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."

Unbreakable hearts, Unbreakable nets

Posted by Jacob

Today, in the Gospel of John, we read about the third post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus to the disciples, the forgiveness and commissioning of Peter, and the invitation to not only the disciples—but to us as well—to actively become the body of Christ on earth. It is a beautiful passage of recognition, forgiveness, and instruction, filling our hearts with more love than we can carry!

1Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3"I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"
"No," they answered.
6He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.9When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."
11Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" (John 21: 1-19)

Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, and then returned on Easter Sunday. Only some of the disciples had seen his resurrected body, and most Biblical scholars agree that Peter had not prior to today’s Gospel. From what we can gather, the disciples were scared, some had hidden in Jerusalem, some had left town altogether and resumed their previous lives of fishing—perhaps momentarily forgetting the words of Christ, “I will make you fishers of men.”

Today presents as any other fishing day, the disciples, including Peter, James, and John (the disciple Jesus loved), have been out fishing all night, hauling in their nets, completing the back-breaking work that they had grown accustomed to throughout their lives. They spot the Lord on the shore, but do not recognize him, reminiscent of their initial meeting with Him on the shore, when they through down their nets and followed Him. Jesus instructs them to fish off the “right side” of the boat, and their catch is so great that they cannot haul it in. Rather, without the nets ripping, they tow the fish to shore.

It is John who recognizes the Lord first, and before they reach shore, he proclaims His identity. Peter (remember, who has not yet seen the risen Christ), plunges into the see, so eager for reunification, and beats the boat back to shore. There, the others join him, although they do not ask Jesus his name—they simple know it is the Lord. How often do we ask, rather than allowing ourselves to fully experience, to fully embrace, to fully know the Lord’s presence in our lives? Our rational minds don’t fully let us experience the miracle of God’s love—when it surprises us in daily life, when it appears through the actions of a friend of even a stranger—but our hearts recognize the presence. Our hearts know our Lord, if we let them swell with the joy of His presence!

The Lord has cooked breakfast for the disciples, and breaks the bread and fish, passing it around to them—again, reminiscent of the Last Supper and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. He uses the one of the fish that the disciples—His disciples—have just caught, though His glory increasing the work of their hands. The symbolism of their charge to build the Church is not lost here. And then Jesus turns his attention to Peter, repeatedly asking Peter to state his love. Peter does, proudly, with confusion, and then with anxiety—three times, nullifying his denial of Christ prior to the crucifixion, reforging the grace of God through reconciliation. And Peter is charged with leadership in the Church: “Feed my lambs.” Most scholars recognize this as the commissioning of Peter as the first Pope of the Church.

We look at this exchange, and see how the Lord yearns for our love, yearns to forgive us. It is Christ who initiates the reconciliation, not Peter. It is Christ who asks Peter three times, despite the fact that it becomes progressively more difficult for Peter to answer. It is Christ who offers forgiveness, and then invites Peter to a more active participation in the life of the Church. And we, too, are invited in this passage to participate. Jesus says gently to us, “Feed my lambs. Take care of my sheep.” It is an invitation, not an order. It is a call to service and community. It is a reminder of our membership in the universal body of the Church. It is our commissioning as the Body of Christ on earth!

Day 108 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Hearts of service to the Lord; Strength of His Church on earth.
Requested Intentions: Financial security and employment (A); For financial security (M); Health and recovery of Cardinal Sean Brady (R); Healing from a chronic illness (J); Deepening of faith and true conversion for a family (J); Successful employment (H); Restoration of a marriage (J); For a friend’s daughter, seeking medical treatment for a blood disorder (D); For the grace and conversion of a loved one (Z); For a beloved son’s return to the faith (A); For the improved health and recovery of a mother (G); For health, blessings, and protection (K); For an improvement in a difficult employment situation (T); For a family member’s recovery from surgery (D); For the victims of an automobile accident (D); For peace of mind and health (J); For the love of a romantic partner (S).


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