We are all about learning-by-doing around here. Penny has begun to attempt the sign of the cross and is enthusiastic about holding her hands for prayer. This is thanks to plenty of, “Penny! Do this! PenPen! Look! Pen! Like this!” (siblings are great!) and her just observing.
It’s great until you realize that some of the finer points get lost in translation.
This spring, Lucy insisted she could lead a decade of the Rosary. I’m trying to remember that the little kids need the opportunities their older siblings were given. So while we were all doubtful, we invited her to lead.
She smiled and got bashful. She quietly mumbled her prayers so that we asked over and over for her to say it loud enough for everyone. This is what she said/says:
“Hello, Mary! Full of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Now, the Hail Mary actually says,
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed in the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death.
It could be argued that Lu hits the high points. And while her siblings snicker (siblings ARE great!!), I hold to the truth of her earnest prayer.
The “Hail!” is nothing more than a greeting, closer to a “Hello, Mary!” I’d like to think than to a “Hear ye, hear ye!” from St. Gabriel. And the ‘full of God” is really what being full of grace is all about, right? Plus, it brings to mind Mary, belly stretched tight at the end of nine months, being so very ‘full of God.’ While we don’t abide cutting corners, I do appreciate her pithiness and cutting to the chase as we should always be thinking about the fragility of our life.
Yes, we are working on teaching her the “right” way to say it. But I’m taking the time to revel in the lessons her learning-by-doing is teaching my heart, too.
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives on child such as this in my name receives me.” Matthew 18:3-5