by Elizabeth Tripp, Columnist.
As Catholics, we have one of the greatest blessings in our strong love for Mary, and in the knowledge of fact that she is our great heavenly mother. But sometimes, we forget to treat her as such. She is a great, perfect woman, she is the mother of our Lord Jesus, and she is very intimately and joyfully our mother as well. She wants to take that role in our lives, not just to pray for us, but to be with us, to walk with us in our struggles, to support us, and to share in our pain and sorrow as well as in our joy and love. She offers us protection through things like the Miraculous Medal and the brown scapular of Mt. Carmel, but one thing that we can draw upon, that we can use to forge a deep connection with our mother is the Rosary.
Many saints have had a great devotion to Our Lady through the rosary: Saint Padre Pio said, “the rosary is the weapon for these times” and Pop Pius IX said “give me an army saying the rosary and I will conquer the world.” The rosary is a powerful tool for prayer, to drive out hatred and pain, and we are called to pray the rosary in times of struggle and darkness. Very recently, Poland took this message to heart and surrounded its entire boarder by its citizens praying the rosary for our world and it had a huge impact. Could you imagine a much larger country doing the same, like the United States for instance? It would be a great miracle and I believe it would help to bring peace to our world, as we call on our great and holy mother and try to live like her in peace and love, with a great devotion to her son Jesus.
While the rosary is a great and powerful weapon, it is also a great source of comfort and calm. Another great saint to who a strong devotion to our holy mother was Pope Saint John Paul II who always kept a rose on his desk as a sign of his love for her. He lost his earthly mother very early in life, and that may have help him turn to his heavenly mother; he could always be found to have a rosary on him which he prayed often and urged others to do the same. During a time of spiritual dryness, when I was having a tough time praying and building my relationship with Christ, when I was tempted to give up my faith, I turned to the rosary. Not only was it a tangible thing that I could hold, to keep track of my prayer, and as a reminder mentally to be in a state of prayer, but it allowed me to invite Mary into my life, to support me in a time that I was struggling, and to allow her to become a mother to me. For me, praying the rosary is so meditative and relaxing, and after praying it for such a long time, just holding the beads helps to calm me. One of the greatest habits I have started was to pray a rosary before bed, and even as I am falling asleep. A great Holy Cross priest once told me to start my rosary every night as I get into bed, and if I fall asleep in the middle, it is okay because my guardian angel will finish it for me. In doing so, we are asking Mary to comfort us, to be with us, and to help us sleep safely and easily. It is just like drifting off to sleep in the arms of our mother just as when we were children.
I would urge every person to start to pray the rosary, to ask for Mary’s presence in our lives. She knows great love and joy, and she also knows sorrow and heavy sadness; she wants to walk with us in our journey, to be a mother to us. Even if it is just a Hail Mary a day, maybe working up to a Decade, or just asking Mary to be with you, she is there. Some of us may have never known our mothers, may have lost them too young, or may be disconnected or constantly fighting with them, but this is Christ offers us Mary, His own mother, when from the cross He said, “woman, here is your son… here is your mother,” (John 19:26) He called her to be all our mothers, to be with us and to give us that motherly love that we need in our lives.
The article was written by Elizabeth Tripp. For more information on the Rosary, The Defenders of Faith have made several videos, such as the one below by Rory Martinez!