12 Ways A Woman Can Be Full Of Grace

by Mary - The Blessed Mother, May

“Hail Mary, full of grace.” We often repeat these words as part of the prayer for many different daily devotionals, such as the Angelus, the Rosary, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. When applied to the Blessed Mother, it is easy to see how she is full of grace, but have you ever thought about what it means for you to be “full of grace”? In the same way that the Blessed Mother leads us to her Son to grow in a relationship with Him, she also teaches us how to be grace-filled women. When coupled with St. Paul’s writings that outline the Christian virtues, we have a blueprint for being “full of grace” in our own lives.

Perfection

“Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48

At face value, the word “perfect” might sound hopeless, but when placed into the context of our faith, it becomes more achievable. St. Louis de Montfort wrote, “All our perfection consists in being conformed, united, and consecrated to Jesus Christ; and therefore, the most perfect of all devotions is, without any doubt, that which the most perfectly conforms, unites, and consecrates us to Jesus Christ. Now, Mary being the most conformed of all creatures to Jesus Christ, it follows that, of all devotions, that which most consecrates and conforms the soul to our Lord is devotion to His holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more is it consecrated to Jesus.” While we may not yet be perfectly conformed to God at this moment, the ways that we grow in holiness come from striving for perfection. Also, placing ourselves in the Blessed Mother’s hands will help us grow to be full of grace in each of our vocations.

Talk with God: Consider your vocation or how God has called you to live your life (i.e., a wife, a mother, a religious, a consecrated person, or a single person.) Ask Him to show you how to grow in holiness so that you may reach perfection in your state of life.

Humility

“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6

Our Blessed Mother is the perfect example of humility. Pope Benedict XVI stated, “Mary was the first person to take the ‘way’ to enter the Kingdom of God that Christ opened, a way which is accessible to the humble, to all who trust in the word of God and endeavor to put it into practice.” Grace-filled women will follow the model of Mary by trusting in the will of God for their lives and always being ready to say yes–to give their own “fiat”–to whatever He asks.   

Talk with God: Pray the Litany of Humility. As you do, ask God to highlight one way for you to grow in humility.

Mortification

“…and you yourself a sword will pierce.”

Luke 2:35

This moment during the Presentation in the Temple must have been frightening for our Blessed Mother. This “sword” showed that she would face great suffering, which were some of her mortifications, yet this did not deter her from her life’s mission. In fact, it arguably made her stronger as she willingly offered her sacrifices and sufferings out of love and carried her crosses united to her Son’s. Women who are full of grace will do the same.

Talk with God: What is one “sword” that has pierced you? Ask God to give you the grace to carry this cross in union with Jesus.

Patience

A prayer by Antonio Cardinal Bacci beautifully highlights the Blessed Mother’s patience:

Holy Mary, Mother of Sorrows, obtain for me the spirit of loving patience which made you the Queen of Martyrs.
Help me to carry without resignation the cross which God has given me.
Help me to walk like you in the footsteps of Jesus, until I reach my Calvary, so that I may join Him and you, in the glory of Heaven. Amen.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

The idea of “loving patience” is worth pondering because the two cannot be separated. Mary’s love for others allowed her to be patient, and her patience with others allowed her to freely and wholeheartedly love them. This model encourages us to do the same with everyone we encounter in our daily lives.

Talk with God: Pray the prayer by Antonio Cardinal Bacci, and ask God to show you one way to grow in “loving patience.”

Meekness

“My soul magnifies the Lord.”

Luke 1:46

This sentence from Mary’s Magnificat summarizes her entire life. On earth, she remained little in spirit and used her life to point to the greatness of her Son. Now, in heaven, she intercedes for us as a loving mother who wants to bring everyone to her Son. We, too, can follow her example, using our lives to show the glory of God and, in turn, bring others to Him.

Talk with God: What is one way that your life magnifies the Lord? Thank God for this grace.

