Mardi Gras has come and gone. I hope you devoured those sumptuous desserts and succulent calories because now we forgo worldly gluttony for a spiritual one. For the next 40 days we take time out from filling our mind and soul with food, drink, TV, internet, magazines, and other activities that usually leave no room for God. And when we tapper off indulging in our worldly appetites, we make room to address the more important need, our spiritual one.
This Lent, work those “love handles,” or rather, get a handle on loving God.
Dr. Manny Alvarez suggests 10 “easy” steps for our Lenten diet. And this diet has nothing to do with your waistline. Remember what Sister Margie Lavonis said in my previous article, Lent is more than just skipping desserts. So here we have a few short Lenten dieting tips:
1. Focus on loving God and all his greatness, instead of celebrities, action figures, “real” housewives or even world leaders that think they know best.
2. Be careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing, like politicians, promising you something but taking your liberties away.
3. Set up standards of morality at home. Enough with the casual cursing. Teach kids some etiquette and manners, and use yourself as an example.
4. Spend time with your family, telling stories, and listening to those around you. Because someday you will wish you had.
It’s that time of year again. Flowers start to grow, the grass turns green, trees get their leaves back, and we get ashes on our forehead. Yep, that’s right, on March 5th we kick off Lent with Ash Wednesday.
English: Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Christian on Ash Wednesday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I read a great article in the Catholic San Francisco about how to prepare for Easter this Lent. Sister Margie Lavonis says it best when she wrote in her article, Lent: An opportunity to grow, that we shouldn’t “let this be just another 40 days of the year.” She talked about many of the same themes I routinely mention on RosaryMeds (has she been reading my work?). She touches on how our relationship with God needs a commitment from us, through prayer, to grow:
No relationship can deepen and grow unless we are willing to listen and share ourselves with the other person. God is no exception. During Lent, if you don’t already, set aside at least fifteen minutes of your time each day to be with God. Go to a quiet place, if you can find one, slow down and let God love you. Read and reflect upon some scripture each day and get to know the one who loves you unconditionally and who has given you all you have. I suggest using the Mass readings for each day and reflect on what God is saying to you. In fact, it would be good to try to go to Mass more than just on Sunday if you can.
She also covers some ideas for fasting and alms giving. Remember, it’s not all about giving up desserts and writing checks. I know it may sound cliche, but I’m really going to try to remember that it’s Lent every one of these 40 days leading up to Easter whether that means praying more, offering small sacrifices to God, or giving a little more of my time and patience to those who need it. How about you? Are you prepared to get prepared?
“But wait! There’s more!” If Mary’s rosary promises were an infomercial for rosary prayer and meditation, we are now entering all the bonus items. Commercials for cookware may say, “act now and get two of our deluxe frying pans plus our specialized omelet pan!” When it comes to our salvation and what Mary promises us through the rosary she’s already shown the graces someone will receive and the protection she will offer against Satan. Those alone are great gifts that make rosary prayer a wise spiritual investment. But now Mary adds even more bonuses to the deal and says that those who pray the rosary faithfully will get great glory in Heaven.
Great glory in Heaven? But I thought that once you’re in, you’re in? Is Mary telling us that those who pray the rosary will be exalted in Heaven over those who do not pray the rosary? We never hear in Sunday homilies that there is some sort of spiritual “point system” for a Heaven that has different tiers where some people receive a higher stature.
“Hey you in front! How did you score the better seats?”
The Gospels seem to present different views of Heaven. On one hand, Jesus told the parable of the workers where those who worked at the end of the day received the same pay as those who worked earlier. That implies that everyone receives the same rewards in Heaven. On the other hand, Jesus talks about building riches in Heaven and how the “first will be last and the last will be first.” That points to an idea that some people will have more in Heaven; whatever having more means in an immaterial realm. Whatever does Mary mean?
To this dearly loved sister I confided my most intimate thoughts; she cleared up all my doubts. One day I expressed surprise that God does not give an equal amount of glory to all the elect in Heaven — I was afraid that they would not all be quite happy.
