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Caitlin Kennell Kim
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Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
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Our readers asked:

A friend stopped me and we talked about my new job. She then asked if we could pray a Hail Mary together for the success of my new career? It kind of weirded me out. Should I have refused her request?

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:

First of all, congratulations on the new job. Second, it’s a bit hard to answer the question as I’m not entirely sure where your discomfort lies. Does it lie in the fact that it felt wrong to pray for success? If so, rest easy. There is nothing wrong with asking for God’s help so you can do a good job at your job. We could probably all use a little divine help in that area.

If your unease lies in the fact that your friend asked you to pray a Hail Mary instead of some other prayer, remember that praying for Mary’s intercession is perfectly in line with Catholic theology. The Catechism says that “Prayer of intercession consists in asking on behalf of another” (CCC 2647), which is something that most of us naturally do with our friends (think of times that you’ve asked people you know to pray for you). Catholics believe that Mary, like our good friends, is always ready to pray on our behalf. We express this belief during the Hail Mary when we pray, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” She intercedes for you, just as you might ask a close friend to do.

If you are thinking that praying for your career seems somehow beneath Mary’s notice, don’t worry about that at all. Remember that she was the one who nudged Jesus into performing his first miracle of turning water into wine, presumably because she wanted the newlyweds to have a great party to kick off their married life together. (See the story of the Wedding at Cana in John 2: 1-11). I like that story because it shows that Mary cares about every aspect of our lives, not just what we would call life-and-death issues. I’m sure she’d like to see you happy and finding a sense of fulfillment in your job, just as any caring mother would.

 
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The Author : Ginny Kubitz Moyer
Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of the award-winning book Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at randomactsofmomness.com.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Ginny Kubitz Moyer

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kim. You have articulated why Mary is so special to so many mothers … she really is someone who “gets it.” My own closeness to Mary increased in a huge way when my first son was born. I realized that she loved and cared for Jesus the way I love and care for my son … and any woman who did that for the Savior of the World is really something.

    Many blessings on your pregnancy!

  • Kim

    I really liked your sentiment about Mary…that the water-to-wine parable shows how she cares about every aspect of our lives. It really humanizes her to me because my mother-in-law is just like that. (Off subject, but I am suddenly realizing that God gave me a very tangible example of Mary in my own life…and of Jesus, because my husband is one of the most caring people I know.)

    Not being raised Catholic, but leaning towards it now in my adulthood while I attend a Christian church, I’ve always had trouble reconciling Mary’s importance. Praying the rosary is something that as a “protestant” Christian, I have learned to see as nothing short of idolatry. But in my search to find answers, I’ve been talking a lot more with God. I now smile when I see the statue of Mary that has stared at me from my neighbors’s garden across the street for 8 years. I asked for Mary’s intercessory prayer to calm my mother fears when I found out that my husband and I were pregnant earlier this year, as she would probably understand. (My husband and I prayed for the pregnancy, but it still didn’t stop the occasional wave of fear of becoming first-time parents when it happened.)

    Now that our baby girl is due in 11 weeks (named Hannah after Samuel the priest’s mother, who also prayed for a child and was answered by God), I find myself wanting more and more guidance as we prepare to bring this little girl into the world. And I can think of no other person who would care more about bringing a child into the world and showing them God’s love than Jesus’s mother Mary…and my mother-in-law. :)

    Thanks for the well-written answer to this person’s question that has helped to answer my own.

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