Reflection by John Mayer
I will always remember being asked by my mother to join her and my father in saying the rosary shortly before bedtime at various points during my childhood. In all honesty, only rarely did I begrudgingly agree. When you’re five, eight, 10 or 12, 30 minutes devoted to prayer can seem like hours. Yet, kneeling in front of our statue of the Blessed Mother and patiently staying focused on the prayer at hand, I usually felt quite peaceful once the rosary was completed.
Although I had little to no solid understanding of the mysteries of the day, the thought of praying to Mary for her intercession before God impressed and humbled my distracted little mind. Even so, at that age I had no idea of the great importance or power of what we were actually doing.
The rosary can be understood as our weapon, given by the Blessed Mother, to combat the sin which is in us and the world. It can also be understood as a beautiful prayer which helps us to focus and meditate on the mysteries of the life of both Jesus and Mary.
There is focus on the mystery of the day. The four mysteries are the joyful (Monday and Saturday), the sorrowful (Tuesday and Friday), the glorious (Wednesday and Sunday), and the luminous (Thursday). By engaging in this prayer, we actively reflect on essential moments of the life of both Jesus and the Blessed Mother while simultaneously asking for their intercession.
But why exactly should we say the rosary and why has the rosary become such an important part of Catholic spirituality? In the simplest of terms, because it works. There is a reason Our Lady of Fatima appeared under the title of “Our Lady of the Rosary.” During the 1917 apparitions in Fatima, Portugal to three poor children, Our Lady asked that they pray the rosary and make acts of penance to atone for the sins of the world.
On the importance of the rosary, Sr. Lucia of Fatima said, “There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the holy rosary.”
Padre Pio and John Paul II, both recently canonized Catholic saints, were also incredibly devoted to the rosary and equally professed that it should be said by all regularly. Padre Pio called the rosary, “the weapon of these times.”
But what is it the weapon against? It is the weapon against fear, sadness, despair, sickness, anxiety, pride, and violence. More importantly, it is the weapon against the temptations brought upon us by the evil spirit.
October has been deemed the month of the rosary by the Catholic Church. I encourage anyone reading to pray a rosary and offer it up for the trials of the current times. This prayer can transform our lives and the lives of many others, all we need to do is offer it up in good faith.
Our Lady hears our prayers and she will bring them before her Son. He will help us in all our struggles and will lead us where He needs us. While it may be a struggle to devote the time to praying the rosary, rest assured it will be time well spent. Bring your needs to God and bring the needs of the world to God in prayer.