This year marks the 800th anniversary of Our Lady’s gift of the Rosary to St. Dominic. That’s 800 years of miracles, hearts softened, and prayers answered through the intercession of our Blessed Mother.
The Rosary is a powerful prayer. Mary is a powerful woman. While great wars have been stopped and lives have been saved due to devotion to the Rosary, what I find most compelling is its power of conversion.
The soul is a mysterious entity to us mere humans. We think we know our own, until we are humbled by a sin we have been overlooking. We wish we could convince other souls to unite more closely with God’s will, but it is never by our words alone that this can be accomplished.
We are unified beings, body, mind, and soul, and the formation of the soul requires a unique combination of grace, knowledge, and wisdom. We need ways to turn to God that stretch our intellect, our devotion, and our love. And, being the fallen and flawed human race that we are, we need a lot of help along the way.
So, we turn to the Rosary. As I heard Janet Moore describe at a retreat I attended recently, the Rosary is a “thinking prayer.” The more we meditate on its mysteries, the more our thoughts become like Jesus and Mary’s. And it is from our thoughts that our words and actions spring. I found it immensely helpful to have Janet lead our retreat group through the Rosary, providing ideas and scripture for meditation as we came to each mystery.
Prayer takes practice. There are always new ways to enter more deeply into ancient devotions. That’s the beauty of these gifts of our Church. There is grace attached to them that is living. We have only to create space in our hearts for Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit. As Janet pointed out, Mary was with Jesus His entire life. She was at the foot of the cross and witnessed His thirst for souls. She has so much to share with us–so much to say as she guides us into His embrace. She wants to form us just as she formed Jesus in her womb.
Consider the assistance of a spiritual director or a Rosary meditation book as you pray your Rosary this month. Read the Bible stories to your children that the mysteries are from. Find some way for you and your family to enter more deeply into this beautiful, “thinking prayer.” Mary is waiting to take your hand and show you the way.