Here, Dees goes through the sequence of the recitation of the Angelus, providing reflections based on the scriptural context of each line. He likewise gives a meditation to invite a deeper comprehension of how the Angelus can draw us to greater gratitude of how we can celebrate God’s presence in our life for the entire day. In relation to Dees, “My hope is that these reflections, whether read intermittently, all at once, or in bits and pieces, will encourage deeper meditation on how the words that you pray make an impact at this specific moment in your life.”
“Regina Caeli Meditations”
In the third and final section of Praying the Angelus, Dees guides us on a reflection of another well-known Marian prayer, the “Regina Caeli” (“Queen of Heaven”). the Regina Caeli is usually prayed during the Easter season. As in the previous section, Dees shows a reflective description of the scriptural context of each part of the prayer, along with a meditation on this aspect of personal devotion. Dees brings to our the very reason why both the Angelus and the Regina Caeli bring us to a better understanding of how much the Lord loves us and wants to center our lives around him: “[Mary] lived a life of total service to and love for God. She opened herself up to God’s will in her life and always stayed in the background. Look closely at her role in the Gospels, in Acts, and even in the letters of the New Testament; she is not the focus of attention. Instead, the attention centers on her son and on the work of the Holy Spirit in this world. She lived out what she expressed in the Magnificat (see Luke 1:46-55), declaring the greatness of the Lord and not her own” (page 108).
In the midst of a very busy life, imagine how much more personal purification we could foster, not to mention how much good we could bring into the world, by holding on to the same humility and selflessness that Mary exhibited. Reading Praying the Angelus is worthwhile because it inspires a greater devotion to this ancient Marian devotion during a time when we need increasingly contemplative laypersons in the midst of the world. Buy a copy for yourself and for the most stressed-out people you know, reminding them that we would all do well to spare three minutes a day to commit ourselves to this ancient Marian devotion that primarily directs us to step outside of ourselves and of the world and into a reflection on the eternal importance of the Paschal Mystery.