The power of the humble rosary beads

October 1, 1993

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

October, month of the Holy Rosary. There is no problem on earth, Sister Lucy of Fatima has said, that cannot be resolved by devout prayer of the Holy Rosary, and many other Saints have said the same thing. How can the humble beads have such power?

Simply, because God chooses to give them such power. The Lord God could attach eternal salvation to any practice He might choose to impose, for instance walking on our hands for an hour every day, so that if then we were to walk on our hands for an hour every day, we would save our souls, simply because God had said so.

Instead, ever since His Mother taught the Rosary to St. Dominic in the Middle Ages, God has constantly through His Church and through His Mother taught the reciting of the Holy Rosary as the great means of prayer for everybody, and so as the universal means of salvation. That being the case, it is difficult to see how someone could faithfully pray the Rosary and still lose his soul.

Why the Lord God should have chosen to attach so great a power to such little means - a fistful of beads - is not difficult to see. The beads turn around the central Mysteries of our Catholic Faith; they are perfectly adapted to human nature; they are humble.

Objectively, the fifteen Mysteries on which the Rosary has us meditate contain all the great truths necessary for salvation, from the life of Jesus framed within the life of Mary. St. Dominic had been racking his brains to find a way of rooting the Albigensian heresy, the Communism of its time, out of the hearts and minds of people across South-West France; the Rosary was the heaven-sent way of replanting in their hearts and minds the truths of salvation. How can the mind dwell regularly for fifteen or twenty minutes around the Incarnation, or the Passion, or the Resurrection, or all three, not as abstract arguments but as vivid concrete scenes, without soaking in the Faith? No wonder hardly a Saint since St. Dominic has not recited or recommended the Rosary.

Subjectively, the Rosary is marvelously adapted to human nature. What are the strategic points in the human frame at which a human being most lives and moves? Surely his mind which thinks, his tongue which talks, his hands which handle. The Rosary occupies all three. The meditation on the Mysteries occupies the mind, the telling of the prayers occupies the tongue, and the counting of the beads occupies the hands. So if the mind strays off the Mystery — nothing more human! — the tongue can take over with the telling of the great prayers of the Pater, Ave and Gloria; and if the mind takes the tongue wool — gathering with it, then sooner or later the beads filing through the fingers bring back the Mysteries centre-stage. No mind can stray indefinitely when tongue and fingers are also harnessed, and if the feet be counted as a fourth mobile point of distraction, then it suffices to pray the Rosary walking up and down.

Lastly, the Rosary is humble. It requires no ability even to read, it requires a minimal effort of the memory to recall the Mysteries and the Christian's basic prayers, yet could the loftiest or most learned of souls ever exhaust those Mysteries or these prayers? Everything of the Rosary is so within the reach of the humblest of souls that proud spirits are tempted to despise it. Woe to them if they do! God gives His grace to the humble, He resists the proud (James IV, 6). To souls praying the Rosary like little children admiring the Christmas-time crib, He gives His grace; upon the modernists who cast out His Rosary and trample on its devotees, He turns His back. If pride is the great obstacle to Heaven, the humble Rosary, as simple as it is profound, is one great remover of that obstacle.

Of course the objection is made that continually praying the Hail Mary is repetitious. Catholics reply by asking what mother ever objected to the child in her arms endlessly repeating "Mama". Our Lord warns us that unless we become like little children (child-like, not childish!), we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. XVIII, 3). Blessed the souls, especially the families, which obey Heaven and obey the Mother of God by praying the Rosary! There is nothing in the wide world today so purely positive, so easily accessible and so absolutely necessary as the praying of the Holy Rosary. Happy the families which store up grace and protection by praying the Rosary now before the bombs start falling, because it will be a little late then!

For bombs will fall. Unless enough families pray the Rosary and the Holy Father solemnly consecrates Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, surely the Russian military are simply waiting in the wings for the flow of money from the West to stop, before they push everyone else aside and turn Russia into the scourge of the godless West which Our Lady of Fatima warned us it risked becoming. In the United States God has given us advance warning with earthquakes in the West, with extraordinary storms in the East and now this summer with floods in the Mid-West, these latter corresponding it seems to some of the highest per capita abortion rates in the country, yet, anyone with any sense of God is aware, "we ain't seen nothin' yet".

It is because we have not seen anything yet, in comparison with the storm coming, that Catholics and any other souls of good will must be taught the full truth as to where the trouble is coming from - liberalism, so embedded in our way of life as to have become a religionless religion.

Religionless, because liberalism professes the absence of any dogma or creed. Nevertheless a religion, because whole nations can base their political life as nations upon it, practising separation of Church and State but union of liberalism and state. So if a Catholic priest attacks liberalism, he is readily accused of mixing religion and politics - but it is not a question of politics at all; or of being unpatriotic — but it is not a question of patriotism at all.

Read the enclosed testimonial of an encounter with liberalism written a few months ago not by a foreign-born cleric arguing his preconceived theories, but by a home-born housewife describing her recent experiences. She believed in the modem system, she abode by its rules, she played the game and extracted from it all she could, but sheer hard facts drove her as a Catholic reluctantly to the conclusion that the famous and beloved system is systematically anti-Catholic. It all comes back to the words of Our Lord, "He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth" (Mt. XII, 30). Dear friends, the time is far past for playing games, or for anything other than whole-hearted gathering with Christ — my thoughts and deeds be Catholic or be nothing worth.

Not one word of the testimonial has been altered. The writer would gladly release her name, as she "dislikes anonymous letters", but it is principles, not personalities at stake, so we will only give out her name or address in private. Please, let nobody accuse her of giving up the good fight, or of being unpatriotic. She is now a full-time mother, home-rearing with the Rosary the children God has sent her, which is the greatest thing she can do for God or country. Had there only been more like her, her country could have been saved from liberals and so from the bombs.

From homes like hers should come the whole-hearted Catholics of tomorrow, whole-hearted because whole-minded, who may be scorned for being unpatriotic but who will be the backbone of the Catholic Church and so of their country. Include in your family Rosaries through October the seminarians at Winona, that they become such whole-minded Catholic priests each with an unadulterated love of his own country. They are praying for you each evening at Rosary and Benediction.

Sincerely yours in Our Lady of the Rosary,