New Year’s challenge – pray more rosaries!

By Father John Anthony, CFR –

Everywhere I go in the world today, people pull me aside and say, ‘Father, do you think it’s the end of the world?’ I’ve had Jews, Muslims, atheists and agnostics all asking me the same question.

Do you think we have a lack of peace in the world today?

Our Lady came 100 years ago giving us a way to have peace. One of the ways she gave us to have peace is to pray the Rosary every day. We know this in our heart and mind, but we often don’t know why. So, I want to give you some principles on why the Rosary is a means to peace.

Next to the Mass, the Rosary is the most powerful prayer that we have. We can avail ourselves of it at any moment of the day, which makes it a very effective weapon. There are more than 40 letters written on the Rosary by the popes. St. Padre Pio had a rosary in his hand all day long. He prayed 35 Rosaries a day and would often say, ‘You do one thing at a time, I do more than one thing at a time,’ a great grace.

I met a guy named Patricio Slim, one of the wealthiest men in Mexico and a huge Catholic. We were speaking at an event and he told me he heard the challenge to pray three Rosaries a day, but didn’t think he could do it. However, he decided to try.

He said, ‘I watch as I go forward and pray three Rosaries a day, how Our Lady goes before me and blows all the doors open that need to be open, shuts all the doors that need to be shut and anticipates all the extra nonsense that tends to suck out so much energy in my day. Now I can say that I don’t have time not to pray three rosaries in a day.’

How does this work? I have a couple of concepts to help you understand how this works and why this is powerful. Because if we get the why behind it, then it gives us the incentive to say, ‘I’m going to do this.’

Our Memory

First, we have to understand the Jewish concept of memory. Memory, in the Jewish context, is not just thinking about something that happened in the past. It’s participating directly in the event that happened thousands of years ago. So when the Jews celebrate Passover, they say: ‘Why is THIS night different than all the other nights?’

It’s an idea that we have in Catholic theology as well, for instance, at the Mass; we, being part of the Body of Christ, are present to the event that occurred at the time of Christ. It’s like a divine time machine. We’re pulled out of our time, and while in our time, are made present to what happened in the past, to be in the eternal now.

God’s Memory

Second, Jesus is both God and man, but what does that mean for us? He entered into our time and when He did that, He was subject to time, but at the same time, He was outside of time. In His humanity, He lived 2000 years ago, but in His divinity, He had all time in his mind. That means when He became man, He had you, personally, in mind. When He was on the cross, He had you personally, by name, on His mind. God is big enough to balance all the details of making the universe work, but at the same time to be able to focus on you personally, as if you are the only person that exists. Because love is that way.

Therefore, in our memory, we are made present to the events, the mysteries that God participated in when He was in time. And in His memory, God in His divinity and His humanity 2000 years ago had you and me personally in mind and your day today.

So when you pray the first mystery of the Rosary, the Annunciation, you are present at that event 2000 years ago, and God in His divinity said, I’m doing this for Janine, for William, for Thomas, I’m becoming man for you personally. He has you in mind at that event and He has a particular grace for you in each one of those mysteries today.

The Rosary is like an app on your phone that when you plug into it, avails you of all the graces that He bought for you today, this day, that’s different for you than yesterday or tomorrow. Every day He has something different for you that he wants to apply to your day. And each one of the mysteries is different, so if you pray three or four Rosaries a day, you’re getting the big enchilada supreme.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a perfect recipe for peace.

If I have God’s very power and the particular graces that He won for me, 2000 years ago, and I’m able to apply them to my day today, my heart is going to change, and if I’m more peaceful, the world around me is more peaceful.

Now you know why the Rosary is not some kind of boring, repetitive prayer that you just have to get done today. It feels that way sometimes and that’s okay, because the quality of your prayer is not about how you feel; it’s how faithful you are to it. We do our lousy best to download the app and dilate our souls and make it open to the grace that God wants to give to us. Whether you feel it or not, it doesn’t matter. But if you’re faithful, then the graces come. If you’re faithful, you will see as God opens the doors that need to be opened and shuts the doors that need to be shut. God will go before us and fight the battle for us.

Our Lady gave us a perfect recipe for peace. It’s a formula that works. It’s a weapon that’s more powerful than you can imagine. Avail yourself to it every day.

And I’ll throw the challenge out to you—if you pray one Rosary a day, pray two. If you pray two Rosaries a day, pray three. Then watch as you find you have more time in your day.

(Based on Father Anthony’s homily at the Angel of Peace chapel at the Fatima Shrine, Nov. 19, 2017. It is available on podcast at https://soundcloud.com/franciscan-friars/how-prayer-brings-peace)

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4 Comments
  1. This was not only an excellent article, but something I would like to share with more people, including family. I have had a devotion to the Rosary for a long time, and now I understand why, on occasion, I start to say some chaplet or other on my Rosary beads, I end up saying the Hail Mary’s.

  2. This is a marvelous, powerful piece. Thank you, Father! In 2017 I set myself the challenge of praying the Rosary every day after reading a lot about Fatima and Fr. Donald Calloway’s book of daily quotes from the saints on the Rosary. I didn’t succeed in doing it every single day but I did it on most days, and I can say that I have a much better appreciation for a devotion that was for many years a difficult one for me. It’s still difficult in many ways — I tire easily, get distracted easily, it often feels like a slog, etc. — but I understand its power now in ways I never did before. I may just take you up on your challenge to double it up every day!

  3. Thank you for sharing God‘s word.

    I hope I am worthy of his eternal Love.

  4. “Next to the Mass, the Rosary is the most powerful prayer we have.” I agree the Rosary is a powerful form of prayer, but the only thing second to the Mass, is Eucharistic Adoration. St. John Paul ll said so himself. And yet, we do not hear a calling to spend time with Christ in The Adoration chapels; especially not during Advent or Lent, the two seasons of the year when it should be most appreciated and used. I heard a priest once say, “Spend time with Christ in Adoration, become more Christ, carry more of Him into your daily life.” Our Faith, Our country, our world would alter drastically if the Rosary and other forms of prayer were done before Christ in His bread. Granted, The Rosary is convenient, but it does not supplant Eucharistic Adoration. .If we are ever to bring Christ’s work to fruition in this world, it needs to be both and. .

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