Toppling evil temptations, experiencing heavenly sensations, and storing up eternal elations …One “Hail Mary” at time!
“From my first Rosary prayer, I felt a peace, a happiness, an excitement within. I couldn’t stop laughing, and I couldn’t stop crying. No drugs or alcohol could have given me what I was feeling at that moment. The more I prayed, the stronger this feeling became, until suddenly, I had finished fifteen decades. I wanted to continue…” -Alan Ames in “The Warning: Testimonies and Prophesies of the Illumination of Conscience”
A CRAZY CHALLENGE:
The next time you feel stressed, depressed, or anything less than blessed, simply stop what you’re doing and start to say few, slow and sincere Hail Marys. Don’t worry don’t even know the words… Just say, “Mary, help me” quietly and from your heart. That is enough for your Mother to immediately swoop in and begin to fill you with her sweetness and strength! Try this experiment and I guarantee you, the Blessed Virgin Mary will make her consoling presence known to you; she will hold you by the hand and lead you deep into Her Immaculate Heart.
“Your Rosaries, dear children, are a lifetime to Heaven” she tells us in the Messages of Holy and Divine Love (via holylove.org). “Through the Rosary, I your Mother, can feed you with the nutrients of My Grace. I can nourish your souls with strong virtues and help you to determine God’s Will in the present moment. The Rosary deters evil inclinations and encourages deeper personal holiness.… Cling to the Rosaries. It is a sign to satan that you belong to Me.”
Mary, as the St. Padre Pio confirms, is truly the “shortcut to God,” the quickest, easiest, shortest, and sweetest way to holiness, to happiness, to Heaven. She is the Woman “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1), Who crushes the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15), is “full of grace” (Luke 1:28) and thus free from sin, and is utterly overshadowed by the power of the Most High (Luke 1:35) to conceive of Her Divine Son Jesus, as the very Mother of God (Luke 1:43). Yet She is also the Mother of all “those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus” (Revelation 12:17), as Jesus Himself gave Her to all of us, his beloved disciples, in His final words on the Cross (John 19:26). Throughout His entire Passion and Death, it was Mary Who gave Jesus the necessary consolation and strength to lay His life down for our salvation, every step of the way. Thus, She has rightly received the titles of Co-Redemptrix, Advocate, and Mediatrix of All Graces.
And yet, I believe that Our Lady’s favorite title is simply that of Mother. As the most merciful, kind, and gentle of all mothers, all she really wants for all of us, her children, is to know, love, and serve Her Son. Her last words in Scripture really say it all: “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). When contemplate the mysteries of Holy Rosary, we embark upon a timeless journey into the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, through the pure eyes and pondering heart of She Who knew and loved him most intimately! In fact, Our Blessed Mother has revealed that after the Holy Mass, the Holy Rosary is the most powerful, pleasing, and precious prayer for her, and indeed, for all of Heaven to hear! She even told St. Michtilde, “‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!’ No creature has ever said anything that was more pleasing to me, nor will anyone ever be able to find or say to me anything that pleases me more.” No wonder Fr. Paul Moll once stated that, “If it were permitted to one of the elect [a soul currently enjoying Heaven] to live again in this world, he would submit with joy to all the sufferings that men have ever endured here below, in order to add to his merits that which he would acquire by the recital of one Ave Maria.”
Jesus Himself once revealed to the Stigmatist and visionary Catalina Rivas that “Each decade of the Holy Rosary you repeat, the angels gather and place as an offering at the feet of My Mother.” WOW! Imagine all the eternal treasures you will storing up for yourself in Heaven and the all graces and blessing you will giving to others with on earth if you began by just a few more prayers here and there! Try squeezing Hail Marys between bites, before classes/work, while washing your hands, and most of all in the most golden and glorious moments after receiving Our Lord Himself Holy Communion at Mass, just like Our Blessed Mother received Him at the moment of the Incarnation, when God became Man and the Word became Flesh in her Womb! And in addition to passing many mystical graces to others through these fervent, frequent Hail Marys, eventually you may just find yourself giving out brighter smiles, warmer words, and cheerier acts of kindness toward all of those around you, who you formerly may have been failing to notice, to reach out to, to forgive, and to truly love! Even if you’re distracted while praying (by the whirlwind of activities occurring around and within you), YOU WILL STILL BE SAVING SOULS through your smallest prayers! For the Blessed Mother has promised that She sends Her angels to collect the fragments of such prayers, in order to make them wholesome and even beautiful in the Eyes of God! Are you starting to see how, with Momma Mary, you really can’t lose!
