My Dear Friends,
Last week, I asked the children at the 9:00 a.m. Mass, “what is one way that we can increase our faith?” One of the kids said, “pray more,” while another said, “go to Mass,” and then one child said, “pray the rosary!” Little did this young man know that I already had my rosary in my hand to use that as an example of how to increase our faith as the disciples asked Jesus to do in last week’s gospel.
October is the Month of the Rosary. The rosary is such a powerful spiritual weapon that demons shake when we take it up and start praying. One of the things I emphasized to the children last week and to all the parents present was that praying the rosary as a family is one of the most powerful and profound things we can do in our homes. So many of us remember praying the rosary when we were children with our parents and siblings. Now more than ever, the Church needs an army of families praying the rosary together.
This month marks 20 years since Saint John Paul II wrote his Apostolic Letter on the rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, and gifted us with the Luminous Mysteries. In this letter, he explained the importance of families taking up the rosary:
…the family, the primary cell of society, increasingly menaced by forces of disintegration on both the ideological and practical planes, so as to make us fear for the future of this fundamental and indispensable institution and, with it, for the future of society as a whole. The revival of the Rosary in Christian families, within the context of a broader pastoral ministry to the family, will be an effective aid to countering the devastating effects of this crisis typical of our age. (6)
As a prayer for peace, the Rosary is also, and always has been, a prayer of and for the family. At one time this prayer was
particularly dear to Christian families, and it certainly brought them closer together. It is important not to lose this precious inheritance. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the Rosary…
The family that prays together stays together. The Holy Rosary, by age-old tradition, has shown itself particularly effective as a prayer which brings the family together. Individual family members, in turning their eyes towards Jesus, also regain the ability to look one another in the eye, to communicate, to show solidarity, to forgive one another and to see their covenant of love renewed in the Spirit of God. (41)RVM, 41
These words written by this saintly pope two decades ago still carry the same weight today. Our society is trying so very hard to destroy the family, yet we have the antidote! Praying together, praying the Holy Rosary together, in our homes is the most effective way to keep the eyes of our children firmly fixed on Jesus and Mary. Take the time with your families this month to sit down and pray the rosary. Maybe praying all five decades may be too much for the little ones. Pray one decade. Then slowly start going to two decades and so forth. Explain each mystery to your children. Let them get caught up in the wonder of the mysteries of Jesus’ life. There are so many creative ways in which we can take up the rosary as a family no matter how young the children are. I pray that during this month of October all our families may slowly start to build this “army of prayer” with the Holy Rosary as our spiritual weapon to overcome the ills of this world and guide us all to Jesus.
God bless you all,