WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU FEEL DISCOURAGED, LOST OR HOPELESS?
My books provide stories of mercy, faith and hope, the path to atonement and redemption and the treasure of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary. Consistent with these themes I wanted to pass along another email I received from a very holy friend of mine. In reading it may you receive yet another source of hope and mercy.
“Today we live in a time of great uncertainty about the future. Many feel overwhelmed with the emotions of anxiety, despair, depression or fear of the unexpected. Many look to world leaders for solutions that only God can give. Let us recall the message of Pope St. John Paul II on the eve of his election to the pontificate. As he ascended the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, he addressed the faithful with the message, “Be not afraid”. With faith in God all things are possible. Also recall the Wedding Feast at Cana. Even though Jesus pleaded with His Blessed Mother that His time had not yet arrived, to honor the request of His Mother He performed His first miracle.
The pleading of the Mother of God can work wonders in our time as well, and there is no better way to approach her than through praying the Rosary. Sister Lucia, the last surviving visionary of Fatima, has said that there is no problem, no matter how difficult, that can not be solved by praying the Rosary.
For more than 800 years traditional Catholics have participated in a continuous dialogue with Heaven, communicated to us through the Mother of God, in the recitation of the most Holy Rosary, gifted to us directly from our Heavenly Father. This devotion, held in great esteem by Catholics for centuries, has a history of being greatly misunderstood by many in the secular world. They question why Catholics would pray to Mary on a string of beads instead of going directly to Jesus, who Catholics claim saves them?
What secular observers of this devotion lack is an understanding of the true nature and structure of the Most Holy Rosary. They look, but they do not see. They hear hear, but they do not understand. They fail to comprehend that the Blessed Virgin Mary represents to the Church the Magnificat of God. Looking through the lense of Mary, She points us directly to her Divine Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the recitation of Her Most Holy Rosary. Further delving into the Most Holy Rosary reveals that it is both a Scriptural Devotion and a reflection on biblical events in the life of Jesus and salvation history. As we contemplate the mysteries of the Rosary specific events contained within the Bible come to life for us to meditate upon. And lastly, the Rosary is also a spiritual weapon that God gives us, which we can employ to thwart many of the demonic attacks and forces of evil that threaten our salvation in contemporary civilization. The Rosary is a sword against evil.
When and why did all of this begin? The Rosary has a rich history. During the early part of the Thirteenth Century there evolved several heresies on the fringe of the Catholic faith, rooted in the Albigensian Theology, that would eventually give way to related heresies of the Jansenism, Manichean and Puritan movements. Alarmed by these threats to the traditional practice of the faith, St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche prayed fervently to God, through the intercession of the Mother of God, to intervene with her Divine Son to deliver the Church from these evils.
Their prayers were eventually answered by God when He gifted us a great grace through the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God. Mary presented St. Dominic with a garland of roses, that we now refer to as the Holy Rosary together with the instructions to pray the Our Father on the first bead and Hail Mary’s on the ten beads that followed in each sequence followed by the Glory be to the Father. While praying these prayers they were directed to meditate on the various events or mysteries in the life of Jesus and His Blessed Mother mentioned in the Gospel. In doing so, we give great honor to the Most Holy Trinity of God, who in turn will reward devotees with many graces for their commitment and perseverance to achieve the Will of God here on earth.
Taking into account the frailty of human life and the uncertainty of our destinies here on earth, we should be reminded that our security for the future rests not in the next few years, or in the plans we have made, but in life eternal as we read and reflect on the promises God grants us, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the fifteen Promises of the Most Holy Rosary, revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche.
1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces. 2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who recite my Rosary. 3. The Rosary will be a powerful armor against Hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and defeat heresies. 4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw hearts from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to desire eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctity themselves by this means. 5. Those who trust themselves to me through my Rosary shall not perish. 6. Whoever shall recite my Rosary devoutly, meditating on its mysteries shall not be overwhelmed by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice; he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of eternal life. 7. Whoever shall have true devotion to the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church. 8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of their death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise. 9. I shall deliver from Purgatory those souls who have been devoted to my Rosary. 10. The faithful children of my Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven. 11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary. 12. All those who propagate my Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities. 13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all advocates of the Rosary shall have for their intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at their hour of death. 14. All who recite my Rosary faithfully are my sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ. 15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
As already alluded to, taking up the beads of the Holy Rosary has become one of a Catholic’s greatest weapons against the forces of evil during times of peril and uncertainty. Here are a few instances where the faithful of God have employed the power of the Holy Rosary to both combat threats of evil as well as make prayerful petitions to the mercy of God throughout history.
1. In the Battle of Lepanto: circa 1571 , an Ottoman Armada waged a great Naval battle against the Holy League of European cities. Greatly outnumbered by the enemy, Pope Pius V pleaded with Europe to enlist Our Lady’s assistance through the uninterrupted recitation of the Rosary. Miraculously, the enemy fleet was defeated through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and her Rosary. 2. St. Padre Pio considered the recitation of the Rosary as his greatest weapon against the attacks on him by Satan. The Rosary could be considered a chain to ensnare and trap Satan. Satan fears the Holy Rosary of Our Blessed Mother. 3. The Holy Rosary has been employed by the faithful for centuries to plead our petitions of the heart in times of need and despair. 4. The recitation of our Rosary can free the souls of our loved ones from Purgatory. It can also help shorten or prevent our own time in Purgatory. 5. The combined affects of the Holy Rosary and wearing the Brown Scapular have been recommended in many apparitions as a formula for true consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This affords the participants special graces in this life and the next. 6. Our Lady has requested the recitation of the Rosary in her visits to earth. They include her apparitions in such places as Lourdes, Garabandal, Akita, Fatima, La Salette, and many others.
Please, pray your Holy Rosary every day. To ignore this great grace would be a great mistake. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary may we be granted life eternal in the company of the Holy Trinity and the Celestial Court of Heaven. Amen.
Lloyd Gerard Greenberg”
The author was a lawyer for many years. He saw many people overcome immense problems to achieve nearly out of reach goals. Along the way he witnessed that more things are accomplished by prayer than this world dreams of. He hopes these stories of hope, courage, recovery and redemption will serve as an inspiration to all who read them.