THE ROSARY IS A
WONDERFUL WAY TO PRAY
WONDERFUL WAY TO PRAY
St. Paul continues to express his dismay that the Galatians would want to minimize the importance of what Jesus Christ did for them. "Are you so foolish that having started with the Spirit you are now ending with the flesh" (Gal 3:3)? Their message, Paul insists, amounted to a "different gospel." Some would say that such "hedging" is present in our day as well. St. Paul pours out his heart to the people, not for his own sake but for the sake of Jesus Christ, Who was publicly exhibited as crucified. The Galatians wanted to stake their eternal salvation on fulfilling works of the Mosaic Law instead of rooting and grounding their belief and behavior in the free gift of Christ.
This month the Church focuses on Our Lady of the Rosary. The rosary is a wonderful way to reflect on and savor the saving grace of Christ in His mysteries, as long as we never make the mistake of thinking that our rituals will somehow convince God to save us. As Paul would agree, our rituals testify to what our heavenly Father has already done for us, His children.
Each year we gather around the Rosary Garden at our retreat center and cemetery and recite the Living Rosary, renew our Diocesan Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Crown Our Lady of Fatima. Parishes, schools, civil services, clergy and religious all join together to pray the rosary with our Bishop. I would like to share the prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with you to help you in your reflection today:
O Mary, sovereign Queen of heaven and earth and dearest Mother, joyfully we kneel at your feet to consecrate our diocese to your Immaculate Heart. Proudly we proclaim you to be our Queen. Proudly we profess your complete dominion over us. We are your subjects. Hail, Queen of the universe, Queen of all creatures, of all kings, and even of the Seraphim; Queen before whom the very heavens bow. Oh Mother, most loving and most lovable, we know that you love us with a love more tender, more ardent, more full, than any other human love in this world. Because you are completely our Queen and our Mother, we wish to give ourselves to you and all that we have.
We consecrate to you our diocese and place it in your hands; its laymen and laywomen, its religious, its deacons, its priests, and its bishop. We give also our parochial schools, our high schools, our college, our university, our seminaries, our hospitals and charitable institutions, and our retreat house. Into your hands we place our parishes, our religious communities, and our diocese. Gladly we acknowledge that we belong to you. Gladly we consecrate ourselves and our diocese and everything in it, to your service, to your glory, and through you, to your Divine Son.
We acknowledge that every blessing and all good things come to us through your hands. All growth in the diocese, all good comes through your intercession and your help. We place under your protection our entire future, our hope, our difficulties, and our problems. If failures should be your wish, we gladly accept them. Yet, we know that God wishes to manifest His power through you. He wishes to bless us through you and by you. We are confident of your mercy. We beg abundant graces, bountiful assistance and loving protection, not through our merits, but through the loving goodness of your Motherly heart. Amen.
In the Gospel Acclamation we proclaim, "Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of Your Son" (Cf. Acts 16:14b). "Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Lk 11:9)!