Angelus for Vocations

Leader: Let us pray the Angelus as a prayer for a greater awareness of our own vocation as a need to understand and respond to God’s calling within the community of the Church. We also pray as the people the people of God for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated lifethroughout the world, that more men and women will have the courage to follow a callfrom God to serve in the Church.

Leader: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.

All:And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

All: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, andblessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Nowand at the hour of our death. Amen.

Leader: We pray for an increase in vocations throughout the Diocese of Derry. We also pray for our Bishop Donal, our priests and all those called to serve in the Church. May they continue grow in charity each day as they respond to the call to serve God’s people andthat they may joyfully serve God in all that they say and do.We pray in a special way for those from our diocese who have begun their journey of formation towards priesthood and the religious life.

Leader: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

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

All: Hail Mary …

Leader: We pray for the men and women of our parish whom God is calling to answer his call to marriage, the single life, priesthood or the religious life.  May they may be granted the strength and courage to hear God’s call and through the supportof theirparish, their family and friends, answer that call with generosity.

Leader: And the Word was made flesh.

All:And dwelt among us.

All: Hail Mary …

Leader: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

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

Leader: LET US PRAY.

All:Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom theincarnation of Christ thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by hispassion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection. Through the same Christ ourLord. Amen.

Adapted from a prayer provided to Today’s Catholic Teacher by Holy Spirit School, Annandale, Virginia. Printed in Today’s Catholic Teacher, Fall 2018.

Lessons Learned When We Pray the Angelus

Colleen Duggan September 25, 2017

For those unfamiliar, the Angelus is an ancient prayer recited usually twice a day recalling the moment when the Angel Gabriel announced Christ’s birth to the Virgin Mary. Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Verbum Domini, “In the Angelus we ask God to grant that, through Mary’s intercession, we may imitate her in doing his will and in welcoming his words into our lives. This practice helps us to grow in an authentic love for the mystery of the Incarnation.”Praying the Angelus requires intention and commitment, it requires we stop what we’re doing at 12 noon, and 6 pm.

Our time is not our own

Since the Angelus is prayed at set times throughout the day, it requires discipline to stop one’s work and turn one’s attention to prayer. These hard stops throughout our day require sacrificing our own wants and tasks and invite a focus on the things of God.  The invitation to put our work aside reminds us we are on borrowed time and that all things, even temporal ones, are God’s.

The Calling of the moment

Just like Mary, God inspires within us certain dreams and hungers.  We must cultivate the skills we need to develop our passions in order to truly serve God. If we aren’t careful, however, our drive to use our gifts can impede our call to be present and serve those people right before our very eyes.

When the noon Angelus bell rings, we must abandon the pursuit of goals and welcome the interruption to prayer.  This trains us to welcome the other interruptions we experience in a day from friends, family, and neighbours.  God uses these brief intermissions can disturb an excessive focus on our dreams, passions, and plans, detaching us from our agenda and focusing us on God’s.

Discerning God’s will without expectation

It was probably personally inconvenient for Mother Mary to accept the Angel Gabriel’s invitation.  When Gabriel showed up, though, Mary embraced God’s will, surrendered her own desires and agreed to be the Mother to the Saviour.  Whatever she thought her life might look like before Gabriel came to her, changed drastically after.

Praying the Angelus imbues us with the grace to be open and humble to God’s unexpected call. Instead of superimposing our will, desires and our insistence to make things happen the way we want—like Mary could have done—the Angelus invites us to reflect on God’s work in daily life and how it reflects his will moment to moment, especially in the inconvenient and unanticipated. Careful repetition of the prayer “trains us to look for, welcome, and accept God’s will in our lives,” no matter how challenging it may be.

Mary, Mother of Vocations

By Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J.

When Mary told the angel at the Annunciation, “Behold, I am the Handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38), she became the patroness of every priest and religious until the end of time. Her acceptance of God’s invitation to become His Mother made her the Mother of all vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.

When she conceived Jesus Christ, she brought into the world the One from whom every vocation is derived. Except for Him, no one would be called, and except for His call, no one could respond. Mary is, therefore, Mother of Vocations because she is the Mother of the Great High Priest who calls others to share in His priesthood, and she is Mother of the First Religious who invites others to follow in His footsteps.

Mary is Mother of Vocations also by her example. It is by imitating her practice of faith, hope and charity that men and women are inspired to give themselves to her Son in the priesthood or the lifetime practice of the counsels.

Only believers have a vocation; only those who trust implicitly in God’s promises respond to God’s call; and above all only those who love God in others deeply are preserved in priestly or religious commitment. In all of these, Mary is their model, and the more devoted they are to her, the more secure is their consecration.

Finally, Mary is the Mother of Vocations by her heavenly intercession at the Throne of God. It is through her maternal prayers that Christ gives certain people the grace to give themselves entirely to His service. She obtains from Him the grace for them to be called; but she also tells them, as she told the servants at Cana, to be sure to do whatever He tells you (cf. Jn 2:5).

There is no more effective way of fostering vocations than asking the Mother of Jesus to ask her Son to extend the invitation. And there is no more effective way of remaining firm in the priesthood and the religious state than to beg the same Mother for the grace of perseverance.

“Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us,” should be our daily invocation.