So I might be hyper aware of this since I'm pregnant, however I feel like I've always felt this way while praying the Hail Mary. I picture Mary in two different phases of her life while praying this.
Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus
So this first part of prayer I picture Mary pregnant (probably why I'm hyper aware). I picture the Grace she's been given and the infant Jesus in her womb. This is an image that evokes a sense of vulnerability and strength. She is vulnerable to the society around her , she is vulnerable to the additional stresses on a young female body carrying a child. The infant Jesus is vulnerable to the choices of his mother, and like all babies, he's vulnerable to something happening to his mother.
However its the image of strength I see as more important. She is strong in her yes to the Holy Spirit. She is strong in her ability to travel during her pregnancy. I mean how did she travel; on foot and by donkey. I can only imagine how bad my sciatica would get on the back of a donkey. Yikes!
Holy Mary, mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death
In this second half of the prayer I envision the adult, mourning Mary. She was revealed to the world as the mother of God when her son was resurrected on Easter Sunday. She knew his entire human existence that he was God, but we didn't. After all her years of believing and trusting she is fully equipped to pray for us lowly sinners who didn't "get it" when he was ministering and showing us the way.
I hope in sharing this we all have a new way of approaching a prayer that to many, myself included, can recite the words and not remember where we were in the prayer because we've said it so many times. So slow down and picture Mary in each of these phases of life as we ask for intercession.
What do you envision while praying this? Have you even thought about it before?