Greetings my brothers and sisters,
October 7 was the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Historically, this feast came about in thanksgiving to
God for a naval battle victory granted through the intercession of Our Lady by the praying of the rosary.
While we are most likely not going to be involved in any naval battles, we are most certainly involved in
a daily battle against sin and temptation. Our Lady can come to our aid as well if we utilize this
wonderful instrument of the rosary.
The devotion of the holy rosary gives us the opportunity to meditate and reflect upon the mysteries of
the life of Jesus through the eyes and heart of his mother, our mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Beginning with the annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary and ending with her crowning as Queen of
Heaven and Earth, the mysteries of the rosary recall to us what “the Almighty has done” for all of us
through the life, passion, death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus. In recalling these mysteries of our
salvation, we are given the opportunity to see if I am indeed entrusting myself to my savior Jesus, as did
his mother Mary. This, of course, is the only way to win the battle against sin. Jesus has won the victory
and I must join with him if I am going to take part in that victory over sin and death.
The prayers of the rosary, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be, are fundamental prayers of
our Catholic faith. We learn these prayers at a very early age and they are well known to us. At times,
we are not even aware of the words we are saying. While some might be alarmed by this and believe
they need to concentrate more on the words, the fact is that, in praying the rosary, these prayers serve
to create a prayerful and meditative attitude in our heart and mind as we reflect on the mysteries of
Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. When we pray the Our Father during the mass, for instance, then,
yes, we are to be aware of the words and seek to enter deeply into them. However, this is not the case
while praying the rosary. The repetition of the prayers is to serve as a sort of “mantra” as we gratefully
and humbly reflect upon the work of salvation which Jesus accomplished.
And, all of this done in the presence of and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is not
without reason that the holy rosary is considered a Marian devotion. Certainly, we are meditating upon
the life and work of our Savior Jesus Christ…and who was the first to do this if not the Virgin Mary?! We
ask her to help us and guide us as we pray, knowing that she is the first to participate in salvation, the
first to be freed from sin and death, the first to be joined to the Body of Christ, because through her the
Body of Christ is formed! What a wondrous blessing to be able to turn to her, to seek her intercession
and to follow her example!
So, my dear brothers, let us make ample use of this great gift of the holy rosary, a necessary and
powerful weapon in our battle against sin and temptation. It can also be of great use in discerning and
hearing God’s call for me, which call comes through his Son Jesus.
May Our Blessed Lady of the Rosary intercede for us to her beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, most
especially to know and answer his call.
May her husband, St. Joseph, pray for us.
Fr. Brian, OSJ