In today’s meditation, I would like to talk about the Holy Rosary, since the month of October is often called the “month of the Rosary”.
The Holy Rosary, also called the “psalter of the Virgin Mary”, is one of the best known and most beloved prayers in the Catholic Church. In various apparitions, Our Lady asks us to pray it, and there are extraordinary testimonies of its efficacy.
It is a very simple and meditative prayer, which can be recited in the family, in a community or even alone… One of the objectives of the Holy Rosary is that the mysteries of our salvation become deeply rooted in our hearts. One asks the Mother of the Lord that, in the course of the Hail Marys, she may walk with us through the stations of salvation.
The frequent repetition of the angelic salutation brings the great event that took place in Nazareth to our memory again and again, and brings the hour of our salvation up to date, insofar as God enables us to appreciate the choice of Mary, to whom she, on behalf of us all, gave that unsurpassable response of love: “You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.” (Lk 1:38).
With this prayer, then, we are introduced into the love story between God and the Virgin Mary, so that we too may adhere more and more to the Divine Will. Indeed, this is the great goal for us human beings: to live in full conformity with God’s holy Will.
We can also say that the “great prayer” of the Holy Rosary is a school of humility, for if we pray it with Our Lady, we will also adopt the attitude that is proper to her, of being lovingly at the Lord’s disposal, so that He may lead her in His ways. This makes the prayer of the Rosary great, for, as St. Augustine teaches us, we become great when we hold fast to Him who is great; but small when we hold fast to ourselves. Great is God; and Our Lady, in her humility, praises this greatness and God’s work in her: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord”. And further on: “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; his name is holy” (Lk 1:46,49).
The Rosary, being a school of humility, also displays its great efficacy against the powers of Evil, for it is they who exalt themselves in their pride. And since pride closes the heart to God, while humility opens it to His action, the Rosary becomes a special weapon against evil spirits. This is also related to the fact that this prayer unites us particularly to Our Lady, who, in her most intimate union with God, becomes unbearable for the fallen angels. If Mary is “unbearable” for the powers of darkness, it is because she belongs to God, because of her love for God, because of her deep humility…. That is why they flee from the presence of the Queen of Angels, just as they will flee when we pray the Holy Rosary in union with her.
From whatever aspect we look at it, it is worth not neglecting the Holy Rosary, even if in religious communities we are used to praying the great biblical psalter in the framework of the Liturgy of the Hours. This prayer will not only unite us with Our Lady, but also with all the countless faithful who daily say the Hail Mary in unison with the Archangel Gabriel, thus praising the greatness of God and, at the same time, the election of the Virgin Mary.