Mary’s Rosary Promise #11

You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

Mary‘s 11th rosary promise is one of my favorites probably because it is so easily misunderstood (thus providing me with lots to write about). What does Mary mean when she says you will obtain all that you ask through the rosary? I’m sure many of us have prayed for a financial windfall. But how many of us have won the lottery? I’m sure we’ve prayed for good health for ourselves or a loved one. And yet we still get sick. It seems like we ask a lot from Mary through rosary meditation and yet so few of us seem to have our specific requests fulfilled. If Mary doesn’t keep this promise how can we trust her to keep the other 14 rosary promises?

Mary Magdalene, in a dramatic 19th-century pop...
Unlike my last 10 requests, this one is REALLY, REALLY important.

I think the best way to jump into this promise is to retell a homily I heard many years ago. The priest emphasized how we tend to fixate on one specific answer to our prayers and we overlook how God actually answers them. The priest told a story of a man travelling home on foot after a long journey and had to cross a mountain range. Already tired and hungry, he prayed for God to level the mountain so that he could make it home safely and quickly. After waiting a few hours and seeing that God did not level the mountain, the man grumbled, carved a walking stick from a nearby tree branch, and started on his way.  After a rather uneventful trip, he made it over the mountains and back home.

The man was enraged because he thought God did not answer his prayer.  What the man failed to realize was that God provided a tree branch for the walking stick, good weather, and safe passage through the mountain range.  And ultimately, the man did make it over the mountains and back home safely which is why he prayed in the first place.  The man was so fixated on his one specific request that he did not notice two things.  First, he did not realize that he already had the ability to make it over the mountains without God performing a miracle.  Second, he didn’t see all the little things God provided to supplement his abilities.

I think many of us approach prayers and intentions like the man crossing over the mountains.  We ask God for help and wait for a very specific, often miraculous, response.  The response we want is usually an easy answer.  We get sick so we want God to cure us.  We have financial problems, we ask God for a windfall.  We have relationship issues, we ask God to set the other person straight.  We have problems at work, we ask God to make those problem disappear.  But asking God to “bail us out” shortchanges the abilities He already gave us.  God often does help us, not by making our problems go away, but by making us realize he already infused us with the strength, intellect, and abilities to overcome life’s challenges.

Man's face screaming/shouting. Stubbly wearing...
God, why won’t you answer me!!?

Mary’s promise reminds me of how the rosary is a lot like an amplified echo chamber.  You make your intentions through rosary prayer and Mary reminds you that God already gave you the strength to overcome whatever challenges you face.  But the rosary helps magnify Mary’s response so that you can hear it, internalize it, and put into action those gifts God has given you.  You ask for wellness and Mary reminds you that God gave you the strength to endure the sickness and use your physical weakness as an opportunity to offer up a sacrifice to God in reparation for your sins.  You ask for a fix to your financial problems, but Mary reminds you through rosary meditation that money doesn’t make you a better person nor gets you into Heaven.

Mary does hear and answer our prayers and acts as our mediatrix to God.  But we have to be open to the fact that the answer to our prayers isn’t always what we expect.  The rosary helps us not only hear God’s response but more importantly it helps us accept it even when it isn’t what we want to hear.

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Touchdown! — Mary’s Rosary Promise #6

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.

Touchdown
Andrew Luck scores the game-winning touchdown (CBS Philadelphia)

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
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.

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Coming Soon: Free Kindle Edition of my Rosary Guide

51Jfa8esBjL._BO2204203200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-clickTopRight35-76_AA278_PIkin4BottomRight-6422_AA300_SH20_OU01_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.

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Is Pope Francis Really That Different?

