Hail Mary, full of grace – my favorite prayer, mumbled or whispered as planes take off, as we wait for the doctor, as we pass a tragic car accident. Holy mother help me, help us, intercede.

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Mary who watched as her son was beaten and spit upon.

Mary who knew the little boy he once had been.

Mary who knew what it was to have a sword pierce her own soul.

As we remember September 11, as we prepare to receive people fleeing Afghanistan and other countries ruled by poverty and violence, as we lead our churches and our communities into another season of pandemic restrictions and masks, as the work, the burden, the grief piles on.

Sweet Mary, lift us up to our Creator God. May our prayers, wrung from desperate breasts and weighed down by tears, lift to the very lap of God.


Alicia Hager resides in West Michigan and is a Postulant to the Sacred Order of Priests in the Episcopal Church. Alicia enjoys spending time with her daughters and her husband, is bonkers about her cats, and blogs at astrawberrypointe.wordpress.com.

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