As we continue in the month of October, the Month of the Holy Rosary, I find it fitting to share with you more catechesis on the importance of the Holy Rosary. Last week, we focused on an excerpt from Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s book, Seven Words of Jesus and Mary, where he explained the importance of Mary and the Rosary. The week before that I share with you the many blog posts I have written on the Holy Rosary. At that point, I had written on the Rosary ten times, including last week’s post and now this one, we are now up to twelve posts.
Don’t thing the Holy Rosary is important? Think again! St. Pio of Pietrelcina didn’t call it “The Weapon” against Satan for nothing.
For this week’s “Mondays with Mary”, we are going to read the great words of a future saint and future Doctor of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI. I know I have said this in the past, but if you have never read anything by Pope Francis’ predecessor – what are you waiting for?! When I read Father Benedict, what he would like to be called now, I feel as if I am reading one of the great Early Church Fathers. Yes, he is that theologically and spiritually profound in his words.
Today’s post also works perfectly since it’s Monday and on Monday’s we pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. These words were originally given during an address on May 1, 2006.
Father Benedict says…
We have recited the Holy Rosary going through the five “Joyful” Mysteries, which portray to the eyes of the heart the beginnings of our salvation, from Jesus’ conception in the Virgin Mary’s womb, brought about by the Holy Spirit, until he was found in the temple of Jerusalem when he was 12 years old, listening to the teachers and asking them questions.
We have repeated and made our own the Angel’s words: “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”, and also the words with which St Elizabeth welcomed the Virgin who went with haste to help and serve her: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
We have contemplated the docile faith of Mary, who trusted in God without reserve and put herself entirely in his hands. Like the shepherds, we too have felt close to the Child Jesus lying in the manger and recognized and adored him as the eternal Son of God who, through love, became our brother, hence, our one Saviour.
We too entered the temple with Mary and Joseph, to offer the Child to God and to carry out the rite of purification: and here, together with salvation, we felt ourselves anticipating, in the words of the elderly Simeon, the contradictory sign of the Cross, and of the sword that beneath the Cross of the Son was to pierce the Mother’s soul, thereby making her not only the Mother of God but also Mother of us all.
Thus, full light is shed on the bond that united Mary with the Holy Spirit from the very beginning of her existence when, as she was being conceived, the Spirit, the eternal Love of the Father and of the Son, made their dwelling within her and preserved her from any shadow of sin; then again, when the same Spirit brought the Son of God into being in her womb; and yet again when, with the grace of the Spirit, Mary’s own words were fulfilled through the whole span of her life: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord”; and lastly, when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary was taken up physically to be beside the Son in the glory of God the Father.
“Mary”, I wrote in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, “is a woman who loves…. As a believer who in faith thinks with God’s thoughts and wills with God’s will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves” (n. 41)… Yes, dear brothers and sisters, Mary is the fruit and sign of the love God has for us, of his tenderness and mercy. Therefore, together with our brothers in the faith of all times and all places, we turn to her in our needs and hopes, in the joyful and sorrowful events of life.
As we continue in the Month of the Rosary and celebrate the Holy Rosary in our parishes or throughout diocesan events, let us remember the words of Father Benedict. Let us strive to be like Mary, Elizabeth, the Shepherds, as well as the many great saints of the past who prayed the Rosary daily with a deep devotion to Jesus and Mary. .
Our Lady of the Rosary…Pray For Us.