Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Rosary: A Genuine Path Of Contemplation

Today's post continues with the theme of October Is The Month of The Rosary and specifically focuses on the contemplative aspects of the Rosary based on the writing of Saint John Paul II's Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

With the recent passing of the new feast day for Saint John Paul II of October 22—which has been aptly selected to annually commemorate his inauguration as Pope on October 22, 1978—today's post also serves as part of my own personal tribute to a man whose life example has been a great source of hope, understanding and encouragement for my faith journey.

If you are unfamiliar with Saint John Paul II, I hope you will be encouraged by this reading to discover his life and the enormous contributions of his pontificate.

St. John Paul II at his inauguration Mass
Saint John Paul II's inauguration Mass October 22nd, 1978

Based on my own faith experience, many of my fellow Catholics seek contemplation in their prayer life. Sadly a significant amount of Catholics, in trying to fill the spiritual void in their lives, have turned to New Age practices, such as Yoga, Tai-Chi and Reiki and Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. In addition, many of today's Catholics have become secularized and simply do not know about the Rosary as one of the few contemplative prayers available from the Catholic faith. The need to discover the truth about the Rosary's contemplative aspect was noted by Saint John Paul II in Rosarium Virginis Mariae's Introduction: 
But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine “training in holiness.” Inasmuch as contemporary culture, even amid so many indications to the contrary, has witnessed the flowering of a new call for spirituality, due also to the influence of other religions, it is more urgent than ever that our Christian communities should become “genuine schools of prayer” (5)
In the Catholic tradition, the Rosary is a genuine form of contemplative prayer that is fundamentally Christocentric. Saint John Paul II noted in Rosarium Virginis Mariae that, "With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer." (1) It is through the guidance of Our Lady that we are led to Jesus in the most surest and quickest manner.

Saint John Paul II has spot lighted the importance of contemplating Christ with Mary by dedicating the entire first chapter to it entitled, Contemplating Christ With Mary. Citing the example of the transfiguration of Jesus in which the Apostles Peter, James and John were entranced by the beauty of the Redeemer and referring to it as "an icon of Christian contemplation," Saint John Paul II further expands on the gaze of the Apostles at Christ's face as the task of each one of us:
To look upon the face of Christ, to recognize its mystery amid the daily events and the sufferings of his human life, and then to grasp the divine splendour definitively revealed in the Risen Lord, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father: this is the task of every follower of Christ and therefore the task of each one of us. In contemplating Christ's face we become open to receiving the mystery of Trinitarian life, experiencing ever anew the love of the Father and delighting in the joy of the Holy Spirit. (9)
When we recite the Rosary we have Mary guiding us through the various mysteries of Christ's life. Mary's role is not only as our guide, but our incomparable model in the contemplation of Christ. Saint John Paul II noted that, "No one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary." (10)

Mary's contemplation began through the eyes of her heart, when she turned to Jesus at the Annunciation. It continued in a tenderly way during the birth of Jesus and throughout his life, always filled with wonder and would never leave him. As Saint John Paul II also noted that Mary's gaze would, "...[A]lways be a penetrating gaze, one capable of deeply understanding Jesus, even to the point of perceiving his hidden feelings and anticipating his decisions, as at Cana .(10)

St. John Paul II praying the Rosary on Elk Island, Alberta (Canada) 1984

In reciting the Rosary and contemplating on the life of Jesus, we enter into contact with the memories of Mary. As Saint John Paul II notes, Mary had, "...[H]er eyes fixed on Christ, treasuring his every word: 'She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.' " (11) Mary's memories of Christ's life prompted her to reflect upon them at her Son's side. These memories that she reflected upon uninterruptedly during her earthly life, became Her lived Rosary. (11)

In Chapter 1 Contemplating Christ With Mary, Saint John Paul II reinforces the special contemplative aspect of the Rosary by quoting from Marialis Cultus, the Apostolic Exhortation from his predecessor, Pope Paul VI:
Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ: 'In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words' (Mt 6:7). By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are disclosed. (12)
Saint John Paul II encourages the reader to pause and consider the above quote, and to recognize in the process that the Rosary is fundamentally a Christocentric contemplation.

Today's post captured but a glimpse of the spiritual treasure contained within Rosarium Virginis Mariae. Reading this document again for this month of October proved to a very beneficial read. I hope that my experience has been a shared one with many others who have done likewise.

