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Another Reason to Pray the Rosary

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By Br. Leonard Konopka, MIC (Oct 23, 2006)
In my column last week I wrote how Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was more than a model in the life of St. Faustina. For all intents and purposes, Mary was also very involved in the actual formation of her spiritual life. During this month of the Holy Rosary, we can have another purpose for praying our beads. We can become more open and ask Our Lady to teach us about living our lives with greater meaning and purpose. In this process, we dwell deeper into the mysteries of the Rosary as well.

Saint Faustina writes: "Mary is my instructress, who is ever teaching me how to live for God. My spirit brightens up in Your gentleness and Your humility, O Mary" (Diary, 620).

In her role as teacher, Mary can become a greater influence in our lives as well. It has been stated that whatever adulation Mary receives, she immediately surrenders to Her Son, Jesus. Our Lord, in turn, pours out all His graces through her. Many have come to believe that since Jesus, in His mercy, came through Mary, He continues to come through her as an instrument for our salvation.

Saint Faustina understood this quite well and tried to glean every bit of counsel from this Seat of Wisdom. We can pray with St. Faustina: "O radiant Virgin, pure as crystal, all immersed in God, I offer you my spiritual life; arrange everything that it may be pleasing to Your Son" (Diary, 844). She renewed this request many times in her life.

Above all, Mary taught St. Faustina how to discover God in her own soul. No doubt Mary can teach the same truth if we but ask. When we have no guide available, who can bring us closer to Jesus better than His mother?

As I noted in a column several weeks ago, St. Faustina also turned to Mary in order to understand the Eucharist better. Saint Faustina writes: "The Mother of God is instructing me in the interior life of the soul with Jesus, especially in Holy Communion" (Diary, 840). This type of insight was quite consistent in her dialogue with Mary.

During one particular Advent season, the Mother of God recommended that St. Faustina constantly adore Jesus dwelling in her own soul: "My daughter, strive after silence and humility, so that Jesus, who dwells in your heart continuously, may be able to rest. Adore Him in your heart; do not go out from your inmost being" (Diary, 785). This is a very powerful reflection. We, too, can greatly benefit from this counsel. We need not run off to some far distant place or foreign land, but focus our whole interior life on increasing our union with Him living within us. We see this same invitation from Our Lord who said: "Abide in Me and I in you" (Jn 15:4). That choice is ours, and no one can take it away without our willing it.

Praying the Rosary is precisely the means we have to abide in Jesus and in the school of Mary. It can provide a kind of spiritual shelter in these times of very seductive worldly influences. We can make a special effort in praying this same protection for others we love and to whom we minister. Our attitude can be like that of St. Faustina, who writes: "I have been living under the virginal cloak of the Mother of God. She has been guarding me and instructing me. I am quite at peace, close to her Immaculate Heart. Because I am so weak and inexperienced, I nestle like a little child close to Her heart" (Diary, 1097).

Brother Leonard Konopka, MIC, is on the staff of the Marian Seminary in Washington, D.C. He also provides spiritual direction, retreats, and seminars. Brother Leonard has a leaflet available that has a series of meditations on the five wounds of our Lord. The meditations are intended for use while praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Click here to order Contemplate My Wounds. He also has a CD available with the meditations on the five wounds, interspered with the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Click here to order A Musical Interlude.

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Clare - Oct 27, 2006

Thank you for your column Br. Leonard. We know and we do believe that as Our Lady helped Saint Faustina, she will also help each of us to become more open and will teach us, if only we will ask her help, in living our lives with greater meaning and purpose and also help us to dwell deeper into the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary as well. This month dedicated to the Holy Rosary is coming to an end, but we, on our part, should continue to recite the Holy Rosary every day of our life and we will experience abundant Blessings.

I would like to share something from the collections that I have, regarding Our Lady and the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII defined the Rosary as, "The splendid lamp of wisdom" and Fr. Lacordaire as, "The summary of the Gospel." In the recitation of the Rosary, through meditation on the mysteries, we learn the Divine Wisdom of which Mary is the teacher. The basis of holiness as taught by Mary is humility and the availability to the Will of God; it is perfected through sacrifices and fulfilled in intimate union with God.

St. Albert the Great says of the Rosary: "When we add the Our Father to the ten Hail Mary's of each decade, we are weaving a crown of Roses and placing it on the head of the one who is the Queen of the World. The Rosary is the weapon of strength. The Virgin Mary, appearing to St. Dominic presented to him the Rosary saying: Preach my Rosasry, it is in fact a form of prayer very dear to me, and useful to ask for Divine Mercy; for the Church it is a singular stronghold. Our Lady still continues to exhort each of us to pray the Rosary.

We need to keep in mind a few important points while saying the Rosary and in fact before we begin the Rosary, we can say a small prayer saying: "I unite myself and my family and (mention Priests, Religious etc. and/or all the people who have asked for our prayers) with all the Angels and Saints in Heaven and with the just on earth. I unite myself with Thee my Jesus, in order to praise Thy Holy Mother worthily and to praise Thee in her and by her. I renounce all the distactions that may come to me while I am saying this Rosary.

Then we begin the Holy Rosary by kissing the Crucifix and while holding the Crucifix in our hand, we say: O Blessed Virgin Mary, we offer Thee this Creed in order to honor the faith that Thou didst have upon earth and to ask Thee to let us share in that same Faith.

Then we go on to the 'Our Father' saying: O Lord, we offer Thee this 'Our Father' so as to adore Thee in Thy Oneness and to recognize Thee as the first cause and the last end of all things.

Then we go on to the three 'Hail Marys' saying: Most Holy Trinity, we offer Thee these three Hail Marys so as to thank Thee for all the Graces which Thou hast given to Mary and for all the Graces which Thou hast given to us through her intercession.

Then we say the 'Glory Be to the Father' in order to give Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit... and we continue reciting the decades of the Rosary while meditating on the respective Mysteries.

The Mystical Rose Tree is Jesus and Mary in life, death and eternity... its green leaves are the Joyful Mysteries, the colour and brightness from the Rose are the Luminous Mysteries or othrrwise known as the Mysteries of Light, the thorns are the Sorrowful Mysteries and the Roses are the Glorious Mysteries.

So, let us consider the Rosary as the book of true wisdom, a homage of love to Our Blessed Mother from her loving children and as a powerful weapon for the triumph of God and of the Church, through the powerful intercession of Mother Mary keeping in mind the words of Saint Faustina: "O radiant Virgin, pure as Crystal, all immersed in God, I offer you my spiritual life; arrange everything that it may be pleasing to Your Son (Diary 844). Let us like Saint Faustina repeat the above words as often as possible. MAY OUR BLESSED MOTHER GUIDE AND PROTECT ALL UF US!