A popular prayer to St. Anthony begins:  “Gentle Servant of God, St. Anthony”.  St. Anthony was, indeed, known for his benevolence and kindness.  Graciousness sometimes seems to be a lost art in our society today.  Even the word seems a bit archaic, but it is such an important quality, and very much related to our faith!   The root of the word is Latin, and comes from the word “grace”.

Hail Mary, full of grace”, the angel sang.  What does it mean to be full of grace?  Doesn’t it simply mean to be open, the way Mary was, to God’s gentle promptings? 

Have you ever thought, “Should I hold the door for this person; do a favor for my friend; smile at that stranger?”  Could those thoughts be the Holy Spirit whispering in your ear?  Saying "Yes" to those small inspirations, the way that Mary said "Yes" to God, are all ways of being gracious, and, therefore, full of grace.  Today, let’s ask St. Anthony to help us rekindle the lost art of graciousness, and allow God’s goodness to touch others through us.

St. Anthony, pray for us!