Sometimes, we wonder if our toil of work, our prayers, and our kindnesses will amount to anything. It can feel that the sowing of our hard work, prayers, or the sowing of our kind words may not avail to anything. And that is the time we are to pray even more. When dwelling on this thought about whether hard work will be worth it in the end, I thought of the Angelus painting where two peasant farmers stop to pray the Angelus and to thank God for what he has done at the end of their day.
I feel that the Angelus painting says that we must have faith. We must have faith that our work and prayers will come to a harvest and that we will see the fruits of our labor because God watches over what we have planted.
At one school where I was a librarian, St. Mel School, the whole school prayed the Angelus at 12 noon. I felt that with that prayer in the middle of the day, that God wanted us to call on him, that God was asking us to be grateful in the middle of the day.
The Angelus prayer recalls the time when an angel announces to Mary that she would be the mother of God:
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art though among women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary ….
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech thee O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, They 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.
From Our Catholic Prayers website, I learned that the Angelus gets its name from the beginning words of the prayer in Latin: “Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ.” The website also speaks of Mary’s humility. The Angelus prayer was usually said three times, at 6 am, 12 noon, and 6 pm, though it can be prayed anytime. I think the Angelus prayer is a wonderful prayer to ask God to bless our work, even though we don’t know what the outcome will be. We humble ourselves to remember that God is the one who will bless our work. We are to keep praying consistently like a farmer consistently tends to a crop. We are to pray daily. Like Mary, we can be God’s handmaid of the Lord.