The Rosary Response to the Extreme Abortion Position

It’s a Mad, Mad World

There are many concerning events transpiring in the United States right now. I subscribe to CatholicVote’s The Loop email newsletter and the headlines I read just seem to get crazier by the day. The best satire and comedy writers can no longer compete with the unbelievable things people do in the name of fairness, equality, and freedom.

What has really blown out of control are issues related to abortion after Roe vs. Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court. There is growing violence against Catholics and pro-life organizations. And this isn’t just vandalism or random attacks from confused individuals — it’s coming from various levels of government. Most recently, a prominent pro-life leader’s home was raided by the FBI and he was arrested at gunpoint. His alleged crime? He pushed someone while protecting his son in front of an abortion clinic. It should concern everyone that no one at the highest levels of government thought these actions went too far.

Christian Persecution on the Rise

CatholicVote tracks the number of churches attacked since 2020. There have been 218 attacks since May 2020 with 80 of them coming in the last four months since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision was leaked.

Few people have been arrested in relation to these attacks and the police, FBI, and government officials are ignoring calls to seriously investigate and condemn these attacks mostly perpetrated by a group called “Jane’s Revenge.” As a thought experiment, do you think the government would have such a lax response if 200 mosques were attacked? What about 200 Planned Parenthood offices? I bet it would be the #1 story on the cable news networks if this were something other than Christan or pro-life buildings being attacked.

Law Enforcement as a Political Tool

It’s a dangerous precedent when governments don’t equally enforce laws. A vandalized or fire-bombed church should get the same level of investigation as any other building. When groups don’t get equal protection under the law, the law becomes arbitrary and turns into a political tool. The government is implicitly signaling, “if you don’t fall in line with our policies, maybe the law won’t be there to help you when you need it.” Some of the ugliest points in history occurred in societies where the law was applied differently to different groups.

As we get into elections, there are many abortion-related bills in many states. In a way, this is good and was one of the main points of reversing Roe vs. Wade. There should never have been a one-size-fits-all federal law governing abortion but it should be something figured out at the state level by the citizens. The pro-life movement had a victory at the federal level, but now we have to take the fight at the state level. We have states like California that want to push abortion access to extremes. Join in this Rosary novena to stop CA’s Proposition 1. Even if you don’t live in CA or the United States, a life is a life and needs protection. God will hear you even if you don’t vote in California.

They Know Not What They Do

Now, any website can post articles complaining about the sad state of affairs. But RosaryMeds is not any website. Let’s take a look through the lens of the Rosary. I can’t help but think of the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery when I read news of people creating such ugliness and chaos because they don’t like or understand someone’s beliefs. Jesus was crucified because those in power felt threatened by his teachings. And those in power today feel threatened when they no longer control an issue like abortion at the highest levels of government.

On the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). When I read about these vandals and domestic terrorists attacking pro-life organizations or politicians pushing extreme abortion laws, I try to understand that they don’t truly understand what they are doing. They are so caught up in the “us vs. them” tribalism that they fail to understand the pro-life position or the states’ rights ruling of the Supreme Court. Jesus prayed for those crucifying him. Jesus calls us to pray for the conversion of those who show so much hate. When we call upon God to help us, there is no soul he can’t touch.

I Finished Reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church

One of my goals this year was to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Like a New Year’s resolution, this has been a goal of mine quite a few times. I would start reading the CCC, but then eventually move on to something else. However, after completing Bible in a Year in 2021, I had a fresh resolve to make it through the CCC. In terms of page count, the Catechism is much shorter than the Bible. But it is packed with theological nutrients for the soul.

This was sitting on my self for decades

What the CCC is and is Not

I always thought the Catechism was a rulebook of dry “do this, not that” stanzas. I believed this because whenever I heard someone quote the CCC, it was mostly with the intent of correcting someone’s views of the Catholic Church. And while it certainly lays out various rules, it does so in the context of Church history, teachings, and the Bible. It’s a “do this, not that BECAUSE…” And the “because” is the important part.

The CCC breaks down into a few main sections.

  1. The Creed
  2. The Sacraments
  3. The 10 Commandments
  4. Prayer

Densely-Packed Spiritual Nutrients

Each one of these sections is like a strand of DNA — they are densely packed with information about the nature of God and our relationship with him. One strand of human DNA contains 3 billion base pairs in a 6-micron space. If you were to uncoil all your DNA in all your cells, it would stretch across the diameter of the solar system twice (link)!

The same principle goes with the Catechism. It takes words we profess like “I believe”, “one, holy, catholic, apostolic”, “Our Father”, “Hail Mary”, and “Though shalt not…” and uncoils their meanings over hundreds, if not thousands, of words. And while someone like me cannot recall the details of any single section of the CCC, it does provide the soul satisfying theological nutrients when regularly consumed.

Fuel for the Soul

The Catechism provides a fuller context for other spiritual practices such as Rosary prayer or the Liturgy of the Hours. The goal of my RosaryMeds website and books are to provide context and inspiration for the Holy Rosary. The CCC provides a greater context for the entire Catholic faith. I’m disappointed I didn’t discover the beauty and value of the Catechism until recently. But better late than never!

Here’s a little historical fact on the Catechism. The book that we reference today is relatively young. Saint John Paul II introduced it in 1992. I always thought the Catechism was something that dated back to the early Church. And while the teachings do, the book itself does not. There have been catechisms throughout the Church’s history, but they’ve been regional; written for specific audiences, and with emphasis on different topics. I think my next goal will be to read some of these older catechisms like the Baltimore Catechism. I hope I can build on my momentum of reading the Bible and the CCC and continue reading Catholic literature regularly.

Our Mother Mary’s Great Reasons to Pray the Rosary

I came across these articles providing suggestions on how to make the Rosary experience better for families, particularly those with young children. There are some interesting ideas in these articles that I hope you find useful to bring your family closer to Jesus through his mother, Mary. But all the “tips” in the world won’t matter if we don’t show a burning desire for praying the Rosary and practicing our faith. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then our example is worth a thousand pictures.

Leading Future Generations to the Rosary

My target audience for RosaryMeds is adults. So I take a more academic approach to draw people into Rosary prayer. There are still many adults who have not felt the joy through earnestly praying the Rosary. If we are to foster a love of the Rosary in children, adults need to love it first. I think of it like the oxygen mask protocol on airplanes — adults need to put on their masks first before assisting children. Likewise, adults need to embrace the Rosary first if they desire their children to embrace it.

Children learn so much from their parents’ example. Take Mass for example. Even if a child attends a Catholic school and learns about the importance of Mass in religion class, they probably won’t attend if their parents don’t go to Mass. First, there are logistical limitations such as transportation. But more importantly, kids follow their parents’ example, especially their father’s. If we don’t show a burning desire for our faith, we can’t expect the future generation to embrace it either.

I created RosaryMeds and wrote various books to show adults the beauty and power of the Rosary. I hope that these will inspire people to pray the Rosary and pass down that practice to the next generation. If you know anything about exponents in mathematics, a small change can produce dramatic results. If one person draws two people to the Rosary, and those two each draw in two more, and that pattern repeats itself, then in 20 “levels” (2^20) 1,048,576 people will be praying the Rosary. That’s a huge chain effect!

Mary’s Reasons for Rosary Prayer

I could try to come up with many reasons to pray the Rosary. But they will pale in comparison to our Mother Mary’s reasons. She provided us 15 promises to those who pray the Rosary. The Rosary provides benefits both in this life and helps us find eternal happiness in Heaven. Learning about these promises should motivate everyone to not only pray the Rosary but share its joys with others. Here is a taste of the benefits of Rosary prayer:

  • To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
  • The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
  • I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
  • All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

Whether it’s through RosaryMeds articles, “Top Ten” lists, or Mary’s promises, we all need to pray the Rosary. The stakes are too high and the benefits too great not to pray it. I’m not saying that we’re entering some sort of “End Times” era and need to convert (although it feels like that sometimes). I don’t need to. Everyone, at every age, needs to treat all our time in this life praying, practicing, and converting. We all have a finite lifespan. So why not take up a practice that will serve you well in this life, and more importantly, in your eternal life?

Shia LaBeouf’s Inspiring Testimony on Catholicism

I usually yawn and move on when I hear of a Hollywood celebrity discovering Catholicism. That sentiment doubled when I heard that celebrity is Shia LaBeouf, probably best known for his role in The Transformers movie franchise. However, he gave an insightful interview with Bishop Robert Barron about his encounter with Catholicism while preparing and filming a movie about Saint Padre Pio. Even if you’re not a big fan of LaBeouf, it’s worth listening to. Just imagine Bishop Barron interviewing a recent convert’s observations about the Catholic faith.

