Sunday, February 10, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Sixth Promise

     The Sixth promise of the Rosary is that whoever recites the Rosary prayer devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overcome by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by and unprovided death. The sinner will be converted. The just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
     Regardless of what is happening in our lives, we are always within the loving heart of our Almighty Father. He never abandons His children. We will face misfortune, tragedy and sorrow. Grieving is a necessary and natural human process. We live in a society which rejects all sorrow as unnatural. We have been conditioned to believe that disappointment, injustice and loss will never touch our existence, and that if they do, we have somehow personally failed. Many times, we blame God.
          It is remarkable how easy it is  to forget about God in the face of financial abundance and good health. Equally astounding is how deeply we are drawn to our Creator whenever we need His supernatural assistance, long after we have exhausted every effort to independently resolve our difficulties. It is not unusual at these times to be disposed to seek Him with great fervor. He is always ready to receive us into His miraculous embrace, no matter how much we have ignored Him. We are so blessed to have a merciful God.
          Contemplation of the life of Jesus familiarizes us with the virtues needed to be spiritually successful in growing closer to God throughout all life events. Praying the Rosary transforms our hearts, causing us to respond to life's chapters and to our neighbor with gratitude and generosity. There is no mountain we cannot climb. We are never alone. Our eternal destination, to be with God in Heaven at the end of earthly life, is our greatest inspiration. We are strengthened by the examples provided by the love and mercy of Jesus. 

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Fifth Promise

     The fifth promise to those who faithfully pray the Rosary is that those who trust themselves to Mary through the Rosary shall not perish.
     Our Blessed Mother lived a life of obedience to God. No human being has ever been closer to Jesus. Through her powerful intercession, she faithfully cares for the souls of all her children.
     The lovely rose reflections of the evening clouds on the lake in the image remind me of how our souls bear a reflection of what we dedicate them to during our mortal life. We shall all experience physical death. However, the eternal destination of our souls is determined by how we choose to live. Although devotion to Christ may actually lead to our physical demise at the hands of those who oppose Him, in a mystical way, our souls shall always be safe in His care. Contemplation of the life of Christ while praying the Rosary forever imprints His love upon our souls.
"Let your manners be without covetousness, 
contented with such things as you have, 
for He hath said: I will not leave thee 
neither will I forsake thee. 
So that we may confidently say: The Lord is my helper. 
I will not fear what man shall do to me."

Hebrews 13:5 and 6
Douay Rheims Catholic Bible

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Fourth Promise

     The fourth promise to those who pray the Rosary is that this devotion will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God it will withdraw people from the love of things of this world and its vanities and it will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
     This morning I was watching some beautiful white tailed deer grazing and drinking. They were intensely tranquil and completely focused on nourishing themselves. When they heard my camera click they panicked and scattered into the woods. 
     In prayer, when my focus is on the mysteries of the Rosary, my soul is being nourished by the virtues of Jesus and Mary. My thoughts and actions are more likely to be directed by what Our Heavenly Creator has willed for me in His perfect design for my life. I am not saying that there is no value to spontaneous, original prayer. It's just that upon review of my life journey, I clearly see how greatly my actions and thoughts have been influenced by the presence or absence of time spent praying the Holy Rosary.  Mentally incorporating the life of Jesus and Mary into my soul directly impacted my personal choices with regards to a desire for holiness. Charity towards my neighbor was more likely during times of Rosary contemplation. 
     Pursuit of material possessions and social acceptance leads to distracting, spiritual clatter. My heart is more at peace in the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Yet, I know that I still have a long way to go. Ave María~Praises be to Jesus forever! 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Third Promise