I know I’m a little late to the party, but I want to comment on Pope Francis’ latest interview in American Magazine that raised a stir. It has more progressively minded Catholics giving the pope a big thumbs up while traditional Catholics are squirming in their seats. Some people think that Pope Francis is undoing decades of zealotry and adherence to dogma while others see him simply rephrasing long-held teachings of the faith. In a way, the pope’s comments are a spiritual Rorschach test. Otherwise known as an inkblot test, a subject sees pictures of generic shapes and says the first thing that comes to mind. It helps psychologists determine someone’s state of mind. Like the Rorschach test, Pope Francis’ comments almost reveal more about our perceptions of the Church than what the Church actually teaches.

the ninth blot of the Rorschach inkblot test
What Catholic Church do you see?

Pope Francis’ interview is about 12,000 words long (please read it). The mainstream media and blog outlets mostly fixated on a few statements about how the Church “cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.” And that “the church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” Just look at the headlines:

  • Huffington PostPope Francis: Gays, Abortion Too Much Of Catholic Church’s Obsession
  • New York Times — Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control
  • The Daily BeastThe Pope Confesses Church’s ‘Obsession’ With Gays, Abortion (I was amused by the use of the word “confesses”)

Taken on its own, it sounds like Pope Francis is casting off all those stuffy, cold-hearted rules that previous popes enforced to the letter. But when viewed in the context of the whole interview, you see that he’s saying that our faith and evangelization isn’t primarily about beating people over the head with rules and guidelines. The pope does not want people to blindly obey because people will never embrace the true Catholic Church that way. Instead, he wants people to know that God loves them and the Church dogma and doctrines exist to bring people closer to God’s grace. Essentially, the pope hopes that people will want to follow the Church’s guidelines out of love, not offer blind allegiance. CatholicVote.com has a good article that summarizes the pope’s interview if you want more analysis.

To their credit, many of the mainstream media articles do say that Pope Francis didn’t change Church teaching. This is the same message previous popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests have taught (or should have taught) for years. But when I read the comments in these online articles, I do get the sense that people are projecting their desires on what they would like the Church to be and not actually hearing what the pope says the Church actually is. They only see the aspects of the pope or the Catholic Church that fit their worldview and filter out anything that does not fit. For example, did you know that Pope Francis recently excommunicated a priest for promoting gay marriage and women’s ordination? You probably did not because that doesn’t fit the narrative of the compassionate pope the media portrays and is more in line with Pope Benedict‘s image as “God’s pit bull.”

Same Church, different world, different strategies, different media.

A writer for one of my favorite Catholic blogs, Creative Minority Report, demonstrated how easy it is to sway people’s perceptions of the pope depending on how his words are reported and filtered. I urge you to read this article that has quotes by the pope on the importance of women in the Church, how the Church should focus on helping the poor, how She embraces other faiths, and how humble he is. That describes Pope Francis to a tee right? But the M. Night Shyamalan twist at the end is that those quotes all come from Pope Benedict. Yeah, that supposedly detached, rule-oriented pope according to many media outlets. So this is a word of warning that you should perceive the pope or the Catholic faith with caution. Are your views based on your own conscience or on the narrative someone is trying to push?

What RosaryMeds Do I Need?

I think we all need a healthy dose of the Fifth Glorious Mystery — Mary’s Coronation as Queen of Heaven. In the interview, Pope Francis said, “Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity.” We should pray for help and guidance from Mary, Queen of Heaven. Remember, media outlets and blogs are in the business of selling products and advertisements and making profits. Mary is in the business of saving souls and making sure that as many people as possible will one day live in the peace of happiness of Heaven. When it comes to matters of faith, perhaps we should put down the New York Times, turn off Fox News, and pick up a rosary if we want to know the true Catholic Church.

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The Physical Benefits of Rosary Meditation

The power of the rosary never ceases to amaze me.  In my daily travels around the internet, I came across this post about the cardiovascular benefits of rosary meditation.  Any long time follower of RosaryMeds knows that I’ve touted the spiritual benefits of rosary prayer.  Increasing one’s physical health should be a nice little extra to motivate you to whip out your rosary beads and get started on those Hail Marys.

rosary

Here is a summary of the findings from Our Lady’s Promise Apostolate Blog (here’s a link to the full study for your science and medical geeks out there):

Luciano Bernardi, associate professor of internal medicine at Pavia University, recorded breathing rates in 23 healthy adults during normal talking, recitation of the rosary, yoga mantras, and six minutes of controlled breathing.

