Great Advice on How & Why We Should Pray the Rosary
October 15, 2017
Our parish is founded on a feast that highlights the power of praying the Rosary: All the way back to 1571, when Pope St. Pius V ordered the Church to pray the Rosary so that Our Lady could intercede against the Muslim forces that wanted to conquer Christian Europe, the Church discovered the power of that prayer in a truly dramatic way. In gratitude for Our Lady’s intervention, the Pope declared October 7th the feast of Our Lady of Victory (later renamed to Our Lady of the Rosary).
Many of us may have learned the mechanics of praying the Rosary in early childhood, memorizing the prayers and sequences so we could rattle it off. And that’s good. Our children should memorize it. But as adults, we should go deeper: we should be able to pray it in a deeper way, so that we can take full advantage of its power in our own spiritual lives. To that end, there is a beautiful reflection from Monsignor Romano Guardini (a great modern German theologian) on how we can plumb the depths of that prayer (taken from the Magnificat devotional magazine) and why it is so important to try to do just that. Here are some excerpts:
To linger in the domain of Mary is a divinely great thing. One does not ask about the [usefulness] of truly noble things, because they have their meaning within themselves. So it is of infinite meaning to draw a deep breath of this purity, to be secure in the peace of this union with God … Man needs a place of holy tranquility that the breath of God pervades and where he meets the great figures of the Faith. This place is the inaccessibility of God himself, which only Christ opens to man.
All prayer begins by man becoming silent—recollecting his scattered thoughts, feeling remorse at his trespasses and directing this thoughts towards God. If man does all this, this place is thrown open, not only as domain of spiritual tranquility and mental concentration, but as something that comes from God.
We are always in need of this place, especially when the convulsions of times make clear something that has always existed but which is sometime hidden by outward well-being and a prevailing peace of mind: namely, the homelessness of our lives. In such times, a great courage is demanded from us; not only a readiness to dispense with more and to accomplish more than usual, but to persevere in a vacuum we do not otherwise notice. So we require more than ever this place of which we speak, not to creep into as a hiding place, but as a place to find the core of things, to become calm and confident once more.
For this reason the Rosary is so important in times like ours…This is all the more important because the Rosary does not require any special preparation… Rather, [the one who prays the Rosary] steps into a well-ordered world, meets familiar images, and finds roads that lead him to the essential.