The Rosary...What's the Point?

Do you avoid praying some of the "old devotions" because they are too repetetive or boring? Maybe you are missing a tool that could really assist in your spiritual walk?
by Kathryn M. Cunningham, MAPS | Source: Catholic.net

 Somewhere along the way, in our busy techno-saturated society we have lost the concept of “stillness”.  You hear people say that they “don’t have time” and they are constantly pressed by the imperative to stay in touch with: work, spouse, children, friends, the world.  In that melee we no longer even ‘allow’ silence into our life.  An Italian priest I know observed that: “I have never seen a people (Americans) so obsessed with the idea of communicating with each other and so unable to accomplish it.”  Just look around at the road rage, litigation, name calling and accusations in our culture today and you know that he’s right!


 As Catholics we have remedies for that and one of the most potent is the Rosary. It is a sad statement that in the past few generations, devotions like the Rosary have fallen out of use.  Maybe that’s a result of bad catechesis, lack of catechesis, the pressures of modernism or a “change in fashion”.  It is, nonetheless, a great loss to the body of believers.  The Rosary was established as a devotion by St. Dominic after a revelation from Mary herself around 1215.  It became one of the foundational devotions for the Order of Preachers (O.P., Dominicans) which were founded in 1208.  Dominic’s order began at a time of great danger and attack from the Turks in Europe.  The Rosary was one of the Order’s most powerful devotions and protections.   In the past it was not uncommon for Popes to request “Rosary Campaigns” of entire nations or continents!  We can’t forget the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571 when a small fleet of ships representing the Holy Roman Empire defeated an impossibly larger fleet of Turkish ships to drive back the Muslim forces from invading Europe through Greece and Italy.  This was the largest naval battle ever fought in the Mediterranean. Pope Pius V, in anticipation of the battle, requested that all of Europe pray the Rosary for victory in this epic confrontation.  He fully credited Our Lady and the Rosary for the success of the Christian forces.  In fact, Lepanto is what lead to his declaration of October as the month of the Rosary.


People sometimes complain that the repetition in the Rosary is ‘boring’.  Did you know that this type of repetition is a style of prayer called meditation and it is meant to focus one’s attention on the words of the phrase and tune out everything else?  The words of the Hail Mary are oddly comforting and as you focus on repeating them, they bring stillness to the mind and the spirit.  The words of the Hail Mary are directly from scripture when we witness Gabriel greet Mary at the Annunciation.  So, in this case, repetition is a good thing.  As you repeat the prayer, greeting Mary literally becomes part of you.  Educators know that repetition schools the mind in a way that nothing else can accomplish.  So this type of repetitive prayer is healing in more ways than one.  In addition, the twenty meditations of the Rosary are all straight from scripture.  They are events that trace Jesus life and as we recall each we are really looking through Mary’s eyes. Of course the Our Father and the Glory Be are prayers that Jesus himself taught.  There is not one shred of the Rosary that is not directed toward bringing us closer to Jesus with the able assistance of his Mother.  Bishop Fulton J.  Sheen called the Rosary the perfect prayer because in addition to engaging the mind and the spirit, our fingers touch the beads and we are engaged in a physical way also.


We must also be reminded that the Rosary is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare.  The enemy flees the Rosary with all of its potent prayers wrapped up into one devotion.  Former aides of Saint Padre Pio tell stories that in times of dire spiritual need Pio would yell at them and demand that they hurry and go and get his “weapon”.  He was referring to, of course, his Rosary!


 So the Rosary, with its elegant repetitions, heals and serves our spiritual life in a multitude of ways: you have to stop and set aside “God time” to pray it, no running off or rushing for at least fifteen minutes, it quiets and focuses the mind, our physical energy is directed in a spiritual way, the quietness of focusing on the prayer and its correct order schools our mind, repeating the greeting to Mary brings us into a holy presence. The repetition and the stillness of the Rosary can bring calm to our lives.  Take a new look at this ancient prayer in this month of October and invite a new stillness and focus into your life.  It only takes fifteen minutes and costs absolutely nothing!

 

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Published by: maribel de torres
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Good morning. I totally agree with your article and I write to tell you about a Campaign that began in Venezuela and is already in its fifth year. It is called "One million children praying the rosary for union and peace". It has become an international campaign.It is to be prayed on October 18 wherever children can gather. Thank you. Maribel de Torres

Published by: maribel de torres
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Good morning. I totally agree with your article and I write to tell you about a Campaign that began in Venezuela and is already in its fifth year. It is called "One million children praying the rosary for union and peace". It has become an international campaign.It is to be prayed on October 18 wherever children can gather. Thank you. Maribel de Torres

Published by: maribel de torres
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Good morning. I totally agree with your article and I write to tell you about a Campaign that began in Venezuela and is already in its fifth year. It is called "One million children praying the rosary for union and peace". It has become an international campaign.It is to be prayed on October 18 wherever children can gather. Thank you. Maribel de Torres

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