Obedience

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Luke 1:38

The way in which Mary demonstrates her obedience to God’s will is exceptionally beautiful. Her words show that what God wants is most important. Taking the time to meditate on these words can help us to respond in a similar manner when we are tasked with something from God, especially when what is being asked of us is difficult.

Talk with God: What is one way that God asks you to show obedience Him? Ask God to help you to give yourself wholly to Him, holding nothing back.

Simplicity

“While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Luke 2:6-7

Each Christmas, there is a spotlight on the simplicity of the way in which Jesus Christ entered the world as a baby, surrounded by animals, and at the same time, the simplicity of the Blessed Mother’s life is illuminated as well. She used whatever she had to show love to her Child, the Son of God. In the same way, women can live a life of simplicity because they have found their joy in God and those gifts and graces that fill their lives rather than in material things.

Talk with God: What is one way that you live your life in simplicity? If you cannot pinpoint how you’re living your life in simplicity, ask God to show you how to begin.

Diligence

Mary demonstrates her diligence in her motherhood. St. John Paul II shared that “[t]he care of a mother embraces her child totally. Mary’s motherhood has its beginning in her motherly care for Christ.” When Jesus was younger, she would have been diligent in doing the everyday and often mundane, tasks of motherhood. St. John Paull II continues that “[i]n Christ, at the foot of the cross, she accepted John, and in John she accepted all of us totally. Mary embraces us all with special solicitude in the Holy Spirit.” The beautiful gift of perseverance that she had, not only with her own Son but with all of us through spiritual motherhood, shows Mary’s dedication to her vocation.

Talk with God: What is one way that you can demonstrate diligence in your vocation?

Prayer

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”

Luke 2:19

The way in which the Blessed Mother takes in the events of her life and then reflects on them is a wonderful model of prayer. In our daily lives, even when it seems like we may be running on auto-pilot, we often encounter many different situations just as Mary did when a variety of people came to worship the newborn King.

Talk with God: What is one experience that you had today? What do you think God is showing you?

Confidence

When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”

John 2:3-5

The confidence with which Mary says, “Do whatever he tells you,” changes the course of history. Her unwavering faith shown in the last line of this passage propels Jesus into His public ministry and, as a result, our world has never been the same. When we have this same confidence as Mary, we can trust that God will act, at times even through us, in our lives and the lives of others.

Talk with God: If possible, spend time in silence in front of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and make the line “do whatever he tells you” personal. What is God telling you?

Charity

“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.”

Luke 1:39-40

The fact that the Blessed Mother took the dangerous journey to be there with Elizabeth and stayed with her demonstrates one act of charity. Instead of being concerned with her own challenges, she immediately thinks of the other. In the same way, women who are full of grace routinely put others first.

Talk with God: What is one way that you can be generous with your time and/or talents to help someone else?

Union

The third line of the “Stabat Mater Dolorosa” perfectly captures the Blessed Mother’s union with her Son:

At the cross her station keeping,                                        Stabat Mater dolorosa
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,                                 juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
Close to Jesus to the last.                                                  dum pendebat Filius.

Even at the darkest moment of the world, the Blessed Mother stayed close to God. She serves as a model for us all to always stay close to Him who loves us so much that He was willing to give His life for each one of us.

Talk with God: What is God asking of you so that you may enter into a closer union with Him?

While these virtues may seem daunting, it helps to think about those women in your life who exemplify one or more of them. In my own life, I have been blessed to have not only my heavenly mother as a model to be “full of grace” but also my earthly mother and dear friends. They have exemplified these virtues in their daily lives, and knowing how close they are to God has helped me to grow in holiness. Who are these women in your life—whether it be a mother, a mother figure, or a friend? Walk together and help each other to become “full of grace.”

1010 Evangelical virtues of Mary
best catholic newsletter

Image: Photo by Matea Gregg on Unsplash

Great Catholic Father's Day Gifts
at the Catholic-Link Co. Store!

Keep Searching, Keep Learning

Our Newest Articles:

Find the perfect Catholic gift for Dad here!

Search Catholic-Link

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest