Reza el Rosario... From the Vatican : Pray the Rosary for Peace!
Song -With a Rosary in My Hand
Make it a part of your daily prayers and your life will never be the same.
The rosary is a very old form of prayer that can be defined as a scriptural meditation. As we pray the Our Fathers and the Hail Marys, we concentrate on the mysteries in the lives of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The origin of the Rosary devotion is traditionally connected with St. Dominic who lived in Spain in the thirteenth century. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Dominic, holding a Rosary in her hand. She said that the devotion to the Rosary would convert sinners and obtain great graces from God. St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order, taught the people how to pray the rosary, and more than one hundred thousand were converted. Seven centuries later in 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary asked the children of Fatima to pray the rosary as well: "I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. People must NOT continue to offend our Lord, already so deeply offended. Pray the Rosary."In today�s world, we find that the prayer of peace that the rosary represents is prayed and recommended by many. Pope John Paul II has a cassette and a CD on praying the rosary, which has become a hot seller in the secular world. Here in our hometown of Sugar Land,
Father Roy Oggero writes: I want to suggest praying the Rosary daily. It is the Prayer of Peace. You can pray out anger, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, anxiety; and the opposite of these begin to come into your life. There is a story Father Albert Shaman, a priest of the Rochester, New York Diocese tells. It is the story of Austria�s great Rosary Crusade that liberated the country from Soviet control: At the end of WW2, the victorious allies pulled out of Austria and left it in Soviet hands. After three years of tyranny the Austrian people could no longer bear the Communist control. Father Peurus remembered the story of how the Ottoman Turks were defeated at Lepanto in 1591, though the Christians were outnumbered three to one. - The Rosary was prayed by all the men and the Turks were defeated. So Father Peurus called for a Rosary Crusade against the occupying Soviets. He asked for ten percent of the population to pray the Rosary everyday. That would be 700,000 Austrians. He got the 700,000 and for seven years the Rosary was prayed everyday. On May 13, 1955, the anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, the Russians withdrew from Austria. Their evacuation made no sense since Austria was a real war prize. To this day many historians are baffled by the pullout. I mention this event to simply remind us that prayer is very powerful, and especially the Rosary. The choice to experience this power is yours and mine. I pray all of us will say �YES� to the Holy Spirit more often and pray the Rosary. May the Lord and Our Lady be with our Assembly and with all our families.(1)
We need a Rosary crusade in each one of our families to defeat and drive out the stronghold the devil has over our lives, and the hearts and minds of our children. The rosary has helped many lives, bringing blessing from situations which seemed hopeless as the story, His Mother's Beads, found in A Missionary's Notebook (2) illustrates: I had been all evening in the confessional. At a quarter to twelve I was mounting the
stairs that led to my room, when the night bell rang. I went to the door. "Who is there?" I asked. "A man who must see the priest." "But this is no time to see the priest. Is anyone sick ?" "Yes, Father," was the answer in a sad voice. "I am worse than sick." I opened the door and faced the speaker, a man in poor attire. "Father," he said, "do you want to save a soul?" Then he entered, though I had not invited him to do so. Ordinarily such a proceeding would put me on my guard. I felt
no fear this time, and under the dim light of the hall lamp I scrutinized the intruder. He took off his cap and I saw a white, haggard face, unkept hair, a ragged coat and grimy hands. The eyes were clear and earnest, and I waited to hear what should come next. "Father, I am a burglar and belong to an organized band. Don't be afraid. I was once a good Catholic, but I have not practiced my religion for years. This very night I held-up a laboring man who I knew had received his pay. I grabbed his throat and took from his pocket a roll of bills. Entangled with them was a rosary. When I saw the beads I felt a shiver run through me. My mother's face came before me. Like a flash I thrust the money back into the man's hand and said: "You take that; I will keep this," and before he could make an outcry I fled down an alley to a shelter and sat down, looking at the rosary. I saw our little house in the country and my old mother (God rest her!) sitting