As bad as I am about remembering to pray it daily, I really love the Rosary. Our Lady’s Psalter is truly one of the most powerful prayers. A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a Marian Eucharistic Conference with my parish, and I vividly remember one of our speakers, Deacon Harold Burke Sivers, telling us that every Hail Mary was “a bullet in the heart of Satan.” He’s right, but why is the rosary such a powerful prayer? I believe it’s because the rosary is a Gospel-focused prayer; while we are asking Mary’s intercession, we’re also meditating on Christ’s life. Saint John Paul II wrote in Rosarium Virginis Mariae,
The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium.
So when we pray the rosary, we are really praying the Gospel in a way, and that’s why I love the scriptural rosary. Often I’m astounded at how powerful this prayer is. I wouldn’t have believed Deacon Harold if I hadn’t experienced it myself. When I first joined RCIA, we learned to pray the rosary. I know I wrote about it a little in my New Year’s resolutions post, and it seems crazy, but I really believe I experienced a miracle. For months I had been struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. I was also struggling with habitual impurity, as much as I tried to control my thoughts and myself. Nothing was working, and I just didn’t feel right. It was like I was somebody else. I took my rosary home and prayed it the best that I could, and immediately I felt calm and peaceful. A weight lifted off my shoulders and I knew that Mary was there with me. As a former Baptist, I was struggling with devotion to Our Lady, and I think the Holy Spirit was reassuring me then that I could love her too.
I started praying the rosary every day, and I also began the Three Hail Mary devotion, asking Our Lady to intercede for me in the fight against impurity. Everything changed so quickly I couldn’t call it anything less than a miracle. I was calmer, less anxious, and more in control of myself that I had been in weeks. I was even sleeping more soundly. Our Lady’s Psalter is a powerful tool in the fight against depression and impurity; now, when I have a panic attack I reach for my rosary beads and pray the mysteries. I can focus on the Gospel, and not the fear I’m feeling. If I feel angry our out of control, I say a Hail Mary and ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
These little prayers are so effective and easy to say. With the rosary, we can go with Mary to cast our troubles on Jesus. We can lose our hurts and fears in the joy and light of the Gospel. It doesn’t matter if we don’t pray it perfectly; as long as we are doing our best, Jesus understands. Just ask St. Thérèse, who despite her deep affection for Mary, struggled with the Rosary prayers.
I hope this post has encouraged you to pick up your rosary today and call your Mom. even if you only pray one decade, I’m sure she’ll appreciate hearing from you.
In His Sacred Heart,