Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For Catholics, every October is dedicated to the Rosary. In large part due to the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which falls every year on October 7th, this Marian devotion has a prominent place in the life of the Church. We would be wise to heed the wisdom of Mother Church by reciting this great prayer throughout the month.
The Rosary itself has existed in several different forms throughout the history of our faith. The current form of it is most closely associated with the Dominicans, who carry a large one as part of their habit. As the story goes, the Rosary was given by the Blessed Mother to St. Dominic in a vision. Regardless of where it first appeared or how many beads and prayers it has, it remains a powerful tool in the life of any Christian.
Now, truth be told, the Rosary is not my favorite devotional practice. To be quite honest, one of my least favorite things in college seminary was the weekly communal recitation of it. Perhaps I lack the depth or even the mental capacity to get beyond the mechanics of the prayer itself; reciting over and over again in short order Hail Mary after Hail Mary. Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be simultaneously meditating on one of the deep
mysteries from the life of Mary and of Christ, but for whatever reason, it is hard for me to focus on such things.
Give me an Angelus any day of the week, but a Rosary? That is a challenge personally. But, I still wholeheartedly promote the effects and benefits of the daily praying of the Rosary. Just because it is something that does not have much appeal to my personal preferences does not mean that it does not have merit. Indeed, the Rosary has a rich history of being a powerful and effective source of God’s grace in the world. From the Battle of Lepanto, which helped turn away an Islamic invasion of Western Europe, to the many promises of souls saved through various Marian apparitions, this devotion can do great things. When I need
something big from God, out come my rosary beads. And the goodness of God and the love of the love of the Blessed Mother do not disappoint.
However, the point of having a month dedicated to the Rosary is to get beyond using this devotion only in times of crisis and see it as something worthwhile in our daily lives. God’s grace is not an occasional thing for us.
The love of Our Lady is not an occasional thing for us. Rather, both are constant realities, things we can count on always, and experience uniquely when we engage in that great devotion of the Rosary.
Peace and Goodness,