Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Lady of the Rosary

Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Once called a poor man's Psaltery (there are 150 psalms and there are 150 Hail Mary's in the Rosary) the Rosary is a Marian devotion that encourages us to meditate on the mysteries of the Gospel. There are 15 promises Mary made to those who faithfully and devoutly pray the Rosary. The Rosary, like other sacramentals, should never be viewed as an amulet or magic charm. What it is is a weapon against sin and vice and the temptations of the devil. It doesn't take very long to pray the Rosary - 20 minutes at most. Surely, everyone has 20 minutes to give to Our Lord through Mary. I keep a Rosary with me at all times so I can pray it whenever I want - walking to and from work, exercising - the Rosary can be prayed just about anywhere. It's a small investment of time for a very large return. As Saint Louis de Montfort once said, "One day, our Lady will save the world through the Holy Rosary."

Father Benedict Groeschel wrote a wonderful book of Rosary meditations called "Chain of Hope". I find such readings helpful when I have difficulty meditating on the sacred mysteries without distraction. It's good to know that even some of the holiest saints struggled with praying the Rosary as they should. St. Therese said of her own inability to remain focused "..when alone (I am ashamed to admit) the recitation of the Rosary is more difficult for me than the wearing of an instrument of penance. I feel I have said this so poorly!... For a long time I was desolate abou this lack of devotion, which astonished me because I love the Blessed Virgin so much that it should be easy for me to recite in her honor prayers which are so pleasing to her. Now I am less desolate. I think that the Queen of Heaven, since she is my Mother, must see my goodwill and she is satisfied with it."

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