Padre Pio’s Influence

I have to give this disclaimer, LaBeouf never actually confirms whether he is converting to Catholicism. It sounds like he is, but at the same time, it’s hard to know what that means. Are we hearing LaBeouf the person or LaBeouf the actor? I hope he won’t be someone who approaches Catholicism as something that has some interesting, therapeutic aspects to it but then promotes ideas that conflict with the Church’s teachings like president Joe Biden or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

I’m going to give Shia LaBeouf the benefit of the doubt and just take his words at face value. His description of his experience living with friars, learning about St. Pio, praying the Rosary, and attending the Traditional Latin Mass are inspiring. If you are a long-time cradle Catholic, you can often forget just how great and powerful our faith is.

Shia Labeouf was at a low point in his life and career when this opportunity to play Padre Pio came to him. Labeouf is known for embracing his roles in his post-Transformers career. In Fury, he enlisted in the National Guard, removed a tooth, and lived like someone on a WWII tank crew while filming the movie. For the Padre Pio movie, he lived with Capuchin friars and learned about Catholicism. However, all that preparation for the film deeply affected LaBeouf. Unlike other movies where he returned to normalcy after filming, this experience changed what normal is for him.

Seizing Opportunity

It took living with friars, visiting Italy, and filming a movie about one of the great mystics of our time to change Labeouf’s heart. Not all of us have that opportunity. Or do we? You would be amazed at the transformative power of reading books from the Ignatius Press catalog, attending Mass regularly, praying the Rosary, and getting involved in parish or archdiocesan events. We have so many opportunities to better know God through our Catholic faith that we often don’t take advantage of. We cheer when we hear conversion stories like Labeouf’s. But we also have the ability to write our own conversion story too.

The next step in your faith journey may be one book away

Pray and meditate on the Third Luminous Mystery — Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven and His Call to Conversion. He calls us to a life of conversion; changing our worldly ways into his spiritual ones. We don’t need to hit rock bottom in our lives and have a miraculous intervention to convert. We have opportunities to convert every day. That may mean increasing the amount of time we pray, letting go of certain sins or unhealthy habits, and making an effort to better learn and embrace the Catholic faith. If you feel detached or apathetic to your faith, ask Mary while meditating on the 3rd Luminous Mystery to help inspire and guide you in your personal conversion journey.

Yes, The Rosary is The Weapon

Christian Confusion

There was an opinion piece by Daniel Panneton in The Atlantic trying to associate the Rosary with Christian extremism. I’m not linking to the article because I would rather not give it a higher search engine ranking. But many Catholic publications have mentioned it. I think it’s important to learn what many people visualize when they think of practicing Catholics. We need to be aware so we can defend ourselves and also pray for those who hate the Church.

Atlantic Article Blasts the Holy Rosary as ‘An Extremist Symbol’

As far as Catholic hit pieces go, this one was poorly written. It reads like Mr. Panneton did an internet search for “guns” and “rosary” and wrote down what he saw in 5 minutes of reading. He saw words like “weapon”, “breach”, and “legionaries” and took them literally. I bet he thought he stumbled upon a goldmine of information about the dirty secrets of Catholicism and couldn’t wait to share them with his readers. Unfortunately for him, the Rosary’s military roots are not only well known but celebrated.

Celebrating Victory

The Feast of the Rosary is October 7 which is the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. Catch that? We honor the Rosary on the day of a military victory. Not only that, but many saints and our Holy Mother referred to the Rosary in military terms.

  • “The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” – Saint Josemaria Escriva
  • “The Rosary is the Weapon.” – Saint Padre Pio
  • “The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell” – Mother Mary in one of her promises to those who pray the Rosary.

Hiding in Plain Sight

To think that we aren’t fighting a war against Satan shows just how well of an adversary Satan is. It’s been said that the Devil’s greatest weapon is making people believe he doesn’t exist. Those who pray the Rosary know that Satan exists and there are evil forces at work in our world. They are utilizing everything they can muster to protect themselves and others. And while people don’t like to think about wars, violence, and evil, they aren’t things we can just wish away.

