Her Doctrine and Morals

The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

7 October 2018


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Dear Friends,

Today's feast was established to commemorate the victory over Islam on October 7, 1571. As St Michael led the battle of the angels in heaven against the rebellion of the devils; so the Blessed Virgin Mary leads men in the battle against fallen men and demons in their rebellion against God. Catholics turn to Mary and the Rosary in their battles, but especially in their spiritual struggles. The saints tell us that the devils fear and tremble at the very mention of Mary, the Mother of God.

It is good and appropriate to turn to the Rosary and to Mary in every situation in our lives. Catholics are seldom far from their rosaries. Through the rosary we obtain many graces. Especially in our darkest hours, we find the strength and courage to continue on.

To most non-Catholics, the Rosary appears monotonous and boring. All they observe is the seemingly endless repetition of prayers. To the devout Catholic, there is so much more than this, the prayers and meditations of the Rosary are ever ancient and ever new.

In the world, we often read and re-read a book that we have found enjoyable. We purchase and listen many times over to music that we like. Fans will line up to watch a movie or show over and over again. Children at amusement parks will often find one thing they like and do that over and over again. It does not seem to ever get old or boring to them because there is a kind of love there, there is something in it for them.

The Saints have a love even greater than this for Mary and the Holy Rosary. Devout Catholics also, develop this love and find ever greater consolation and joy in this devotion.

In the Rosary, we mystically (through prayer and meditation) accompany Mary as she followed Jesus through this life. We begin with the very moment that The Word was made Flesh, and end when Mary is forever one with Him as she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth. We follow her in joy, sorrow, and glory. This is the same vocation that God has given to all of us. Our lives are a succession of joys and sorrows in this life that are to be crowned in the end with eternal glory in heaven.

In every situation in our lives, we can turn to Mary to see how we should behave. In the moments of great sorrow, we see her sorrow and pain, but we also see her love and patience. In the times of happiness, we are reminded of her love and profound humility. This inspires us and encourages us not to lose hope as well as not to become proud and presumptuous.

On a deeper level, we see that Mary conformed her life to the Will of God. She not only allowed God to dwell within her at the Incarnation, but she ever more intimately dwelt in God. She lived not her life, but rather (as St. Paul would say) Christ lived through her. When we look closely we see Mary following and carefully observing and taking in everything that Jesus said and did. If we enter in and look even more closely we see that not only did she follow Him, but that she lived in Him. As He dwelt in her body before His birth, we find that she dwelt in Him throughout her life.

It is our duty as Catholics to be followers of Christ. We must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow Him. As the old-timers might say, "this is a hard row to hoe." Our fallen natures and feeble wills are often distracted and tired of the task that is before us, and so we turn away from that which we know we should be doing. How can we follow Jesus even from a distance — terrible sinners that we are? Mary, as a good mother, softens the burden. She gently encourages us and helps us. She takes us by the hand and says, "Watch me, follow me. Don't look too far ahead and grow discouraged, just focus on the task at hand and do your best." Jesus did not arrive at Calvary all at once. He arrived step by step. Mary followed Him step by step. We are to follow Him, but the best way to do this is by holding the hand of Mary and watching her at every step of the way. The rosary is the instrument that makes all this possible.

When we genuinely love Jesus, we never grow tired of recalling His life here on earth. We find inspiration and help in our own lives by recalling His earthly life. God has given us the Rosary and His Mother as a book through which we read of Him. It is the weapon we can use to fight off the enemy. The Rosary is the poetry or music that soothes and calms our troubled souls. It is the medicine that heals our wounds. In this state of mind, we find that the repetition of these simple and beautiful prayers are not monotonous, but are most sweet and pleasant, they are as honey upon our lips.

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