This apostolic letter is but one of the many gifts given to the Church and the world through the life and pontificate of Saint John Paul II. If you have yet to discover this great saint in the Church, I hope that will soon change. Thank God for Saint John Paul II.

Our Lady of The Rosary, pray for us.

Friday, October 24, 2014

An Introduction To Father Slavko Barbarić's Book: In The School of Love

My copy of Fr. Slavko's book that I daily prayed and meditated upon at the Original Blue Cross.

With this month of October being the Month of the Rosary, I thought it fitting to publish today's post on a book that is a wonderful prayer companion during this dedicated month to Our Lady. This summer I had the privilege of making a pilgrimage to Medjugorje for several weeks. It was one that afforded me the opportunity to spend many hours in quiet thought and prayer, learning from Our Lady. With my pilgrimage came many gifts, one of which was Father Slavko Barbarić's book, In The School of Love.

Today's post shares this gift with all visitors to my blog. If you are currently in Medjugorje, I respectfully encourage you to seriously consider purchasing this book, available at the Franciscan book store, adjacent to the Information Center near St. James Church. If you really want to understand part of what your pilgrimage is all about, this book will provide the answer.

People go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje for many different reasons united in hope and with love for Our Lady. Whether it be for the discernment of a vocation, spiritual, emotional or physical healing, answers to life questions or the "recharging" of one's "spiritual battery," one thing is for certain, we all go there because we have been called by Our Blessed Mother who loves us, who wants to teach us how to love and in the process, invites us to enter into her "School of Love." 

Our Lady has been inviting us to become diligent students in her "School Of Love" in Medjugorje for over thirty three years. To date, over 50 million pilgrims have responded with their "yes," by making a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Our Lady is the most surest and quickest way to understand and follow Jesus. With our "yes" to her invitation, pilgrims in Medjugorje become more resolute in their effort to follow Christ with a greater fidelity.

Commemorative Bolder at Cross Mountain (Križevac) - The spot where Fr. Slavko passed away in November'2000

Father Slavko Barbarić, a legend in the Medjugorje community, was a Franciscan friar who began working with pilgrims in Medjugorje in 1982, conducting numerous spiritual exercises and provided many talks about Medjugorje all over the world. His written contributions include many articles for different publications as well as books on the spirituality of Medjugorje, translated in more than 20 languages and sold in the millions. His book, In The School Of Love, was written during the Balkan War (1991-1999) which he admittedly stated was not an easy task. Faced with "hatred in action," he sometimes found it difficult to write this book, but he persevered in prayer to move forward in the writing about love, spreading love in the process. The writing of his book was one of Fr. Slavko's many invitations to all people to open themselves without any fear to Our Lady's motherly love. 

Father Slavko's book is a spiritual treasure that any reader is sure to read several times in one's lifetime. Each chapter is approximately one and a half pages and focuses on a specific message from Our Lady given to the visionary, Marija Pavlović-Lunetti. Each chapter can easily become your day's meditative reading and is especially useful for keeping the spirit of Medjugorje alive for those pilgrims who have left Medjugorje. Here is the outline of each chapter's content: 

  • Chapter Title - Intrigues the reader to discover each chapter's content.
  • Our Lady's Message - Each chapter contains one of Our Lady's messages, upon which the reader is invited to "read and listen" to what Our Lady is saying.
  • Teaching and Meditation - Following each message Fr. Slavko provides a teaching that each reader is to meditate on.
  • Passage From Scripture - Each chapter concludes with quotes from scripture, offered as spiritual food for further reflection. Father Slavko's teaching is based on and empowered by the divine content contained within scripture. It serves to recap and confirm his teaching.

There is no time limit or any other parameter placed upon the reading of each chapter. To simply follow through Fr. Slavko's chapter structure takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Certainly it could result in much more time, as it might spawn a lengthy meditation and encourage the reader to spontaneous prayer to Our Lady. One thing is for certain, this book encourages you to "pray with the heart" and 
invites each reader to become a diligent student in Our Lady's "School Of Love": the most beautiful school.

To be consecrated to Our Lady, open and devoted to Her and to be Her student is a great gift and grace. Mary is the mother of us all and she was the first one to be nourished from the spring of Divine Love. It is with this same love that Our Lady desires to lead us, Her children to that same spring of love.