I carry my Swiss Guard rosary, a concealed carry rosary license, read Into the Breach produced by The Knights of Columbus, and try to faithfully live according to the Church’s teachings. I don’t think that makes me an extremist, but our society and culture have become so twisted and confused that anything the least bit normal will appear fringe.

I actually carry both of these items

Going back to last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus said, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!… Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” It sounds like Jesus was ramping up his disciples for battle. However, the way Jesus wants us to fight this battle isn’t with physical weaponry. He wants us to use a much more effective weapon — prayer and faith in Him. The Church, from its very start, knew it was going to have to fight for people’s souls. That’s not extremism, that’s just Christianity.

The Rosary Is Not Jewelry

That being said, I will give this Atlantic piece some credit. Mr. Panneton talks about people glamorizing the Rosary by literally associating it with weapons by taking pictures of rosaries wrapped around guns. And while there is probably an extremely small group of people who do this, I think we all know someone in a much larger group who have rosaries hanging on their car’s rear-view window who never pray it. What these groups have in common is that they are placing too much value on the physical rosary and not enough on Rosary prayer.

The rosary isn’t a magic talisman that we wear or carry to ward off evil. Nor is it a chant that when said just right protects us from evil. The power of the rosary isn’t in the beads or words, but in what it enables. It helps us form a powerful bond with God who protects us from evil. Mary gave us the Rosary so we may better know her son, Jesus, and come to love him and his Church. If you have a rosary somewhere, make sure you’re actually praying it. Don’t miss this great opportunity to form a relationship with God and relegate the Rosary to a decoration.

Praying for your Persecutors

I’m going to leave you with some thoughts on the Second Sorrowful Mystery — Jesus’ Scourging at the Pillar. I always pray this mystery for those who hate the Catholic faith and try to lead others into hating us too. I also pray for the misguided and confused, like our lost brother, Daniel Panneton. I think of the soldiers who brutally whipped Jesus to the point of almost killing him. They were just following orders or didn’t really understand who they were torturing. When I read articles like the one in The Atlantic, I become mad but also sad because I see someone who needs Jesus. Mr. Panneton and his base need our prayers for the Holy Spirit’s intercession and their conversion.

The Scourging at the Pillar, by Belmiro de Almeida

And in a case of unintended consequences, the sale of “military” rosaries increased since The Atlantic ran that op-ed. I guess not every Catholic has an ammo box full of rosaries like Mr. Panneton assumed and we could always use more.

Thou Shalt Love

Can We Change the World?

We too often believe that our Catholic faith changing the world is something that cannot happen today. We look at the apostles baptizing people by the thousands after Jesus’ Ascension and think that such a large conversion isn’t possible anymore. Or we look at the early Christian martyrs, like those portrayed in Quo Vadis, who helped convert the Roman Empire, and think that those days are over.

We do have more recent examples of the Catholic faith conquering evil, repressive regimes. My family just finished watching Thou Shalt Love on EWTN (for free) which is the story of Cardinal Stephen Wsyzynski of Poland. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union conducted an assault on the Catholic Church in Poland trying to break it. The idea was that breaking the Church would break the people and usher in Communism throughout the country. Cardinal Wsyzynski, and later Pope John Paul II, lead the country in a non-violent show of faith that the soviets couldn’t break despite the arrests, the beatings, and the propaganda.

Watching Thou Shalt Love reminded me of the David vs. Goliath matchup which was the Polish people vs. the Soviet Union. The USSR had all the political, educational, and military power in Poland. And yet, they were defeated by processions, Masses, and prayers. People showed up by the thousands to honor Mary and her son, Jesus Christ. And, it was the hand of God who protected the people so that those who came to celebrate their faith didn’t end up arrested, shot, or sent to labor camps on a wide scale. It shows that when people put their faith in God as the Polish people did, we can bring down hallow political movements regardless of their worldly power.

Communism’s True Colors

It’s also important for people to see what is truly behind the face of socialism. It disguises itself behind ideas of equity, fairness, and reasonableness. It almost sounds Christian — let’s all share what we have in one big pool. But one of its core tenants is the destruction of organized religion. This is because Communism cannot compete with ideas that do not confess the state as the ultimate authority. Communism tries to establish the government as the makers of truth or morality and hence needs to destroy peoples’ faith in a higher truth not established by political apparatchiks, but by God.