in her chair on the porch with her beads in her lap. The sun was shining and the creatures on the farm were making their pleasant noises; but mother was looking at me. I called out, "Do you want anything, mother?" "No, son, only that you be a good man. I am saying my beads for you." "Father, I heard her voice as plainly as I hear my own, and it broke me all up. I resolved to become an honest man and see a priest this very night. I had little hope of finding one at this late hour, and I think God had mercy on me when He sent you to me." "My son," I said, "do you want to go to confession?" "That's what brought me here, Father." I drew him into a little room where there was always a stole and a crate, and he got on his knees and made his confession. It was a strange scene. The darkened room, only the hall lamp dimly burning outside; the silent house and the solemn tolling of midnight which rang out over the city. But God's work was accomplished, and when we stood again at the door he said: "Father, you can trust me. I have not a cent in the world. I will return what you will lend me next Saturday." I put my hand in my pocket. There was nothing but a two-dollar bill. "I am sorry I have nothing more," I said. "It will do, Father. I will try to get work, and this will give me lodging and meals till I do. I will be here next Saturday. Good-night." "God bless you, my son," I said. "Good-night." And I closed the door. It was long before I slept. The face of the poor man was before me, the little white rosary and the vivid picture of that old mother in her chair on the porch seemed to follow me even as I dreamed... "Oh, ye sainted old mothers who pray for your wandering sons, NEVER GIVE UP. God cannot deny your prayers. THEY WILL COME BACK, and there shall be joy in heaven over the sinner who returns, over the sheep that was lost and is found through your loving prayers." Need I say that he came back the following Saturday and has come regularly since, leading the life of a good and honest man? The Rosary is like an umbilical cord of grace that connects my earthly journey with my eternal family and home. Reflect on this a minute. An umbilical cord is what connects the unborn baby to the mother and is the vehicle by which all the nourishment the baby needs passes. As I pray the Rosary, that line of spiritual nourishment is open for inspiration, wisdom, counsel and insight to direct and guide me until I depart to my eternal home. My devotion to the rosary began when I was a child. It was fostered by my family praying the rosary together in the evenings at home, on our knees. I don�t remember it being particular spiritual. Some funny things happened as mother and dad tried to keep us from teasing each other in order to get through the Rosary. Yet it had a very powerful impact on my life. I went to a Catholic school, and we prayed the rosary there. In my small town, praying the rosary was a part of most liturgical devotions. After I got older, I moved away and I was confronted by many different opinions which led to confusion and misunderstandings. At times I suffered mockery and ridicule because of my faith. Some of these actions came from sincere, bible-believing Christians. I began to feel uncomfortable and intimidated. As a result, I stopped praying the rosary and making the sign of the cross outside of church settings except for an occasional crisis. Those outside the church sounded so knowledgeable and so scriptural back then, that I thought they had to know what they were talking about. I began to pray for the Lord to show me the truth, and in earnest began to study the scripture and my Catholic faith. I t was after I went to a Life in the Spirit Seminar where I made Jesus Lord of my life, when Jesus gave me back His mother and the gift of the rosary. I have been praying it since. To me the rosary is the most powerful source of intercessory prayer, next to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is a biblical cord of grace that keeps me connected to the Church and to the sacraments that Jesus established. It has been a long journey, but I am a Catholic today because I have tasted and seen the truth of the faith through prayer and study. I have seen that true devotion to Mary and the rosary always leads to Jesus, especially to the Eucharistic table. I believe today that there are reasons behind the historical, traditional, scriptural collective conscience and teachings of the Apostolic Fathers. There are valid reasons for the teachings and practice of our faith.