I encountered Christ in the sacraments for the first time when I became Catholic, and I’ve also had the opportunity to get to know His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our relationship with Jesus is sacramental. It is a covenant, family bond. Mary does not get in the way of you and I having a familial relationship with Christ, hardly, Mary works as in instrument, pointing the way as if to say “I want to introduce you to my Son.” Mary encourages us to get to know Jesus. Momma knows best.
“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother.” (John 19:26-27) Through baptism we become part of God’s family as adopted sons and daughters (Galatians 3:26-29). God our Father, Jesus our Brother, and Mary our Mother.
If we are to grow closer to Christ in the Eucharist through His Mother, how do we make that happen? It starts by praying the Rosary.
“The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.” – Saint Francis de Sales
When we pray the Rosary not only do we receive blessings and graces from it, we grow closer to Mary which then leads us closer to Christ. Praying the Rosary is also sacred because we’re giving glory to God in this prayer.
It is a beautiful gift to God to desire to pray the Rosary, but it’s not about how perfect you pray this prayer, rather, how much you want to please God through prayer.
The Rosary should not be part of a to-do list. If we have the intent to pray and we’re sincere, then God accepts that and we’ll receive graces.
Nobody wants us to fail more than satan. He will put into your mind that it’s too hard to pray the Rosary or how much time out of your day it’ll take to pray the Rosary. Satan will use any diabolical scheme, often times subtle, to discourage you, because he knows how much of an impact spending time with Mary in the Rosary can have on our lives.
Sometimes we get distracted when we pray the Rosary. We think about work, what’s for dinner, sports. Our minds have a tendency to wonder.
“Never walk away from the Rosary feeling discouraged.” – Dr. Edward Sri
God looks at your heart and He sees that you are trying. Even though we may get distracted after a long day, as a loving Father, God sees that we’re giving our best to Him.
What about “vein repetition”?
Repetition is pleasing to God. Revelation 4:8 says “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Another example of repetition that is pleasing to God is Psalm 135, “for his mercy endureth for ever” is repeated in every verse. (Douay-Rheims)
“If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, ‘you will receive a never-fading crown of glory’ (1 St. Peter 5:4).” – Saint Louis de Montfort
The Rosary is centered around the Hail Mary. The Hail Mary prayer is all about Jesus. Even though the prayer is addressed to Mary it’s still about Jesus. The Hail Mary is also Biblical. “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” (Luke 1:28); “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:42). The first half of the Hail Mary is about praising God.
In the second half of the Hail Mary, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death,” we ask Mary to pray for us and to bring us closer to Christ.
In the middle of the Hail Mary prayer we say the Holy name of Jesus (i.e. “blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”). St. Pope John Paul II called this the “center of gravity of the Rosary” or the “hinge of the Rosary.” Sometimes we can pray the Rosary so fast that we lose sight of the Holy name of Jesus in the middle of the Hail Mary prayer. Instead it should be the focal point. Praying the Rosary with devotion helps us grow closer to Christ.
St. Pope John Paul II also said we should “view the repetition of the Rosary in the context of a relationship of love.” It’s as if you’re repeating “I love you, Jesus” over and over.
As we pray the Rosary we meditate and contemplate the life of Jesus. We enter a deeper and closer relationship with Jesus as we pray these prayers, especially the Hail Mary. We’re getting to know Jesus on a more personal level by doing this.
Spending time with Mary in the Rosary can and will help you develop a more personal relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist, and in your daily life too. This can lead to daily Scripture reading, Eucharistic Adoration, daily Mass, and a deeper prayer life. It will strengthen you as a Catholic, help you avoid the near occasion of sin, and give you the graces you need. It starts by getting to know our Blessed Mother.
“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” – Pope Pius XI
by John Connor