I’m going to be honest with you.
Writing this reflection this week has been a battle.
I’m talkin’ distractedness to the max! Just about everything stole my attention this week during prayers and meditations. And on top of that the fountain of ideas and inspirations had all run dry. I couldn’t think of a good enough thing to talk about!
Nothing seemed to click, no matter how hard I tried to fight it. It’s definitely a crummy feeling.
So, as Saturday continued to approach and my predicament still without a remedy, I turned to prayer. I asked Jesus and Mary to help me overcome my little problem, to give me patience, and with the help of the Holy Spirit show me what it is I should talk about this weekend.
Putting it in God’s hands, I went about my daily routines when on Thursday I checked my email and noticed Sr. Emmanuel had sent out a new report this month. She talked about many wonderful and beautiful stories around the world; a miraculous healing of a deaf man in Medjugorje, and the consecration of Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But one thing she talked about in her email served both as a reminder and an answer to my prayer. Here’s what Sr. Emmanuel wrote:
In Medjugorje, there are now more Polish pilgrims than Italians! They are not shy about their century-old devotion to the Blessed Mother. For the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Bishop’s Conference took a remarkable and historic initiative: given the serious dangers that threaten Poland, they brought to mind the many miraculous protections which were obtained in the past due to large numbers faithfully praying the Rosary – the victory of Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571, the victory in Austria after World War II against communist control of the country, the Rosary miracle in Brazil in 1964, etc.
On Saturday, October 7th, over a million Poles gathered along the borders of their country forming a visible string of prayer to save Poland and the whole world.
Not to mention the hundreds of parishes that joined in on this day of prayer, all following the same program: Mass at 11 a.m; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at noon; and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. praying all 20 mysteries of the Rosary.
The Poles who were in Medjugorje prayed the 20 mysteries together at Mother’s Village after a special Eucharist.
Last January and February, Our Lady said: “The Rosary is my dearest prayer which fills my heart with the most beautiful scent of roses.” “I cannot but be where I sense the scent of roses.” And we know, every Ave Maria is a rose offered to the Mother of God. Imagine Poland covered with the scent of perfume from millions of roses! For the past 36 years, Our Lady has been telling us to pray the Rosary every day, as a most powerful weapon against evil. It is even capable of changing the course of history!
This magnificent initiative is not an isolated event. In different parts of the world, in connection with the 13th of October which was the last public apparition at Fatima, various prayer groups, Christian organizations, parishes and communities have joined forces to move the heavens with their prayers. For instance, at the initiative of Don Pablo Martin (former parish priest at Civitavecchia), many groups all over Italy have planned special prayers at 5.30 p.m. on Friday, October 13th, as well as fasting all day on bread and water as per the instructions of the Blessed Mother (www.aiasm.it). Those who cannot fast for health reasons can offer another renunciation to God. Their purpose is to ask Our Lady to save Italy from apostasy, as well as the world, and for her children to reconnect with their Christian roots! In addition, it is asked that participants be in a state of grace, in other words, to make a good sacramental confession.
We hope that like our Polish brothers, more than a million Italians will participate in this powerful initiative! What about America and the other countries?
The Holy Rosary!
I can’t believe I nearly forgot!
As I mentioned last Saturday, the Church dedicates the month of October to the Holy Rosary. And the number of Poles (about 1 million reported!) praying the Rosary just recently is an example and a reminder of how so very much we need unity through prayer.
The world needs the Rosary more than ever. The people of Poland understood that and they responded beautifully! And Sr. Emmanuel brings a good point: Why not America? Why not Canada or Australia or Ireland? Or anywhere else in the world? Whether it’s a group of a thousand, hundred, or even just ten people; why not?
What’s really stopping us? What’s preventing us from answering Our Lady’s call?
The Rosary is a confraternity. There’s no limits or excuses. From New York to Paris to Sydney we can unite in a chain of prayer. We can help spread the graces of the Rosary throughout our families, neighborhoods, and countries. God’s grace has zero limitations. Our Lady has told us that the Rosary (prayer) can stop wars of all kinds. With that said, imagine what the world would look like if every soul responded with an Ave Maria? We couldn’t even begin to imagine.
