7 years for 7 YEARS, I have prayed a Rosary EVERYDAY without fail.
How or Why? You might ask…How this came about well, I grew up Catholic, and one of my favorite childhood memories was praying this prayer with my grandparents or with Mother Angelica on EWTN.
As i mentioned before in previous posts, I had a rough upbringing. I almost died 4x before I was 12 and was constantly in a state of fight or flight. I didn't take my first real deep, peaceful breath until I had a powerful encounter with Jesus in 2014 at a Steubenville Conference in San Diego. It was the summer after my brother had died, and I lost my promising sports career because of a devastating knee injury.
That December, Jesus opened my eyes to see all the times he and His Mother had been watching over me. All those times I came so close to death, it was because of my grandparents and my aunt flooding heaven with prayers for my protection, specifically the Rosary. God revealed to me that he had a plan for my life, one that I could not see fully just yet but needed to start preparing for—starting by committing to daily prayer.
But WHY THE ROSARY?
Aren't you worshiping Mary?
This is the most common accusation against those who love Mary and pray the Rosary. And the answer is no, no, we do not worship her. We love her, honor her as the Mother of God, seek her motherly heart, and ask her to teach us how to love her Son more and bring our petitions to Jesus, and the idea that this takes away from loving Jesus is ludicrous.
Mary was a Jewish woman; on top of that, she was and is a mom, and moms always pay attention to the needs of those around them. Which is why at the wedding feast of Cana, when they run out of wine, who is the first to notice? MARY! What's so fascinating about this story to me is that not only is she the first to notice, but she is the first to act. She doesn't just sit around and say, "oh, that sucks" NO! What does she do? She goes straight to Jesus. Mary did not tell Jesus what to do. She said four simple words to her Son: "They have no wine" (Jn 2:3). Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." I love their exchange, especially Season 1 episode 5; when if you haven't seen it, i highly encourage you to watch it :) Then, turning to the servants, she said, "Do whatever He tells you." And just like that, Jesus, at his Mother's word, acts. In the same way, these words of the Mother of God at the Wedding Feast of Cana are like a bright beacon pointing the way to our way to the Heart of Christ today!
It is not by chance that the Apostle who recorded this event was the Beloved Disciple John, who, at the Last Supper, rested his head near Jesus' heart. He was also the only Apostle present at the foot of the Cross and the one to whom Jesus entrusted His Mother to be our Mother.
The Church has 4 dogmas regarding our Blessed Mother. The first is:
1) Jesus gave Mary to all of us as our Mother during his crucifixion
*This is not just a "Catholic Thing" It's something that has been understood and believed for all time since the Cross when Jesus says,
"Woman Behold Your Son" & to John, "Son Behold Your Mother"
John 19:26-27: When Jesus saw his Mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his Mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own home.
In doing this, Jesus gives Mary, His Mother, to us all as our Mother too. He is fulfilling the broken relationship which God gave Eve to Adam to be the Mother of all the living but broke that trust through sin. Mary, who is conceived without original sin is given to us to be, guess what, "The Mother of all the living" Jesus is the New Adam, and Mary is the new Eve.
Jesus takes delight when we love his Mother, and when we do, our love for him magnifies. And doesn't that speak to the profound beauty of the feminine genius?
It's like that saying attributed initially to William Golding and then later expanded by Erick S. Gray.
"Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby... If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her."
Loving Mary and Praying the Rosary will never take away from Jesus. It only magnifies.
St. Maximilian Kolbe said it best,
"Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did."
The Rosary is the most powerful weapon against evil! It is a weapon because it gives us direct access to the power of Jesus Christ. For seven years, I have grown in this love; for seven years, I have grown in a deeper, more profound love for Jesus because of Mary.
God gives us everything we need to accomplish the role he's entrusted to us. We are all born with specific and unique gifts, talents, and graces that make us who we are. There may be many different things that we want to do, and maybe we've already done some of those things, but there are specific things we were made to do.
Mary's purpose is to draw hearts closer to her Son and to love Him MORE!
The best analogy I can give is like what happens when you are dating someone, and they ask if you want to meet their parents, their family, come home for the holidays, etc. And when you do, the purpose of that what should happen is that the more you get to know your beloved's family, the more you grow in love for your beloved.
I have found the same to be true of praying the Rosary. The true power found in this simple and beautiful prayer is that it soaks the soul in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus - and therefore unites the soul to Him who has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life and also connects our hearts to Mary, in her most perfect love.
"From Mary, we learn to surrender to God's will in all things. From Mary, we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary, we learn to love Christ, her Son and the Son of God." - St. Pope John Paul II
GOD BLESS YOU ALL & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
PS: Make every day this year an Overall Good DAY!