Our Universal Mother - Part 68
The Power of the Daily Rosary
Story by Paul A. Duffner, O.P.
The message the Mother of God gave to the world at Fatima in 1917 was a call to prayer and penance, which is the heart of the Gospel message. The penance she stressed was fidelity to the sacrifices that one must make in order to observe the Commandments of God and fulfill the duties of one’s state in life. And the prayer she singled out in a special way was the Rosary.
So central is the Rosary in the Fatima message that the Mother of God identified herself as the “Lady of the Rosary.” In each of the six apparitions she asked for the daily Rosary, and on three of those visits she asked for the Rosary to obtain peace for the world.
Singled out the Rosary as a Key Weapon
The Lord has placed in the hands of His Mother the task of countering the powers of evil and she in turn has singled out the Rosary as a key weapon in that conflict. The Blessed Mother has renewed her request for the prayer she gave to the Church centuries before, a prayer that has proven a powerful weapon against the enemies of Christianity, as history bears witness. Referring to this, Sister Lucia of Fatima commented: “My impression is that the Rosary is of greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give to ordinary people who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God.”
Must be Prayed Properly
However, in order that the Rosary is a “simple method of getting closer to God,” it must be prayed properly. Praying it properly requires each decade to be a reflection on some aspect of the mysteries of our redemption. Without that, the Rosary would become monotonous repetition. As Pope Paul VI pointed out in Devotion to Mary (Marialis Cultus): “Without this (reflection) the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas.”
In this prayer we can well take Our Lady as a model, for the Scriptures tell us she “kept all these words (bearing on the mysteries of our redemption), pondering them in her heart.”
The Rosary is Pleasing to Our Lady
The Rosary is a simple form of prayer that can be prayed by young or old, the learned or uneducated, the saint or sinner. Each can adapt it to his or her own capacity. The Rosary is pleasing to Our Lady, because it causes us to review again and again the life of her divine Son and the mysteries of our redemption. It is helpful to us for, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, because it not only recalls these mysteries, but stimulates the will to draw from them the norms of living. That is, it not only points out the way, but helps us obtain the graces needed to follow that way.
Praying the Rosary for peace might seem like relying on something extremely insignificant in light of the magnitude of evil in today’s world. Yet this is the weapon in today’s world, it is the weapon that Our Lady has chosen. She merely asks our cooperation, and she will do the rest. The Mother of God has chosen this instrument – so insignificant in itself – precisely that the power of God behind it might be all the more manifest. Heaven chooses lowly and insignificant instruments in preference to those that the world relies on, to make it more clear that the end result is more the work of God than the work of man.
Placed Great Confidence in the Holy Rosary
Pope Pius XII wrote: “Place great confidence in the holy Rosary. Use this most powerful form of prayer with the utmost possible zeal, and let it become more and more esteemed, and more fervently recited daily … It is not with physical force, not with arms, not with human power, but with the divine help obtained through this prayer, that the Church (and all its members) strong and undaunted like David with his sling, will be able to confront the infernal enemy.”
Remember the words of St. Padre Pio: the Rosary is the weapon!