Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hail Mary: It's Nice Having a Woman to Pray to Sometimes

Catholics pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Not all Christians do. I'm Methodist now and Mary is nowhere to be found in the Methodist church except in the Bible. 

But growing up, I liked having a woman to pray to in addition to God. Sometimes there were things that I felt a woman would be more compassionate about. Sometimes I just felt she understood.

I remember when I first learned how to say the prayer, Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of my death, Amen. 

My mother taught me the Hail Mary when I was six or seven years old. It was evening, and she was down on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. I don't know why she didn't just use a mop, but my mother was a perfectionist when it came to cleanliness. 

So here I was standing in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen. I wasn't allowed to step on the kitchen floor. So as she crawled around with wet rag in hand, she would recite a line, and I would repeat, and we did this over and over until I got the whole prayer down. 

To this day, every time I recite the Hail Mary, or even think about it, I think about my mom down on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor and me trying to be careful not to cross over the line and step on her wet floor. I can picture it clear as day, as if it was yesterday.

Since my mom is gone now, I cherish memories like these. And since Mary is a mom too, I know she understands my sense of loss. Sometimes, it's just nice to have a woman to pray to.

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