    The third promise to those who faithfully pray the Rosary is that this prayer shall be a powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies. Jesus is the Incarnate Word of Our Creator. There is no duplicity in Jesus. His love and mercy are unconditional.
      The the evil one otherwise known as the "father of lies" lures souls through deception. The dire eternal consequences of sin are disguised by his false promises of wealth, popularity and painless immortality. God is truth. Real life involves joy, sorrow, happiness and suffering. True Christian behavior is vividly depicted in the words and actions of Our Lady. It is of great significance that there are very few words spoken by our Lady in Scripture. Her actions, exemplified by quiet obedience, trust, sacrificial love, fidelity and purity, outshine all elaborate objections to Catholic devotion to her. The Holy Rosary was once called the "Poor Man's Bible." Anyone who understands the history of the practice of praying the Rosary realizes that the central motivation for this prayer is holy contemplation of the life of our Savior. The more we incorporate His words, life and actions into our hearts and souls, the more likely we are to turn away from sin. We are therefore more likely to recognize and be drawn to Him. Many questions about the Holy Rosary are answered  @ Archbishop Fulton Sheen's comprehensive audio presentation. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Second Promise

     The second promise of Our Lady to those who faithfully pray the Rosary, is special protection.  Sacred Scripture tells us of Our Heavenly Father's protection of Jesus, Mary and Joseph~ the Holy Family. In today's world, there is a great need for protection of the family.
      Father Patrick Peyton, servant of God, devoted his life to the propagation of devotion to Our Lady through praying the Rosary. He is famous for the saying "The family that prays toegether, stays together." Contemporary families are often crushed by the burden of procuring material posessions and social acceptance. In our culture of instantaneous gratification, there is no room for being still and listening to Jesus. Tranquil surrender to His will is replaced by frenzied and uninhibited free will.  However, many Catholic families have resumed the practice of praying the Rosary together with miraculous results.
     A loved one of mine affectionately remembers listening to Father Peyton's radio program with family members as a child. There is more information about Father Peyton and his work here: 

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary ~ The First Promise

       Our Blessed Mother's powerful intercession for us is clearly demonstrated in her fifteen promises to Christians who pray the Rosary. The first of these promises is that whoever prays the Rosary faithfully will receive Signal Graces. Signal Graces are those little clues from the Holy Spirit that tell us we are on the right path, or unexplained nudges from our Guardian Angels that keep us out of danger. They may seem to be "coincidences". It is most pleasing to think of these Signal Graces in the former category.  There are events which serve to advance our acheivement of something we desire. 
        But what about the times we don't "get what we want?" It's much more difficult to accept the job we didn't get or the lost relationship as a blessing. Yet, if we take a close look at the life of our Blessed Mother, we can see that our Heavenly Father's plan is perfect. Mary suffered many trials and sorrows. She did not enjoy material wealth or social popularity. Yet, her sacrificial, loving acceptance of God's will is the perfect example of how we are to live as Christians. Following Mary's example can only lead us directly into the heart of Jesus. Following His will, no matter how difficult, can only lead to eternal life in Heaven with Him. 
     Many signal graces, sent so mercifully to us by Our Blessed Lord, remain unnoticed. We are so busy trying to solve our problems on our own that we are not listening to Him. Reciting the beautiful Rosary prayer in a state of peaceful surrender to Our Lord opens our hearts to His perfect guidance.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

impossible to unravel

A family hemmed in prayer
Is impossible to unravel...

Sunday, November 04, 2018

their first courageous step

 For all the saints, 
their first courageous step 
was to daily and continually 
turn away from all things worldly 
in favor of Jesus Christ.
In this way
every thought word and action,
every intention, success and failure,
every labor and sacrifice
was miraculously transformed into
a sweet step to climb 
into the loving arms of Jesus
for all eternity.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

A Priest's Love for Mary

Throughout his life as a priest, 
his love for Mary grew. 
He shared this miraculous love 
by remembering everyone's prayer needs, 
and blessing all of us with encouragement and hope.
His message to us was 
that praying the Rosary 
is the answer for every difficulty 
the world presents to our families.
His grace filled love for Mary 
melodiously echoed throughout the sanctuary 
as he lead us in praying the Rosary.
Dear Father,
Thank you for being such a wonderful priest. 
May your retirement be a happy and blessed one.

Please see the book review: The Prisoner of Love