The Rosary and Christian Witness

The history of Poland reminds me of the Third Luminous Mystery of the Rosary. The fruit of this mystery is Christian witness and conversion. The Polish people showed us the power of publicly witnessing our faith. It had the power to not only protect their country but ultimately help bring down the USSR (watch Nine Days that Changed the World to see the connections). Like the apostles and early Christian church, they showed the power of God if you just put your faith in Him.

We have a similar challenge today as Poland had during the latter half of the 20th century. In fact, our challenge is much more insidious. When your country is taken over by an outside force, many people find the motivation to fight back. But what if the threat comes from within? I’m going to say that’s what’s happening today. We still have attacks on the Catholic Church, particularly over issues like abortion, family, marriage, and gender ideology. But we don’t have priests being arrested and churches closed.

Soft Attacks Hit Hard

Today’s political powers learned that you shouldn’t display a show of force because that will mobilize the opposition. Instead of churches being closed, we had a global pandemic and live-streamed Masses leading to tepid attendance. Instead of arresting priests, we now just don’t have many men choosing that vocation. There are countless avenues of entertainment to keep people distracted. And acts of violence against Christians are covered up or treated as a rare, outlying situation. These soft attacks are doing more harm to the Catholic Church because people don’t even realize they are under attack.

These soft attacks make Rosary prayer all the more important. We need to pray that we remain strong Christian witnesses to our faith. I think part of that witness and conversion is making people realize that we are a Church under attack. Because when people feel comfortable, we aren’t strong Christian witnesses. It’s when there is hardship that we tend to fight back. And while I don’t wish misery on anyone, it’s an effective means of trusting in God and calling on Him to help us both societally and personally.

Where Are You Going?

As Christians, particularly Catholics, we tend to fall for the recency bias; thinking that current circumstances are greater than similar situations in the past. This is only natural since these events directly affect us while events in the past affected someone else. Naturally, we’ll place greater emphasis on the events we live through. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the past.

I recently read Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. The book was first published in 1895 and helped earn Henryk a Nobel Prize in literature in 1905. It’s not every day that I read a Nobel Prize-worthy book. Quo Vadis is historical fiction that takes place in the ancient Roman empire under the reign of Nero. It takes you through the journey of a Roman soldier’s encounter with this strange new sect, Christianity, and their peculiar leaders — St. Peter and St. Paul. It concludes with Nero’s burning of Rome and execution of the Christians.

Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero by Henryk Sienkiewicz – Free Ebook (gutenberg.org)

I see many parallels between how the Romans viewed Christians with how modern-day society does. Both wildly misunderstand Christianity. The Romans believed all sorts of false rumors about Christians such as believing they were poisoning the water supply, killing babies in ritual sacrifices, and starting the great fire (it was actually Nero’s doing). When Nero finally martyred them by feeding them to lions, crucifying them, or burning them alive, the Roman people couldn’t believe how calm and at peace the Christians were when facing their deaths. When the Romans actually saw Christians exercising their faith, it shattered their misconceptions. The Christians’ conviction in Jesus Christ and his Gospel is what changed opinions and eventually the empire.

As the abortion debate continues today, we see many misconceptions and lies told about Catholics. The popular line is that we’re all about suppressing women’s rights, we hate anyone living non-Catholic lives, and we want to dictate what people do in the privacy of their homes. The solution to addressing these misconceptions is the same as what Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote about in Quo Vadis — showing the world our faith in Jesus Christ.

I think part of the reason why there are misconceptions about the pro-life position and Catholicism, in general, is that we’re hiding. In Quo Vadis, the Romans’ hearts and minds didn’t change when the Christians remained hidden. When Nero arrested the Christians and publicly executed them, people witnessed the power of the Christian faith. They didn’t choose when or how they would show their faith. But when the time came, they asked themselves “Quo Vadis?” or “where are you going?” They chose to go wherever God led them.

How about us? Are we going where God leads us? With the recent Supreme Court decisions (and not just the overturning of Roe vs. Wade), the world is calling us out. Like Nero, they may think they are leading us to our demise by insulting us, destroying property, and passing laws that undermine pro-life values. We’ve been asking for this for 50 years and now it’s our time to respond as Christians. We win when the world sees the beauty and happiness that comes from publicly following God.

