There is a nip in the air, not just in the morning anymore, but lingering throughout the day. Sometimes it is even down-right cold. The leaves on the deciduous trees are bursting forth in color from fiery red to burnt-pumpkin orange; even the greens seem more clear and spectacular against the bright blue sky. It is this time of year when Indiana shines best, I think. She is in all her glory in beauty and splendor.
Against this backdrop the Church recognized October as the month of the rosary. Any time is time to pray on the beloved beads, but I think it is particularly appropriate against the backdrop of a lovely fall, with leaves bursting forth in color, the harbingers of a new season.
A new season. Beauty. Hope. That is what Our Lady calls us to in her motherly tenderness.
The world is, quite frankly, a bit of a mess. In so many areas we can be discouraged as we see problem after problem around us. We need weapons to protect our children from spiritual and physical danger. The rosary is our go-to weapon.
St. Padre Pio says the rosary is the weapon to use in spiritual combat. It is very powerful. When we pray the rosary, we center our thoughts on the life of Christ and His mother. When we pray the rosary, we become intimate observers of the life of Christ. Through the rosary we can conquer temptation, vice, and grow in holiness. Modern phone apps offer to aid us in meditation and relaxation. We don’t need those apps when we have the rosary, which provides those benefits and so much more.
When our children were little, I would gather them in the morning before school time and pray the rosary. They would wiggle as they knelt. Some tried to squirm away. The baby made noises. I sometimes wondered if it was worth the effort as my frustration level seemed to increase during this time. Then one day I realized that any inconvenience or trouble in implementing this prayer devotion could be offered for those little squirmers themselves. My patience would be developed through persisting. Even though the rosary did not have a contemplative purpose for me at that time, I was teaching my children to pray it, and I was growing in self-discipline. Times are different now. I pray my daily rosary often alone, either first thing, in the dark, coffee in hand, or as I take my walk outside. The latter is my preference during beautiful fall days. The cadence of stepping coordinates with the rhythm of prayer.
Some people meditate on the mysteries as they pray. Others focus on the words of the prayers themselves. Still others mentally bring their intentions to our Lord as the words of the rosary are spoken. Sometimes it takes great effort to pray. Other times, the mind and soul take flight and it seems but a minute. It is so important to pray the rosary. The beads are each simultaneously blessings and offerings. Someday when we die, we will see the beauty of each bead, not unlike the brilliant magnificence of each autumn leaf, beautifying the earth and heralding a new season.
The Blessed Mother offered to St. Dominic 15 Promises for those who recite the rosary. Let us make use of this prayer and tap into the Promises.
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.
I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.
The rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
I have obtained from my divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
All who recite the rosary are my sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Theresa Thomas is the wife of David and the mother of nine children.
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