“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.
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.
- The Rosary and Family Prayer (stmparents.wordpress.com)
- Praying the rosary… (contemporaryreflections.wordpress.com)
- Bath Time! – Mary’s Rosary Promise #9 (rosarymeds.com)
- My Rosary, My Salvation (newevangelizers.com)
- Level Up! – Mary’s Rosary Promise #4 (rosarymeds.com)
- Behind Every Great Man… (thepassionists.org)