October 02, 2012
Catholics have forgotten that we used to pray the Angelus three times a day, to honor the greatest intervention of God in History–the Incarnation.
We used to stop working at 12 noon and at 6 p.m. to pause for a moment, collect our thoughts, place ourselves in God’s presence and utter the beautiful prayer of thanksgiving, the Angelus.
Many centuries ago, after the Church decided that Christmas would be celebrated on December 25, She also chose the day of March 25 for the Incarnation, exactly nine months prior to Jesus’ birth.
Between those dates was the time in which Our Blessed Mother carried the Word of God within Her sacred womb, thus fulfilling the Old Testament figure of the Ark of the Covenant, which carried the word of God in stone. Mary carried the Word of God made flesh.
It was at the Incarnation when "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14). Then the Archangel Gabriel, brought to the Blessed Virgin Mary the great news that God would become Man, and that She was called to be the Mother of that God-Man. She was going to give birth to God in human flesh!
Have you noticed how the Morning Star, which is the same as the Evening Star, commonly known as the planet Venus, both precedes and follows the sun? It is the symbol of Our Lady. She shone in the darkness of human history before the birth of Her Son–Her Divine Son. You can still see it at dawn.
While He was shining in His preaching mission, She disappears. That is the zenith. After He leaves us and goes back to the Father, She appears again, gradually, as the last ray of hope to us poor sinners at the end of our lives–that is the twilight. See how the Sun, such a big luminary in God’s Creation, used to be used as a reminder for our prayers?
The Angelus, 3 Times a Day
(Dawn:) at 6 a.m. (or when you first wake up)–We give thanks to God as our Creator and praise the masterpiece of His Creation: Mary, the Beloved Daughter of God the Father, the First Person of the Blessed Trinity. Mary was already in His Mind since the dawn of Creation.
(Zenith:) at 12 noon, (when the sun is at its zenith)–We give thanks to God as our Redeemer, and praise the first one to be redeemed: Mary, the Admirable Mother of God the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Mary was the chosen one who conceived the Word of God made flesh and gave birth to Him. That is how the zenith reminds us of God living in Mary.
(Twilight:) at 6 p.m. (when the sun is at its twilight)–We give thanks to God as our Savior, and praise the greatest one to be saved, who is already body and soul in Heaven: Mary, the Faithful Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, Who overshadowed Her to create the human body and soul of Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, in Her virginal womb. That is how the twilight reminds us of God glorified in Mary.
The Angelus Prayer:
The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary . . .
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit
Hail Mary . . .
Behold the handmaid of the Lord . . .
Be it done to me according to Thy Word
Hail Mary . . .
And the Word was made flesh . . . (Kneel here)
And dwelt amongst us.
Hail Mary . . .
Pray for us, Oh Holy Mother of God . . .
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, Oh Lord, Your grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Your Son, was made known by the message of an angel. may, by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ, Our Lord. Amen. +++
[Excerpted with permission from the '101 Times #65, an article by Raymond de Souza]
After I pray the Angelus three times a day, I always add the Guardian Angel Prayer:
Angel of God, my Guardian dear;
To whom God’s love commits me here;
Ever this day be at my side,
To light, to guard,
To rule and to guide. Amen.