The Holy Rosary

10-15-2023Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Holy Rosary is one of the best known and most powerful of all Catholic devotions. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7th. In a shining moment for the Catholic Church, on October 7, 1571, a great victory over the brutal Turkish fleet was won by Catholic naval forces under the command of Don Juan of Austria. It was a decisive battle between "oared" ships, which featured the most powerful navy in the world, a Muslim force with between 12,000 to 15,000 Christian slaves as rowers.

The makeshift team of Catholic ships were few but mighty because they were under the mantle of Our Lady and devoted to the Holy Rosary. Knowing that the Christian forces were at a disadvantage, the pope, St. Pope Pius V, called for all of Europe to pray the Holy Rosary for victory. Their prayers were heard and answered by Our Lady. The victory was decisive and today we know the impact. If the Catholic fleet had failed in this battle, the Islamic invasion of Europe would have been devasting to the Catholic Church and the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout Europe.

It is an excellent idea to pray at least one rosary a day, every day of the year. Praying the rosary daily will help you in the battles of your life and of course, enable you to grow closer to Our Lord through Our Lady. Perhaps this month of October may be a good time to start this beautiful devotion if you have not done so already.

Pope Francis once said about the rosary, “I invite you to pray the rosary, and to carry it in your hands or in your pockets. The recitation of the rosary is the most beautiful prayer we can offer to the Virgin Mary; it is a contemplation on the stages of the life of Jesus the Savior with his Mother Mary and is a weapon that protects us from evils and temptations.”

I often hear from very good Catholics who are frustrated with the way things are in the world. It is difficult to make sense of the current lack of morality in our culture. There are powerful evil forces that attack our families and our faith. The challenges are real but the solution is right at our fingertips when we pray the Rosary. For as long as I can remember, the Rosary has been a part of my prayer life. My parents taught me how to pray the Rosary when I was very little. The Rosary is easy enough that most children can pray it. But the Rosary is also reflective enough for a mystic to pray it. The Rosary is concise enough that a busy person with a lot on their minds can pray it.

I’d like to share with you a method of praying the Rosary that may be helpful if you are not sure what to pray for or if you find yourself distracted while praying the Rosary.

Offer each decade of the rosary, each set of 10 Hail Mary’s for a particular intention. No matter which set of mysteries you are offering: the Joyful mysteries, the Sorrowful mysteries, the Luminous mysteries, or the Glorious mysteries, offer each decade for a specific intention.

Offer the first decade for your greatest challenges. If you have a difficult decision to make, or if you are having a difficult time being patient or charitable with a particular person, offer that decade for them. The Lord says, pray, pray, pray for those who persecute you. So offer that first decade for an expansion of your heart to love those for whom it is difficult to love.

During the second decade, you can bring to Our Lord those who are sick and suffering. This could include those who are lonely, those who are addicted, those who are anxious, those who are preparing for surgery or dealing with heavy burdens, those who are dying or grieving.

The third decade can be offered for an outpouring of spiritual gifts in our parish. In the Third Glorious mystery, the Holy Spirit descends on the Church. In the third Joyful mystery, Our Lord is born into the world. As you pray the Third Luminous mystery, you may want to ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ask Our Lord to give you the strength to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

In the fourth decade, you can pray for priests. Priests need to be prayed for always and often. The devil hates priests and is set on corrupting priests and undermining the faith of priests. So, I encourage you to take up the mighty spiritual weapon of the Rosary and to pray for the protection of priests from evil and temptation and the flourishing of their ministry.

In the fifth decade, it is good to pray for yourself. Pray that you may become the saint God is calling you to be. Humbly admit what you need from Our Lord, and pray to be docile to the Divine Will—to be humble and holy. Pray for the grace to sacrifice your life like Christ did in the Fifth Sorrowful mystery. Pray that all people will honor Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and earth like in the fifth glorious mystery. Pray for a deeper love and reverence for the Eucharist as in the Fifth Luminous mystery. Lastly, pray to find Jesus in the hidden events of your life as He was found in the Temple in the Fifth Joyful mystery.

I invite you to use and adapt this method if you have a desire to strengthen your prayer life and your faith. Our Lady will assist every soul who prays the Rosary to love God with their whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette, pray for us!

God Bless,

Fr. Don Kline, V.F.