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The Angelus

One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is its bountiful repository of prayers and devotions. Of course, I can pray in my own words and often do so. But there is also something very profound about uttering words that have been prayed for hundreds of years. I feel much more connected to the saints in Heaven knowing my prayers echo the ones they said when they walked the earth.

Recently, I have come to appreciate the Angelus. I can’t say that I am faithful in reciting it in the traditional thrice-daily fashion. My day is not so structured that I can reliably recite it at 6am, noon and 6pm. But I keep an Angelus holy card out to remind me to say it when I can.

The Angelus offers the opportunity to meditate on two important tenets of our faith: The Incarnation and Mary’s Fiat. God loves us so much that he was willing to take on our human nature in order to redeem us from our sins. He dwelt among us.

Mary fully cooperated with God in His plan for salvation. She unconditionally responded, “Fiat!” “Be it done according to thy word.”

Life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns. We often don’t know what is over the rise or around the bend. But we do know that God loves us. He walked the earth as one of us. He suffered and died for us. His resurrection and victory over death is our victory too. Secure in that knowledge we can trust Him. No matter what challenge lies over the rise or around the bend, He will be there with us every step of the way. We have nothing to fear.

God calls each of us to cooperate in His plan for salvation. Armed with our trust in His love, we can confidently respond as Mary did, “Fiat!” Obviously my role in Salvation History is far short of the role Mary played. This is probably why the angel Gabriel isn’t delivering the message. Praying the Angelus reminds me to listen for God’s call. Sometimes it is an inspirational thought or idea that comes to me during prayer. More often it is the unexpected opportunity to show love and mercy that is God’s call. A beggar who needs a hot meal, a lonely person who needs a smile, a child who needs a teacher, a young mother who needs a mentor and a friend, are all calls from God. “Fiat! Be it done according to thy word.”

V: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary

R: And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

V: Hail Mary, full of grace: The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

R: Holy Mary, Mother of God: Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V: Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.

R: Be it done unto me according to thy word.

V: Hail Mary ...

R: Holy Mary ...

V: And the Word was made flesh

R: And dwelt among us.

V: Hail Mary ...

R: Holy Mary ...

V: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,

R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

V: Let us pray.

All: Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace unto 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.


Jim said…
This may sound like a stupid question, but what does the "V" mean? I know that the words that follow the "V" in your post are the words that someone leading The Angelus says and that the "R" is the "responses" made by the faithful. That said, I just can't figure out what the "V" stands for. Is it Latin for leader?

Thanks again for teaching me something new about my faith. God bless.
Catholic Mom said…

I have seen the V referred to as both Verse and Versicle.
Ebeth said…
This picture was a childhood memory for me in my grandparents home in Hornell, NY. I found the name and artist and purchased my own picture and have it beautifully framed in my dining room!

You are so right, we have a treasury of ways to communicate with our Father!


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