She sent me to fetch Papa’s big tumbler, and put it beside my tiny thimble, then, filling both with water, she asked me which seemed the fuller. I replied that one was as full as the other — it was impossible to pour more water into either of them, for they could not hold it. In this way Pauline made it clear to me that in Heaven the least of the Blessed does not envy the happiness of the greatest; and so, by bringing the highest mysteries down to the level of my understanding, she gave my soul the food it needed.
After reading St. Therese’s story, Mary’s rosary promise came into focus. God’s glory is infinite and He will shower that glory upon everyone in Heaven. Everyone in Heaven receives as much grace, peace, joy, and happiness that they can handle. Some people will be able to handle more of God’s grace in Heaven than others because they had made more room for God in their hearts.
Here’s a small parable according to Brent that I think explains this rosary promise well. God’s glory in Heaven is like food at a large banquet. Everyone was invited to eat however much they wanted. There were some who filled up on bread and crackers before attending the banquet. Others fasted. Those who fasted consumed more of the feast than those who ate prior to arriving. Both groups enjoyed their share of the food and left the banquet satisfied. But the group that fasted could enjoy more of the banquet’s offerings than those who didn’t.
The rosary teaches us to make room for God in our lives and not fill up on our worldly desires. Through the rosary we open ourselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit to resist temptations, whether they be sinful or just worldly, and to crave what we cannot physically see, hear, or touch in this life — the glory of Heaven. We pray the rosary for the faith and strength to hold out for something greater than what this world has to offer. If we can do that then we will enjoy more of that Heavenly feast God has prepared.
I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
Ah Purgatory! After the high regard Catholics have for Mary, nothing seems more contentious than the existence and need for Purgatory. It brings up debates between Catholics and protestants and questions like, “Where is Purgatory mentioned in the bible?” Aside from the theological arguments whether Purgatory exists, there is just a general fear of it. I think many people don’t really care all that much about the theological underpinnings of Purgatory. Rather, many wish that it didn’t exist because they think it’s some sort of “Hell Lite.”
We need to frame Purgatory in the proper context — it is a level of existence between our earthly life and a heavenly one where we become purified and worthy of Heaven. We cast off the last layers of our earthly selves — the sin, the shortcomings, the weakness to temptation, the pressure and anxieties, and everything else that prevents us from fully embracing God‘s love. No matter how good any of us are, with the exception of the saints, most of us die tied down to worldly things in some way or another. Purgatory is like that final, cleansing bath that washes away that worldly “grime” we accumulated throughout our lives.
Splashy, splashy! Time to get clean for God’s kingdom.
If we truly understood the majesty and beauty of what awaits us in Heaven, we would not only understand why we need Purgatory, but actually want to go to it. I think that when we die and we get the full sense of who God is, we would not even consider entering His kingdom any other way but in a state of perfection. Would you want to attend a wedding in your work clothes? Would you walk through someone’s immaculately clean home in muddy shoes? There are social situations in this life where we feel embarrassed if we arrive in a state not appropriate for the event. Similarly, I think when we get a taste of just how awesome God is at our final judgement, we won’t give a stay in Purgatory a second thought. The notion of entering His kingdom with any worldly blemishes will seem embarrassingly laughable.
But just because we understand the need for Purgatory doesn’t make it any easier to endure. But the suffering isn’t the type of suffering we encounter in Hell. Rather, we suffer because we know just how close we are to the infinite joy and peace of Heaven. We are like children on Christmas Eve that can’t wait for Christmas morning and open the presents under the tree. Every minute is just agony as time just seems to slow to a stop and it seems like Christmas day will never come. Likewise, every moment in Purgatory probably seems unbearable with the knowledge that we are so close to completing a long journey. We want Mary to act as our advocate so our time waiting in Purgatory will be brief.
Like many of her other promises, I think Mary reveals more of a result of praying the rosary than something that she actively applies. Those who are devoted to the rosary are less likely to commit sins which require a longer stay in Purgatory to clean. Those who pray the rosary already have a better understanding of just how great Heaven must be and try extra hard to live in a way where they will most quickly arrive in Heaven after their death. As I said in early articles, it’s not solely the act of praying the rosary itself that leads us to Heaven, but the wisdom and will to live in God’s grace that it helps implant in our souls. Mary is here to help those who want her help and ask for it through rosary prayer.
Ask for Mary’s help to quickly pass through Purgatory. Pick up a rosary and pray it today!
Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
What? A third rosary promise about the time of our death! How could Mary’s eighth promise possibly differ from promises #6 and #7? Sometimes I think that Mary must have spoken incredibly fast and poor St. Dominic just tried to remember and write them down as best as he could. How else can we explain why some promises seem like multiple, separate promises combined and with others it appears like Mary repeats the same promise? Maybe Mary spoke in more of a monologue and St. Dominic distilled it into bullet points like a student taking notes during a lecture. Even in Caravaggio’s painting below St. Dominic looks slightly confused about what Mary is saying.
St. Dominic receiving the Rosary from the Virgin Mary by Caravaggio, 17th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of course I’m being sarcastic. On the surface many of Mary’s promises may appear the same. But when you dive deeper you will find that they are subtly promising different benefits. And even if Mary repeats herself, so what? In the case of promises six through eight, maybe Mary is trying to communicate the importance of having a prepared soul at the moment of your death. Like an earthly mother repeatedly reminding her children the same lessons (eat your vegetables, cover your mouth when you sneeze, say “please” and “thank you,” etc.), our heavenly mother also needs to repeat herself about the moments that are of grave importance. And no time is more important than the hour of someone’s death. Because once you die, that’s it. You no longer have an opportunity to confess and repent your sins nor do you have the power to pray for yourself. Given the eternity that awaits you, Mary reminds us in her rosary promises just how important it is to always have a prepared soul. And she gives us this great gift of preparation through the rosary.
Mary’s eighth promise ratchets up the state of holiness one’s soul is in at the moment of his death. Promise #6 mentions not having an unprepared soul meaning that you will have one last chance to confess your sins. Promise #7 goes one step further and adds the sacraments of the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick into the mix. But this promise goes even further and ensures someone a holy death beyond what is received through the sacraments. When Mary says that you will share “in the merits of the blessed” she is saying that you will receive part of the similar graces the saints received. No one on this planet were holier than the saints (which is why they were saints!). We should rejoice that we have an opportunity to have a little taste of that grace that made the saints so holy. It’s not holiness for the sake of holiness. Rather, sharing in the merits of the blessed gives us a sense of spiritual maturity that gives us the ability to forge an even deeper relationship with god.
This promise doesn’t just apply to the moment of death. Notice that Mary says you will receive graces “during their life.” In praying the rosary devoutly, you will receive the same graces the saints received. Does that mean everyone who prays the rosary is a saint? Well technically no. Just praying the rosary won’t put you on the road towards canonization. However, it will give you the “plenitude of His [God's] graces” to become a saint if you choose to do so. It’s important to realize that saintly behavior is a choice and not some predetermined path that only a select few are privy to. If we do choose a saintly life then Mary promises that the rosary will help us achieve and maintain it. The rosary will give us the insight and strength to choose God’s path over a more earthly one. We all may not become saints like those officially canonized by the Church, but we can share the same graces and the same destiny of flourishing with them in the eternal happiness of Heaven if we choose to do so.
Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
Phew, that was close! I thought I painted myself into a corner after reading Mary’s 7th rosary promise. I initially thought that this promise basically rephrased her earlier promise about not dying an unprovided death and I would have nothing to say about this one. The two promises do share a similar theme revolving around one’s final minutes in this life. The important difference between these two promises is that the earlier promise focuses solely on receiving God’s mercy for one’s sins. This promise goes one step further and implies one will receive graces through the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick. In other words, those devoted to the rosary not only avoid damnation but really “seal the deal” to receive eternal salvation.
“Extreme Unction”, part of The Seven Sacraments, by Rogier Van der Weyden (1445). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am going back to the auto insurance analogy to explain the difference between this rosary promise and the earlier one. Promising that you won’t have an unprovided death is a little like having basic collision insurance. It’s the bare minimum grace that helps you receive God‘s mercy instead of incurring solely His justice. It’s better than nothing, but not great. Dying with all the sacraments of the Church is like having full coverage. You die with your soul in the best possible state to stand before God and quickly enter His kingdom (you still may need to go through Purgatory first).