And if you’re really feeling daring, perhaps you will even take up the incredible practice of the DAILY ROSARY! It only takes 15-20 minutes (About 1% of your day), but it will go on doing good for you and for others for all of ETERNITY! St. Padre Pio called the Rosary “The Weapon” and promised to pray at least 5 (but often upwards of 18 Rosaries a day!) and Alan Ames attempts around 60 Rosary decades every day! Truly, a Rosary a day keeps the devil away!
A PERSONAL STORY:
Though I was the kid in elementary school who would wear a wooden Medjugorje rosary around my uniform belt loop and even lead rosary prayer groups at Recess (the Blessed Mother and the Holy Spirit were apparently my special “favorites” of my Catholic faith!), my devotion to this prayer, and prayer in general, dwindled and nearly altogether diminished by the time I was in high school. Still, my mom never gave up on praying for me, especially during my years of being bullied, feeling excluded, and seeming “lost,” and would often bind me and my little brother to the Immaculate Heart of Mary when she prayed her Rosary on the way to work. This proved to be very fruitful in the end, for during my first year in college at Our Lady’s University, the University of Notre Dame, I was invited to attend a lifechanging weeklong pilgrimage to Rome through the Office of Vocations of the Congregation of Holy Cross. From seeing the jaw-droppingly massive sculptures of the St. Peter’s Basilica and mind-bogglingly gorgeous paintings of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, to tasting the sweet and savory flavors of fresh Italian pizza and gelato, the trip had so many amazing moments. Yet perhaps the most meaningful and enduring of all was a certain Confession that I had with a Bishop during a public penance service, just after the announcement of the coming Year of Mercy. After listing off all of my sins to him, he seemed to ask me, in a strong foreign accent, “You pray rosary every day?”
“Well…umm…I try…but I don’t always have time…” was something of my timid response.
“No…No…” he declared, “You pray rosary every day.
“Ohhh!” I thought to myself just then, “That must be my penance!” Though a rosary every day for the rest of my life certainly sounded daunting at the time, I accepted the challenge. And after the daily rosary, eventually came daily mass, and even a daily hour of “Tabernacle Time” with Jesus. On several occasions, I started to actually sensibly feel Christ’s overwhelming and overflowing tenderness and peace in the Eucharist, and found it was becoming nearly impossible for me to leave the Church or chapel after receiving Him at Mass, without lingering in His Presence and losing myself in His Love. Other changes began to take place in me as well. I started caring more and more for the spiritual wellbeing of the souls around me, from family to friends to even the “background people” of my life, such as the dorm janitors and dining hall workers, all the while caring less and less of what others thought and said of me. My joy became more exuberant. My peace became more constant. My prayers became more ardent. And my thoughts became more transcendent. Though I still struggled (and still struggle) with certain attachments, such as those to food and comfort, my desire for and capacity for sacrifice was steadily increasing, with little victories after falls and signs of growth over time.
“Never will anyone who says his rosary be led astray. This is a statement I would gladly sign with my blood.” These were the words a later discovered from St. Louis De Montfort, and I can attest to them through and through. Truly, from the day I decided to pray the daily rosary, it was though Our Lady had taken me under Her Mantle and guided me by the hand, slowly infusing me with Her virtues and silently teaching me how to live as a child of the Divine Will, in both the big life decisions and little everyday moments. Day by day, She eventually lead me to my vocation with the Salesians, where I have never been happier. This is why would recommend this most pleasing and priceless, treasured and timeless devotion to anyone and everyone!
After all, in the words of Our Lord to Catalina Rivas, “Spread devotion to [the Rosary]. My Mother promised that if just one member of the family prays it every day, She will save that family. And this promise is signed and sealed by the Divine Trinity.”
Thus, if you feel so called, why not start sharing these Marian prayer cards (in English and Spanish!) on the Power of the Rosary anywhere and everywhere?! After all, in the Unpublished Manuscipt on Purgatory (with the Church Imprimatur) we read, “Those who promote the recitation of the Rosary everywhere deserve praise. It is this prayer that is the most efficacious in the present time of need.”
Thank you so, so much for (hopefully) taking the time to read these words and give them a chance! May you soon know of the indescribable, unfathomable love that Our Blessed Mother has for YOU personally! And may each Hail Mary for you be another joy on earth and treasure in Heaven that awaits you now and for all eternity! Amen!
PS- The following are some more amazingly powerful prayers beseeching Mother Mary’s matchless intercession that have proven to be very profitable in my own prayer life! Feel free to copy/paste and text/email to family/friends! May God bless you, Mary keep you, the angels guide you, and the saints surround you today and always! Ave Maria! Amen!
NOTE: The greatest way to love Jesus with everything you have, body, mind, and soul, is to let Mary do it through you! To consecrate yourself entirely to the Blessed Virgin Mary, (and thus swap all your prayers, virtues, and merits with HERS) through the 33 Days to Morning Glory personal retreat book, very simply yet beautifully written by Father Michael Gaitley, click here: