, may we take Mary’s secret to heart that I share in the daily prayer program, and make a commitment to do this everyday – at least for the next 32 days:
“I’m going to reveal a spiritual secret to you: if you want to be stronger than evil, make yourself a plan of personal prayer. Take a certain time in the morning, read a text from Holy Scripture, anchor the Divine word in your heart, and strive to live it during the day, particularly during the moment of trials. In this way, you will be stronger than evil.”
(Our Blessed Mother of Medjugorje, April 19, 1984)
If we believe in the Truth of Scripture and that it is His Voice, we will begin to hear His Voice more clearly, which helps us to discern His Voice over all the other voices that come into my head.
[Satan is an expert at filling the world with his lies – and they consume our thoughts and emotions when we hear and listen to them often enough. That’s why Scripture tells us to guard ourselves against them, saying to us:
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
If we keep seeking His Truth, the lies will quiet down before us…
We will be able to hear Him speaking of His Love for us.
We will be begin to experience more and more of this Divine Love that far surpasses any other created thing….
It is this LOVE Who transforms us, and Who asks us to respond, so we can be more fully united with us:
Will you surrender yourself to me so I can love you more and use you to bring forth my glory?
To Jesus’ question:
Will I say yes?
Even to what seems impossible?
Do I place myself in God’s hands and say?
“I am your servant.
I will do whatever you ask, I will go wherever you lead me.
I trust You.
I trust Your Word. I trust that You can do all things and that nothing is impossible for You.”
None of us can say we respond perfectly to God as Mary did…
none of us pay attention and listen to His voice as Mary did…
and that’s why its so important for us to go to her and allow her to share her faith with us,
to be open to her pouring forth her own willingness to do all God asks within us…
to be open to her love and humility…
to be open to her Motherhood forming and leading us into responding yes to God.
Into saying “Yes, let it be done unto me according to Your Will.”
When researching the history of Consecration I read that St. Louis de Montfort learned much from by Father Henri Boudon, and his book, entitled: Only God, the Holy Slavery of the admirable Mother of God. The title struck me, so much so, that “God Alone” became, in part, the title of this consecration, (as well as the personal motto of St. Louis de Montfort).
If you are here – reading these words -you are being asked by God, like Mary was before us:
Will you enter into this consecration being offered? – Will you set yourself apart for Me alone? Will you be open to My Will? Will you be obedient servants to My promptings?
Will you surrender yourselves as slaves to Me alone, through Mary?
Although the concept of slavery is hard for us to consider or want to embrace, it is a slavery that even Jesus, Himself, submitted to – this is why we are to ponder Philippians 2: 5-11 – for it speaks of Jesus emptying Himself and taking the form of a slave, although He was God himself! Although all Creation was and is formed in and through Him, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient, becoming a man – obedient to death – even death on a Cross to save us!
What wondrous love is this?!
What tremendous humility?!
He became a slave to save us from sin and death.
For sin enslaves us: “For the wages of sin is death.”
So often we belittle our sin. We don’t see clearly how it effects us or the price Jesus paid to free us from their punishments.
However, if we consider those we know suffering from addictions –for instance, how an alcoholic has become so enslaved by drink that it has stripped away his freedom, his purpose and ultimately his life, if he cannot break free….
We can understand more fully what sin does to us… whether or not the effects are as visible to us externally. Sin destroys us internally and enslaves us.
And this enslavement to sin can even be more tragic than the wasted and ruined life of an alcoholic, for if we continue to choose sin rather than God it will lead us to eternal death.
It is for this reason that God became man. That He became a slave in order to free us from our slavery.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 8
In imitation, we submit ourselves likewise to a slavery of love – but to God alone.
And in God’s great order of mercy and salvation – it is only when we submit ourselves in love and obedience (holy slavery) to Him, we are set free from the slavery of sin and death!
“Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
John 12: 24-25
It takes such humility to do this.
It takes such faith.
It takes love.
And so often, we lack this on our own…
This is why, we, enter into this slavery with, in and through Mary, for she was a creature just like us…
She was tempted and tried just like us…
Yet, she always responded yes.
We are helped by her prayers and her graces… for God chose her to be “Full of Grace” and made her the means for us to both receive and be formed with and by that Grace.
Just as Jesus was formed in Mary, we also are called to submit ourselves to her and be formed in her.
So, let’s take the time to ponder:
What is God asking to me today?
Is he asking me to surrender to Him no matter what He asks?
To have faith in Him even when it seems to us impossible?
To have faith even when my effort seem to come to nothing?
Trusting that His desire is for our holiness and that our holiness often comes only from surrender and humility and seeming failure to the eyes without faith?
What is my response when faced with failure like St. Louis de Montfort and the his people faced? When, after building a magnificent Calvary in honor of Jesus’ passion, it was completely destroyed without it being up for even one day after working on it for 15 months???
Is our response like St. Louis’ when the world seeks to tear us and our efforts down? When what we do isn’t recognized or accepted by others, when our plans fail, do we still trust God? knowing that He allows these circumstances to purify us, to lead us more deeply into Him so that we come to seek and trust in Him alone?
God’s ways are not our ways.
It is easy to trust Him when things go as we plan, but when things do not, still do I trust Him?
Still do I seek Him?
Mary will help us do just that, by helping us to open ourselves to receive more and more of His LOVE.
What is Your Response Today?
Will I make a commitment and pray with Scripture every day, allowing it to be an anchor of God’s Word in my heart and mind that will keep me protected from Satan’s lies?
Will I say yes to whatever God asks of me, knowing He will not ask us too great for us… for He knows we are frail – that “our spirits are willing but the flesh is weak.”
But, it still He asks us to begin – to make acts of faith, of obedience, of surrender to God’s will – and that when needed to begin again, and again, and again…
Knowing although I can nothing on my own,
“But I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13
1. Read through the accompanying pictures and the extraordinary wisdom of St. Louis below if possible.
2. Continue to choose to enter more deeply into the daily prayer program (below) at least in this way:
Continue to ponder and pray the Hail Mary today and the accompanying Scripture texts as you meditate and pray one decade of the Rosary – the 1st Joyful Mystery of the Rosary- the Annunciation – while praying for the grace to listen, to hear and respond to God as Mary does.
Praying also for the grace to surrender whatever is keeping me from responding fully – in and through and with Mary’s love and help.
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)
Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Daily Prayer Program for these 33 Days:
It is important to make a commitment to strive to pray more deeply, more intensely and with more of your heart during these days of preparation. Here are some guidelines and suggestions for how to live these days. Pray about how you can grow in each of these areas listed below and while living out this prayer program it is especially important to
Trust in the Truth and Supernatural Reality of God’s Presence within each of them
• LIVE Grace and Renew our Baptism – renounce sin and Satan
• Mass and the Eucharist the Center of our lives
• Confession frequently
2. Scripture – Pray and Internalize it daily
• To Jelena: “I’m going to reveal a spiritual secret to you: if you want to be stronger than evil, make yourself a plan of personal prayer. Take a certain time in the morning, read a text from Holy Scripture, anchor the Divine word in your heart, and strive to live it during the day, particularly during the moment of trials. In this way, you will be stronger than evil.” (Our Lady of Medjugorje, April 19, 1984)
• Rosary – With and in Mary, contemplating Scripture and the mysteries of God
3. Fill mind with wisdom of Mary and the Saints
• God is sending Mary to earth for she is the Crusher of Satan. Listen to her words.
• St. John Paul II – example of life given over – Totus Tuus
• St. Maximilian Kolbe – Militia Immaculata every soul consecrated to Mary will save the world
• St. Louis de Montfort – Mary will form the greatest saints who ever lived – easiest shortest most sure way to sanctity
• St. Mother Teresa and many more
PART 2: Readings and Prayers for St. Louis-Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
Daily Prayer Program for these 33 Days:
PART 2: Readings and Prayers for St. Louis-Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
of Preparation renouncing the spirit of the world
over and reading Jesus’ Words
with the Heart
about Mary’s place in God’s plan
Day 2 of 33:
St. Matthew: Chapter 5: 48, 6: 1-15
deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no
recompense from your heavenly Father.2When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites* do in the
synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.b3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your
right is doing,4so that your almsgiving may be
secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street
corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received
their reward.6But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in
secret will repay you.7* In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that
they will be heard because of their many words.*8Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need
before you ask him.
their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.h15But if you do not forgive
others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.i
Listen, Sing and Watch or Pray just the words depending on your time
constraints: Veni Creator, Ave Maris Stella, Magnificat, and Glory Be
And in our souls take up thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Great Paraclete! To Thee we cry,
O highest gift of God most high!