What’s the difference between not dying an unprovided death and dying with the sacraments of the Church? After all, won’t you end up in Heaven by either means? And isn’t making it into Heaven all that really matters? Ask yourself this. Why would you only want to barely sneak into Heaven in the first place? Why wouldn’t you want to be as close to God as possible throughout your entire life, let alone at the moment of your death? It might say a lot about how you prioritize your relationship with God if you only want to be close enough to Him to not be damned to Hell. All of us should be striving to not just have the bare minimum of graces to enter Heaven but to live as shining examples of God’s grace always up to the moment of our death.
And there lies the difference between the saints and regular people. Many of the saints didn’t have any more insight about the Catholic faith than the normal lay person. And many of them didn’t have any super natural powers that made it easier to act saintly. What separates the saints from the lay person is that the saints chose to make living in God’s grace a priority in their life. They made that difficult decision to resist the temptations of a comfortable, wealthy, or powerful life and instead tried their best to live for God’s kingdom of Heaven. And as impossible as it may seem, we all have the ability to become saints by embracing a life of living prayer and receiving the sacraments.
I infer from this promise that those devoted to the rosary will not only die with the sacraments of the Church, but that they will also want to live with those sacraments as well. Those who pray the rosary understand how important their relationship with God is and are always striving to live deep in His grace by fully embracing the Catholic Church’s sacraments. When we think about Mary’s promise, let us remember that the sacraments aren’t graces reserved for the dying, but for all of us. May we take advantage of those sacraments as much as possible throughout our lives whether it be going to Confession regularly or really embracing the true meaning of the Eucharist. We should rejoice that we have so many chances to have God touch our souls. May the rosary kindle our passion for receiving the sacraments.
And to think that I initially couldn’t come up with anything to say about this promise! Thank you Holy Spirit, Mary, and the saints for the guidance.
Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
What separates great athletes from good ones is their ability to overcome difficult challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds. When the game is a close nail-biter, they dig down deep and find a way to come through at key moments. Take the recent NFL playoff game of the Colts vs. Chiefs. The Chiefs had a 28 point lead at one time in the game and it seemed like the Colts season was coming to a disappointing end. The Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, was having one of his worse games in his NFL career. But the Colts rallied back fueled by Luck’s three passing touchdowns and recovering a fumble for the game winning touchdown. Luck didn’t let the terrible start overwhelm him and he was able to gather himself and mount one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.
Mary tells us that when we pray the rosary devoutly we find the ability to dig down deep and not let life’s setbacks keep us down. Like a great athlete, we will have the ability to “muscle through” even when it seems like everything around us is falling apart. Notice that Mary does not say we will never encounter misfortune. Misfortune is an inevitability whether we like it or not. She says we won’t be overwhelmed by it. Now that doesn’t mean we will turn every bad situation into a positive one. Sometimes even great athletes can’t overcome a huge deficit and win every game. But it does mean that we’ll never let life’s difficulties separate us from God’s grace. No matter what life throws at us, we will not let it break our faith. Even if we never overcome great misfortune in this life, if we truly believe in the power of the rosary we will find hope and comfort knowing that will will find peace and happiness in Heaven. Even the greatest worldly misfortunes will seem laughably trivial compared to the glory of Heaven.
Mary says in the second part of her promise that those who pray the rosary devoutly will not perish by an unprovided death. What is an unprovided death? An unprovided death means that your soul isn’t in a prepared state for God’s judgement. You have sins on your soul which you have not confessed and are not forgiven. Think of it like defaulting on a loan. Sin is like a debt and it’s a debt you want fully paid off when you die. Otherwise you will face the anger and punishment from your loan provider. In this case God.
Christ as Judge (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)
It’s important to understand a few things. An unprovided death and dying in a state of mortal sin are not the same. An unprovided death is not an automatic judgement to Hell. Remember, we cannot know the state of someone’s soul at the moment of death nor God’s infinite mercy. Even the unprepared soul can find mercy and eventually find its way into Heaven. Also, someone can have a prepared soul without necessarily going to Confession. There are plenty of cases where people die suddenly (car accident, heart attack, fatal accident) without being able to first confess to a priest. But we don’t know if in that instant before their death (the time when people say their life flashes before them) that they repent and prepare their soul for God. I bring up these caveats because it’s important to understand the many ways someone may prepare their soul outside of the standard means of receiving the Sacrament of Confession.