(3) When I look at my rosary, the first thing I see is the crucifix reminding me of the entire salvation message. Reflecting and meditating on Jesus� life, death and resurrection, while praying the rosary, is like mentally reading, and visualizing the scriptures. The rosary to me is also like my day keeper that helps me keep my appointments with God in prayer. It helps me establish priorities in prayer and helps me accomplish specific intentions. The Rosary in my hand is centering prayer. It keeps me focused on prayer, and protects me from the many distractions that would otherwise occupy my mind. The Rosary helps me obey God's command to pray without ceasing. It helps me avoid thoughts of jealousy, resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness. It is a tool to keep my heart clean. The enemy hates the rosary and will go to great lengths to keep us from praying it. One time, someone came into my home and demanded my husband to command me not to pray the rosary. How powerful the rosary must be! I can reflect, plan or organize my day while praying the rosary. It only takes fifteen to twenty minutes to pray a rosary. I can pray it in the car. I can pray it while I'm exercising. I can pray it with a tape while I'm working. I can pray it out loud or silently. I can pray it in thanksgiving, praise or petition. I can pray it while I'm in the depths of despair or when I feel like I'm on the mountain top. I can sing it or chant it. I can reach the depth of intimacy with the Lord while praying the rosary, or I can scratch the surface with it. It is a tool given to us by the Blessed Virgin Mary. What I get out of it often depends on what I put into it. The graces we receive from praying the rosary do NOT depend upon our feelings, knowledge or understanding of the rosary. It is God's gift. You can be a doctor, a farmer, a priest, a nun, the Pope, a child, and you can pray the rosary. You can be a Catholic or Protestant and pray the rosary. God does not limit His graces. You can be a thief, a murderer, an adulterer and begin praying the rosary sincerely and repentantly, and God's grace will not leave you there. There are no rules, only guidelines. You can personalize it like "...Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for and assist ____ now and at the hour of his death. Amen." You can pray the rosary silently while you watch TV or a movie with your family. This is an excellent opportunity to pray for the media and be present to the family. May I suggest you to pray a minimum of three, five decade rosaries a day. If you are married pray the first rosary for yourself. We must avail ourselves of the graces first. The reason is the same as given by the airline stewards when they explain what to do if the cabin pressure should change... The oxygen mask comes down, we are to put the mask over ourselves first and then on our children. The pressures of life are constantly changing. We cannot help our children if we are spiritually malnourished. So pray the first rosary for yourself. The second rosary pray for your spouse. In praying the rosary for your spouse, you will be healed and guarded against resentments, bitterness and unforgiveness and your spouse will also have the grace to face the pressures of the day. The third rosary pray for your children. What good is it to gain the world and lose your children spiritually, emotionally or physically? 1- Peter 5:8 reads; �The devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.� Our children need our prayers for protection, guidance and deliverance from the ways of this world. If you are a teenager or single, pray the first rosary for yourself, the second one for your family, and the third for your vocation in life. Try this for six weeks and see the miracles that can happen. There are so many graces available through Mary's intercession. You might say it is asking a lot to pray three rosaries a day, but Daniel in the Old Testament went to prayer three times a day. I really believe the lack of prayer is what is wrong with our families today. We spend so much time in entertainment. We don't spend enough time on our knees. We are busy going out to eat, going to or renting movies, playing video games, sports, reading books, or sitting in front of the TV. We CAN make time to pray the rosary if it is a priority in our life. It is not too much to ask children to pray the rosary. Our Lady appeared mostly to children and asked them to pray many rosaries. I believe it is too much to ask children to pray the rosary if we ourselves do not pray it. God grant us the gift of prayer. Pray the Rosary! We are capable of doing greater things. If I can't spend one hour a day in prayer, how am I going to lay down my life for the Lord. Better a quick rosary than none. It's like when my husband or my children run out the door each morning, I would rather have a kiss on the cheek than no kiss at all. Hopefully the grace from a quick rosary will lead me into a more reflective one later. Do not wait until the end of the day to pray your rosary. It is not your guardian angel's responsibility to finish it after you fall asleep. Pray the rosary early in your day. If you want to see the power of prayer, I recommend you to commit yourself to pray the Rosary