I love this explanation of the Hail Mary prayer. While it’s not extremely in depth, it is simple and actually covers a lot of ground in a relatively small space.
I’m only including the first part of the explanation here, but you can click on the link at the bottom to read the rest.
First, the prayer itself:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Now the explanation:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Luke 1:28 “And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.”
The Greek kecharitomene means favored by grace, graced. Its tense suggests a permanent state of being “highly favored,” thus full of grace. Charity, the divine love within us, comes from the same root. God is infinite Goodness, infinite Love. Mary is perfect created goodness, filled to the limit of her finite being with grace or charity.
Blessed art thou among women
Luke 1:41-42a “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women…”
Luke 1:48 “For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.”
Among all women is a way to say the highest/greatest etc. of a group in Semitic languages (these words would likely have been spoken in Aramaic). Mary is being called the greatest of all women, greater than Ruth, greater than Sarah, greater than EVE! Since Eve was created immaculate (without original sin), Mary must have been conceived immaculate. And, although Eve fell into sin by her own free will, Mary must have corresponded to God’s grace and remained sinless. She could not otherwise be greater than Eve. Thus, as the Fathers of the Church unanimously assert, Mary is the New Eve who restores womanhood to God’s original intention and cooperates with the New Adam, her Son, for the Redemption of the world.
Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus