Today officially marks day 365 of 365—the last day of my ‘year in prayer!’
What an amazing year it has been—one that moved both slowly and incredibly fast! Over the course of this year, I have been graced with a deeper connection with Our Lord and Blessed Mother, both through daily prayer, and also the privilege of hearing from, meeting, and praying for all those who submitted prayer intentions. Many of those whom I was honored to pray for sent follow-up messages, updating me on their lives, the work of the Lord in their lives, and offering support and encouragement during my spiritual jounrey. For these messages, I am especially grateful.
Never could I have anticipated the reach of one man’s writings on the Holy Rosary, Catholic saints, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ! This humble blog has grown throughout the year, with people “subscribing” via email, joining us on our facebook page, and nearly 20,000 readers visiting the blog itself! These readers came from all over the world: over 100 countries, on 6 continents, including:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Northern Mariana Islands
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United States of America
US Virgin Islands
Of course, there may be some I missed over the course of the year!
In short, through the grace of the Lord, I met my goals this year—to pray the Rosary every day, to blog about my experience every day (665 posts, to be precise!), to construct at least 1,000 Rosaries! And I thank you all—all who have read, assisted, encouraged, supported, submitted, subscribed, and commented—for your participation in this amazing experience!
As we look towards the New Year, I wish you all a blessed, grace-filled, safe, and spiritually meaningful 2011. God Bless each and every one of you, and may our Blessed Mother surround you were her love and grace now, and throughout the year.
A Prayer for the New Year
O sacred and adorable Trinity, hear our prayers on behalf of our holy Father the Pope, our Bishops, our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless, we beseech Thee, during the coming year, the whole Catholic Church; convert heretics and unbelievers; soften the hearts of sinners so that they may return to Thy friendship; give prosperity to our country and peace among the nations of the world; pour down Thy blessings upon our friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and upon our enemies, if we have any; assist the poor and the sick; have pity on the souls of those whom this year has taken from us; and do Thou be merciful to those who during the coming year will be summoned before Thy judgment seat. May all our actions be preceded by Thy inspirations and carried on by Thy assistance, so that all our prayers and works, having been begun in Thee, may likewise be ended through Thee. Amen.
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."
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