mardi, octobre 06, 2009

Sermon for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

If only we knew the gifts of God! They are so marvelous, so beautiful and so powerful, and yet we do not value them as we should, because we are men of little faith. Among all the gifts of God, there is one that is a priceless treasure as Saint Louis de Montfort says. It is the rosary that Almighty God has given to you because he wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics. He has attached to it grace in this life and glory in the next. The saints have said it faithfully and the Popes have endorsed it.
Blessed Alain de la Roche tells us the story of the origin of the Holy Rosary : Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.
At this point our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said, "Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"
"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do, because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."
Then our Lady replied, "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district, he made straight for the cathedral. At once unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together, and Saint Dominic began to preach.
At the very beginning of his sermon, an appalling storm broke out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid. Even greater was their fear when, looking at a picture of our Lady exposed in a prominent place, they saw her raise her arms to heaven three times to call down God's vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the holy Mother of God.
God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the holy Rosary and to make it more widely known.
At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits.
In 1917, Our Lady asked the children of Fatima to say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war. How powerful is this prayer when it is offered with the right intention and a good disposition of heart! It has defeated the Muslims at the battle of Lepanto on October 7th 1571. It can defeat many more enemies today if we say it well. Pope Leo XIII, who wrote eleven encyclical letters on the rosary, says that the three sets of mysteries, joyful, sorrowful and glorious correspond to three evils that are commonly spread among men: distaste for the sanctification of daily duty of state, aversion for suffering and oblivion of the future joy of the eternity. (Explain how the rosary can make us overcome these evils)
You see, we can conquer the world with the rosary – there is no doubt about that. But how can we conquer the world for Christ if we even did not conquer ourselves first? Many Christians want to reform the world, the societies, the national and international organizations that bring a culture of death as Pope John Paul II often said. Blessed are them for this. But many forgot that they are to reform themselves first. A militant Catholicism would never success without a spirit of sacrifice and renouncement and a true spirit of prayer. It is precisely what the daily meditation of the rosary can give.
Those who have followed the spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius know what it is about. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a valiant Spaniard Knight wanted to conquer the world to Christ. The purpose of his exercises, inspired by Our Lady, is the conquest of self and the regulation of one’s life. The call for a temporal King comes only after the exercitants have reformed themselves.
We have to pray the rosary with the right intention and a good disposition of heart. The angel of Portugal told the children of Fatima: Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High... In every way you can offer sacrifice to God in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners... Above all, accept and endure with submission the sufferings which the Lord will send you. Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by sinful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.
Right intention and good disposition: importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, daily communion, spirit of sacrifice and of reparation (First Fridays and Saturdays) : Devotion to the Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady are united and supposes each other.
Our Lady: Here you see hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart... Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners. So many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them.
The daily prayer of the Rosary is a sacrifice. Let us offer it with generosity.

7 commentaires:

Seth DeMoor a dit…

Great to see Catholic dialogue online. I am starting a new blog on the faith that you may enjoy from out here in Colorado. Check it out if you like. Blessings to you
Seth J. DeMoor
PS - Any suggestions as to how I could spread the news about my new blog, you have so many visitors on your blog, it is impressive!!!

Anonyme a dit…

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Anonyme a dit…

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Anonyme a dit…

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