I have a friend who admits to struggling with the Hail Mary. In fact, I hesitated to give her a copy ofΒ Word by Word because I thought she would hate it. Or never read it.

But thinking about her made me think of how I’ve developed some Hail Mary hacks over the years. And how, hey, I should share those. And what better way than in quick takes fashion? (I’ve missed blogging, can you tell?)

So let’s talk Hail Mary hacks, shall we?

Hail Mary Hacks in 7 Quick Takes - Snoring Scholar

— 1 —

Use association (aka Potty Breaks).


Association is a powerful tool, and if you’re like me, you’re going potty a time or two throughout the day. (Trips with small people count.)

Make that trip a time to pray the Hail Mary. Think of it as a way of blessing your time. Consider that Mary would have been wiping small bottoms too.

Back in the day, I would have said you could use your smoke break, but I quit smoking many years ago and from what I’ve seen, the bathroom is a place I have a guarantee to keep visiting and visiting…and visiting.

You could just as easily associate washing your hands, folding your laundry, picking up socks, washing dishes, or changing light bulbs.

— 2 —

Insert a clause.


In other words, shake things up a bit. Use some extra words.

I learned this when I read Jim Hahn’s awesome book on the rosary, and then Dan Burke gave it a name in a recent post.

Here’s how it works: you insert a clause after the word “Jesus,” as so:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.Β {INSERT CLAUSE HERE.}Β Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

If you’re praying a rosary, you can use the clause as something that relates to the mystery. I often find myself, though, inserting people’s names or special intentions in there when I’m just free-wheeling with my prayers through the day. (That makes me sound holy. DO NOT BE FOOLED.)

— 3 —

Use Scripture.


The Hail Mary is, after all, a completely scriptural prayer. So tap into that. Find a Psalm and work it in. Have a favorite Bible verse? There you go.

— 4 —

Breathe between each word.


Seems simple, right? Well, unless you’re underwater. πŸ™‚

But seriously: slow it down.Β Let each word be its own space. Don’t worry about how many you’ll get done or how fast you need to get done or whether you’ll get interrupted.

— 5 —

Pick a person. Or an intention. Or a time of day.


One of the ways I’ve been praying through the day lately has been to set up intentions to randomly come up at set times through the day using the Echo app. When it chimes to remind me to pray, I pray a Hail Mary for the person/intention.

And then, in the space between the chimes, when that person comes to mind, they get a Hail Mary.

— 6 —

Teach it to a child.


You’d think every Catholic kid knows this prayer. You’d be…wrong. At least, wrong from my experience as a catechist and a parent and a person.

Maybe they know the words. Do they understand what it is? That they’re not, in fact, praying TO Mary? That they’re praying Scripture? That…well, you get the idea. Praying it with a child (or, if you’re brave, more than one child) will change it for you. Just try it.

— 7 —

Use Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary.

Word by Word - 1200x853

Yes, my name’s on the cover, but I can unabashedly say that it’s worth every cent because I DIDN’T WRITE IT. Nope, I just found brilliant people, invited them to do the impossible, and then stepped back. Not only does it have a brilliant cover by Jen Norton, but it also has 40 contributors and 41 reflections, looking at every word of the Hail Mary, one by one.


YOUR TURN. What are YOUR Hail Mary hacks?

Kelly’s not at the lyceum (and yes, I have googled what that is), but she is hosting the quick takes fun. You won’t want to miss hers. Trust me.