During this Year of Faith and as we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, I think it’s important to highlight some of the theology written by the Pope who oversaw the majority of the Council – Pope Paul VI. Reading his magisterial documents is important for us Catholics since he was the temporal guidance of the council (the Holy Spirit, as He does always, was the Heavenly guidance).
Most people remember his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which caused a great stir in the Church and the in secular world when it was written at the height of the Sexual Revolution. Although it was rejected at the time by many, Pope Paul VI was quite prophetic in his writing of the document since we have seen the bad fruits of the Sexual Revolution come to “fruition” – and they have been destroying the beauty and dignity of the human person since the 1960’s. Co-habitation, Abortion, Contraception, Pornography, and Same-Sex Unions are all bad “fruits” that were sold and have continued to sell at the market price by the media and organizations out to destroy the human person.
At a time in our world when these evils are being sold as if they were on a commodity exchange, we need a prayer that is based in the Paschal Mystery and the Motherly love and intercession for all of humanity that comes from the Blessed Mother. The evils above stand no chance against the Incarnation of Jesus and His Holy Mother. Together they show us the synthesis of humanity and divinity. One of the prayers that I think can lead us to destroying the immorality of this age is – THE ANGELUS.
In his Apostolic Exhortation, Marialis Cultus, Pope Paul VI says, “ What we have to say about the Angelus is meant to be only a simple but earnest exhortation to continue its traditional recitation wherever and whenever possible. The Angelus does not need to be revised, because of its simple structure, its biblical character, its historical origin which links it to the prayer for peace and safety, and its quasi-liturgical rhythm sanctifies different moments during the day, and because it reminds us of the Paschal Mystery, in which, recalling the Incarnation of the Son of God, we pray that we may be led “through his passion and cross to the glory of his resurrection.” These factors ensure that the Angelus, despite the passing of centuries, retains an unaltered value and an intact freshness. It is true that certain customs traditionally linked with the Angelus have disappeared or can continue only with difficulty in modern life. But these are marginal elements. The value of contemplation on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, of the greeting to the Virgin, and of recourse to her merciful intercession remains unchanged. And despite the changed conditions of the times, for the majority of people there remain unaltered the characteristic periods of the day – morning, noon, and evening – which marks the periods of their activity and constitute an invitation to pause in prayer.”
I would encourage you to begin reciting this simple yet powerful prayer on a daily basis (if you don’t already). I know after writing this post and reading the words of Pope Paul VI, it will be my initiative to recite this prayer at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. In a time when our world needs our prayers, here is a great prayer that can be said anywhere.
On a side note, please pray for the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, Blessed John Paul II, Blessed Karl of Austria, and all the Angels and Saints as we head into the United States of America Presidential Election. May the will of God be done.