Where do we start? How about returning to Mass? Now is the time to return if you’ve been away from the Mass for a long time or are still watching it remotely. Unlike the working world where many jobs can be done from home, you can’t live the Catholic faith entirely at home. We need the Mass. We need the sacraments. We need to make efforts to live our faith. And we need to act publicly. How can we expect to change the hearts and minds of those who stand against us if we haven’t let God change our hearts and minds first?

The Harmful Effects of Not Attending Mass

The Dam Has Cracks

I think many people are feeling the ill effects of not attending Mass or attending virtually. Some of my friends, who I used to see all the time at Sunday Mass, have stopped going regularly. And while they may not think they feel any different by not attending Mass, I see changes in their personalities and general happiness. This may be due to other circumstances, but not having the Mass as the spiritual anchor makes dealing with life’s challenges all the more difficult.

Skipping weekly Mass is like a leak in a dam holding back water. As you skip Mass, more “cracks” tend to develop because the overall integrity of the dam is compromised. None of those cracks may be huge and individually, they don’t threaten the dam’s overall stability. But when combined, all those small cracks threaten the dam’s overall integrity causing it to fall apart.

The dam in this parable is our faith. On the dry side is our soul. The water being held back is all the influences in this world. It’s a mixture of sins and emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, joy, doubt, and calmness. Our faith acts as a barrier protecting ourselves from the torrent of sin and emotion. But as those leaks start to form, those sins and emotions start to manifest themselves more in our lives. If there are too many leaks causing the dam (our faith) to fail, those “waters” of sin and emotion will completely flood and destroy our lives.

No Joy, Only Anxiety

From my personal experience, I’m starting to see spiritual “cracks” in some people. I notice a greater sense of anxiety and unhappiness in those who stopped attending Mass regularly. They tend to complain about everything in their lives. Every inconvenience is a crisis requiring someone to blame and be punished. They have replaced joy with anxiety.

We’re also seeing this general anxiety play out over the internet. Something happens locally in one part of the world, and the next thing you know, the Twitterverse is in an uproar. There are millions of people whose lives are affected by what’s on social media or the 24-hour news cycle. Without the Mass, they’re losing the ability to counter-balance the craziness of the world.

Many of us couldn’t go to Mass during the Covid lockdowns or we attended virtually. Most of us didn’t have a choice. But that was a crack in our faith that needed immediate patching. And thank God, many of us did fix that crack. As soon as the churches opened, we were right back in those pews. But there are a significant number of people that developed more spiritual “cracks” by not returning to the Church. The tragedy is that they may not see how their absence from the sacraments and the Catholic community contributes to their fears and anxieties.

We have challenges in front of us to bring people back to their spiritual home and the greater Catholic family. We have to compete with endless entertainment options, less free time from school and work, and government and media hostile to religion and our values.

Related: Is Discipleship More Challenging Today? Five Modern Hurdles to Ministry | Desiring God

Related: What’s the role of religion as social trust unravels in American public life? — GetReligion

Loving our Neighbor with the Rosary

What do we do now? I suggest starting with meditating on the Second Joyful Mystery, The Visitation. This mystery’s fruit is loving our neighbor. Mary went out and helped her cousin Elizabeth despite being pregnant herself. We too should help our brothers and sisters in Christ who have fallen away from the Church recently. We need to pray because we need Mary’s help in approaching this delicate topic. We can’t just get into peoples’ faces and start quoting the Catechism. Prayer will help us know what route to take. It may mean working with your parish pastor or finding the right words in a conversation. Prayer also will allow the Holy Spirit to work within people’s souls.

Time-boxed Rosary Prayer

I changed my morning routine recently so I can make progress on my next book (there’s nothing like it out there; you’re going to love it). Instead of waking up early to pray the Rosary, I work on writing. I pray the Rosary throughout the day as time allows.

The challenge with praying whenever inspiration strikes me is that I don’t always have my beads with me or they aren’t convenient to pull out of my pocket such as when I’m driving or working around the house. I sometimes try to just keep the count in my head or use my fingers. But it’s amazing how quickly I can lose count when I’m multitasking. Losing my spot counting to ten may seem silly, but it happens quite often.

My solution to my elementary school counting problem is simple — pray the Rosary based on time, not count. I look at my watch or a clock, note the time, and pray a decade for 5 minutes. It’s not a hard 5, more like around 5 minutes. I may pray a few more Hail Marys or maybe a few less. But I probably average out to 10 Hail Marys. Realistically, at 5 minutes per decade I’m probably praying more than if I counted.

