Saturday, July 30, 2011
Forty-Seventh Rose: Proper Dispositions
PREDESTINATE SOULS, you who are of God, cut yourselves adrift from those who are damning themselves by their impious lives, laziness and lack of devotion----and, without delay, recite often your Rosary, with faith, with humility, with confidence and with perseverance.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, told us to follow His example and to pray always----because of our endless need of prayer, the darkness of our minds, our ignorance and weakness and because of the strength and number of our enemies. Anyone who really gives heed to this Our Master's commandment will surely not be satisfied with saying the Rosary once a year (as the Perpetual Members do) or once a week (like the Ordinary Members) but will say it every day (as a member of the Daily Rosary) and will never fail in this----even though the only obligation he has is that of saving his own soul.
1. "We ought always to pray and not to faint."  These are the eternal words of our Blessed Lord Himself. And we must believe His words and abide by them if we do not want to be damned. You can understand them in any way you like, as long as you do not interpret them as the world does and only observe them in a worldly way.
Our Lord gave us the true explanation of His words----by means of the example He left us. "I have given you an example that as I have done to you, so you do also."  And "He passed the whole night in the prayer of God."  As though His days were not long enough, He used to spend the night in prayer. Over and over again He said to His Apostles: "Watch ye and pray";  the flesh is weak, temptation is everywhere and always around you. If you do not keep up your prayers, you shall fall . . . And because some of them evidently thought that these words of Our Lord constituted a counsel only they completely missed their point. This is why they fell into temptation and sin, even though they were in the company of Jesus Christ.
Dear Rosary Confraternity members, if you want to lead a fashionable life and belong to the world----by this I mean if you do not mind falling into mortal sin from time to time and then going to Confession, and if you wish to avoid conspicuous sins which the world considers vile and yet at the same time commit "respectable sins"----then, of course, there is no need for you to say so many prayers and Rosaries. You only need to do very little to be "respectable": a tiny prayer at night and morning, an occasional Rosary which may be given to you for your penance, a few decades of Hail Marys said on your Rosary (but haphazardly and without concentration) when it suits your fancy to say them----this is quite enough. If you did less, you might be branded as a freethinker or a profligate; if you did more, you would be eccentric and a fanatic. But if you want to lead a true Christian life and genuinely want to save your soul and walk in the saints' footsteps and never, never, fall into mortal sin----if you wish to break Satan's traps and divert his flaming darts, you must always pray as Our Lord taught and commanded you to do.
If you really have this wish at heart, then you must at least say your Rosary or the equivalent, every day. I have said "at least" because probably all that you will accomplish through your Rosary will be to avoid mortal sin and to overcome temptation. This is because you are exposed to the strong current of the world's wickedness by which many a strong soul is swept away; you are in the midst of the thick, clinging darkness which often blinds even the most enlightened souls; you are surrounded by evil spirits who being more experienced than ever and knowing that their time is short are more cunning and more effective in tempting you.
It will indeed be a marvel of grace wrought by the Most Holy Rosary if you manage to keep out of the clutches of the world, the devil and the flesh and avoid mortal sin and gain Heaven! If you do not want to believe me, at least learn from your own experience. I should like to ask you if, when you were in the habit of saying no more prayers than people usually say in the world and saying them the way they usually say them, you were able to avoid serious faults and sins that were grievous but which seemed nothing much to you in your blindness. Now at last you must wake up, and if you want to live and die without sin, at least mortal sin, pray unceasingly; say your Rosary every day as members always used to do in the early days of the Confraternity.
When our Blessed Lady gave the Holy Rosary to Saint Dominic she ordered him to say it every day and to get others to say it daily. Saint Dominic never let anyone join the Confraternity unless he were fully determined to say it every day. If today people are allowed to be Ordinary Members by saying the Rosary merely once a week, it is because fervor has dwindled, and charity has grown cold. You get what you can out of one who is poor in prayer. "It was not thus in the beginning."
Three things must be stressed here; the first is that if you want to join the Confraternity of the Daily Rosary and share in the prayers and merits of its members, it is not enough to be enrolled in the Ordinary Rosary or just to make a resolution to say it every day; as well as doing this you must give your name to those who have the power to enroll you in it. It is also a very good thing to go to Confession and Holy Communion especially for this intention. The reason for this is that the Ordinary Rosary Membership does not include that of the Daily Rosary, but this latter does include the former.
