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."

Palm Sunday: Joy Before the Sorrow

Posted by Jacob

Today, Palm Sunday, we celebrate the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. We, as the disciples of the Lord, are filled with joy—a joy that arises from Jesus, coming to meet us, wherever we are; coming to forgive us, whatever we have done; coming to die for us, that we might live.

28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30"Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "
32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
34They replied, "The Lord needs it."
35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:28-40)

The Gospel on Palm Sunday is the start of the Passion of Christ—beginning with His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, taking Him through the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, to the Agony in the Garden, and through the sorrowful mysteries leading up to His death on a cross. Entering into the city, Jesus knew all of this. He knew what lied in store for Him, just as we now know what He suffered willingly for us. And that is the source of our joy. The love of God was such that he thirsted for us, thirsted so much so that he gave His life. And we joyously greet Him, when He comes to us.

But what do we do next? Just as the residents of Jerusalem—the very residents that line the streets with their cloaks and palm branches, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah—turn on Jesus. They turn their backs on Him. They turn away from Him. How many times have we done the same? And yet, the Lord keeps calling to us, coming to us. He rides peacefully into our lives in victory and triumph over death, and we only need accept Him—not with palms and procession, but with joy in our hearts.

Pope Benedict XVI, on Palm Sunday in 2007, spoke of this joy, the joy of the suffering Christ. He said, “In the Palm Sunday procession we join with the crowd of disciples who in festive joy accompany the Lord during his entry into Jerusalem. Like them, we praise the Lord with a loud voice for all the miracles we have seen, how he gives men and women the courage to oppose violence and deceit, to make room for truth in the world; to bring about reconciliation where there had been hatred and to create peace where enmity had reigned. The procession is first and foremost a joyful witness that we bear to Jesus Christ, in whom the Face of God became visible to us and thanks to whom the Heart of God is open to us. Thus, the procession of the Palms is also a procession of Christ the King: we profess the Kingship of Jesus Christ, we recognize Jesus as the Son of David, the true Solomon, the King of peace and justice. We submit to him because his authority is the authority of the truth. The procession of the Palms – as it was at that time for the disciples – is primarily an expression of joy because we are able to recognize Jesus, because he allows us to be his friends and because he has given us the key to life. This joy, however, which is at the beginning, is also an expression of our “yes” to Jesus and our willingness to go with him wherever he takes us.”

We follow Jesus, on this joyous occasion, wherever He takes us. And in the coming week, He takes us with Him, on His journey to the cross. He takes us with Him, including our sins. And there, on the cross, He hangs them so that we might not be weighed down by our transgressions, but instead, meet Him joyfully at the glory of the Resurrection!

Wishing you all a blessed Holy Week.

Year 2: Day 107of 365

Prayer Intentions: Joyful hearts in the face of sorrow; A blessed and meaningful Holy Week.
Requested Intentions: Financial ability to send children to school (S); Safe return of a runaway (J); Healing of a family (J); Reconciliation of marriage (S); Healing of a daughter with congenital heart disease (F); Healing and an end to suffering (J); For the children (M); For a son fighting a rare immune system disease (R); Freedom from imprisonment (J); Employment and end to depression (H); Successful employment (A); Health for a soon to be delivered baby (T); Financial security (L); Healing of tooth pain (A); Health of expectant mother and child (R); Purification of the souls in Purgatory (A); Guidance in studies (J); Healing and security for a displaced family (C); Healing of high blood pressure; Recovery of brother following surgery (A); For a sister in trouble, that she may make better decisions in the light of Christ (M); Health of expectant mother and child (R); Attainment of funds for surgery (J); Freedom from financial difficulties (E); For employment and college acceptance (E); Recovery and healing of a friend (C); For successful outcome to surgery (C); Healing for brother (M); Successful employment (C); For the victims of the Japanese tsunami/earthquake (J); Healing (E); For a son struggling with depression (B); Successful conception (M); Freedom from social anxiety; confidence in the Lord (J); Improved success in employment and studies (D); Freedom from illness (T); For a wife’s employment (E); Healing of a husband’s knee (M); Freedom from sickness (R); Healing (C); Restoration of marriage (F); Freedom from medical difficulties, employment, successful relationship (D); Healing of a father following stroke (S).


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