rosary

We look at today’s world and it seems like it has run amok. Crimes and violence outnumber anything else that we hear about in the news. The number of terroristic attacks seems to be increasing, both in their frequency and their violence. Nations think nothing of the lives of people, even of their own people. Material things have become the “golden idols” of today. And, should we speak out against these things that go counter to the moral law, we are made to look like we are the ones out-of-step. The very foundations of our beliefs are attacked and belittled. Abortion and birth control are promoted as the norm. Gay and Lesbian marriages are protected under the rights of the people. To speak of God is to encourage the mocking of others. The philosophy of “The ME generation” has taken over and now dictates to others. If, it is what I want, then it is ok, licit and moral. This is the thinking of the Me Generation.

Make no mistake about it, do not belittle these occurrences, our faith and morals are under attack. Do not fall into the trap of “everyone else seems to accept it, so it must be alright”. That is the thought process of the weak, the vacillating, the unconvinced and the uncaring. The principles that are, and were, engendered in us as we grew up, are dying by the wayside. If we do nothing to bolster them, if we let them wither and die, because of our own uncertainty and lack of conviction, then we are the lukewarm that Christ despises. “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth”.-1 Even more sinister is the feeling of embarrassment in us, when we do talk about such things.

This is not intended to be a ‘fire and brimstone’ talk. Actually, it is just the opposite. The Apostles, fishermen for the most part, heard wondrous things from Jesus. How much did they really understand? They were attracted to this Man’s goodness and kindness. What He said, at times, must have been over their heads. But that didn’t matter, His presence and conviction reassured them, constantly. But then, He is taken away. He dies on the cross, and this man of gentleness and kindness seems irrevocably gone. His words are probably the farthest thing from their minds. All they knew was that the Master was gone. They were alone. The uncomfortable feeling of being orphaned, of no one around who could reassure them, this was too much to bear. Then come, the Resurrection and the Ascension, and Pentecost. All of a sudden, His words take shape again. They take on a meaning that they could now understand. They realize that His words were telling them, that they have to be like Him, to be Him. Live as He would. Have trust in Him. Death of body is meaningless, is unimportant to them. It is the death of soul that must be avoided. For if the soul dies there can be no resurrection, there can be no uniting with the Father in heaven. Christ’s words and actions take on a whole new meaning, and as a result so do their lives.

Today, our belief in Jesus, our trust in Him, like the Apostles, will affect HOW we live our lives. What are we willing to do with our lives? How are we going to live them? Do we feel uncomfortable talking about Jesus with other people? (I am not talking about incessantly doing this 24-7.) Simply, can we speak to others about our relationship with Jesus and His affect on our lives? Do we avoid conversations about abortion, or gay rights, or materialism, or prayer life? We are either with Him, or against Him. There is no middle ground. The middle ground is for the lukewarm, the vacillating, and we know how Jesus feels about these. If we cannot stand up for what we believe, then either our beliefs are meaningless, or we lack the courage required to be a Christian.

Many of Mary’s apparitions, like Fatima, urged the faithful to pray the Rosary. It is a means of growing closer to God. But the Rosary is not just the repetitive mumbling of words. As Pope Paul VI wrote in Marialis Cultis : “Without this (namely: the meditation on the mysteries) the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas.” Mary has urged us again and again to pray the Rosary, daily. The world of today clamors for devout prayer, a turning away from self, and movement towards selflessness. Do we think that the world will “magically” stop striving for its own wants, its own desires, its own pleasures? A reform is necessary. This reform, however, is too much for any one of us to bring about. It is way beyond mankind’s abilities. Our lives need to be filled with prayer and sacrifice. (Very much against the Me Generation philosophy, the ‘what’s-in-it-for-me philosophy’.)

Even the words, themselves, “sacrifice” and “prayer” cause an immediate knee jerk reaction. We seem to immediately cringe at the thought of voluntarily depriving ourselves of comfort, of time, of our freedom. (Shades of the Me Generation?) But Jesus is asking just that, to give Him our time, our comforts, our lives. Dedication to Him, and submission to His Will, must become part of our lives. Offer up to Him your prayers and sacrifices, in behalf of a struggling, suffering world desperately in need of God.

1- Revelations, 3, 16

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