Breathing was markedly more regular during the rosary and the mantra and was slowed to about six breaths a minute. The results mean yoga enhances ‘aspects’ of heart and lung function and might be viewed as a health practice as well as a religious practice, he said.

The benefits of breathing exercises in yoga have long been reported, and mantras may have evolved as a simple device to slow respiration, improve concentration, and induce calm, Professor Bernardi says in this week’s British Medical Journal.

I’ve long said that praying the rosary is spiritual exercise.  But rosary prayer is also physical exercise.  And like any exercise, it’s important to show good form to maximize benefits.  This is what I said in my rosary prayer guide, The Rosary for the Rest of Us, about the connection between prayer and exercise:

It is important that you pray the rosary earnestly. If this is your first time praying the rosary regularly then please set aside some time so you can really concentrate. Going back to the exercise analogy, you cannot expect to get into great shape physically by working out half heartedly. You cannot do one poorly-formed pushup once a week and eat junk food and expect to be in super shape. Similarly, you need to develop good form for praying the rosary, especially in the beginning. Starting anything new and different can be a challenge initially. Think of praying the rosary as spiritual boot camp where you need to put in a lot of effort up front to give your spiritual life a jolt. But once you find your rhythm, the benefits of prayer really start to multiply. Once you are comfortable praying the rosary then it becomes much easier to integrate it throughout the day if you like.

So the benefits of rosary prayer is not just the seemingly random ramblings of this blog, but are backed up by the Church and the medical community.  If you are thinking of buying some new workout gear this year or starting a new fitness plan, perhaps you should add a rosary and my book to your shopping list.  Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.

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Christmas Bells Are Ringing

It’s that time of year again where we crawl deep into our garages and take out all the Christmas lights and decorations.  I’m always excited each year to see if the outdoor decorations I bought the year before at a discount (since I buy them after December 25th) will actually work.  This year, a lit snowman backed by candy cane lights graced our front lawn to keep our Christmas polar bear company.  Of course, the Christmas season is also about shopping.  I know that we all say Christmas shouldn’t be about gifts, but chances are you will need to buy presents for at least one person.  I’m going to tell you how you can shop for Christmas gifts online while supporting RosaryMeds and without it costing you an extra cent.

Do you know why blog websites display ads for various online retailers?  Whenever you follow a link from a blog site to an online store and purchase something, that blog site gets a little payment from that online store as a small “thank you” for referring someone’s business.  This is called affiliate marketing.  I know that term gets a lot of bad press since most people associate it with pyramid, MLM, work-at-home, and “get rich quick” schemes.  But it’s a legitimate way many blogs try to cover their costs (hosting, domain registration, site design expenses, etc.).  The great thing about affiliate links is that they require you, the customer, to do nothing differently except initially go to the website via a special link from the blog site.  You just purchase items that you were going to buy anyway, but the blog site gets a small payment.  I try my best to be selective about who I partner with and only promote sites and products that I personally like and relate to the overall themes of RosaryMeds — the Catholic faith, rosary meditation, and prayer.

For example, you might want to consider buying something from Mystic Monk Coffee.  This coffee is actually roasted by Carmelite monks in Wyoming as part of their vow of daily labour.   It’s the only coffee we brew in my house.  Sure, I could go to the market or Starbucks and pick up a bag of dark-roasted beans.  But I feel good knowing that when I buy Mystic Monk coffee I’m helping support a monastery and people who dedicate their lives to praying for others like you and me.  And when brewed correctly, it tastes great to boot.  Do you have a coffee drinker on your gift list?  Consider Mystic Monk.

Another Catholic online retailer that is near and dear to my heart is Ignatius Press.  To be honest, it is sometimes a love/hate relationship particularly when they send me their catalogue in the mail.  The frustration comes from the fact that they offer so many interesting books and videos that there aren’t enough hours in the day to read them all.  Just to name a few titles that look interesting to me — 50 Questions on the Natural Law, A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, and Modern Moral Problems.  Do you have an avid reader or movie watcher on your gift list?  Consider buying something from Ignatius Press.

Of course, in my humble opinion (wink, wink), one of the best gifts you can give yourself or others is a copy of my book, The Rosary for the Rest of Us: A Practical Guide to our Most Powerful Prayer.  I saw a huge gap in the types of rosary books available to aspiring prayer warriors.  The books are either extremely basic; giving only small paragraph descriptions of each mystery and not even much reflection.  Other rosary books are incredibly dense with a lot of scholarly analysis and history of the rosary.  That might make for good reading, but does it make for better praying?  My book focuses on helping you get the most out of actually praying the rosary, not just learning its history or the story behind each mystery.  Do you know someone who could use a little rosary prayer?  Consider The Rosary for the Rest of Us.

So there you go — three great Christmas gift ideas.  Follow the links to those online stores from this post or on from the banners on the left-hand sidebar of the RosaryMeds website as a way of showing your appreciation for either my articles or my book.  And, speaking for bloggers everywhere, if you do intend on purchasing something online this Christmas, check and see if your favourite blog has an affiliate link to the sites that have the items you want.  It’s a great way of saying “thank you” to the blogs that you enjoy visiting without requiring any extra effort or money.

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Teacher Fired from Confirmation Class for being “Too Passionate” About Her Faith

I have to share a sad story about a friend of mine who the parish pastor removed from teaching a Sacrament of Confirmation class for “being too passionate about her faith” around “impressionable” students. This is an unfortunate event but hopefully some good can come out of it if it awakens the conscience and awareness of others about the threats to the Catholic Church. Here is a letter my friend wrote explaining what happened (I removed the names at my friend’s request):

Last night I was “let go” from teaching Confirmation to High School students at [name of school] because I am accused of “being too passionate about my faith” and the students are “too impressionable”.

I am a very good faithful Catholic Catechist that teaches only the Truth from Scripture and the CCC.

I believe in helping the students to develop “well formed consciences”, so I speak about the “intrinsic evils” in our current dark culture. Abortion, euthanasia, cloning, destruction of stem cells for embryonic research, the eroding and re-definition of traditional marriage and the assault on our religious freedom. But most of all the disappearance of “God” in our world. The DRE says that I’m only to teach Confirmation (LOL).

Last Wednesday the day after the election I spoke to the students about voting as Catholics when first and shared the above with them. A question came from a student asking “does this mean if you voted for Obama that you are not Catholic?” I said that voting for a platform that supports intrinsic evil like that means you are not a “faithful Catholic”.

I had a meeting with the pastor this morning, he is supports the DREs viewpoint. He voted for Obama and doesn’t believe that in doing so you are not a “faithful Catholic”. I told him he was wrong and that the majority of U.S. Bishops and our Pope thinks so too. He said he didn’t care what the Bishops say–which means this Priest is outside the magisterium of the Church–which is not new news to any of us. The majority of current leadership of our Church have succumb too.

It’s terrible enough that those who are not Catholic would attack us–but to be attacked from within is very depressing. I believe that God is allowing all of this to happen to me and to the world for a greater good and I trust in Him. I will fight this and all those like this within the Church and in the public square.

First, we should look at what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches about the Sacrament of Confirmation. The introduction in the CCC says (italics mine):

For by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is a calling to spread and defend the faith. Defend it from what? What are the threats to the Catholic faith? I think my friend nailed it in her letter when she identified these threats as “the ‘intrinsic evils’ in our current dark culture. Abortion, euthanasia, cloning, destruction of stem cells for embryonic research, the eroding and re-definition of traditional marriage and the assault on our religious freedom. But most of all the disappearance of God in our world.” In order to defend against evil, you must be able to identify it. All my friend did was introduce these evils through the lens of the Church. We cannot act so naïve as to think that these young adults will never encounter these challenges to the faith. So shouldn’t we prepare them using the best tools available to us like the CCC?

