Usually when I pray the Rosary, my mind wanders terribly. The prayers are, of course, repetitive. I’ve prayed them hundreds of times, so I find it hard to focus on the words and their meanings. However, last Sunday it was different. I was feeling very anxious and depressed and I needed God’s help. So, when I prayed the Rosary, I read aloud each word and thought about its meaning.
The Rosary is a series of prayers meant for our salvation (which true Catholics do not take for granted). In the Our Father, we pray, “…forgive us our trespasses … lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” In the Hail Mary, we pray, “…pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” In the Fatima Prayer, often prayed with the Rosary, we pray, “…forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven…”
The Rosary doesn’t seem popular with most “liberal” Catholics probably because the prayers are meant to reveal our utter dependence on God, that we are nothing more than sinners, and that we are always in danger of hell. These are not popular concepts in our unbelieving, egocentric, materialistic modern culture. Praying the Rosary properly helps us realize that only God is God and we are nothing but sinful creatures, pleading for our lives.
Sometimes we forget, or simply do not believe, that God acts when we pray. The last time I finished praying the Rosary, calmness swept over me. My anxiety was gone for hours. God gives believers these little signs of His awesome power to encourage them and strengthen their faith. In my life, I have witnessed several little miracles. I think back on those episodes and it inspires me to persevere.
I do expect great things from God. If I persevere in faith, I expect God to open wide the gates of heaven for me. The God who creates everyday miracles, such as the sunrise and the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly, can transform our lives in “this vale of tears” into joy everlasting. Do not follow the herd as they seek sinful and fleeting pleasures. Suffer with Christ, so that one day you will reign with Him forever.