The second point I want to make is that, absolutely speaking, it is not even a venial sin to fail to say the Rosary every day, or once a week, or even once a year.
The third point is that whenever illness, or work that you have performed out of obedience to a lawful superior or some real necessity, or even involuntary forgetfulness has prevented you from saying your Rosary, you do not forfeit your share in the merits and your participation in the Rosaries of the other Confraternity members. So, absolutely speaking, you are under no obligation to say two Rosaries the next day to make up for the one you missed, as I understand it, through no fault of your own. If, however, when you are ill, your sickness is such that you are still able to say part of your Rosary, you must say that part.
"Blessed are (those) who stand before thee always."  "Happy they who dwell in your house! Continually they praise you."  "Oh, dear Lord Jesus, blessed are the brothers and sisters of the Daily Rosary Confraternity who are in Thy presence every day----in Thy little home at Nazareth, at the foot of Thy Cross on Calvary, and around Thy throne in Heaven, so that they may meditate and contemplate Thy Joyous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries. How happy they are on earth because of the wonderful graces that Thou dost vouchsafe to them, and how blessed they shall be in Heaven where they will praise Thee in a very special way----for ever and ever!"
2. The Rosary should be said with faith----for our Blessed Lord said "Believe that you shall receive; and they shall come unto you."  If you believe that you will receive what you ask from the hands of Almighty God, He will grant your petitions. He will say to you: "As thou hast believed, so be it done to thee."  "If any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God----but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."  If anyone needs wisdom, let him ask God with faith, and without hesitating, and through his Rosary----and what he asks shall be given him.
3. Thirdly, we must pray with humility, like the publican; he was kneeling on the ground----on both knees----not on one knee as proud and worldly people do, or with one knee on the bench in front of him. He was at the back of the Church and not in the sanctuary as the Pharisee was; his eyes were cast down, as he dared not look up to Heaven; he did not hold his head up proudly and look about him like the Pharisee. He beat his breast, confessing his sins and asking forgiveness: "Be merciful to me a sinner"  and he was not in the least like the Pharisee who boasted of his good works and who despised others in his prayers. Do not imitate the pride of the Pharisee whose prayer only hardened his heart and increased his guilt; imitate rather the humility of the Publican whose prayer obtained for him the remission of his sins.
You should be very careful not to do anything out of the ordinary nor to ask nor even wish for knowledge of extraordinary things, visions, revelations or other miraculous graces which Almighty God has occasionally given to a few of the Saints while they were reciting the Rosary. "Faith alone suffices": faith alone is quite enough for us now that the Holy Gospels and all the devotions and pious practices are firmly established.
Even if you suffer from dryness of soul, boredom and interior discouragement, never give up even the least little bit of your Rosary----for this would be a sure sign of pride and faithlessness. On the contrary, like a real champion of Jesus and Mary, you should say your Our Fathers and Hail Marys quite drily if you have to, without seeing, hearing or feeling any consolation whatsoever, and concentrating as best you can on the mysteries. You ought not to look for candy or jam to eat with your daily bread, as children do----but you should even say your Rosary more slowly sometimes when you particularly find it hard to say. Do this to imitate Our Lord more perfectly in His agony in the garden: "Being in an agony, He prayed the longer,"  so that what was said of Our Lord (when He was in His agony of prayer) may be said of you too: He prayed even longer.
4. Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray. The Eternal Father yearns for nothing so much as to share the life-giving waters of His grace and mercy with us. He is entreating us: "All you that thirst, come to the waters . . ."  This means "Come and drink of My spring through prayer," and when we do not pray to Him He sorrowfully says that we are forsaking Him: "They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water." 
We make Our Lord happy when we ask Him for graces and if we do not ask, He makes a loving complaint: "Hitherto you have not asked anything . . . ask and you shall receive . . . seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." 
Furthermore, to give us more confidence in praying to Him, He has bound Himself by a promise: that His Eternal Father would grant us everything that we ask in His name.
1. Luke 18:1.
2. John 13:15.
3. Luke 6:12.
4. Matt. 26:41.
5. 3 Kings 10:8.
6. Ps. 83:5.
7. Mark 11 :24.
8. Matt. 8:13.
9. James 1:5, 6.
10. Luke 18:13.
11. Luke 22:43.
12. Isaias 54:1.
13. Jeremias 2:13.
14. John 16:24 and Matt. 7:7.
at 11:43 PM