Saturday, May 04, 2013

Saved By a Hail Mary


During my Lenten retreat, I made a commitment to pray the rosary 3 times a day.  That’s nothing compared to Imaculee Ilibagiza’s 27 rosaries a day, but it isn’t easy nonetheless.

More often than not, I get interrupted with cleaning up unscheduled juice spills or breaking up screaming catfights that I forget where I left off, so I have to start the decade all over again.  Other times, I realize I’ve just mouthed off one “Our Father” and proceeded to several “For the Sake of His sorrowful passion…” from the Chaplet of Divine Mercy Chaplet before I realize what’s going on.  And still, there are those moments when I just prayed a “Hail Mary” to the clock while thinking I had better get to the meatball soup if I am to have it ready for dinner.

These things distress me and I honestly begin to second guess myself about the promise I made.  Do I really want to keep reducing my rosaries to mere lip service?  Maybe I should stop and just focus on a single “Hail Mary” that I can pray with my heart.
But then I remember a true story my cousin told me.  Her husband’s Jewish mother was three years old during the Holocaust. Their family had been hiding from the searching Nazi’s but somehow the child had wandered off in full view of the soldiers.  The Nazi’s approached the child and as was normal practice, ferreted out suspected Jews by a simple test.   They demanded that the child say a “Hail Mary.”  Fortunately, the child had been taught by her parents for situations such as these, so she spouted off an entire “Hail Mary” as any Catholic girl would.

            They let her go.  Literally, her life was saved by a “Hail Mary.”

            When I think of this, I know that child of 3 could not have possibly understood each and every word she uttered and yet Our Lady protected her. 

            Fr. Gabriel Amorth, the Chief Exorcist of the Vatican once said that his colleague performing an exorcism heard from the devil, “Every Hail Mary is like a blow to my head. If Christians knew the power of the rosary was, it would be my end.” So, if I put two and two together, then I can guess that the very thing who knows how powerful a rosary is, is the very thing who wants me to stop saying it.

On the heels of that, I tell myself:  “Sister, just keep praying the three rosaries and try to mean every single word. There should be at least one priceless Hail Mary in there somewhere. And as for the prayers that somehow slip your consciousness, may Our Lady accept the love that initially motivated you to make that commitment and in trying to live it out every day.” 

            Now tell me the truth my friends: does that sound reasonable to you?  Would Our Lady still protect a distracted child and her distracting children?  I hope so.

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+AMDG+

15 comments:

George @ Convert Journal said...

I sometimes get discouraged and mad at myself when my mind wonders while praying the Rosary. That in turn, becomes a new distraction! My cure: (1) remember this is probably Satan's handiwork (if he needs to intervene, it must be effective!) and (2) I just drop the annoyance, refocus and continue.

Heidi said...

Beautiful! I am glad to know that I am not the only one who occasionally finds herself wandering into the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during the Rosary! Thanks for the encouragement to keep getting back on track!

Andrea said...

Totally! God knows your good intentions and he also gave you the vocation of a wife and mother! So He understands those duties as well! :) Ask your Guardian Angel to help fill in your gaps throughout the day :) I'm sure your Angel would be more than happy to help! :)

Amylisa said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Very encouraging! And yes I think it sounds reasonable for sure. God bless and keep you and yours.

Patty said...

This quote reminds and encourages me of one I have heard before: its better to pray one our father really well and intentionally than rattling a bunch off.

mary333 said...

Imaculee Ilibagiza's prays 27 Rosaries a day? Wow!

I love the story that your cousin told you :) I think we'll all be surprised someday when we see how many graces we have received through praying the Rosary.





Anabelle Hazard said...

George, thank you for the encouragement. I'll keep that in mind.

Mary, I don't know if that was during Imaculee's ordeal or at present but she mentioned that during her talk at a conference.

-Kinsi- said...

Wow- amazing story! It is no coincidence that many of us turn immediately to the Hail Mary when in distress. Even though our fathers are strong, we always run to mommy for a kiss first when we're scared ;-)

Nancy Shuman said...

I really needed this just now, as I have a very drifty mind by nature. Thus the rosary has been a struggle for me to concentrate on all of my life. I thank God and our Blessed Mother for their patience!

Jiza @ The Real JZ said...

Wow I am very inspired! That's so encouraging that our wandering thoughts during prayer still can bear fruit. I love Our Blessed Mother! We'd be lost without her. Thank you so much for sharing!

8 kids and a business said...

I sometimes mix up the Divine Mercy Chaplet with the Rosary too. When our children become distracted, moms still know what it is they are trying to say; therefore, our Blessed Mother understands when our flesh is weaker than our intention.

Vicky said...

Your posts are always encouraging and vibrant, Anabelle. I have ebbs and flows with the Rosary. I have had years where I've been really consistent and also times when I've struggled. When it's difficult, I often spend the time in contemplation, instead - and pray for a more faithful heart!

God bless, Anabelle:-)

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thank you Vicky.
Terry your analogy is so reassuring.

Monica said...

This is really helpful Anabelle! I am the say way. I loved the part about starting out with a Hail Mary and then ending with a prayer from the Divine Mercy. I did that the other day! My husband always gives me a look! I am so glad you wrote that there must be at least one good Hail Mary in there. You are right! Thanks for encouraging me.

Nancy Ward said...

Thanks for the sweet story. Our God is so faithful. Would that we were as obedient and fearless as the three year old in our prayers.