With God all things are possible. For us humans, it’s hard to imagine a place in the U.S. (especially a city like Los Angeles or Chicago, for example) to have such a gathering for the Rosary like Poland did. But again, why not? If God is with us who can be against us? I hope and pray more individuals and parishes decide to continue this event here in the West. It’s needed beyond words. The battle for souls is real and Rosary is the weapon needed to save them.
Now I’d like to share with you some testimonies of the miracles of the Rosary from St. Louis de Montfort’s The Secret of the Rosary:
FREED FROM SATAN
In 1578 a woman in Anvers had given herself to the devil and had signed the contract with her own blood. Shortly afterwards she was stricken with sincere remorse and had an intense desire to make amends for this terrible deed. So she sought out a kind and wise confessor who advised her to go to Father Henry, one of the Fathers of the Dominican Friary, who was Director of the Rosary Confraternity in that town, to ask him to enroll her in it and hear her confession.
Accordingly she went to ask for him but met, not Father Henry, but the devil disguised as a Dominican Father. The latter scolded her pitilessly and said that she could never hope to receive Almighty God’s grace again as long as she lived, and that there was absolutely no way in which she could regain possession of her contract. This grieved her greatly but she did not quite lose hope of God’s mercy and sought out Father Henry once more, only to find the devil a second time, and to meet with a second rebuff. She came back for the third time and then at last, by Divine Providence, she found Father Henry in person—the priest whom she had been looking for—and he treated her with very great kindness, urging her to throw herself upon the mercy of Almighty God and to make a good confession. He then received her into the Confraternity and told her to say the Rosary frequently.
One day while Father Henry was saying Mass for her Our Lady forced the devil to giver her back the contract which she had signed. In this way she was delivered from the devil by the authority of Mary and by her devotion to the Most Holy Rosary.
A MONASTERY REFORMED
A Nobleman who had several daughters entered one of them in a lax monastery where the nuns were very proud and thought of nothing else but worldly pleasures. The nuns’ confessor, on the other hand, was a zealous priest who had great love for the Holy Rosary. Wishing to guide this nun into a better way of life he ordered her to say the Rosary every day in honor of the Blessed Virgin while meditating on the life, passion and glory of Jesus Christ.
She joyously undertook to say the Rosary and little by little she grew to have repugnance for the wayward habits of her sisters in religion. She developed a love for silence and prayer and this in spite of the fact that the others despised and ridiculed her and called her a fanatic. It was at this time that a holy priest, who was making the visitation of the convent, had a stranger vision while he was making his meditation: he saw a nun in her room, rapt in prayer, kneeling in front of a Lady of breathless beauty who was surrounded by Angels. The latter had flaming spears with which they repelled a crowd of devils who wanted to come in. These evil spirits then fled to the other nuns’ rooms under the guise of vile animals.
By this vision the priest became aware of the lamentable state the monastery was in and he was so upset that he thought he might almost die of grief. He immediately sent for the young religious and exhorted her to persevere.
As he pondered on the value of the Rosary, he decided to try to reform the sisters by means of it. He bought a supply of beautiful rosaries and gave one to each nun, imploring them to say the Rosary every day, even going so far as to promise them that, if they would only say it faithfully, he would not try to force them to alter their lives. Wonderful and strange as it may seem the nuns agreed to this pact and were glad to be given the rosaries and promised to say them.
Little by little they began to give up their empty and worldly pursuits, letting silence and recollection come into their lives. In less than a year they all asked that the monastery be reformed.
So the Holy Rosary worked more changes in their hearts than the priest could have worked by exhorting and commanding them.
Blessed Alan de la Roche, Father Jean Dumont, Father Thomas, the chronicles of St. Dominic and other writers who have seen these things with their own eyes speak marvelous conversions that are brought about by the Holy Rosary. Great sinners—both men and women—have been converted after twenty, thirty or even forty years of sin and unspeakable vice, because they persevered in the Holy Rosary. And these have been people who, beforehand, had been deaf to all pleading! I shall not tell you about those wonderful conversions here because I do not want to make this book too long. And I am not even going to refer to those which I have seen with my very own eyes: there are several reasons why I would rather not talk about them.
