I’m not against praying for Mary’s intercession but I’m confused how “Hail Our life, or sweetness, and our hope” is acceptable. Can someone please explain? Thank y’all for your help, please don’t get mad at me.
I.just take the whole prayer as one. I think the sentiment of the whole prayer is beautiful.
I recommend reading St Alphonsus of Liguori’s (is that how it’s written?) book Glories of Mary. It contains a wonderful explanation of that prayer.
At least some of St Alphonse Ligouri’s book, The Glories of Mary: An Explanation of the Salve Regina, is available online, here.
Here’s a previous answer:
Well, I dont know how the prayer was actually written, but one way to think of (any) prayerful intention might be simply to look at things in the opposite.
So, like, if one said: “O, Cruel Death, grant us greater despondency, heaping vice upon vice, and let us settle for something beneath even the contempt of despair itself…” well, she might just refer you back over to Eve…
I’m teazing you a bit, so I hope you dont take what I am saying the wrong way. It’s a good question. However, it seems important to maintain a certain level of common sense when praying, no?
I was once at a prayer meeting, and someone posed the question “Why pray at all?” just a little too much.
But it would be much better to pray than to be out looting and pillaging.
We pray - even as a community and a society - to work out our salvation, find consolation that God will have mercy on us (instead of relying upon bombs), and we seek to grow in the charity of the virtues. Kindness is amongst the most basic. So - even if one merely wished to offer a simple compliment the Immaculate Conception, who’s Virtues exceed those of any other human’s, aside from Jesus Himself - I fail to see the harm in it…
If there is any problem with those words at all, it is that the compliments would simply be understating the matter…
My friend, this is the same as when some people consecrate themselves to Mary (33 to Morning Glory for example). We are offering our lives, our good deeds, and our services directly to Mary that she may present them HERSELF to Jesus. Who better then the Mother of all Creation to present our lives and our good deeds to Jesus
If you would like to learn more, I highly suggest you read 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley. It will really open your eyes as to what this prayer means but also what it truly means to ask Mary to intercede for us. After the Trinity she is the best advocate we could have!
Come Holy Spirit, kindle the hearts of your faithful and you will renew the face of the Earth,
Aye, yah… but he need not even look that far… as there are people here who have been actively saying that devotion at the very present…
Dunno if you have been (or would be interested in) participating, but the lady who has been coordinating has been running daily threads and posts, such as here…
The 33 Devotion, I think, is under-represented in the church at large these days, although perhaps the Blessed Mother wants it somehow that way… In any case, while some do say it, it also seems like there are people who still dont understand it so well… So I am glad you mentioned it…
It’s a sentimental expression of love for Mary, Our Mother.
I could totally see myself calling my late husband “my life, my sweetness and my hope”, if I were the gushy type, which I wasn’t, but I felt like he was all those things even if I didn’t say so. Husband was a human like Mary.
Have you not been so totally in love with someone that you’d call them, or at least think of them as, your life, your sweetness and your hope?
Dear mr. p
I “wondered” about those phrases too. I can’t be mad at you or anyone who wants to know more about our Mother Mary!
We can truly pray, Hail Holy Queen, our LIFE because Mary’s life is totally given to Him – even more than St. Paul, Mary can say “I live now Not I but Christ lives in Me”. We can pray Mary is our SWEETNESS because she is nothing without Him, Mary exists to bring Him to us that we may know the SWEETNESS HE IS; and we can pray our HOPE because in Mary we “see” the HOPE HE GIVES a human person who says “Yes” to Him, as Mary did. Jesus from His Cross told us: “Behold your Mother”. Jesus wants us to see in Mary how we too can be united with Him in the perfection of Charity.
St. Louis de Montfort’s little treatise on True Devotion has helped me over many years. I would encourage you to read and ponder his words; then perhaps re-read and keep pondering in your heart as the Scriptures tell us: Mary kept all that Jesus said and did pondering all in her heart.
