The Rosary Can Defeat Armies, Destroy Heresies, And Convert Evil Hearts!
Fr. Robert Cooper, Louisiana – In recent years, some individuals have commented that the rosary has become an old-fashioned practice, an act of spiritual simplicity which should be forever relegated to past generations. However, we must always remember that the rosary is not a prayer of Christian initiation, but the end point, after a long journey of faith. My great grandmother could not read or write, but she would have been more effective than I am in speaking about the rosary. Her love for Mary’s chaplet was so great that she persuaded her neighbors to pray Mary’s Psalter. The rosary is not correctly appreciated if it is not lived. Why? To know the incarnated history of this devotion, it is necessary to enter silently into the many homes, hospitals and huts where, since the Middle Ages until our days, the Hail Mary has resonated, as it did the first time it was pronounced by the Angel in Nazareth or when Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary was heard in Zechariah’s house. In homes, huts, hospitals, and fields, the rosary has united heaven with the poor, the simple, the sick, with those in love with the faith brought by Christ.
But the question still remains: In a world characterized by secularization, doesn’t the rosary seem to be obsolete? Personally, I believe that because of the secularism and materialism which plagues our modern society, it is even more necessary to rediscover the rosary. However, this will only happen when people are humble and make time in their day for prayer. In our time, when everyone is running around, it is difficult to pray. Moreover, many educators in the faith are afraid of the “devotionalism” in which this magnificent devotion is encased. The great theologian Enrico Rossetti, O.P., used to say: “A Christian without devotion has not yet been supported by the experience of any saint, nor by the authoritative teaching of the Church.” Wherever this de-sacralized, unpopular, inhuman, and heartless form of Christianity has been applied, it has only brought disasters for the faith. We are able to see this in certain areas of the world, where the people, deprived of genuine devotions, have turned to magic.
Then why should people pray the rosary? Because Jesus says so: “Pray always, without ceasing.” Today it is more important than ever to pray to avoid Christianity being reduced to a simple esotericism, a simple action, in which evangelical charity becomes pure philanthropy. The rosary is an easy and simple way to discover prayer once again, which nourishes faith, because it offers us the possibility of contemplating the whole history of salvation. It reflects the original preaching of the faith. It is the contemplation of the mystery of Christ — essential, and in an atmosphere of prayer — together with Mary. Cardinal John Henry Newman described the rosary as “a creed made into a prayer.” The rosary leads us to contrast our life with God’s call to love. In this way, it is fully integrated in our life, giving transcendent meaning to our actions. By praying the rosary, with confidence, we take Mary by the hand so that she will lead us to Jesus. To her, first among believers, we pray that she make us live what she lived, namely, the experience of the presence of Christ in us and among us.
Let us make a firm commitment to pray the Rosary daily, and let us entrust ourselves to the powerful protection and intercession of our Blessed Mother, who will lead us daily to her Son.
St. Dominic, who received the Rosary from our Blessed Mother, calls the Rosary a “spiritual weapon” when he says:
If the rosary is prayed with fervor, it can defeat armies, destroy heresies and convict hearts in their evil ways…The rosary is a fortress against evil. It is a sign to Satan that you belong to Our Lady; therefore, you should always carry it on your person. With the rosary you can overcome disease, conquer insurmountable trials and unseat dictators. All of these things have been accomplished with the rosary in the past in various parts of the world. Continue, then, to pray and have faith in the humble prayer of the rosary.