The season of Advent is here, and now that we’re getting some cold weather, it’s finally starting to feel like winter! For me, this weather gets me thinking about all the familiar experiences of the holiday season: hanging Christmas lights, putting up the Christmas tree, picking out gifts for our friends and family, and other December activities.
I certainly hope we all get to experience the warmth and comfort of this aspect of the time leading up to Christmas, but of course as Christians we know that the real meaning of the season lies in celebrating the Incarnation and Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the World. Just like going through all of the familiar rituals leading up to Christmas helps to put us in the holiday spirit on a secular level, so the Church gives us the season of Advent as a special preparation for the great feast of the Lord’s Nativity.
There are many things that we can do during Advent to get ready for Our Lord’s Nativity, but I think there is one practice in particular that is custom-built for the season: praying the Rosary. Every time we pray the Rosary, we say fifty Hail Mary’s. St. Louis de Montfort, the great preacher of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, points out that, in a way, the Hail Mary is THE prayer of the Incarnation: when we say “hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you”, we use the very same words the angel Gabriel used to announce the mystery of the Incarnation to the Blessed Virgin on that fateful evening.
Mary’s “yes” to the message of the Angel that evening led to her becoming the Mother of God. Through her “yes”, our salvation was brought into the world. When we say the Rosary, we say “yes” to the Incarnation of the Son of God, just like Mary did that night. The Lord wants to use us to bring His Son into the world, just like he used the Blessed Virgin on that sacred evening so long ago. Let us help bring the Grace of God into this world which needs it so much, by praying the Holy Rosary with devotion and fervor.
Br. Athanasius Thompson, O.P. | Meet the Student Brothers in Formation HERE