The paster’s actions also seem to fly in the face of this year’s theme for the Catholic Church, the year of faith, and the call for the New Evangelization. This is a call from the highest levels of the Catholic Church for the faithful to become better catechized and make an effort to grow deeper in their faith. And yet, at the local level, when someone tries to do just, she gets kicked out of her role.  The world will catechize these impressionable teenagers one way or another. Would you prefer the future generation of the Catholic Church to be catechized by popular culture, the media, and our politicians or by those who truly love their faith and want to see the Church thrive in the grace and love that Jesus intended?

By avoiding teaching these difficult issues, local parishes present a watered down version of Catholicism. Teenagers are impressionable, but they can also be very astute. They detect when someone isn’t giving them straight answers or presents Church teachings using clichés and platitudes. Church teachings no longer become the product of centuries of thought by some of the most brilliant theologians the world has ever known, but instead are reduced to the equivalent of flowery song lyrics. And like a song in a large playlist, teenagers will just file away their perception of Church doctrine as just one idea of many and head towards what they feel is more exciting, interesting, and important. When local parishes keep this status quo, I’m not surprised that regular Mass attendance is down to 23% among US Catholics. Teenagers crave substance and yet many parishes are afraid to give it to them.

What Does the Rosary Teach Us?

My friend’s situation reminds me of the Third Luminous Mystery of the rosary — Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of the Heaven and the Call to Conversion. Remember the response Jesus received when He announced that He was the fulfilment of scripture. Did the people rejoice and listen intently to Jesus’ teachings? Nope. They chased Him out-of-town and later crucified Him. Similarly, St. Paul caused riots and was almost assassinated trying to spreads Jesus’ teachings in the Acts of the Apostles (you should definitely listen to it). And so we find ourselves in a similar situation today. There are many people out there who truly love Jesus and His Church and want to proclaim authentic Catholic teachings. But they are chased out, like Jesus, because those teachings upset the status quo and force people to evaluate their priorities and values in life. Conversion is difficult and takes effort especially when it forces us to leave the comfort of the status quo or admit that we are on a wrong path. But in the Third Luminous Mystery, Jesus asks us all to a life of continuous conversion and to always try to move ever closer to Him.

When we pray this mystery we should keep in our intentions those people who cling to their beliefs even when they run counter to the Church’s teachings. May the Holy Spirit open their hearts to the true conversion to which Jesus calls them. And we should pray for all of those who want to teach the Catholic faith but are persecuted and chased out. Like St. Simeon in the Fourth Joyful Mystery, may they stay steadfast in their convictions even when it seems pointless.

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Two Years of RosaryMeds

Birthday Cake Cupcake
Image by clevercupcakes via Flickr

I found this article about the benefits of Catholic radio very inspirational.  It discusses a survey taken by listeners of Immaculate Heart Radio with these results:

According to the survey, 581 respondents said the radio channel helped them teach their children the truths of the faith. Additionally, 265 said Immaculate Heart Radio helped them return to the Catholic faith while 58 said the radio network helped them convert from another religion and 28 said they were helped to convert from agnosticism or atheism. Just over 100 respondents said the radio network helped them save their marriage, 23 said they were helped when contemplating suicide, and seven were helped to “choose life for my baby.”

This was not the most scientific survey since it sounds like the sample group was probably mostly made up of people from their main listening audience.  However, I find it amazing that this radio station saved at least 100 marriages and 30 lives.  And that is just from people who responded to the survey.  Who knows how many others were helped?  The saving of even just one life validates the importance and the impact of Catholic radio.  This means there are at least 30 people who are alive today who might not have been if it wasn’t for Immaculate Heart Radio, EWTN, and other outlets spreading the Catholic faith.

