Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Befriending St. Anne

"With or without all of our faults and sins, the role we play as grandparents, the real wisdom we pass on, is just in being.  We are age.  We have come to embody what has passed and is passing."
 ~Susan Griffin from Eye of My Heart:  27 writers reveal the hidden pleasures and perils of being a grandmother edited by Barbara Graham

"One of the most beautiful things in life, in the family, in our lives, is caressing a child and letting yourself be caressed by a grandfather or a grandmother.” ~Pope Francis

Despite sharing her name, I've never been overly fond of St. Anne.  Images I'd find of her always portrayed her as tired and old.  All these years I just wasn't ready to admit that I was getting older, I guess, so I would turn to saints that I perceived as being young and full of energy whenever I was in need.  But now that I'm a grandmother, it's finally time to embrace St. Anne, the wise and holy grandmother of Our Lord, and I have been readily turning to her in prayer, asking her to assist me to be a good and holy mother-in-law and grandmother to my newly and beautifully enlarged family.  I pray that I will age gracefully and my spirit will soar with the joys of these later years in my life, and that I might become a beloved grandmother whose deep love and kindness will benefit and be remembered by the future generations of my family.

Becoming a grandmother is a strange sort of feeling, isn't it?  I didn't have to do a single thing to earn this title.  When I became a mother I had to carry a baby within my body and  labor to bring the child into the world.  But I hardly had to do a thing to become a grandmother.  One beautiful day my daughter-in-law placed my grandson in my arms and I fell madly in love with him and that was all there was to it.  Easy love.

In my effort to become better acquainted with St. Anne, I've been praying this lovely old prayer and a hauntingly gorgeous Renaissance chant that can be found here or embedded below with the words printed beneath. I hope that you will join me in praying to St. Anne for your own needs.  I'm certain that her wisdom and goodness will be honored by Our Lord when she intercedes for us.

Prayer to St. Anne
Christ's mother's mother, hail! You are
The first on earth who knew that star
From whence broke forth our Sun!
Through you, Light from Light arose
From that gate to all men closed,
Foretold by prophets once.
Happy would that birthing be
By which God swore eternally
To shatter Death for good.
Author of such good that day,
St. Anne, drive cruel words away
As God's laws say we should.
You were barren once, so tongues
Teased you. When no longer young,
Your neighbors scorned your quest.
Fin'lly fruitful with a child,
You who once had been reviled --
Then they proclaimed you blest.
Your girl's Child wills that our prayers
With you and your child be shared.
So we trust them to you --
Whom God trusted to prove true,
Whom God grants to know and do
The great good given you.

Anna Mater Matris Christi

Anne, mother of Christ's mother
look with pity upon us
thou who was found worthy
to give Mary the breast.

Oh how worthily thou art honored

by the human race
who bearest Mary for the world
by the mighty gift of God.
For thou bringest the hope of remedy
by thy holy child-bearing;
be mindful of these thy dependents
in exile.

Blessed Anne, thou didst ascend

above all the stars;
do thou in our grievous hour of death
free us from the enemy.
Thus, matchless matron
mayst thou deign to help us,
being the mother who brought salvation
make us live to Christ.

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