Editor’s Note: Today, we welcome Cassandra Poppe to our CatholicMom.com family of contributors. Cassandra will join us each week on Monday to share her writing. She is the founder/creative director of Intercessories Family Ministry, dedicated to bringing the joys of living in the domestic church to Catholic families everywhere. Please join me in welcoming Cassandra to CatholicMom.com! Lisa
“Pray the Rosary daily!” How many times have we heard that suggestion? Yet how many of us actually do it? I have been a Catholic my entire life, but only began praying the rosary about five years ago. And during those five years I have gone through a few dry spells, struggling to comply with Our Lady’s wishes, wanting to do just about anything else but pray her prayer. I knew its benefits, yet many times I chose to not do what was best for me. Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. In fact, I’ll bet almost everyone has gone through this at least once. And I have proof.
A common prayer to say before praying the rosary begins like this: “Queen of the Holy Rosary, you have deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three shepherd children the treasures of grace hidden in the rosary. Inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption which are recalled in it, we may be enriched with its fruits…” As you read this prayer, one gets the sense that they are about to do some work. Why else would we have to ask her to inspire our hearts to love the rosary? We naturally avoid that which seems uncomfortable or difficult, and in our busy days, taking 20 minutes to say 150 Hail Marys may seem like a waste of time. But it is not.
Would you blame a gold miner for slaving away in a gold mine if he were guaranteed to strike it rich? Would you scoff at a pearl diver who dives hours each day for oysters full of pearls? Of course not! In fact, some of us might wonder how we can get in on the work in order to gain some of the treasures for ourselves. Our Lady promises that there are many treasures hidden in the rosary, but perhaps that is the problem. “Hidden” implies that we would have to seek them out. Mine for the treasures, so to speak. And that may seem like too much work for a treasure we may not be able to immediately identify or benefit from in this world. So we set the rosary aside and hope that other, shorter prayers will suffice.
As if treasures weren’t enough, what about the fruits we ask for in this prayer? What does it mean to be enriched with the fruits of the rosary? St. Louis de Montfort answers this one for us. Aside from the 15 promises Our Lady gave to us if we pray the rosary, St. Louis, in his book The Secret of the Rosary, offers us 50 reasons and reflections on the benefits of the rosary. He shows us that there are indeed many fruits to feast on, if only we pray. What are these fruits? They are the very virtues and graces we so desperately need to help us to get to Heaven.
For the next few months we will explore these very fruits that Our Lady and St. Louis promise are hidden within the rosary. We will visit Our Lord and Our Lady as we recount each of the mysteries and pull out the gems of virtue they have placed there for us to find. Each mystery has a different treasure within it and we will find ways of nurturing these virtues and graces in our every day lives.
Twenty minutes. That is all it takes out of your day to grow in holiness and amass great wealth for yourself. Through this method, St. Louis not only derived the many graces hidden within the rosary’s mysteries and grew in heroic virtue, but he was able to bring these treasures with him when he went to his heavenly reward. It does not matter whether you have been praying the rosary your entire life, or if you have never even prayed a Hail Mary. Young and old, beginners or experts, we all can take advantage of the way this Saint prayed the rosary.
Will you join us on this heavenly treasure hunt? All you need is a rosary, a willing heart and St. Louis and Our Lady as your guides.
Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Louis de Montfort, pray for us!
Copyright 2010 Cassandra Poppe