Friday, June 10, 2016

Walking Through the Rosary

Sometimes, it can be difficult to meditate on the Rosary as you pray it. You should be thinking about each Mystery: The Agony in the Garden, The Visitation, etc. Though it's easy to bring up a familiar image from religious art, the question still remains - how does this Mystery apply to me, personally?

I've written two meditation guides on to help: Walking Through the Rosary and Walking Through the Rosary for the Childless. These are both available on Amazon and other places as both ebook and paperback. However, the purpose behind these books was to get people more involved with  this beautiful, deep, Scriptural prayer, and so I decided to make the book available, chapter by chapter, here on Bad Martha. I'll being with the chapter, "Why Pray the Rosary?"

I hope that it brings you many hours of fruitful prayer.

Why Pray the Rosary?

The Rosary is a weapon for peace.

What if you knew there was a weapon available that could end war? That would put an end to violence on the streets? That would eliminate hate? There is, and it's not the latest bomb from the military but a simple recitation of prayers that's been around in various forms for over a thousand years.

Well, you ask, why hasn't anyone ever told us about this? Why don't the popes recommend it to us? They have, even back to Pope Urban IV in the 1200s. The Rosary was the favorite prayer of St. Pope John Paul II. In an address given to the crowds in St. Peter's Square on October 7,2007, as reported on, Pope Benedict XVI said, "...the Rosary is a means given by the Virgin for contemplating Jesus and, meditating on His life, for loving and following Him always more faithfully." In a Vatican News story on May 4, 2015, Pope Francis told the Swiss Guard to arm themselves with the Gospel and the Rosary. It would be safe to say that the popes are behind the Rosary.

If we want peace in the world, we need to pray the Rosary. Never lose hope. Here are some examples of how the Rosary changed the outcomes of some dire situations.

  • Battle of Lepanto, 1571 - Ottoman Turks outnumbered Christians by three to one, but when the Christian soldiers prayed the Rosary, they miraculously defeated the Turks.

  • Russians Pull Out of Austria - After World War II, the Allies turned Austria over to communist Russia, and the citizens were subject to the atrocities of communism. Father Petrus, a Franciscan priest, began a Rosary rally, and 70,000 Austrians pledged to pray the Rosary every day for Russia to leave the country. Although Austria was a strategic location rich with mineral and oil deposits, Russia inexplicably and peacefully left the country in 1955.

  • Russian Missile Launch Fails - In 1960, Nikita Khrushchev, after promising to "bury" the United States, went home for a final test launch of a nuclear missile. Pope John XXIII called for the world's Catholics to pray the Rosary. On the night of October 12 - 13, about 1,000,000 pilgrims prayed the Rosary at Fatima. At least 300 dioceses around the world joined them. When it came time to test the missile, it didn't leave the launch pad. After about fifteen minutes, government officials and scientists left the safety of the shelter, and the missile exploded, killing over 300 people.

  • A Promise to Defeat Boko Haram- In a recent news story, Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme from Nigeria tells that he was praying the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus appeared to him and held out a sword. When the bishop reached for the sword, it turned into a Rosary, and then Jesus said three times, "Boko Haram is gone." Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that captured 300 schoolgirls in 2014 and murdered 54 people in 2015, is a scourge in the bishop's country. Bishop Doeme understood this apparition to mean that praying the Rosary would rid his country of the terrorist threat of Boko Haram.

UPDATE: By the end of April 2015, CNA/EWTN had reported that Nigerian troops had rescued over 400 women and children from Boko Haram in separate operations. This is after Bishop Doeme began his crusade to get people to pray the Rosary for peace. Coincidence? I don't believe it is.

 We are called to pray it, so it must be important!

Over and over again, the Blessed Mother has urged us to pray the Rosary in her apparitions.

  • At Lourdes, Mary emphasized the Rosary and prayed it many times with Bernadette.

  • At Fatima, Mary told the children, "Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it." (Our Lady, July 13, 1917)

  • In Kibeho, Rwanda, our Lady asked that the entire student body of Kibeho High School pray the Rosary for her, and she asked one of the visionaries, Marie-Claire Mukangango, to reintroduce the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows to the world. (Instructions for how to pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows appear at the end of this book.)

Archbishop Fulton Sheen summed up the Rosary with these words:

"The Rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description."

There are benefits to praying the Rosary

The Catholic Church has attached indulgences to praying the Rosary. Catholic Answers gives this explanation from The Handbook of Indulgences:

  • A plenary indulgence is granted when the Rosary is recited in a church or oratory or when it is recited in a family, a religious community, or a pious association. A partial indulgence is granted for its recitation in all other circumstances.

  • It has become customary to call [one set of mysteries] the "Rosary" also. Concerning this customary usage then, the following norms are given regards a plenary indulgence.

  • The recitation of [one set of mysteries] is sufficient for obtaining the plenary indulgence, but these five decades must be recited without interruption.

  • Devout meditation on the mysteries is to be added to the vocal prayer.

  • In its public recitation the mysteries must be announced in accord with approved local custom, but in its private recitation it is sufficient for the Christian faithful simply to join meditation on the mysteries to the vocal prayer.
  • In the Eastern Churches where recitation of the Marian Rosary as a devotional practice is not found, the patriarchs can establish other prayers in honor of the blessed Virgin Mary which will have the same indulgences as those attached to the rosary, (e.g., in the Byzantine churches, the Akathist hymn, or the office Paraclisis). (79-80)

What is an indulgence? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1471, "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven."

Partial indulgences are the partial remission of temporal (not eternal!) punishment for sins. Plenary indulgences are the full remission of temporal punishment for sin.

Finally, Mary made 15 Promises to those who recite the Rosary. She gave these promises first to St. Dominic and later to Blessed Alan de la Roche, and each promise bestows great favors on those who regularly pray the Rosary with devotion.

The Fifteen Promises

1.       Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces. (Signal graces are signs from God to help us make the right decisions.)
2.       My special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
3.       The Rosary will be a powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4.       It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.
5.       Those who recommend themselves to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
6.       Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune.
7.       God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death, if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of eternal life.
8.       During their life and at their death, the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death, they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
9.       I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
10.   The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
11.   You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
12.   All those who propagate the holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
13.   All who recite the Rosary are my sons, and the brothers of my only son, Jesus Christ.
14.   I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
15.   Devotion (to the Rosary) is a great sign of predestination.

(Predestination is the doctrine that God, in consequence of His foreknowledge of all events, infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation. Definition by Merriam-Webster.)


1 comment:

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    God bless you.