‘If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins “you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.” Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul, if – and mark well what I say – if you say the Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.’
–St. Louis Marie de Montfort (Secret of the Rosary)
Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. We talked briefly about background for this feast http://catholicxray.com/lepanto-jihadists-and-calls-for-peace-what-happened-to-christian-realism/ . One interesting fact about this feast is that it is the result of a naval battle with Muslims. Mary one time appeared in an apparition as “The Lady of the Rosary.” That apparition was in Fatima Portugal, a town named after the daughter of Mohammad. This Sunday, Father gave a homily and mentioned that even the thousands of species of mosquitoes somehow give God glory even though we cannot understand how. Now, if even the species of mosquitoes are under the providence of God, how much more are the apparitions of Our Lady? Heaven does nothing without a purpose, there is a reason why Mary appeared in Fatima as the Lady of the Rosary.
At Fatima Mary had three requests. They were first for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart (accomplished in 1984 by Pope John Paul II), second to make sacrifices for poor sinners because “Many sinners go to hell because no one prays and makes sacrifices for them” and third, to pray the Rosary every day.
God sends His mother to earth asking us to say the Rosary, what do we do? Ignore the message? Say “this is not for me”? Pope Pius (I believe it was XI although it might’ve been XII) said “If a million families were saying the Rosary the entire world would be converted. Sister Lucia of Fatima said that “there is no problem so big that it cannot be solved with the Holy Rosary.” What reasons are there for not saying the Holy Rosary?
We can all do better with saying the Rosary, but think of what excuses we might have for dismissing the devotion as too much, excessively pious, and unnecessary. One might argue that it takes too much time. It takes about 20 minutes to say 5 decades a day. These 20 minutes can be broken up into the decades about 3-4 minutes each. There is no reason why we can’t find 5 blocks of 3 minutes during the day. Another excuse might be that the Rosary isn’t necessary. But this isn’t a good idea because we are not here to do the bare minimum, we are here to build a relationship with God. St. Peter says in Scripture “the just man is barely saved” we shouldn’t be satisfied with enough. This is hard, but important. A third excuse might be that it’s hard to stay focused in the Rosary. This is true, but a short suggestion: find the books, images, or advice of the Saints that is helpful for meditation. St. Louis de Montfort has a handful of methods and there are many short books and online articles to help with meditation. Just do your best and let Mary do the rest.
We should all make the effort to say the Rosary as much as possible, maybe even every day. If we can say 15 decades a week, we can join the Rosary Confraternity of the Dominicans. Look them up. St. John Vianney said “the members of the confraternity must do as much violence to their souls to be damned as the regular faithful must do to save theirs.”
In our last post, we talked about how we should have recourse to Mary in order that we may save the Church. We concluded that above all else talking about Mary would increase devotion to her. The greatest devotion to Mary is the Rosary. In the Rosary the best vocal and mental prayer is put together. The Rosary is the greatest of private devotions. This is the key for these times, there is a reason why Mary appeared at Fatima to remind us of this great devotion.
I do not know the answers to all of the questions of the times and ending the evil around us. But I do know that if we have recourse to Mary through her psalter, we will be victorious. We cannot go wrong when we stay close to Mary’s heart by this devotion. I know this because God will not refuse our requests which we ask through the Rosary. Beyond this though, I think there are many clues to the importance of Mary in the battles of these times.
As I pointed out above, she appeared at Fatima of all places. Bishop Fulton Sheen noticed this and saw Mary as the bridge between us and the Muslims. I would like to point out two historic coincidences. First of all Mary appeared at Fatima the same year the Ottomans (Muslim empire) lost control of Palestine. Second, in recent years there has been a resurgence of the Muslim world, as we know, America has become involved in much of what’s going on in the Middle East. Iran has a leader that hopes to usher in the 12th Imam and obliterate Israel. Now is the time when we need Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary to convert the Islamic world.