O font of life! O fire of love!
And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known,
The finger of God’s hand we own;
The promise of the Father, Thou!
Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Kindle our senses ‘from above,
And make our hearts o’erflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Thy true peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know,
And Thee through endless times confessed
Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
All glory while the ages run
Be to the Father and the Son
Who rose from death; the same to Thee,
O Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen.
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus
Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable
condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him
by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in
casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus
The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme
dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and
disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is
also that of Mary. It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the
concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life, and by disobedience to
God’s laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms,
then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and
darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are
the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in
persons, places and things.
St. Louis de
Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary paragraphs 9-16.
SAINT LOUIS MARIE
9. The whole world is filled
with her glory, and this is especially true of Christian peoples, who have
chosen her as guardian and protectress of kingdoms, provinces, dioceses, and
towns. Many cathedrals are consecrated to God in her name. There is no church
without an altar dedicated to her, no country or region without at least one of
her miraculous images where all kinds of afflictions are cured and all sorts of
benefits received. Many are the confraternities and associations honouring her
as patron; many are the orders under her name and protection; many are the
members of sodalities and religious of all congregations who voice her praises
and make known her compassion. There is not a child who does not praise her by
lisping a Hail Mary. There is scarcely a sinner, however hardened, who does not
possess some spark of confidence in her. The very devils in hell, while fearing
her, show her respect.
10. And yet in truth we must still say with the saints: De Maria numquam
satis : We have still not praised, exalted, honoured, loved and served Mary
adequately. She is worthy of even more praise, respect, love and service.
11. Moreover, we should repeat after the Holy Spirit, “All the
glory of the king’s daughter is within”, meaning that all the external
glory which heaven and earth vie with each other to give her is nothing
compared to what she has received interiorly from her Creator, namely, a glory
unknown to insignificant creatures like us, who cannot penetrate into the
secrets of the king.
12. Finally, we must say in the words of the apostle Paul, “Eye has
not seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man understood” the beauty,
the grandeur, the excellence of Mary, who is indeed a miracle of miracles of
grace, nature and glory. “If you wish to understand the Mother,” says
a saint, “then understand the Son. She is a worthy Mother of God.”
Hic taceat omnis lingua : Here let every tongue be silent.
13. My heart has dictated with special joy all that I have written to
show that Mary has been unknown up till now, and that that is one of the
reasons why Jesus Christ is not known as he should be.
If then, as is certain, the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come
into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and
reign of Mary. She who first gave him to the world will establish his kingdom
in the world.
PART I: TRUE DEVOTION TO OUR LADY IN GENERAL
NECESSITY OF DEVOTION TO OUR LADY
Mary’s part in the Incarnation
14. With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of
God is, compared to his infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather is simply nothing, since he alone can
say, “I am he who is”. Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had
and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and the
manifestation of his glory. To do all things he has only to will them.
15. However, I declare that, considering things as they are, because God has decided to begin and
accomplish his greatest works through the Blessed Virgin ever since he created her, we can safely believe
that he will not change his plan in the time to come, for he is God and therefore does not change in his
thoughts or his way of acting.
Whatever desires the patriarchs may have cherished, whatever entreaties the
prophets and saints of the Old Law may have had for 4,000 years to obtain
that treasure, it was Mary alone who merited it and found grace before God by
the power of her prayers and the perfection of her virtues. “The world
being unworthy,” said Saint Augustine, “to receive the Son of God
directly from the hands of the Father, he gave his Son to Mary for the world to
receive him from her.”
having asked her consent through one of the chief ministers of his court.
to give myself fully to living out this true and solid devotion.”