Novena by Charles V. Lacy for specific intentions. You can find this booklet in the Catholic book store. Pray 27 days in petition and 27 days in thanksgiving along with suggested meditations in his booklet. It is one of the most powerful novenas you can pray. We are at war, and Scripture Eph 6:12 says, "Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities from above." Rev. 12:17 says, "Enraged at the woman's escape, the dragon went off to make war on the rest of her offspring on those who keep God's commandments and give witness to Jesus." No one goes into a battle without a battle plan. Prayer takes discipline and commitment, much like a soldier at war. Jesus did not abandon us. He gave us everything we need to be victorious. He has given us our Holy Father, the Pope, to whom Jesus left His authority and voice on earth when He said: �He who hears you hears Me.� So we must listen to and obey the teachings of the church. He has given us His very self in the Eucharist which is the fountain of all grace, and the Word of God to draw his very life from. He has given us sacraments, sacramentals, devotions, and prayers to keep us plugged into the source of grace. He has given us His Mother and the communion of saints to intercede and assists us. Specifically, ask St. Michael, the Archangel, to assist you. Once you have seen the miracles of the rosary, you will want to spend more and more time praying it. Test it! To me the Rosary is an umbilical cord of grace, that crushes the head of the serpent. Buy several inexpensive rosaries and have a priest bless them. Then if you break one or lose it, you will not be tempted to stop praying the rosary. When you experience a grievous offense; rejection, betrayal, persecution or abuse, it may become difficult to pray the rosary. Then you need to exercise your will over your emotions. Commit yourself to persevere in praying the rosary especially for the offender. If you still find it difficult to pray the rosary, get a rosary tape to pray along with, until you get through the difficult time. If the condition persists, find a friend to pray the rosary for you, if possible with you. Go to confession, and if necessary, to the sacrament of anointing. Most likely this is the result of intense hurt, anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness toward the offender or even toward God. This condition can distort your ability to listen, discern and obey the Will of God. It is also possible, if this condition persists, for it to cause alienation from the one who hurt you and alienation from the Church. Guard your heart with all your might. Romans 12:14 reads; "Bless those who persecute you." To me it is a matter of life or death.
"Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable." 1 Cor 9:25
Go for the gold! Pray the rosary! Arlene Why do I pray the Rosary? I pray the Rosary to find peace-the peace that only God can give. In praying the rosary, I bring my troubles to the Lord, and very quietly I hear Him speak to me. He, the author of all said: "Ask and you will receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it will be opened up to you." I experience a taste of heaven when I pray the Rosary and think of the greatness of God. The more I pray, the more I want to pray.
� 1995 Arlene and Marta
Footnotes: (1) Message to the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus in Bishop John L. Morkovsky Assembly- August 1995. Printed with permission. (2) A Missionary's Notebook, Rev. Richard W. Alexander, P.J. Kenedy & Sons,New York,1908, pp 122- 125 (3) Order Scott Hahn's audio or video on Answering Common Objections Against the Catholic Church.
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About the rosary, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday October 10, 2010 said:
The month of October is called the month of the Rosary. This is a "spiritual intonation," so to speak, provided by the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is celebrated on October 7. We are thus invited to let ourselves be guided by Mary in this ancient and ever new prayer, which is especially dear to her because it leads directly to Jesus, contemplated in his mysteries of salvation: joyous, luminous, sorrowful and glorious. In the footsteps of the venerable John Paul II (cf. Apostolic Letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae�), I would like to recall that the Rosary is a biblical prayer, completely interwoven with Sacred Scripture. It is a prayer of the heart in which the repetition of the "Hail Mary" orients one's though and affection toward Christ, and thus one confidently supplicates his Mother and ours. It is a prayer that aids meditation on the Word of God and is likened to Eucharistic communion on the model of Mary, who carries in her heart all Jesus did and said and his presence itself.
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