"Pray the Rosary Daily" is a beautifully illustrat... Read more
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By Dan Valenti (Feb 2, 2009)
The value of prayer lies in its ability to predispose a person to seek and know, to love and live, the will of God. One of the most powerful prayers the Catholic Church possesses is the Rosary. The Rosary is not a talisman. It's not a cure for all ills. Rather, it is a prayer to help people come to the precious experience of contemplation — especially meditating on the saving life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus.
Praying the Rosary changes a person by allowing for a more complete surrender to providential will. This means an active pursuit of doing God's will in daily life, moment by moment. This Marian prayer points to the role of Our Lady in bringing the contemplative soul to be as her own, saying, "Be it done to me according to thy will." That is the genuine and full lesson of Jesus for all humankind.
All battles won, whether personal or on a societal scale, are achieved because God acknowledges any humble and contrite heart that approaches Him. Such a humble soul possesses the ideal disposition of complete surrender to God and His mysterious, caring love for us, which He expresses as His will.
When Pope John Paul II called for a "revival of the Rosary" as a prayer for world peace and as a response to the crises faced by the contemporary world including the assaults on family life, he did so out of a profound spiritual understanding. He knew that with the Rosary, as he put it, "people sit at the school of Mary." They are "led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of His love."
Pope John Paul II advised that we pray the Rosary because "it represents a most effective means of fostering ... the commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery ... as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer."
Indeed, throughout his papacy — one that was characterized by consecration to Mary — Pope John Paul II spoke of the need for Christians to train for holiness. "What is needed," he said, "is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer."
The Pope knew the Rosary to be a "genuine school of prayer," one that was and still is responsible for many silent, small victories for goodness and love. Who but God can say what "wins" have been recorded for good through Rosaries prayed over the centuries? How many souls in Purgatory have been rewarded with heaven? How many families have been kept together? How many people have been saved from harm? We won't know, at least not in this life.
Through the writings of many popes and in numerous accounts taken from private revelation (Fatima, for example), we can place faith in Mary's recommendation to say this prayer. Numerous times in apparitions she has asked that the faithful pray the Rosary and to make sacrifices for sinners. Why? Pope John Paul II answers this best: "To rediscover the Rosary means to immerse oneself in contemplation of the mystery of Christ, who is our peace."