Hail Mary Series (Part 2 of 10) – Full of Grace
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death! Amen.
What does it mean to be full of something? Filled to capacity? No room for anything else? Jam-packed? Well, take these definitions, and apply them to the amount of Grace that God placed in the Virgin Mary!
This only means something though if we know what Grace is. The Catechism tells us about two types of Grace: Sanctifying and Actual. Sanctifying Grace is the spiritual LIFE that fills our souls at Baptism, and the breath that keeps us spiritually alive. It lives in our souls. Actual Grace is a ‘helping grace’ from God that does not live in our souls, but comes to the rescue when we need it. When you get that tickle in your mind saying, “Hey, it’s been a while… you ought to get to Confession,” that is an Actual Grace from God moving you to repentance and reconciliation. Because of the gift of Free Will, we are free to cooperate with that Grace or not. If we use it, and hit the Confessional, it deepens our friendship with Christ. If not, it passes us by… But God won’t leave you hanging, and another will be around the corner.
Something else worth mentioning – A mortal (i.e. deadly) sin kills Sanctifying Grace (which is why you can’t go to Communion when you have a mortal sin). A venial sin doesn’t kill Grace, but weakens it, making it easier to commit more venial and eventually mortal sins. (Another reason why it’s great to confess venial sins – even though you don’t technically HAVE to!)
So with this information in mind, what does “Full of Grace” mean? It means FULL! As in, no room for anything else! Because Mary would be a living tabernacle for nine months, she HAD to be full of Grace – and nothing else! The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament was made of the best, the finest, and the purest materials that could be found by man! Doesn’t it make sense then for the Ark of the NEW Covenant (Mary – because Jesus is the New Covenant) to be made of the best, finest, and purest materials that could be found by God?!
She was pure, forever a virgin, and sinless. Because of Who she carried within, nursed, taught, and mothered, she couldn’t be anything else.