It’s a pretty logical conclusion that those who recite the rosary devoutly will not have an unprovided death. I already discussed in previous rosary promises that those who pray the rosary earnestly will tend not to commit as many sins in the first place. And those who truly live according to the lessons of the rosary and the teachings of the Catholic Church will be ever mindful of the state of their soul. Someone who is truly converted by the rosary will always share his heart, mind, and life with God up through the moment of his death.
Mary doesn’t promise magic nor does she give people a free pass to live however they want through the rosary. This rosary promise, like all her other promises, simply spells out the logical conclusions for those who truly embrace the rosary.
Did you promise to pray more, be better about practicing your faith, or resolve to start connecting with your spiritual side? As some of you know from previous RosaryMeds articles, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions as they are usually just promises no one actually keeps. But at the same time, I know that people do make them and if your New Year’s resolution involves improving your prayer life, I want to help.
Next week I’m going to offer the Kindle edition of my rosary guide, The Rosary for the Rest of Us, for free. For three days only (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) you will be able to download it to your tablet, Kindle reader, or computer and it won’t cost you a dime. Already have the book? This the perfect opportunity to tell your friends, family, and fellow parishioners about it so they can pick up a great praying resource at no cost.
Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
I feel this is one of the more vaguely worded rosary promises and is subject to a lot of misunderstanding. To perish means to die, typically in a sudden or untimely way. What is Mary telling us exactly? She can’t mean that those who pray the rosary will never die. If that were the case, I would see thousand-year old women walking around the mall. And Mary can’t really mean sudden or untimely either. I’m sure there are plenty of people who prayed the rosary regularly who died in a car accident or sudden illness. Even St. Pope John Paul II (I feel we’re close enough to call him a saint) died an untimely death due to Parkinson’s and he was a great promoter of the rosary. Is Mary lying to us when she promises that those who pray the rosary will not perish?
Certainly a saint could not have perished. What’s Mary talking about?
The key to the promise is understanding that Mary isn’t talking about the physical body not perishing. She means one’s eternal soul not perishing. Those who pray the rosary will not face a sudden or untimely death of their souls. But that raises another question. What does it mean to have your soul die? After all, how can something that is immortal die? It’s true that your soul never stops existing. When Mary talks about you perishing, she means that your soul spends eternity in Hell instead of in Heaven. And you decide to go to Hell (yes, you decide!) when you die in the state of mortal sin which is:
A sin of grave matter.
You have full knowledge of the gravely sinful nature of the action.
You freely choose to commit the sin in light of that full understanding.
I summarized the Catechism’s three criteria for mortal sin deliberately because there is a lot of misunderstanding of it. Many people think that committing a mortal sin is like getting caught in a spiritual speed trap via a divine traffic camera. The perception is that God surprises good people with a list of mortal sins when they die so that He can send them to Hell. But mortal sin isn’t something that just creeps up on you any more than a person can accidentally drive 120 mph on the wrong side of the road. The driver racing like a maniac is not doing it by accident unlike someone who may be driving 5 mph faster than he should. In the later case, the driver is still doing something wrong but is not committing a gravely serious infraction. On the other hand, the crazy driver understands that what he is doing is against the law and seriously reckless when he puts the pedal to the metal and takes off like a rocket. Likewise, you can’t accidentally commit a mortal sin because, by definition, you need full knowledge of the grave matter and consciously choose to commit it.
God doesn’t want to “nail you” committing a mortal sin. (Photo credit: Rob-Wei)
Does that mean you should try to learn as little about what the Catholic Church teaches so that you can commit as many grave sins as you want without them being mortal sins? Sorry, but morality doesn’t work that way. The person driving at triple-digit speeds can’t say he didn’t know he was breaking the law as he passed by and ignored many speed limit signs. Similarly, Catholics are called to attend Mass every week, receive the sacraments (most of which involve some instruction on Church teachings), and learn their faith. The Catholic Church puts down many moral “speed limit signs” to alert people of what is right and what is wrong.
Back to the driver, even in the unlikely event that there was no speed limit posting, he should know that driving that fast is incredibly unsafe. And, even in the absence of understanding a specific Church teaching, humans have a sense of the natural law of what is good and evil and are called to abide by it.
