Mother’s Day Prayer: Blessed Mary Compared to the Air We Breathe

One of my favorite prayer sites (especially for nightly prayer) is Sacred Space, which is run by the Irish Jesuits.  Each week they have a “Something to think and pray about” reflection.  This week, perhaps in honor of Mother’s Day in the U.S., they have a condensed version of the a poem to Mary by the great 19th century poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., which is reproduced below.  I encourage you to read the full poem, which is absolutely beautiful, here.

The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe
Gerard Manley Hopkins  

Wild air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere,…
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God’s infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race…
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareth in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve;
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn…
Be thou then, O thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere;
My happier world, wherein
To wend and meet no sin…
Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God’s love, O live air,
Of patience, penance, prayer:
World-mothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child.

About William Ockham

I am a father of two with eclectic interests in theology, philosophy and sports. I chose the pseudonym William Ockham in honor of his contributions to philosophy, specifically Occam's Razor, and its contributions to modern scientific theory. My blog ( explores Ignatian Spirituality and the intersection of faith, science and reason through the life and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pictured above).
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1 Response to Mother’s Day Prayer: Blessed Mary Compared to the Air We Breathe

  1. Pingback: precious words, in silence heard… | Renew The Church! - website and Blog

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