The beauty of this method is that I don’t get into prayer acceleration. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I’m counting anything, whether it be Rosary beads or exercise reps, I tend to accelerate as I get closer to the end. It’s almost instinctual to want to cross that metaphorical finish line quickly when it’s in sight. With the time-based Rosary method, I removed that urge to speed up. I pray at a constant pace; no shortcuts.

The other great aspect of the timed Rosary prayer method is that it frees me to just meditate while praying. Again, I can’t explain it, but not counting beads makes the experience feel less like checking something off my TODO list and more like quality time with God. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

The Abortion Battle Will Grow More Fierce

Anxious in Victory

As happy as I am over the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, it fills me with anxiety. First, the news tends to focus on liberal politicians’ outrage and quasi-terrorist groups like Jane’s Revenge. The media muffles the voices of those happy over the decision. I also have this feeling that something horrible is going to happen beyond the recent vandalism like shootings or bombings. And worse, I feel like those in power will ignore or stoke the chaos suggesting that it’s righteous indignation over an unjust decision.

Fallout from Supreme Court abortion decision: When reporters parrot partisan talking points — GetReligion

Legal Misconceptions

Beyond people’s personal safety, I’m also frustrated over the misconceptions, if not outright lies, that people have over this ruling and issue. Legally, this ruling puts abortion legislation back into the hands of the state governments. This is a good thing. Many of our laws should be decided at the state and local levels instead of at the federal level. People acting crazy over this foundational principle of the United States frustrates me. It shows the lack of understanding of how the US government is designed to function.

As abortion policy returns to the states, the pro-abortion lobby will find themselves fighting on multiple fronts and with less political cover from the federal government. We may start to see greater restrictions on abortions in many states which will put pressure on the entire abortion industry. Like a cornered beast, we’re going to see the pro-abortion lobby get louder, less rational, and more extreme. I think they will counter the general lack of support for their position with outrageous claims and actions. I’m afraid of what those actions may be.

7 myths about Roe v. Wade, now that it’s been overturned | Catholic News Agency

Social Misconceptions

The other aspect of this SCOTUS decision that stresses me is the lack of understanding of why people have pro-life convictions. If you were to listen to the media and shouting heads on Twitter, you would think that the sole reason to ban abortion is to suppress women’s rights and establish a patriarchy in the USA. Why do people have such a hard time seeing that there are those who see the preciousness and value of all human life and seek to preserve it? It seems so obvious and good to me. That is why I get so unnerved when I see the vitriol directed at people who only want the best for everyone — women, men, mothers, fathers, children, the elderly, and the unborn.

This hatred will be well-publicized and encouraged by pro-abortion politicians. They will seek to label all Christians as “extremists” and, ironically, opponents to a just and civil society. I fear that Christian persecution will become more widespread and legal action against those who do harm will go unenforced. And where they’ve lost ground on abortion, we’ll see redoubled efforts in other aspects of the woke agenda to undermine Christian and other religious values.

Strength in Weakness

What frightens me is that all of this comes when the Church is in a weakened state. We’ve endured waves of scandals from the priesthood. High-ranking church officials have become indulgent in political power instead of acting as servants in Christ’s Church. And people in general are starting to believe and practice their faith less. I fear we’ve unleashed wild beasts hungry for our destruction at a point in time when we will have a harder time fighting them off.

I think about Saint Paul’s words, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10) We find comfort and inspiration that the Church has endured and thrived at times when opposing cultures believed they had defeated us. The Church has been in difficult positions countless times. But we have found strength to not only survive but to grow stronger. This isn’t a strength that comes from adopting the tactics of our persecutors. This is the strength that has come from putting our faith in God. It’s about knowing that God is Truth and embracing that Truth will ultimately set us free.

If you’re looking for comfort in the Rosary, meditate on the Second Joyful Mystery. Remember these lines from the Canticle of Mary:

He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.

No matter how much influence and power the pro-abortion lobby has, no matter how much glowing coverage they receive from the media, their efforts won’t bring forth fruits where it matters. Their position is shaky on logical, legal, and moral grounds. They can’t fight Truth and win. Let us pray for their conversion so that God doesn’t send them away empty, but rather unites us all as his children.