I definitely go through seasons of being very devoted to the rosary and some seasons where it slides into the background of my life and I sort of forget about it. The more I read about the rosary, the more I seek to keep it as part of my daily routine. For that reason, I knew I wanted to read The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warefare by Johnette Benkovic to find more reasons to keep it in my prayer arsenal!
I also have been feeling the growing darkness in the world lately so it made sense to start thinking of the rosary more as a weapon. Goodness knows we are in a battle and we need more weapons, especially ones we can use in the living room while we go about living our lives in our domestic churches. I like that the book addresses this idea right at the beginning.
“Today we face unprecedented challenges on every front. The evils of “this present darkness” weigh heavy against us.”
There are several different sections of this book that I enjoyed. Because the book features so many different types of information, it really is good for many different audiences. If you are new to Catholicism or the rosary, reading about the many miracles the rosary has brought about or the many different Marian apparitions that have occurred around the world will be fascinating!
I particularly enjoyed the chapter on angels and on St. Joseph! There were many things I learned about angels and I feel like I have a much deeper appreciation for St. Joseph now. Both of these chapters surprised me! I do like being humbled as I come to find out there is so much more about a topic that I can still learn.
There are many fantastic quotes in this book from famous Catholics as well as stories of how the rosary has impacted their life in a personal way. One of my favorite quotes was from JPII:
In his 1988 Apostolic Exhortation on the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, Pope John Paul II speaks with particular urgency about the need to repair the society of man. He reminds the faithful of their duty, sacred trust, and fundamental call to holiness. He tells us that because “a new state of affairs” exists within the Church as well as within “social, economic, political, and cultural life,” the action of the lay faithful is absolutely urgent. Lack of commitment is unacceptable, he tells us: “It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle” (Christifidelis Laici, 3)
Do not think that this book on spiritual warfare is male-centered! There is a fantastic section of the book on Valiant Women. One of my favorite aspects of Catholicism is how often women are used to do great deeds for the faith. The stories of women who with devout devotions to the rosary accomplish some amazing things. This is definitely a section I think young women should read!
If you’ve read any of my book reviews, you know that I’m a big fan of practical advice. Don’t just dazzle me with stories, give me a plan to walk away with! The last third of the book does exactly this. There is an eight-step plan on how to start a Warrior’s Rosary Crusade in your parish, community, or out of your home.
If you’re feeling helpless about the struggles of our country or even the struggles in your own life, I believe gathering together and praying the rosary will be a satisfying way to work on those problems. So often we feel helpless but this tangible act of faith helps us to feel like we’re actually doing something about the problems we face.
Lastly, the book covers strategies to more effectively pray the rosary includes ways to overcome our three most common excuses for NOT praying the rosary: time constraints, distractions, and repetition. It’s important that we address these things head on because they are real obstacles for most of us. Let us not pretend we are nuns with hours of time devoted to prayer. Getting the rosary worked into our daily routine will take work and a conscious plan to not let the devil get in our way with worldly distractions!
The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare is not a fun or sensational book. It probably isn’t the best beach read for the summer. I would suggest it more as a Lenten or Advent book. I also like that the book is broken up into such compartmentalized sections that you could pick it up, read about Valiant Women and then put it down for a while. It’s nice to find a book you can keep around and dip into when you feel inspired!
I did learn a lot from it and it definitely strengthened my resolve to pray my rosary more and my passion for the power that this practice holds! Let us not give in to excuses. Let us pick up our rosaries and battle the evil in the world. It’s time that Catholics band together in this way!
If you’re looking to purchase a rosary, might I recommend the ones from Meadows of Grace on Etsy! They are simply lovely! I plan on getting one for my birthday this year. She does absolutely wonderful work! I check her store often because she often adds a new one and then it gets snatched up pretty quickly!
Copyright 2017 Sterling Jaquith
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