St. Louis de Montfort was a holy priest who wrote this book over 200 years ago and yet, St. JPII read it in his youth and said that it was a turning poin in his life. His Papal Motto was: “Totus Tuus” (translated: “ALL Yours”) words taken from True Devotion. Mother Teresa of Calcutta also read and encouraged her Missionaries of Charity to read De Montfort’s treatise on True Devotion. The wisdom of the Saints is a part of our Catholic Heritage and needs to be received as one of God’s many gifts to draw us closer to Him. Mary far surpasses all the saints for she loved Him most! Hope this helps a bit. Thanks for asking.
PS A prayer that I also like to pray is this one: “O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in Your servants, in the spirit of Your holiness, in the fullness of Your power, in the perfection of Your ways, in the truth of Your virtues, in the communion of your mysteries. Rule over every adverse power, in Your Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen.” (prayer of Fr. Olier )
One of the early Fathers of the Church said (St. Gregory Nazianzus, IIRC) that it was hard to understand the Bible if you had not studied poetry and literature. The same thing applies to a whole lot of traditional prayers created by poets and saints.
Jesus came to Earth and became man through Mary, receiving flesh from her. He could have come to us in all sorts of ways, but He chose to come to us “born of a woman,” and specifically from Mary. So obviously He wants us to pay attention to that.
Just as sin and death came to us through a single man (Adam, who God had placed in Eden to tame and guard Creation) and before that, through a single woman (Eve, who was supposed to be Adam’s helper and champion in his work), so salvation came to us through God made man, the “new Adam,” and thus through a faithful woman who did not disobey God, Jesus’ virgin mother.
As mother of Jesus, she is the mother of Mercy. As mother of Him Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, she is our life (by extension) and the new Eve (which means “mother of the living”).
Similarly, Jesus is called “sweet” and “sweetness” because He is God’s Word, and our heavenly Manna in the Eucharist, both of which are described in the Bible as sweet. (Not to mention “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”) Mary is Jesus’ mother, the mother of God, the mother of the Word, the mother of the Eucharist. So she too is a source of heavenly sweetness, particularly in her words of obedience and love, and in the way she fed baby Jesus with her body’s own sweet milk. (And there are a ton of Biblical associations with sweetness and oral teaching of the Law, and with the right way to teach kids, and with women.) She was sweetness to her Son, the head of the Body, so she is sweetness to us.
“Hope” is similar. Israel hoped for a messiah and king and priest and prophet like Moses who would see God face to face, and for the signs of his birth. Mary was the prophesied daughter of Zion who brought their hope to Israel and to us Gentiles. Heck, since her Son became part of Israel and part of humanity through Mary, she was even His hope in a way! (Knowing what would happen already, of course.)
So she is our hope as well as the mother of our hope, and becomes our mother in Baptism when Christ makes us part of His own Body. Our hope of eternal life and of salvation comes through her, because it comes from Jesus. We also have her as an example of what we hope we each will become – a human being living eternally.
I hope this helped.
If it makes you feel better, you could say much the same things about our father Abraham. But everybody likes Mom best. Heh.
She, our spiritual mother, is our sweet hope since through her prayers, we may be aided to retain a state of sanctifying grace, which is our life in the world to come. She is more honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim.
She is our life, because she is the cause of our salvation. (CCC494 - As St. Irenaeus says, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”)
She is our sweetness, because she is the pinnacle of humanity.
She is our hope, because we hope to be like her and be where she is.
It is words of love.
Might you call your earthly mother “my sweetness” or your wife “my life”?
I don’t know what the issue is with this prayer.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
Mother of mercy (Jesus is mercy), our life (Jesus is our life) our sweetness (Jesus is our sweetness) and our hope (Jesus is our hope).
How is this not acceptable?
That makes total sense but many including myself until now thought it meant what the OP thought it meant. It take us converts a little longer to get used to the Marian stuff
I think it has more to do with how well grounded you are in English Grammar and punctuation!
The extra ‘hail’ suggests to me that the prayer could be interpreted in the way the OP did.
probably. My version doesn’t have the extra ‘hail’.