OurLadyofFatima

If I mention to you the Rosary, what thoughts immediately pop up in your mind? Let me guess:  A long seemingly never-ending prayer? A bunch of prayers tied together by other prayers? It is made up of an individual prayer that is sped through in five groups of ten, while the tongue trips over itself, as it goes along its’ merry way? This prayer gets such a bad rap from so many people, “It is boring”. “It is repetitious”. “It serves no purpose”. And yet, when understood, it is so beautiful.

The Rosary centers around the greeting by the Angel Gabriel speaking to a young Jewish girl, “Hail, (You are) full of grace, (because) the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among (all) women. And Blessed is the fruit of your womb.”-1 Why is this happening? What is happening? Who is this young girl, probably no more than 15, and very possibly younger? Why would this apparition be speaking to her in such fashion?  Seeing Mary’s fear, the angel tries to re-assure her, and continues, “Do not be afraid, you have found grace with God.” He then tells her that she will give birth to an infant and that her child will be great among men, and will be given the throne of David. Mary balks. You can almost hear her thoughts, “What is he talking about? This is not possible.” She asks, “How can this be, I know not man?” Gabriel replies, “The Holy Spirit will overshadow you, and this child will truly be the Son of God”.

God chose her, from all eternity, to be the path through which He would have His Son enter the world. We may ask, “Why her”? Unlike the first Eve, this woman will be free of sin, because God chooses her to be free of all defects. We live and exist in a box called time. God is outside that box. Our yesterdays and tomorrows are His NOW. His plan encompasses everything. If Jesus is to be born in a woman, in time, then that woman MUST be special, must be different from all other women in the world. She is immaculately conceived and so free from the effects of sin. She is a very special woman, with a very special purpose.She is not only the path for Jesus to enter the world, she will also be the path, through which WE will ultimately travel to return to God. When Jesus said on the cross, “Woman, behold your son” and then to John, “Behold your mother”-2, He is giving His mother to all mankind, not just to John. He is giving all of her motherly instincts, love and concern to you and me. Mary is given a special part to play in this drama of salvation. She is not a bit actor, one who pops onto the stage, sporadically, from time to time. No. By her “Fiat“, her “Be it done to me, according your word”, she willingly accepted whatever role God chose for her. She did this not truly knowing why, nor what the future would hold. She trusted the messenger. She trusted her God. And so the role defined to her by Jesus is to be the Mother to the world.

Saints throughout the ages have sung her praises, have sworn their allegiance and consecrated themselves to her. Why? No other person, who walked the face of this earth, loved Jesus more. No other person grieved as much as she did, while she watched her Son being whipped, beaten, mocked, jeered at, nailed to a cross and die. Her heart suffered more than anything that any of us have ever experienced. Because of her suffering, and her love, we choose to pray to her, to imitate her, to love her and to beg her intercession for us to Jesus, her crucified Son.

The prayer that we simply call,”The Hail Mary“, addresses many things. But the most important aspect of this prayer, and ultimately, the entire rosary, is a beautiful meditation of the various truths that we hold dear in our Catholic beliefs. They are called mysteries, but in reality, each grouping of ten Hail Mary’s portrays an event in the Life of Christ. The mystery, if you will, is the deeper truth that is being addressed. It is that truth which we will be focusing on, be delving into its’ significance for us. Within that deeper truth, we will find its’ application for us. We pray this rosary with respect, and meditation. We willingly choose to be closer to Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces. We are not perfect. Oh God, You know we are not perfect. Our weak offerings, our hasty, hurried prayers are almost an insult to the majesty of God. Please Mary, take our scrubby, hasty prayers, our pitiful lives into your hands and present them to God, as the treasure that you are.

At Fatima, Mary asked the world to pray the rosary. An estimated 70,000 people saw the miracle of the Sun, and yet we still go our own way, ignoring her plea. Mary asked us, (you and me) to pray the rosary, but we feel it too boring? Say the words with feeling, conviction, love and humility. It’s too long? Then only pray one decade, at least until you grow to love it. Don’t rush through the words. Feel them. think of the truth depicted in each decade. Strive to find its significance for you. Let the words settle in your heart of hearts. If you are to find Jesus, your heart is where He will be. Ask Mary, as you pray her prayer, to please help you feel her love for Jesus. Let all of your suffering be joined with hers. Let all of your love, no matter how scant it is, be lifted up with hers. Oh Mary, our mother, you gave birth to Jesus, our Savior. Help us grow in love and be the children that we are meant to be. Mary has asked us to pray the rosary, often. The world needs us to fulfill her wishes.

1- Luke 1:28

2- John 19:26

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