Is the Rosary Vain Repetition?

I deal a lot with the Rosary. That’s because it is a gift from my mother, the Blessed Virgin, and I love it because I love her. I love her because she loves Jesus, Who loves me most and best, and she takes me nowhere but to Him. But some folks say the Rosary is just vain repetition, and that Jesus said not to pray like that. And it is true that He said not to use vain repetitions, but is that what the Rosary is?

What is “vain”? A thing is vain if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. If I kept striking matches and none of them caught fire then the action would be in vain and the matches a waste. When I pray the Rosary, does it accomplish what it’s supposed to? Does it bring me closer to Jesus and the fire of His love? If it does then it is no vain act. It is no waste of my time.

Look at the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary and you’ll see that it isn’t even repetition. Not really. If I drive a car over a bridge, going towards my destination, is it a repetition if I cross another bridge? No. Each bridge is closer to, and brings me closer to, where I want to go. Each bridge is, in truth, a new starting place on my journey. Just so each Hail Mary brings me closer to my desired end. Closer union with my Jesus.

If you’re tempted to think of the Rosary as a vain repetition consider that Satan would like nothing more than for you to concentrate on that thought rather than the Holy thoughts in the Rosary. As long as you desire to pray your desire keeps your actions a true prayer. There is nothing vain or repetitious about it. The only danger in praying your Rosary is the one posed to Satan and his demons. They fear it, which is why they try to dissuade people from praying it.

Jesus said that if a child asked it’s father for bread, would the father give it a stone? No loving father would do that. What our loving Father has done is to give us a loving mother and she has given us her Rosary. It leads to that Bread which came down from Heaven. Don’t let a stoney heart keep you from the Meal.

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Published in: on May 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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Following the Star

We think of the Wise Men following the star at Christmas. And so we should. It teaches us many a grand lesson. But there is more to following the star than just the Wise Men, or just the Blessed Christmas Season. There is much more …

“The Virgin Mary is the star that guides all journeys to sainthood. Her ‘fiat” is the model of perfect adherence to the divine will, and her ‘Magnificat’ expresses the hymn of perfect joy of the Church, which on earth already rejoices for the great works of God, and in heaven eternally praises His glory,” Pope Benedict XVI.

People follow stars all the time. There is the old saying, “Hitch your wagon to a star.” There is the poem about being “born under a wandering star.” There are those that follow lesser luminaries: Johnny Depp, the “other” Madonna, even political stars like the President or stars gone super nova and hence snuffed out like John F. Kennedy or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lots of stars in the sky, way to many to count. But only a very few really do count in so far as eternal guidance goes.

One of the Blessed Virgin’s titles is ‘Star of the Sea.’ The “sea” can be a metaphor. Often in various writings it stands for the people of the world. A sea awash in misery and sin, tossed to and frow by every wind of doctrine, surging waves foaming out their own shame. A sea in turmoil, casting up on the shore the dead of Egypt slaughtered by the wrath of God. But God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the sinner. He, God, would much rather the person land safely on a friendly shore. But for that to happen guidance is necessary. All men at sea, at least in ages past, were guided by the stars.

In ancient times the sea was a fearful, a much dreaded place. Ships always sailed within sight of land for fear of being lost. Being lost meant to flounder at sea til overcome by lack of food and water, or it meant being cast violently upon some foreign and hostile shore. Crushed upon the rocks in a terrible storm. What might a sailor do?

In time men learned to navigate by the stars. In time God was made flesh, born of a Virgin who directed those at sea always to the safety of His harbor. He said, “Come and I will make you fishers of men.” Sailors with nets. And always with a Star to guide them.

Mary, as a guiding star, has never led anyone astray. It is not in her nature to do so. She is a mother, with a mother’s heart. Immaculate Heart. She can not take you off course because she knows only one course and that course is God’s will. No one ever made shipwreck in following God’s will. No one was ever lost in following the Star of the Sea.