Another subtle clue, is in the word Rosary. It is of interest that the symbol of the pro-life movement is the rose and the Rosary comes from the Latin word meaning rose. Further, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the symbol for the pro-life movement in Catholic circles because she appears pregnant to St. Juan Diego. Interestingly enough, Mary is depicted as she appears in the Book of Revelation and this image has an important connection with the Christian-Muslim conflict as well (more on that another time). Further, what is one of the signs Mary gives St. Juan Diego? Roses growing in winter.
In Mary’s apparition at Fatima, she says that Russia must be consecrated in order to stop “her from spreading her errs across the world.” It seems as though the errors of Russia are communism and atheism. Communism fell in the 90s after the consecration to the Immaculate Heart, but the negative effects are still here. Russia is still in moral decadence and atheism is a growing phenomena around the world. Here again we see that if we have recourse to Mary, we can overcome the evils of secularism.
Fourth, one of the greatest sins of our times is the sin of lust. We are contracepting ourselves out of existence, divorce rates are higher than ever, and the pornography industry is a billion dollar enterprise. Mary however is the Virgin most chaste. Traditionally Mary is seen as the Saint to go for help with chastity. The reason is that she above all others had complete control over the flesh. Incidentally, one of the other Saints most known for his chastity is St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas was a Dominican, a member of the Order in charge of promoting the Rosary.
The Church is undoubtedly very ill. Evil people inside the Church seek to ruin her. They cannot however, because God is in control. As the faithful, we cannot always have certainty about what is coming up next. They can hide tradition and bury good morals. They can make us sing “Gather us in” and “Lord of the Dance.” The priests can give heretical sermons and the nuns can ride on a bus protesting in the name of Vatican II. They can make the Liturgy ugly from a human standpoint and can teach catechism class as if the only thing that mattered was “being nice.” The enemies of the Church can make unjust laws, then can imprison and even kill us. Priests can give Communion to dogs (yes it happened this past year) and criminals can desecrate the churches. At the end of the day though, we can always have our relationship with God because that is something only we can throw out. But with the help of Mary and the Rosary, we need not fear this being taken away. Because no matter what Christ’s enemies do, we will always have the Rosary. With or without beads, we can always have recourse to Our Lady conceived without sin.
Nobody can take away the Rosary. We will have the Rosary no matter what because all it takes is our ability to pray. Until the end of times, this will be a weapon against evil. Padre Pio called the Rosary the weapon and when Mary gave it to St. Dominic she referred to it as a battering ram against heresy. One of the Popes in the middle ages called it the scourge of the devil.
The Rosary is the solution to the evils of modern times. No matter what happens, we can trust in Mary’s protection through the Rosary. This should be a comforting thought, that at the end of the day, as one Dominican Friar told me “You keep saying the Rosary, the Blessed Mother will take care of you.” This is very true. What can go wrong if Mary is on our side? Who better to have taking care of us than the Mother of God Himself. Remember in our first post the significance of the Blessed Mother. She is the greatest of God’s creatures and the bridge between God and creation. In her, God became man. The Rosary is the solution to the times in our personal life and in the life of the Church and the world. We simply have to be willing to pray and trust in the mercy of God. As Pope Pius IX said “give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.”
This concludes our 52nd post on the blog. We do our best to comment on various Church related issues in an evidence-based, reasonable, and always faithful fashion. Hopefully, our contribution is beneficial to those who read it. However regardless of what else we have said in this blog, as significant as it may be, it is not as important as what I am about to say: Pray the Rosary. There are many things in life we may end up regretting. But no one, ever, has lay dying and said “I regret saying the Rosary every day.” There is no better way of spending those 20 minutes that we spend saying the Rosary. If you take one thing from this blog, take this: Say the Rosary and say it often. Do not ever give that up, as those who say the Rosary will not regret it. Say a Rosary for the Church, for the world. Say one for the conversion of sinners and for the dying, the pro-life movement, the poor and the sick. Say rosaries for your family, friends, and enemies. Say rosaries for the non-Catholics and for the unity of the Church. Say rosaries for the persecuted Christians, for government officials, for the Church and her leaders. Say rosaries for your children and their children. Please, if you have read anything worth reading here, say a rosary for us as well.
Keep in mind, Mary told St. Dominic “One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I will save the world.” Happy feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.