Holy Rosary Sunday – ‘Get the Habit and Click the Beads’
Throughout the month of October, the Church encourages us all to use our Rosary to aid our prayers and be drawn closer to Jesus through it. On her many appearances throughout history our Blessed Lady has exhorted the ‘faithful’ to pray the rosary, both individually and families together. Pope Pius V instituted this feast of Holy Rosary Sunday to commemorate the halting of Turkish Muslim expansion by the Christian armies in 1571, which he and many others ascribed to his call for the Christian faithful to pray the Rosary and call upon Our Lady’s help.
The use of beads to help our concentration has a long history in the Church and the Rosary is perhaps the most distinct and popular devotion for us Latin Rite Catholics. You can always identify a Catholic by their ‘beads.’ But over the last decades we have become shy, many have thought themselves ‘too sophisticated’, ‘modern’, ‘grown up’, to use a Rosary. “It’s boring, repetitive, old fashioned” they say, “We don’t get it. We don’t need it.” So why does Our Lady encourage us to use it and saints, like Padre Pio, call it their greatest ‘weapon’? Because, as soon-to-be ‘Saint’ John Henry Newman put it; ‘The great power of the Rosary lies in this, that it makes the Creed into a prayer, giving us the great truths of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, the sacraments and Our Lady’s love and example, bringing them nearer our hearts. It allows us to connect with the Angels and Saints and the whole Church through time and eternity.’
Let’s learn and re-learn to use this great ‘tool’ that we have been given, not rushing through it, as we Catholics can be wont to do, but slowing down, ‘picturing each mystery (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, Luminous), remembering that the Our Fathers and Hail Marys are designed to lead us into a deeper appreciation of God’s actions in our world.
Sort your ‘intentions’ before you begin. Pause and name them as you pray each decade. Change them and build them through your week. Gently bring them with Mother Mary to Jesus. One decade or two. All five is best. Whatever you can manage, pray it!!
Let’s all ‘Get the Habit and Click the beads’ this October, grow in faith, grow in discipleship, grow in prayer, using this Great Weapon of our Catholic Faith:
THE HOLY ROSARY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Fr David Jones OLW