What does all this mean in the context of Mary’s rosary promise that those who pray the rosary will not perish? Those who pray the rosary will be more in tune with the natural law, develop a well-formed conscience, be more motivated to learn Catholic teachings, and be more receptive to God’s Will. Regular rosary prayer will steer someone away from mortal sin so that he will not perish in the fires of Hell. Mary isn’t giving you a clean slate through the rosary (that is what the Sacrament of Confession is for), but she is giving you a tool to avoid committing mortal sin in the first place. That is the heart of the promise. You won’t perish despite your mortal sins, but instead you won’t perish because you will have no mortal sins on your soul.
The rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
I used to play a lot of video games when I was younger. Even to this day I enjoy taking a five-minute break to play a quick arcade game. There is something called a “score multiplier” in many classic video games. What these do is increase your score the longer you do something good or difficult. For example, you may start to achieve a higher score in a racing game the longer you go without crashing. Or in the famous puzzle game Tetris you are awarded more points if you clear multiple rows at once rather than individually. Well, in life the rosary acts as our virtue and good works multiplier.
Screenshot of the official NES version of Tetris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The more you pray the rosary, the more benefits your good works will have. For starters, you will be more likely to perform more good works because you are listening to God through rosary prayer and responding to His call. Secondly, your desire to live virtuously and do good works will be genuine and more likely to rub off on others. You won’t have to force people into praying and living virtuously. Rather, others will sense some sort of internal peace or happiness in you and subconsciously want to imitate you. They might turn to rosary prayer and focus on their faith and become that catalyst for someone else. You praying the rosary and living a virtuously may start a chain of influence on others to do the same. From one person, many good works can flourish.
Mary promises that the rosary will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. We all make mistakes in life and commit sins. But not only will the rosary put you into a state where you commit fewer sins, you also receive abundant mercy for those sins you do commit. Are you off the hook completely? No. The rosary isn’t a magical “get out of jail free” prayer. But those who pray the rosary are more likely to understand the importance of divine mercy and ask God for it. And He’ll be more than happy to give it to those who ask.
The rosary is like crash insurance for your soul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I like that the rosary draws my heart away from worldly pursuits and keeps me focused on eternal things. I find it so easy to get caught up in the here and now that without regular rosary meditation I would neglect my spiritual needs. I think the rosary is similar to some sort of worldly detox treatment. We fill our hearts, minds, and souls with so much junk. It may be sin and vice (lust, drugs, greed, envy, etc.) but also benign or even good things (work, relationships, hobbies, etc.). But when we fill our hearts with all these worldly pursuits we too often leave no room for God’s grace. Mary promises that those who pray the rosary will find it easier to make room for God in their lives.
The best example I have about clearing my soul of “junk” was cutting back on TV. There were many television shows that I used to follow closely. I would be sure to tune in every week to watch Law and Order, CSI, Amazing Race, Next Iron Chef, and many others. But in a way they also weighed me down because I felt obligated to watch them out of a fear I might miss something important. But then I got busy with work, family, RosaryMeds articles, etc. and missed a few episodes. I had them recorded on my DVR but I just stopped caring about watching those missed episodes to catch up. Eventually, those shows that I watched religiously just fell off my radar and it didn’t bother me in the least.
Phasing out television reminds me of how the rosary affects our worldly wants and desires. After praying the rosary routinely, those things you thought you couldn’t live without suddenly don’t seem too important. You start to see them as the distractions they are and learn not to let the hustle and bustle of this life worry you too much. There really is nothing worldly that is so important that it needs to to be prioritized ahead of our spiritual needs. In other words, Mary promises us that rosary prayer will give perspective on what’s really important. It’s not wanting things you can buy on Black Friday, but the eternal happiness of Heaven.
Don’t be a zombie! Free yourself through the rosary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now that we are in Advent, take some time to pray the rosary every day. I think we need to have faith in this rosary promise especially because Christmas is a time where we need to have perspective, virtue, and good works. The 2nd reading from the first Sunday of Advent ties in well to this promise. If you forgot it or didn’t pay attention to it, read it below and think about how the rosary will help you rise above “works of darkness” and “desires of the flesh” and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.