At Christmas time the Wise Men from the East followed the Star. Where did it take them? I could say Bethlehem or to a stable or manger. All of those things are true, but they all fall short of the Truth. Which in the last analysis is precisely where this Star takes anyone willing to follow. This Star will always guide you to the Truth. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is ‘truth’?!” and the answer was standing right there in front of him all the time.

May we each follow the Blessed Mother even as she follows God. Following this Star can take us only to Christ. Let us be lead by her example.

“The one who belongs the most perfectly to the Immaculate will be able to approach the wounds of the Savior, the Eucharist, the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of God our Father with the most courage and freedom.

“The more we belong to the immaculate, the better we understand and love the heart of the Lord Jesus, God the Father and the whole Holy Trinity. But only the Virgin Mary can form all these super-natural things in and through us.” From a letter by St. Maximilian Kolbe, Oct. 11, 1934.

Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm  Comments Off on Following the Star  
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Part 12: The Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension

Part 12 of a 15 part series on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

The second glorious mystery: The Ascension.

Things just keep getting better. First an empty tomb and now this! No one gets up and walks away from his own grave under his own power. No one lifts off all on his own either. Jesus spends 40 days teaching His followers the things I trust have been handed down to me via Sacred Tradition through Holy Mother Church. Because no where does it say that anybody wrote these things down the way they did the Gospel or early Church history. Makes me wonder what those days were like. What they sounded like. The questions and the answers. He told them that He would be gone for a little while and then come back. And so He did. Three days in the grave. He was gone three days. But He’s back now. But He’s going again. This time He’ll be gone for … ? But He makes a promise to come back for His own. Angels stand nearby and comfort His disciples. “This Jesus that you see leaving? He will come again the same way He left.”

Prayer: Mother Mary, please help me be always ready for Jesus when He comes back for me.

Published in: on May 26, 2012 at 8:28 am  Comments Off on Part 12: The Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension  
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Courageous Priest

Courageous Priest.

EVERYONE should read this. This is one of the better newsletters that I get. I would ask everybody to subscribe. It is worth the effort. Now is the time for Catholics and Pro-Life forces, people of faith and morals, to hang together. If not, given history, we will hang separately.

Published in: on May 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm  Comments Off on Courageous Priest  

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis – Free eBook

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis – Free eBook.

There are very few books in my “library”. I believe firmly that, aside from a scholar who needs many resources, most folks (me most of all) need to keep things simple. Life is hard enough without complicating it in the realm of faith. Most saints were both simple and humble. If we desire to be true saints we would do well to follow their simple and humble examples. This little book, one of only a handful most folks might need in this modern world of complications, shows us in easy to understand terms how to do just that. It could very well be called: How to be a Saint. This FREE audio download could change your life just as the book itself has changed countless others for Christs Glory into a closer image of Him.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm  Comments Off on The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis – Free eBook  
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Part 11: The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection

Part 11 of a 15 part series on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

The first glorious mystery: The Resurrection.

Now here’s something new. An empty grave that ought to be, by human standards, not empty. The Psalmist says, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us be happy and rejoice in it!” That’s a direct reference to Easter Sunday morning. Now I begin to see more clearly the power that He has held back willingly for my sake up until now. Now, this day of the Lord, it begins to shine forth. Not in wrath but in love. In leading the way He leaves a path for me to follow and gives me a glimpse of my destination. It’s what the resurrection is all about. Life. Real, lasting, fulfilling LIFE. A glorified body in an eternal, glorified state before God in Heaven. This is life in Christ. And I am nourished even now by His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. That wedding feast we read about in the Book of Revelation? Guess what? It’s already started. And if I have been buried in baptism with Him just so have I risen to newness of life in Him. Eternal life starts NOW.

Prayer: Mother Mary, please help me to rise in newness of life with Jesus daily, and to leave my old dead sinful self behind in the grave where it belongs.

Published in: on May 19, 2012 at 11:56 am  Comments Off on Part 11: The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection  
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Friends

Jesus sat in the house, surrounded by people. People wanting to hear the Word, people in need of healing, people who wanted to change, people needing God. Lots of people. It was crowded. If you got there late, past the time for “standing room only,” well, you were just to late.

