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."


September 13: Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church

Posted by Jacob

Today, September 13, we celebrate the feast day of Saint John Chrysostom (344-407), Bishop of Constantinople, and Doctor of the Church. The power of Saint John’s words, and the eloquence of his sermons earned him his surname, which translated literally means “the golden mouthed.” Saint John preached the Gospel to all who would listen, drawing attention to the needs of the poor, and advocating for great social change on the part of the rich and noble classes. As such, he was exiled twice, but never gave up preaching the Gospel message, even while banished from his homeland. Saint John is the recognized as the Eastern Father of the Church.


John was born in Antioch, and from an early age it was evident that he was endowed with a superior genius. This intellectual prowess was strengthened via the finest education available at the time, during which time he met Saint Basil who inspired him to conversion and a deeper relationship with Christ. John spent his days in fasting, manual labor, prayer, and scriptural study, and began preaching. Earning the admiration of many through his academic and scholastic achievements, saint John wished to distance himself from the world, and as such, retired from his profession and lived as a anchorite on a neighboring mountain. There, he perfected the contemplative approach to the faith, relishing the silence of the world in that he was able to deeply find the Lord. However, his penances and the harsh climate on the mountain took a toll on his health. Prudently, but with a renewed spirit, he returned to Antioch, was ordained, and labored as a priest. Again, his learning and eloquent sermons began to attract attention, and eventually, his weekly Mass was drawing a congregation of up to one hundred thousand listeners. Again, he fled the public eye, living the monastic, contemplative life for fourteen years until he was forcibly taken to Constantinople, and consecrated as Patriarch and Bishop.

Although reluctant to accept the post, once decided, John obediently pursued his position with zeal and vigor. He resumed his miraculous preaching, inspiring and converting vast numbers of listeners from various religions and life practices. He constantly encouraged all he met to attend Mass, and to better allow them to do so, abbreviated the lengthy liturgical rites common at the time. So devoted to the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Holy Eucharist, it is said that Saint John saw “many of the Blessed coming down from heaven in shining garments, eyes intent, and bowed heads, in utter stillness and silence, assisting at the consummation of the tremendous mystery.”

Saint John preached fully and completely, with unwavering faith, never swayed or discouraged by threat or politics. He publicly reprimanded the emperor for wearing such fine clothing while many suffered in poverty, for which he was exiled. Upon return years later, he proceeded to ostracize the rich and noble classes for similar indulgences. His reply to threats of exile and banishment included: “Chrysostom fears only one thing — not exile, prison, poverty or death — but sin.”

At the age of 63, again suffering exile in horrific conditions, saint John took ill while being escorted over a 400 mile journey. Despite his illness, he remained cheerful and considerate of all he met—even the militia escorting him from the region. He died peacefully, with his customary words, “Glory to God for all things, Amen,” on his lips.

Saint John wrote volumes of sermons, generally on the interpretation of Scriptural passages. His writings and quotations speak for themselves, and over the next several days, selections will be posted, inspiring us to deeper faith, deeper contemplation of the scriptures, and a deeper relationship with Our Lord.
Coffin of Saint John Chrysostom

Relic of Saint John Chyrsostom



Select Quotations from Saint John Chrysostom

“No one can harm the man who does himself no wrong.”

“When you perceive that God is chastening you, fly not to his enemies…but to his friends, the martyrs, the saints, those who were pleasing to Him, and who have great power in God.”

“Let us relieve the poverty of those that beg of us and let us not be over-exact about it.”

“It is simply impossible to lead, without the aid of prayer, a virtuous life.”

“What prayer could be more true before God the Father than that which the Son, who is Truth, uttered with His own lips?”

“God asks little, but He gives much.”

"Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? where there are many efforts at abortion? where there is murder before the birth? for even the harlot thou dost not let continue a mere harlot, but makest her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevent its being born. Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter?"
"We should not bear it with bad grace if the answer to our prayer is long delayed. Rather let us because of this show great patience and resignation. For He delays for this reason: that we may offer Him a fitting occasion of honoring us through His divine providence. Whether, therefore, we receive what we ask for, or do not receive it, let us still continue steadfast in prayer. For to fail in obtaining the desires of our heart, when God so wills it, is not worse than to receive it ; for we know not as He does, what is profitable to us."

"Chastity uplifts sex to its true nobility and dignity. It gives sex its true beauty and glory. Chastity enables us, through our sexuality, to give glory to Christ in our body."

“When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.”

“As a moth gnaws a garment, so doth envy consume a man.”
”Charity is the scope of all God's commands.”
”Consider how august a privilege it is, when angels are present, and archangels throng around, when cherubim and seraphim encircle with their blaze the throne, that a mortal may approach with unrestrained confidence, and converse with heaven's dread Sovereign! O, what honor was ever conferred like this?”
”Humility is the root, mother, nurse, foundation, and bond of all virtue.”
”Such is friendship, that through it we love places and seasons; for as bright bodies emit rays to a distance, and flowers drop their sweet leaves on the ground around them, so friends impart favor even to the places where they dwell. With friends even poverty is pleasant. Words cannot express the joy which a friend imparts; they only can know who have experienced. A friend is dearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were exhausted than that we should be without friends.”
”That is true plenty, not to have, but not to want riches.”

