When I began the project of looking closer at the Hail Mary on my blog many years ago, I never dreamed it would be a book. That project inspired a whole new way of praying for me, and it made me slow down.

Word by Word Slowing Down with the Hail Mary copy

The book inspired by the blog series, Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, has been a walk down memory lane for me, in part because many of the contributors are old friends.

In Word by Word, each contributor wrote a brief reflection about every word of the Hail Mary. The idea was that, in reflecting on the prayer one word at a time, we would all slow down and pray it differently, more meaningfully, and closer to Jesus.

Today, I get to share a bit more with you from Karina Fabian, who I met through the Catholic Writers Guild. (In fact, many of my stories of meeting writers starts out that way...and if you are a writer, you should check CWG out!)

Karina's a fiction writer, and she's also a fabulous, wonderful, very devoted person who likes babies. (She also writes the best punny jokes on Facebook, but I digress.) In fact, I'm not even representing her well here, because I'm such a fan...so I'll let HER tell you more about her devotion!

Karina Fabian Word by Word Contributor Interviews - CatholicMom.com

Karina, what's your relationship with the Hail Mary as a prayer? How does it help you grow closer to Mary and, through her, Jesus?

The Hail Mary and the Our Father are my go-to prayers. I pray the Hail Mary when I see an emergency vehicle with its lights on, and I prayed the Hail Mary when I was in labor. It’s like the comfy shirt that never seems too overused. Although I have to admit I’ve never really meditated on it so deeply until you asked me to explore just one word. I’m excited to get my copy of the book so I can go back over the meditations.

Your reflection was on the word HOLY. Tell us a bit about what this word means to you in the context of the Hail Mary.

I think it’s easy to take Mary for granted – comfy shirt isn’t the most flattering of analogies, but it fits here, too. We love her, we venerate her, but she’s our spiritual mother, and like all mothers, she’s familiar; and because of it, we may treat her casually.

But she’s also The Vessel – the perfect womb for bringing God to Humankind. She was just a woman, yet called to be so much more. Just as Jesus was God and Man, Mary is common and holy.

What's your top tip for slowing down as you pray the Hail Mary...or any prayer, for that matter?

Turn off the distractions. I’d even print the prayer if you got it off the Internet and get away from the computer.


Karina's latest novel is Mind Over All, a novel that's sitting patiently on my to-read shelf and driving me CRAZY because I'm DYING TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. (I've read the first two books. And they're great. As is pretty much everything Karina writes.) Be sure to check out her website to learn more about her writing and work.

If you're interested in purchasing Word by Word, consider stopping in at your local Catholic bookstore first. It's also available online, and if you use our Amazon link, CatholicMom.com gets a small percentage of the sales.

Copyright 2015 Sarah Reinhard