Champions of the Rosary

Did you know that the second part of the Hail Mary wasn’t introduced until the 14th century?  Did you know that one of the most popular Rosary shrines was created by a former satanist who converted?  Did you know that an image of Mary handing the Rosary to Saint Dominic miraculously appeared in a cave in Colombia in 1754?  Did you know that in 1964, 2 million people gathered to pray the Rosary in Brazil?

How do I know all these little facts?  Simple.  I just finished reading Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon by Donald H. Calloway, MIC.  I discovered it after stumbling across an excerpt of it on Catholic Exchange.  I’m always on the lookout for books about the Rosary as they fuel my passion for both praying it and writing about it.  Bottom line, there is something of value in this book for everyone whether you’re a devoted follower of the Rosary or a skeptic.

Buy the book now on Amazon

The books itself is divided into three parts.  The first and largest part is the history of the Rosary.  Each chapter takes you through a century and highlights the places, people, and events that shaped the Rosary.  It can be a rather dense history lesson at times but stick with it because there are many gems to be found.

The second part takes you through the “Champions of the Rosary.”  Each chapter highlights someone’s biography, Marian connection, Rosary connection, and quotations about the Rosary.  While not as dense as the first part, again there are great pearls of wisdom and stories of dedication.  Just thumbing through a few of the quotations in Rosary Gems sections can provide a little motivation for praying the Rosary if you find yourself tired or not in the mood.

The last part of the book explores the technical details of praying the Rosary.  And while useful, the descriptions and meditations are rather shallow.  This is not a book of meditation ideas.  There are other books that provide much better Rosary meditation ideas (like these!).

I was captivated by the history and evolution of the Rosary explained in this book.  I cannot believe just how passionately people have prayed and endorsed this prayer.  The Rosary is so valuable that people have laid down their lives for it rather than give it up.  The miracles associated with it are amazing — battles won, regions transformed, and people converted.  It makes any of my excuses for not finding 20 minutes in a day to pray it seem so petty and selfish.  If you’re looking for motivation to pray the Rosary, whether it be getting started or just a boost of energy, please read this book.

While I’ve been praying the Rosary regularly for years, I do have a new appreciation for it thanks to this book.  I’m now trying to pray it more reverently — quietly, slowly, and kneeling when I can.  I’m really trying to appreciate just how special the Rosary is.  For example, the other day I was almost gitty over the idea of how proud and happy my Mother Mary must have felt that I was praying Her Rosary.  Knowing that our prayers are important to Her is something I’ve always known intellectually, but only recently have felt it on a deeper level.

I always knew that praying the Rosary is good for you.  But I was more like a child eating his vegetables because someone told me I should.  But Champions of the Rosary explains why the Rosary is such an important prayer and why everyone must make a habit of praying it.  It will help you internalize and understand its power.  Give it a read.  Hopefully, it will transform the way you approach the Rosary as it did for me.

Book Review: Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible

Have you ever said to yourself that one day you would read the entire Bible?  And yet, the Bible never seems to make it to the top of your reading list.  After all, you have so many other books, magazines, blogs, websites, and newspapers to get through like RosaryMeds (hint, hint).  So who has time to read the Bible?  Well, now you have no excuses to avoid going through at least part of it.  You can listen to the Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible which covers the entire RSV-CE New Testament.

I listened to this audio Bible driving home from work over the course of three months.  Unlike hearing small, isolated passages during Mass on Sundays, I really got the “full picture” hearing the New Testament for a longer period of time and in order.  I definitely noticed the differences in tone and meaning between the various Gospel writers as well as the various letters.  And unlike the slow, monotone pace the readings are often read during Mass, the passages in the Truth and Life Audio Bible are acted out and accompanied with music and sound effects which really makes the New Testament come alive.

The only shortcoming of an audio Bible compared to a written one is that there are no footnotes or commentary to go along with it.  It’s not very convenient to stop the audio and look up the meaning of phrases, places, and people.  Perhaps listening to the audio Bible while following along with a study Bible would be the best way to approach this if you are really interested in gaining a deeper understanding.  But even if you do not understand every detail, listening to the Bible in full is a good way of absorbing the overall themes of the New Testament.

The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible is about 22 hours long.  You will finish it in less than a month if you listen an hour a day.  Is that a little too optimistic?  How about listening for 30 minutes each day?  Even if you took some days off between readings you would still complete it in about two or three months.  You could make it part of family time where you all sit around the iPod and listen to the Bible (like a modern-day radio program).  Listen to it while going on walk or jog.  Listen to it during your normal prayer time to shake up your routine a little bit.  Listen to it on your commute to work like I did (prayed the rosary while going, listened to the Bible coming back home).  Regardless of how you listen to it, you will be able to check the New Testament off your reading list in now time.

Buy the Truth and Life Audio Bible now on Amazon.

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