”This, then, appears to be the solution of our trinitarian difficulty; to concentrate our thoughts and our affections on God the Son as He is revealed to us in Christ; to adore Him as the Creator, Preserver, all-wise Ruler and Redeemer of the world; to worship Him as the ever-present King and Head of His Church; and to look forward to the eternal enjoyment of His presence in heaven, as the consummation of our happiness, as "all our salvation and all our desire." "Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto Thee, and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in Thy name, Thou wilt grant their requests, fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of Thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of Thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen."

“If the Lord should give you power to raise the dead, He would give much less than He does when he bestows suffering. By miracles you would make yourself debtor to Him, while by suffering He may become debtor to you. And even if sufferings had no other reward than being able to bear something for that God who loves you, is not this a great reward and a sufficient remuneration? Whoever loves, understands what I say.”

“All these things did that fall effect, and whereas before that he attributes all to himself, saying, “Though all men shall be offended, yet will I not be offended;” and, “If I should die, I will not deny Thee” (when he should have said, If I receive the assistance from Thee);—yet after these things altogether the contrary, “Why do ye give heed to us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made him to walk?” (Acts 3:12) Hence we learn a great doctrine, that a man’s willingness is not sufficient, unless any one receive the succor from above; and that again we shall gain nothing by the succor from above, if there be not a willingness. And both these things do Judas and Peter show; for the one, though he had received much help, was profited nothing, because he was not willing, neither contributed his part; but this one, though he was ready in mind, because he received no assistance, fell. For indeed of these two things is virtue’s web woven. Wherefore I entreat you neither (when you have cast all upon God) to sleep yourselves, nor, when laboring earnestly, to think to accomplish all by your own toils. For neither is it God’s will that we should be supine ourselves, therefore He worketh it not all Himself; nor yet boasters, therefore He did not give all to us; but having removed what was hurtful in either way, left that which is useful for us. Therefore He suffered even the chief apostle to fall, both rendering him more humbled in mind, and training him thenceforth to greater love. “For to whom more is forgiven,” it is said, “he loveth more.” (Luke 7:47)

“It is clear through unlearned men that the cross was persuasive; in fact, it persuaded the whole world. Paul had this in mind when he said, “The weakness of God is stronger than men.” That the preaching of these men was indeed divine is brought home to us in the same way. For how otherwise could twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? That they were fearful, timid men, the evangelist makes clear; he did not reject the fact or try to hide their weaknesses. Indeed he turned these into a proof of the truth. What did he say of them? That when Christ was arrested, the others fled, despite all the miracles they had seen, while he who was leader of the others denied him! How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ’s lifetime did not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, set forth to do battle with the whole world once Christ was dead – if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage? It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much.”

“O envious one, you injure yourself more than he whom you would injure, and the sword with which you wound will recoil and wound yourself. What harm did Cain do to Abel? Contrary to his intention he did him the greatest good, for he caused him to pass to a better and a blessed life, and he himself was plunged into an abyss of woe. In what did Esau injure Jacob? Did not his envy prevent him from being enriched in the place in which he lived; and, losing the inheritance and the blessing of his father, did he not die a miserable death? What harm did the brothers of Joseph do to Joseph, whose envy went so far as to wish to shed his blood? Were they not driven to the last extremity, and well-nigh perishing with hunger, whilst their brother reigned all through Egypt? It is ever thus; the more you envy your brother, the greater good you confer upon him. God, who sees all, takes the cause of the innocent in hand, and, irritated by the injury you inflict, deigns to raise up him whom you wish to lower, and will punish you to the full extent of your crime. If God usually punishes those who rejoice at the misfortunes of their enemies, how much more will He punish those who, excited by envy, seek to do an injury to those who have never injured them?”

“Beloved, God being loving towards man and beneficent, does and contrives all things in order that we may shine in virtue, and as desiring that we be well approved by Him. And to this end He draws no one by force or compulsion: but by persuasion and benefits He draws all that will, and wins them to Himself. Wherefore when He came, some received Him, and others received Him not. For He will have no unwilling, no forced domestic, but all of their own will and choice, and grateful to Him for their service. Men, as needing the ministry of servants, keep many in that state even against their will, by the law of ownership; but God, being without wants, and not standing in need of anything of ours, but doing all only for our salvation makes us absolute in this matter, and therefore lays neither force nor compulsion on any of those who are unwilling. For He looks only to our advantage: and to be drawn unwilling to a service like this is the same as not serving at all.”

“To commit a murder, besides the not having the person in your power, there are many measures and precautions to take. A favorable opportunity must be waited for, and a place must be selected before we can put so damnable a design into execution. More than this, the pistols may miss fire, blows may not be sufficient, and all wounds are not mortal. But to deprive a man of his reputation and honor, one word is sufficient. By finding out the most sensitive part of his honor, you may tarnish his reputation by telling it to all who know him, arid easily take away his character for honor and integrity. To do this, however, no time is required, for scarcely have you complacently cherished the wish to calumniate him, than the sin is effected.”





A prayer of John Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.



Father,
the strength of all who trust in you,
you made John Chrysostom
renowned for his eloquence
and heroic in his sufferings.
May we learn from his teaching
and gain courage from his patient endurance.


We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



Year 2: Day 254 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Deeper faith; Deeper relationship with the Lord
Requested Intentions: Clear speech for a child (C); Conversion of a family (A); Successful employment (S); For the healing of impaired vision (F); For a couple experiencing difficulties (L); Successful employment after finishing college (M); Mother’s health (A); Financial security, freedom from anxiety (S); For a son and cousins (L); Peace and civility (B); Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C).

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