Friends. Friends get us places. A real friend is one who will, in whatever way is applicable and wholesome, help us move forward. Moving forward means different things to different people at different times. Moving forward is what the people I mentioned above were trying to do while gathered around Jesus. Jesus, the One who is Friend to us all.

People need friends. Sometimes we need friends the most when there is less than “standing room only.” There was such a one, outside the house. Outside, unable to get to Jesus. He wanted to but there were so many people. And he was paralyzed. Had there been no others there he couldn’t have approached Jesus. But … He had friends.

Think about it. Jesus sitting there, surrounded by people, surrounded by wants and needs. Suddenly dust began to fall. There was a scrapping noise. More dust. People followed the sound, shielded their eyes from the dust, and looked up. A hole began to appear in the ceiling. Someone was tearing up the roof! And as the hole widened the man’s friends lowered him to where Jesus was. His friends had brought him to Jesus when he couldn’t approach on his own. See Luke 5:18-24.

Now think about this. I consider Mary my Mother. More so than human blood, a tie as close as God’s Word and the Most Precious Blood of the Lamb. The only tie closer would be the one between God himself and the believer. Now, who made that tie? Jesus did, from the cross. “Woman, behold, thy son.” … “Behold, thy mother.” John 19:27. I think of Mary as my Mother. I don’t think of her as my “other” mother, or my “adopted” mother, or my Heavenly mother even tho she is that. I think of her as my Mother. There is only one and she is it. Period.

I have learned that, as important as her being my mother is, there is more, much more, to our relationship. She is also my friend. And as my friend she has one purpose in her Immaculate Heart towards me. It is to get me to Jesus even when I’m paralyzed by fear, or doubt, or physical illness, or, what is worst of all, sin. And she will move more than roofing tiles to do it.

A mother’s love, a real mother, knows no bounds. Neither does a friend’s.

The most wonderful thing about Mary’s motherhood? It is open-ended. There is room, much more than “standing room only”, for all the children of the world. You included.

Published in: on May 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm  Comments Off on Friends  
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knitting benedict: Put a Sock Puppet in it.

knitting benedict: Put a Sock Puppet in it..

This is very cool, most apt, and totally worth the share. Read, enjoy, be enriched, and God bless.

Published in: on May 16, 2012 at 10:14 am  Comments Off on knitting benedict: Put a Sock Puppet in it.  
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Part 10: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion

Part 10 in a 15 part series on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

The fifth sorrowful mystery: The Crucifixion.

Crucified like a common criminal. No Roman citizen could be crucified. They were better than that. Only the lowest of the low were crucified. I suppose they weren’t considered “common” criminals. Those reserved for crucifixion were uncommon. Not that crucifixion was uncommon. It wasn’t. But the people crucified were considered worthy of special treatment. No humane ending for them. It was the spiteful torture of an enemy. But He didn’t deserve it. If He didn’t deserve it who did? Why did He suffer? For what? For who? He took my place. I deserved it. Not for being the enemy of a man or of the state but for being at enmity with God due to my sins. They separate me from the Almighty and put me at odds with Him. But He loves. He loves me. And this is the result. The result of His love and my sin. Sometimes I shudder when I think of the nails being pounded into Him. This is what justifies me, this is what gives me my shot at working out my salvation, this buys for me an eternity of love and wonder with the One I grieved.

Prayer: Mother Mary, please help me always to remember what Jesus does for me, what my sins have done to Jesus, what they’ve done to others, and what they’ve done to me.

Published in: on May 12, 2012 at 8:25 am  Comments Off on Part 10: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion  
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Frustrated with Church Scandals? | Courageous Priest

Frustrated with Church Scandals? | Courageous Priest.

 

This is a must read. I’ve shared it to Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, and here (which means it’ll end up on Facebook twice). There are some typos in the article. They do not effect the message, much needed in this day.

Published in: on May 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm  Comments (2)