Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?

Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."

To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."

As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."

Marian Mondays: Charity

Posted by Jacob

Marian Mondays is a weekly post focusing on Our Blessed Mother, Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. In this post, we explore her life, her special mission, her sanctity, and the Biblical bases for the beliefs of the Church.

We pray with Mary. We experience her practically, emotionally, and rationally. We feel confident in the truth of her existence. We realize that she is unique, chosen for a special purpose by the Lord. We recognize the importance of her name. But what of her Christian virtues? We hold Mary, the Mother of God, up as the first disciple of Christ, as in her agreeing to serve as the vessel of the Incarnation, she became the first Christian. She believed in her Son. And as we will see, she lived His teachings, even before He taught them, such was her connection to the Lord. She exhibited fully the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

Last week, we briefly looked at the great hope of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and the week before that, we considered her unending faith. As we continue our preliminary exploration of the virtues of the Mother of God, we turn to charity, the greatest of the virtues, more commonly referred to as “love.”

Our Blessed Mother is the perfect example of Christian charity. In fact, she is the first to embody this virtue, as Christian charity began on earth when she accepted the mission of the Lord during the Annunciation. In that moment, Mary received the love of the Lord in her heart, herself becoming the vessel of Christian love on earth until the birth of Christ. She heard the call of the Lord, and she obeyed—obedience which led to her completion and sanctification.

We are all called to obedience to the Lord, and to His commandments. It is only through this obedience that love grows, becoming abundant and free, and living within us as Christ lives within us. The Blessed Mother, in her bowing to God, in her acceptance of her mission, in her obedience, made this possible. By becoming the vessel of the Incarnation, by literally having Christ living inside of her, so, too, may we welcome the love of God into our hearts.

The love and charity of Mary grew throughout her life, throughout the life of Christ, despite the fact that His ministry was a source of suffering and pain for her. Repeatedly, Mary lost her son—the center of her being, her reason for living—as He traveled from her, growing further and further and more distant each time. We imagine that each of these cases, and in each of the seeming rebukes she received (discussed briefly here), created a growing pain in her heart—the sword that Simeon foretold as she presented her newborn in the Temple. But without exception, Our Blessed Mother filled that part of her heart with love, with the charity of the Lord, and faithfully and hopefully journeyed alongside her Son to the cross.

It was there that she became the mother to us all, as Jesus linked her to the disciple He loved, just as He linked her to the people He loved so much that He gave His life. As He hung on the cross, bleeding for all of humanity, He gave us all the precious gift of her love.

26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)

Just as the disciple Jesus loved took Mary into his home, so, too, do we take her into our homes, our hearts, as we meditate on her virtues. We feel confident in Mary’s living the Christian faith, modeling for all times the hope, faith, and charity of a universal mother.


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