Friday, October 12, 2012

A student's thoughts on the rosary

Some Thoughts on the Rosary (by Jacob Vanderploeg, junior)

                Hey everyone! So as some of you might remember, I mentioned the Confraternity of the Rosary before the discussion after last week’s Tuesday night dinner.

                What I want to do in this blog post is to explain a little more about why I pray the Rosary every week according to the rule of the Confraternity; being disciplined enough to pray 15 decades a week is tough for many people, me included.

                In 1925, the Blessed Mother appeared to Lucia Santos in Fatima, Portugal (different from the apparition in 1917). She said to Lucia, among other things:

                “Say to all who, for 5 months, on the first Saturdays, Confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary, and keep Me company (emphasis mine) for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to my Immaculate Heart, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”

                This is part of the larger idea of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but for the purpose of this blog post I’m just going to zero in on the “keep me company” part.

                 I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I’ve pray the Rosary there’s always this peace that comes over me. To the point where I’ve fallen asleep a few times while praying, actually. I couldn’t figure out why I always felt like this while praying the Rosary until I read about Fatima a few weeks ago. When you pray the Rosary, the Blessed Mother is sitting right there with you – she said so herself.

It also finally dawned on me that the word “hail” (as in “Hail Mary, full of grace) is a greeting. (Another example: “hail, Caesar!”) So it’s like saying hello to someone today, just in a more formal way. It follows, then, that when you say “hail Mary”, you’re saying hello to her. And if you’ve had an experience while praying the Rosary such as the one I’ve just mentioned, you know that she doesn’t ignore you. She interacts with you in a very profound way.

This realization gave me (what struck me as) a slightly radical idea – what if I prayed the Rosary with no special intention or request? That is, spend time with the Blessed Mother with no ulterior motive, expecting to gain absolutely nothing.

So I tried it.

Before I talk about what happened, though, I need to set the stage. In mid-September of this year, I was having a hard time keeping the discipline to pray 15 decades of the Rosary every week as required by the Rosary Confraternity, so I had to give myself some extra incentive. The day before I read about the vision at Fatima I talked about above, I decided to pray a 54 Day Miraculous Novena for a major special request. The promise of having that request granted would help me to discipline myself to pray the Rosary every day.

And the results were amazing. I expected to gain absolutely nothing, but had a request that I had made for the 54 Day Miraculous Novena granted not on the 27th day of the Novena as is usually the case, but on the SECOND day. And not to get too personal, but the graces I’ve received have been increasing every day, seeming to be building to something huge for the 27th day…I can’t wait to see what happens!

Rosary Confraternity signup link: click here




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