The accomplishment of Catholic radio fills me with a little hope as RosaryMeds turned two years old this week.  Granted, I don’t have the resources or collective wisdom of EWTN.  I probably haven’t transformed lives as dramatically as Immaculate Heart Radio.  But hopefully I inspired someone to pray the rosary who otherwise wouldn’t have.  Hopefully, I injected a small little pearl of wisdom in a posting that made someone feel better or helped them achieve a deeper state of prayer.  If you have found this website interesting or inspirational, please leave a comment or a suggestion.

I’m super excited about RosaryMeds’ third year.  I have some great ideas in mind that I hope will come to fruition in 2011.  And a big thank you to the  1,905 new visitors and the 423 returning visitors from 77 countries speaking 34 languages who visited in 2010!

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Knowing Your Facts

Read this article, “Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should!).” There is some pretty interesting (although heated at times) debate in the article’s comments. This article reminds me of something I said in a previous article on Lent that to succeed in our endeavours (sports, business, personal faith, etc.) you need to understand the rules of the game. Enjoy!

Holy Mass
Image via Wikipedia

I read this story on Catholic Exchange and then heard an interview on ETWN radio by the author, Gary Zimak.  Gary was a “Mass once a week only” Catholic before he had some medical difficulties.  That was a turning point in his life where he decided to learn more about the Catholic faith and educate others.  He’s not a priest and does not hold a theology degree.  He is just someone who got really excited about learning and teaching the faith.  Wanting to explore my faith and share it with others was one of the main reasons why I started rosaryMeds.  So Gary’s story really hit home.  Maybe one of these days EWTN will interview me about rosaryMeds!

Read his article, “Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should!).”  Also, there is some pretty interesting (although heated at times) debate in the article’s comments.  This article reminds me of something I said in a previous article on Lent that to succeed in our endeavours (sports, business, personal faith, etc.) you need to understand the rules of the game.  Enjoy!

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Come Pray the Rosary

Almost a year ago a visitor left a comment mentioning the website “Come Pray the Rosary” (thanks Jack!). This website is a perpetual, online Rosary prayer session with others around the world. The prayer is set to video of various holy places and works of religious art. You can also leave prayer intentions if you like. You can pray alone and start at the beginning of a mystery instead of joining a mystery already in progress. I know that sometimes we all need a little “kick” to start praying and that is what this site offers. It may sound silly, but sometimes a voice set to a little video is the catalyst I need to get in that praying mood. Guided rosary prayer also helps us focus our minds since they have a tendency to wonder when we pray silently by ourselves (or at least I suffer from this at times).

Mary Magdalene, after a painting by Ary Scheff...
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Welcome to Holy Week!  I hope you have had a productive Lenten season as you prepare for the glorious redemption of Christ our King.  Personally, I prepared well during Lent in certain areas (my Lenten sacrifice, attending Stations of the Cross, etc.) and have not quite lived up in other areas (reading the Bible, fasting, etc.).  But, like in other parts of life (and iterated many times in the Gospels) it is not how you start, but how you end that counts.  So I hope to make this a very productive Holy Week.  In that spirit, I want to introduce you to a little gem of a website called “Come Pray the Rosary.”

A year ago a visitor left a comment mentioning the website “Come Pray the Rosary” (thanks Jack!).  This website is a perpetual, online Rosary prayer session with others around the world.  The prayer is set to video of various holy places and works of religious art.  You can also leave prayer intentions if you like.  You can pray alone and start at the beginning of a mystery instead of joining a mystery already in progress.  I know that sometimes we all need a little “kick” to start praying and that is what this site offers.  It may sound silly, but sometimes all it takes is a voice set to a little video to be a catalyst to get into that praying mood.  Guided rosary prayer also helps us focus our minds since we have a tendency to wonder when we pray silently by ourselves (or at least I suffer from this at times).

So you will now see a new link on the left-hand side of my website which will open “Come Pray the Rosary” in a new browser window.  Give it a try if you are looking for new ways of rosary meditation and prayer.

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