Dear reader, I promise you that if you practice this devotion and help to spread it you will learn more from the Rosary than from any spiritual book. And what is more, you will have happiness of being rewarded by Our Lady in accordance with the promises that she made to St. Dominic, to Blessed Alan de la Roche and to all those who practice and encourage this devotion which is so dear to her. For the Holy Rosary teaches people about the virtues of Jesus and Mary, and leads them to mental prayer and to imitate Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It teaches them to approach the Sacraments often, to genuinely strive after Christian values and to do all kinds of good works, as well as interesting them in the many wonderful indulgences which can be gained through the Rosary.
People are often quite unaware of how rich the Rosaries is in indulgences. This is because many priests, when preaching on the Rosary, hardly ever mention indulgences and give rather a flowery and popular sermon which excites admiration but scarcely teaches anything.
Be that as it may I shall say no more than to assure you, in the words of Blessed Alan de la Roche, that the Holy Rosary is the root and the storehouse of countless blessings. For through the Holy Rosary:
- Sinners are forgiven;
- Souls that thirst are refreshed;
- Those who are fettered have their bonds broken;
- Those who weep find happiness;
- Those who are tempted find peace;
- The poor find help;
- Religious reformed;
- Those who are ignorant are instructed;
- The living learn to overcome pride;
- The dead (the Holy Souls) have their pains eased by suffrages.
One day Our Lady said to Blessed Alan:
“I want people who have a devotion to my Rosary to have my Son’s grace and blessing during their lifetimes and at their death, and after their death I want them to be freed from all slavery so that they will be like kings wearing crowns and with scepters in their hands and enjoying eternal glory.” Amen. So be it.
The Rosary can change the lives and hearts of many, many souls.
Why bother praying the Rosary?
I can give you dozens and dozens of reasons why:
The Las Vegas shooting. North Korea and the threat of nuclear war. Abortion being the leading cause of death every year. The disgraceful and overwhelming record number of murders in Chicago. The Church shooting in Tennessee. Islamic terrorism overrunning Europe. The horrifying rise of rapes and sexual assaults in Sweden. The recent revelations of Hollywood and its history of sexual abuse. Drug abuse. Suicide, depression, and diseases. Violent protests. Human-trafficking. Communism in Venezuela, Cuba and others parts of the world. Masonry and the occult. Earthquakes and severe weather storms in places such as Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, Mexico, and Chile. The infiltration of liberation theology in the Church. The decline of marriages and the rise of divorces. Gender-bending theories. Unacceptable racism. The vicious wildfires in California.
The list goes on and on and on. But do I really need to be saying this all? How many more reasons do we need?
September 25, 2017 – “Dear children! I am calling you to be generous in renunciation, fasting and prayer for all those who are in temptation, and are your brothers and sisters. In a special way I am imploring you to pray for priests and for all the consecrated, that they may love Jesus still more fervently; that the Holy Spirit may fill their hearts with joy; that they may witness Heaven and Heavenly mysteries. Many souls are in sin, because there are not those who sacrifice themselves and pray for their conversion. I am with you and am praying that your hearts may be filled with joy. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
August 25, 2017 – “Dear children! Today I am calling you to be people of prayer. Pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and a meeting with the Most High. He will transform your hearts and you will become people of love and peace. Do not forget, little children, that Satan is strong and wants to draw you away from prayer. You, do not forget that prayer is the secret key of meeting with God. That is why I am with you to lead you. Do not give up on prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
July 25, 2017 – “Dear children! Be prayer and a reflection of God’s love for all those who are far from God and God’s commandments. Little children, be faithful and determined in conversion and work on yourselves so that, for you, holiness of life may be truth; and encourage each other in the good through prayer, so that your life on earth may be more pleasant. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Instead of fighting with each other, why aren’t we looking to God for mercy with our rosaries in hand? The devil wants us to be divided, blaming one another, and hurting each other. Don’t give the evil one what he wants; don’t play by his rules! We should be coming together praying for one another; for healing, strength, and peace. In the end, isn’t that what we all so dearly want and need?
All right, I think I’ve said enough. My point is the Rosary is a powerful weapon, and we need it now more than ever. Let us respond to the call of Our Lady and pray with the heart!
O Blessed Mother, please continue to guide your children closer to your Son Jesus. Help us seek the mercy of God in our hearts and to pray for others in need everywhere. With the Rosary in hand, may we rise above the darkness of the world and rejoice in the light and glory of the Holy Trinity. Amen.