Rosary: a powerful weapon against Satan and a chance of salvation

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Rosary: a powerful weapon against Satan and a chance of salvation

The Rosary is a weapon. And it is a big chance of salvation. Satan, terrified, cursed it, when asked by exorcists what he was most afraid of. It has been the most important prayer in lives of many saints and the blessed. Probably also because it is an exceptionally difficult prayer.

„Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world” – Blessed Pius IX said one day. This way the helmsman of the Catholic Church expressed the power of this prayer. After all it is not any abstract power but a totally real one. On many levels. It was probably the Rosary that rescued that Franciscan monastery in Hiroshima from destruction after its bombardment. The powerful bomb, which wreaked havoc in the city in 1945, turned out to be weak confronted with Our Lady’s intercession. On the other hand, one of the shepherd children to whom Our Lady of Fatima appeared, was saved precisely thanks to the Rosary. Mary, asked by Francisco if he would go to heaven, answered: “You must say many rosaries”. He obeyed the Queen of the world and moved the beads with his fingers regularly.


The Rosary is a weapon!
Modern enthusiasts of an embellished – and not true – picture of the Catholic faith might be outraged when the Rosary is called a weapon. They would gladly accept this prayer as an interesting spiritual experience. Of course it is that as well, but there is no doubt that the Rosary is not only a shield but also a mighty weapon against the evil spirit. It’s hard to doubt it if Satan himself solemnly assured that it was true.

Examples? While exorcisms were being performed on a German girl, Anneliese Michel, Satan, asked by the priest what he was most afraid of, barely managed to squeeze out his answer: “the Rosary since it is a mighty weapon against Satan and all the demons.” But that was not the only confession the devil made forced by a priest to answer his questions in the name of God. According to priests fighting with personified evil, Satan explicitly says that the Rosary burns him, crushes him. While performing one of his exorcisms a priest put a rosary on the person exorcized and he heard a terrifying scream: “take it away, take it away, don’t you see it’s crushing me? My intestines are coming out!”

Thousands of similar testimonies can be found and each of them proves that the Rosary is the mightiest weapon against the forces of evil. All the more it can’t surprise that this prayer is a serious spiritual challenge for each believer. Oftentimes it leads to fatigue and discouragement. The enemy is powerful but a much more powerful ally is on the side of the faithful.


Complete prayer

The Rosary is a mature prayer and in this sense simply complete as it is based on worshiping God through the intercession of Mary while meditating profoundly on the Life of Christ. It’s a big challenge. For the essence of the Rosary is meditation leading to the unity with God. Anchorites – monks living as ascetics in seclusion – made their invaluable contribution to the development of this prayer. Prayer filled their whole day which doesn’t mean that they avoided work. But any task they undertook was combined with a sacrifice offered to God. The greater effort they made the more fervently they prayed.

No wonder that nowadays we experience a problem with contemplative prayer. “Attacked” by thousands of stimuli, preoccupied with everyday duties and problems, we very quickly lose an ability of calming ourselves down, focusing on one matter for a longer time. We often compulsively take our telephones to check the news or Facebook instead of stopping and looking at our lives with reserve.
But the Rosary might have been a problem many centuries ago, too. Therefore it was often taught how to pray it the best way possible, not to lose the essence of it. St. Francis de Sales recommended a method of praying the Rosary which many of us could learn from our grandparents and parents. “Kiss the cross of your chaplet after having signed yourself therewith, and place yourself in the presence of God, saying the Creed. On the first large bead, beg God to accept the service you wish to render Him, and to assist you by His grace to accomplish it worthily. On the first three small beads, implore the intercession of the Sacred Virgin, saluting her on the first as the most cherished daughter of God the Father; on the second, as Mother of God the Son, and on the third, as beloved Spouse of God the Holy Ghost. At each decade think of one of the mysteries of the Rosary according to your leisure... If any other sentiment should animate you… meditate thereon throughout the chaplet as well as you can, … or any other that God may inspire.”

It’s worth explaining that in the days of St. Francis meditating on particular mysteries was not the canon of the Rosary, such meditation was much more arbitrary, although of course it was supposed to focus on the work of Salvation. St. Francis also recommended we return to the first beads at the end – but this is a habit of prayer forgotten today.

St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort also ardently talked and wrote about the Rosary. This French clergyman was even a fanatic of the Rosary. He argued for its unusual power, insisted on praying for the conversion of heretics with each decade. It was particularly important in the times of St. Louis in which the Church – not infected by “political correctness” – really fought for the souls of Protestants.
For the author of “True Devotion to Mary” the Rosary was a way “of establishing the kingdom of God”. He wrote about uniting “vocal and mental prayer by saying the holy Rosary and meditating on its fifteen mysteries”. Therefore it is worth practicing: concentration and unity of thoughts with the words we say. This is another piece of advice how to recite the Rosary. An image presenting Christ or the Mother of God can help to concentrate successfully – this is how Catholics have controlled their feverish thoughts for centuries.

In a more recent past a pious priest, Father Dolindo Ruotolo, was said not only to be a great promoter of the Rosary, but he was also perfectly aware of how extremely difficult this prayer was. He spent lots of hours on it, after all he almost never parted with his rosary. To arouse the devotion of the Rosary he recommended certain spiritual exercises. Of course Father Dolindo emphasized the importance of meditating on the life of Our Lord Jesus, but he also recommended an act of entrustment to Jesus after finishing it and expressing veneration of Our Lady – not only by prayer, but also by virtue. In addition to it he encouraged to – if even one “decade” of the Rosary was a problem for us – to say one “Hail Mary” first, then the next day – two, and then gradually another ones. This is a method to get gradually immersed in the depths of this Marian prayer.


Meditation aid

Time and time again the Rosary will seem difficult to us and what’s more the aversion to it felt by demons will make us often feel like resigning from our planned prayer. There might be multiple reasons for that – including such as tiredness and lack of concentration. An example of saints shows that there is no simpler way to salvation than just the Rosary. And in case of distractions not only spiritual exercises may be helpful but also numerous meditations written by great people of the Church, such as Father Dolindo mentioned above, or recently deceased Father Gabriele Amorth.
There is no point in delaying. Begin right now. “In the name of the Father…”

Krzysztof Gędłek
Translation: jjf


DATA: 2017-12-21 10:27
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