Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hail and Blessed

                                           Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
                                            In which the Son of God was born
                                            Of the most pure Virgin Mary
                                            At midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.

                                            In that hour, vouchsafe O my God
                                            To hear my prayers and grant my desires
                                            Through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ
                                            And His Blessed Mother.

You know how I know I'm really Catholic?  Come Thanksgiving clean-up, I begin anticipating the recitation of this prayer every day of Advent.  I now have a history with it ~ memories of deciding my desires to mention, of focusing on hailing the moment of Jesus' birth, of sitting quietly all alone in the early mornings with the Christmas tree glowing and whispering my prayers.  Several requests remain each year and several requests have been affirmatively answered.

One Advent, with a brand-new positive pregnancy test, my only desire was that the child would live, sparing us another miscarriage.  He is now a jolly toddler named Joseph  (Not the girl we were going to name Mary after all the prayers!).

Last Advent, I focused upon four different desires, one of which was a baby girl.  She is now growing beneath my heart and I lumber around until joyously await late February.

This is the second year of praying for "a better job for Ken", kept ambiguous purposefully, knowing that what I presume better may not truly be so.  I leave it in the hands of God.  Mary and I leave it in the hands of God. 

When I first learned of this devotion  (Maybe four years ago, from Elizabeth Foss.) and shared it with the children during our morning prayers,  John quietly told me afterward that he was going to ask for "no more CF for Rees".  Oooohh Boy.  I kept my composure and managed a small smile and nod.  Maybe. 

Months later, when he voiced his disappointment over Rees' lack of healing, we had a good talk about prayers, desires, good people and bad things, suffering, heaven. . . Thank God for His Church, the pillar and foundation of truth (I Timothy 3:15), that guides us into all truth  (John 16:13).

So we pray the old words and we voice our desires in that most holy moment, for Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever  (Hebrews 13:8) ~ the significance of His Incarnation just as effecacious now.  Perhaps the answers will be granted exactly how we want.  Perhaps we'll die asking.  But we hail the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary.  It is blessed.

And either answer ; this side of heaven or the other ; so are we.


P.S ~ I know that the birth of Jesus was not really "in the piercing cold".  It's poetry, folks.