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."

Joy in Suffering

Posted by Jacob

Today, in the Gospel of Luke, we read of Peter’s recognition of the truth of Christ. For the first time, one of the disciples, his eyes opened by the Lord, has proclaimed the chosen status of Jesus, and in doing so, has identified him as the Messiah—the one that had been awaited for so long. With this revelation, Jesus begins to teach the disciples about salvation, foretelling of His Passion and Cross, and asserting of His role as the Savior of the World.

18Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"
19They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
20"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
21Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:18-24)

Reading this passage, we are forced to ask ourselves, “Who is Jesus to me?” It is apparent from the first verses of today’s Gospel that many were wondering during the life of Jesus, suggesting Him to be a prophet. At the very beginning of his ministry, John the Baptist had announced Jesus as "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world," and, at first, Jesus was widely hailed as the Messiah. But the leaders of the people had undertaken a relentless campaign against Him, suggesting Jesus to be an imposter, a sinner, and a deceiver of the people. Over time, public opinion had wavered, and when Jesus asked they question of the disciples, it was only one who answered with certainty. Jesus is the Messiah. Only Peter has the answer—an answer that must have come from the Father. Given this, we are left to wonder what would we have said, if asked the same question? What do we answer now?

Our answer must come, not just in the form of words, but in the purpose of our actions. It becomes clear from versus 23 and 24 that it is not sufficient to proclaim Jesus Lord, but there is action involved as well: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

A literal interpretation would beg the question, is Jesus asking us to die for Him? To give up our lives? Many have. I have written about many martyrs of the Church, each having joyously given their lives in the propagation of the faith, the spread of the Gospel, and the defense of the Church. But that is, perhaps, not the call of every child of God. Rather, Jesus’ statements may well refer to our need to subjugate ourselves, in humility and obedience, to the Lord’s will—just as Christ did on the cross.

Quite plainly, this is the Lord’s plan of salvation, addressed to all, available to everyone. We are called to renounce ourselves, understanding that it not through our thoughts, words, or actions that we may be saved. Rather, it is only through Jesus Christ that we may be saved. Through Christ, in Christ, and as Christ. In turning obediently to the Lord, rather than looking to our own will, we join Jesus on the cross, denying ourselves, losing ourselves in the will of God, and gaining salvation. Conversely, as long our will opposes the will of the Lord, salvation remains impossible.

To that end, Jesus calls us to “take up our cross daily” and follow the Lord. But what does this mean? Through humiliation, suffering, and death on His cross, our Lord and Savior freed us from sin and death and won for us our salvation. But to share in Christ’s victory, we must also share in His suffering. We must find Christ in the suffering of others (like Saint Aloysius Gonzaga did), working to ease it. We must find Christ in our own suffering, and through that communion, also find liberating freedom and joy. When we suffer, we humbly and obediently accept the will of the Lord, and through that suffering, we are brought closer to His graces. We are refined. We are made holy. We approach salvation, where all earthly suffering will be replaced by the healing light of Christ.

O my Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that nothing great is done without suffering, without humiliation, and that all things are possible by means of it. I believe, O my God, that poverty is better than riches, pain better than pleasure, obscurity and contempt than name, and ignominy and reproach than honor.

O my dear Lord, though I am so very weak that I am not fit to ask for suffering as a gift, and have not strength to do so, at least I would beg of your grace to meet suffering well, when You in your wisdom lay it upon me. Amen.

Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.
Today’s Psalm: Psalm 56: Trust in God, the Helper in Need

1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;
all day long they press their attack.
2 My slanderers pursue me all day long;
many are attacking me in their pride.
3 When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
5 All day long they twist my words;
they are always plotting to harm me.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
eager to take my life.
7 On no account let them escape;
in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.
8 Record my lament;
list my tears on your scroll--
are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise-
11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I am under vows to you, O God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

Day 171 of 365
Prayer Intentions: For all who suffer; For lives, words, and actions of Christian faith. For confidence in the salvation of the Lord!
Requested Intentions: For all lost children (I); Prosperity, health, healing, and conversion for a family (M); Health and healing of a mother (A); Healing of heart and mind (T); Healing of a new relationship before marriage (K); Healing of a relationship (T); Eternal rest for the dearly departed, end to financial struggles, successful sale of home, ability to travel on pilgrimage (L); For healing of a stomach illness (L); For the repose of the soul of a sister (C); Vocational security for family, Financial security for daughter beginning college (M); Vocational guidance, courage and strength (I); Health for an ailing nephew (A); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 56: Trust in God, the Helper in Need


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