Chaplet of the Child Mary (to be prayed on ordinary rosary beads)
I wrote this for myself to pray on the feasts of Mary’s childhood. (See below.) Maybe you will like it, too.
Make the sign of the cross and pray the Sh’ma, a prayer the little Mary would have grown up reciting every day with her Jewish family and community.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
On the following large bead pray:
Holy Child Mary, gentle and humble of heart, you are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the fairest honor of our people!” (see Judith 15:9)
On the next three beads, pray: three Glorias (Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit….) in honor of the innocence, simplicity, and love of the Child Mary.
On all the large “Our Father” beads, pray: Holy Child Mary, gentle and humble of heart, you are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the fairest honor of our people!” (see Judith 15:9)
On the ten small “Hail Mary” beads, pray:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my savior!” (Luke 1:46)
(If you find “My soul rejoices” to he cumbersome here, you might just say the Hail Mary if you are used to that.)
Mary in the mind of God
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”Jeremiah 1:5
In Michelangelo’s painting of the Creation of Adam, I noticed that the Father’s cloak, flying up around him in the painting, is shaped like a cross section of a human brain. Looking at the painting, you can see that Eve is just behind God as he creates Adam. She is under his arm looking on. I love this. Eve was already known and loved by God before he made her. Of course she was. The way she is depicted looking on, even before her creation, reminds me that she and Adam were made for each other, as all spouses are.
Mary was deep in the mind of God from the beginning, and she was designed for union with the Holy Spirit, to be the perfect wife for Joseph, and to be the Mother of Jesus. God for-knew her from all time, and who she would be. He must have loved thinking about her.
Mary in the mind of God, I love to think about you. Help me to remember that God has always known and loved me too, and that he loves to think about me, and has always done so. He has designed me perfectly for the life he has for me.
The Immaculate Conception (December 8)
“From my mother’s womb, you are my God. “ Psalm 22″10b
At the perfect time, Mary’s precious, pure humanity was conceived in human love in the womb of her mother, whom we call Anne. So much about Mary is hidden but exceedingly beautiful. Her glory was like a pearl in a shell; God’s own secret of what was to come, his quiet mystery veiled in the dark silence of the womb. Already she was in the perfect innocence of the first Eve. Already, she was in union with God without impediments. She was innocence beyond all innocence then in existence. She was already completely full of grace. How the Blessed Trinity must loved looking at her, the private jewel of his heart, in her littleness. Her glory was like an unseen star shining on all humanity.
Little girl of incomparable beauty and promise, help me to be fully alive to God’s often hidden presence and beauty in my life, and to grow in awareness of his love and providence, his voice speaking to me, in every moment, pondering him in my heart as you did.
“O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor haughty my eyes… truly I have set my soul in peace, as a child has rest in its mother’s arms, even so my soul.” see Psalm 131The Birth of Mary (September 8)
The dawn of our salvation has come, the first hint of blue in the dark of night, signaling the sunrise and the end of Satan’s reign over humanity. The girl who would open the door to a supernova of grace into this world, has quietly come into it without fanfare. It is a birth like any other.
The birth of a daughter was normally not considered as important as that of a son. So Mary’s birth would have been even more of a quietly celebrated event, most likely. Even though this baby girl was our future queen, in the world she was born into, she was just a girl, humble and ordinary, born in a small, Roman occupied country, into a life of hard work, few rights, and a constricted future. To the world of her day, as in the countries many girls are born into still, she would have been seen as of little value.
But in the eyes of God, she was the field in which he would one day hide the Pearl of Great Price himself. We should sell everything we have and buy that field that is Mary, in which we find Jesus!
Lowly Child Mary, offer to Jesus my loving devotion to you, and may I live my Christian life in your wonderful and hidden light.
Bless, humble and gracious Child Mary, all my interactions with others, that I may see each person as valuable in God’s eyes.
Cultivate in me a deep and gentle humility.
Inspire me also to always stand for social justice, especially for girls in this world.
Holy Name of Mary (September 12)
“All generations to come will call me blessed.” Luke 1″48b
According to custom, Our Lady’s parents would have named her eight days after her birth. She was named like any other Hebrew girl, and most likely her parents had ordinary hopes for her: the joy of raising a daughter who would love them, learn from them, live and play and pray with them, of a future husband and family of her own. All these things Mary did, but in an extraordinary way, and for a purpose no one knew. Her mother and father fittingly named her Mary (Maryam or Miriam.) I wonder if they were thinking of the prophet Miriam, sister of Moses, who partnered with Moses and Aaron in leading his people to freedom through the Red Sea. The Church sees the journey through the Red Sea as a metaphor prefiguring Baptism in Christ. This little one was a new Miriam, who would partner with her Son in his work of our Salvation.
Blessed little Mary, I will take up your holy name many times each day. Come to me, and lead me through every challenge, singing of my victory. Help me always to be little in this world, that I may be great in the next!
The Presentation of the Child Mary in the Temple (November 21)
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ~ Mark 10:15
Legend has it that Mary was presented in the temple as a child, and that she danced up the temple steps, making everyone smile in spite of themselves and the solemn occasion. Mary was the first to enter the coming Kingdom of God as a child. She was confident and unafraid, totally authentic, freely humble, and without pretense. Some day we will run into God’s Kingdom without hesitation, and with the joy of a little child.
Mary, may we know the joy of spiritual childhood, of following him whose yoke is easy, whose burden is light.
Little Mary, gentle, joyful, and humble of heart, make our hearts like your own, that we may reflect the love and life and joy that comes from the freedom of the children of God.
On the center -piece of the rosary, pray the beautiful Hail Mary, which tells the story of all of her life and mission, of who she is to God and to us.
Make the Sign of the Cross.