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."

April 21: Saint Anselm, Doctor of the Church, "Father of Scholasticism"

Posted by Jacob

Today, April 21, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Anselm (1034-1109), Doctor of the Church. Like Saint Augustine, Saint Anselm came to the faith later in his life, but through philosophy and reason, catalogued and documented the reasons for our faith in a series of proofs and works. His prolific writing, holiness, and clarity of thought earned him the titles Doctor of the Church, “founder of scholasticism,” and the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. His words remind us today of the core tenets of our faith-- the love of Jesus, the fiat of Mary, the will of God.

Anselm, as a young boy growing up in a noble family of Piedmont, Italy, wanted nothing other than to join a religious order. His mother, a devout Catholic, raised him in the faith and nurtured his desires. Following her death, Anselm’s father forbade him to petition a local monastery for entrance, and subsequent to that, Anselm lost his way for a time, engaging in worldly pleasures and turning from his desire for the Lord. Anselm wandered throughout Europe for eight years, leaving home to escape his harsh father, ending up in Normandy, France. There, his vocation returned to him, and he entered the Benedictine Abbey of Bec at Avranches as a novice.

Over the next decade, Anselm lived in the Abbey of Bec, contemplating the word of God, and developing his philosophical thoughts regarding the teachings of the Church. He is the first to have developed an ontological argument for the existence of God, proving via logical reason that the non-existence of God was impossible (we understand God to be the greatest possible being; but a God who exists only in our minds isn't as great as one who is in our minds and who really exists; and since God is, by definition, the greatest possible being, he must exist in our minds and in reality). During this time, he was unanimously elected as Prior of the abbey.

In the years that followed, the Abbey at Bec became a well-known seat of European scholarly learning, attracting students from across the continent. While, as monks, the Rule of Benedict took priority in guiding their lives, considerable time was spent in scholastic pursuits as they related to theology, philosophy, and religion. Anselm worked tirelessly to ensure that the abbey escaped the oversight and influence of local politics, which was a common problem at the time.

Despite political difficulties, Anselm was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury—a position he reluctantly accepted. Twice during the next 20 years, he would be exiled for asserting the independence of the Church from tyrannical rules imparted by the reigning kings. Anselm continued his mission of Church reform, even while in exile, eventually prevailing and modifying the manner in which Church officials were expected to pay homage to reigning monarchs, obtain approval for Church appointments, and aid in the supplying of soldiers for armies. He further disagreed with leaders of the time on numerous social issues, including the slave trade, which he labeled both degrading and an affront to the sanctity of life. In actively resisting the pressures of reigning monarchs, Saint Anselm preserved and extended the rights and independence of the Church from government influence. He famously said, under pressure from the king, “If any man pretends that I violate my faith to my king because I will not reject the authority of the Holy See of Rome, let him stand, and in the name of God I will answer him as I ought.”

Anselm wrote countless books and proofs through his life, the most well known being Cur Deus Homo ("Why God Became Man"). Additional writings include, “Discourse on the Existence of God,” “On the being of God,” and “On Freedom of Choice, Truth, and the Fall of the Devil.” Saint Anselm was also well-known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin, writing about her sinlessness, Solemnity, and faith—centuries before the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was officially established.

The writings of Saint Anselm are inspirational and remind us of the basics of our faith. Selected quotations from his many works follow, including prayers he recorded. What he proved via philosophical logic, may we live in faith each day!

"Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you: you are gentle with us as a mother with her children; Often you weep over our sins and our pride: tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgment. You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds: in sickness you nurse us, and with pure milk you feed us. Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life: by your anguish and labor we come forth in joy. Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness: through your gentleness we find comfort in fear. Your warmth gives life to the dead: your touch makes sinners righteous. Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us: in your love and tenderness remake us. In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness: for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us."

I acknowledge, Lord, and I give thanks that you have created your image in me, so that I may remember you, think of you, love you. But this image is so obliterated and worn away by wickedness, it is so obscured by the smoke of sins, that it cannot do what it was created to do, unless you renew and reform it. I am not attempting, O Lord, to penetrate your loftiness, for I cannot begin to match my understanding with it, but I desire in some measure to understand your truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this too I believe, that "unless I believe, I shall not understand." (Isaiah 7:9)

"Lord, I do not presume to fathom the depths of your truths, for my understanding is not equal to the task. Nevertheless, I desire to learn Your truths in some measure—those truths that I believe and love. I do not seek to gain knowledge so that I can believe; rather, I believe so that I may gain knowledge. No matter how persistently my soul gazes, it still beholds nothing of Your beauty; my soul listens intently, and yet it hears nothing of the learning of Your Being; my soul wants to breathe in Your fragrance, and yet perceives none of it. What are You, Lord? Under what image can my heart recognize You? Truly, You are life; You are truth; You are Goodness; You are Holiness; You are eternity; You are everything good! O man, why do you roam about so far in search of good things for soul and body? Love the one Good, in whom all goods are contained, and that will satisfy you!"

"From the moment of her fiat Mary began to carry all of us in her womb."

"The Mother of God is our mother. May the good mother ask and beg for us, may she request and obtain what is good for us."

"No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God."

My God, I pray that I may so know you and love you that I may rejoice in you. And if I may not do so fully in this life let me go steadily on to the day when I come to that fullness . . . Let me receive That which you promised through your truth, that my joy may be full.

O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire Thee with our whole heart; that, so desiring we may seek, and seeking find Thee; and so finding Thee may love Thee; and loving Thee, may hate those sins from which Thou hast redeemed us.

Day 111 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Faith in our God; Desire for nothing other than God.
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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