PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section One: Prayer in the Christian Life
Chapter 2: The Tradition of Prayer
Article 2, The Way of Prayer
In communion with the Holy Mother of God (cont’d)
§ 2677 Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43). Because she gives us Jesus, her Son, Mary is Mother of God and our Mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: “Thy will be done.”
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the “Mother of Mercy”. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender “the hour of our death” wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her Son’s Death on the Cross. May she welcome us as our Mother at the hour of our passing (cf. John 19:27) to lead us to her Son, Jesus, in Paradise.
§ 2678 Medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the Rosary as a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours. In the East, the litany called the Akathistos and the Paraclesis remained closer to the choral office in the Byzantine churches, while the Armenian, Coptic, and Syriac traditions preferred popular hymns and songs to the Mother of God. But in the Ave Maria, the Theotokia, the hymns of St. Ephrem or St. Gregory of Narek, the tradition of prayer is basically the same.
§ 2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er) [one who prays], a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends His Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple, we welcome Jesus’ Mother into our homes (cf. Jn 19:27), for she has become the Mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope (cf. LG 68–69).
Tomorrow – In Brief & Article 3, Guides for Prayer
(Part IV, Section 1, Chapter 2, Article 2 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
- “LG” – “Lumen Gentium [A Light to the Nations]”, Vatican Council II