The visionaries have often quoted Our Lady, "Dear Children! If you would only know how much I love, you would weep for joy!" Reading this book united with prayer will help you begin to understand Our Lady's love for us, her children. I am certain that should you decide to read this book, that well before its completion, you will be praying daily for the gift of love!

May Our Lady help you to excel in Her School of Love.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Thoughts On Life Chain Fall 2014

Life Chain's Fall Effort: me to the left with two other pro-lifers

Today's post is a follow up on the Life Chain Fall'2014 effort that took place on October 5th between 2:00pm to 3:00pm at Highway 7 and Islington Avenue, here in Woodbridge, Ontario. I had the privilege of witnessing with a small but dedicated group of pro-lifers. It was encouraging to witness with like minded Catholics who have an acute understanding of the urgency with which we need to make the truth about abortion known, that is, the killing of a developing human being in the womb. I congratulate all those who were in attendance for making the effort to help save lives and convert nonbelievers. I also thank those who wanted to be there but for what ever reason could not attend, yet were with us in spirit. Thank you to all those who were united with us in prayer and who prayed for us as well.

As Catholic laity we are called to put faith into action. It is not enough for us to know and live our faith in our own lives, we have to share our gift of faith and make it known to others. To quote scripture, "What good is a faith that does nothing in practice. It is thoroughly lifeless." (James 2:17) Life Chain is part of our Labouring In The Vineyard For The Unborn and Nonbelievers. By doing so we evangelize in our community by publicly denouncing the evil of abortion and identifying it as a threat to the value and inviolability of human life.

If you are new to Life Chain, it is a silent public prayer effort whereby participants witness against the the evil of abortion by holding signs that typically read, "Abortion Kills Children." While doing so, we typically pray the Rosary either as an individual recitation or more commonly as a group one. Our witness doesn't necessarily yield any immediate tangible results, but we do it with faith, trust and confidence in Jesus and Mary's intercession that lives will be saved and people will be converted. 

Life Chain location at Hwy. 7 and Islington Avenue.

Helping to save lives and conversion is what Life Chain is all about. Sadly we have had abortion in Canada for forty five years. Abortion was ushered in through a political process whereby the passing of the 1969 Omnibus Bill in the House of Commons permitted hospitals to perform "therapeutic abortions." This was eventually followed by a Supreme Court decision in 1988, that struck down section 251 of the Criminal Code, effectively removing any abortion law in Canada. The court decision was the result of a constitutional challenge by the infamous Dr. Henry Morgantaler who successfully sought the removal all legal barriers to abortion. Since that challenge abortion has become available on demand with abortion facilities established across the nation. Perhaps you may have seen them in your own neighbourhood given the euphemistically deceptive name of "Women's Health Care Clinic" or something very similar.

The establishment of abortion facilities across the nation represents more than the obvious danger of the killing of developing human beings in the womb, but also of promoting a "culture of death." For the younger generations, this is especially dangerous because for many, abortion has always been an option, just another "standard medical service." Add to this a lack of Catholic faith formation that has left many vulnerable to the values and beliefs of main stream secular society. The result has been for many a rejection of Catholic teaching on the issue of abortion.

Sadly the lack of understanding and acceptance of the truth about abortion is very close to home for many Catholics, who themselves have become very secularized. You need not look far to find this. Take a survey of those Catholics who are your family, friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues at work, those who you communicate and come into contact with and ask them what is their understanding of the abortion issue. How many will provide the right answer that is available in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

One of the wonderful aspects of our Catholic faith is that it is a complete faith, one that provides the answers to our questions. Abortion is certainly no exception. From the rich history of the Catholic Church comes two key sources in addition to the Catechism of The Catholic Church that will help those who are involved in evangelization: Love and Responsibility and Theology of The Body.

Father Karol Wojtyla's (Saint Pope John Paul II) book Love and Responsibility, is a thorough read on the Catholic tradition in the sphere of life and sexual morality. It was originally published in 1960 and was the result in part of his pastoral work with young couples and individuals. The chapter topics included in this work are: The Person and The Sexual Urge, The Person and Love, The Person and Chastity, Justice Toward The Creator and Sexology and Ethics. The thrust of this book focusses on the human person to obtain a full and complete understanding of the relations between sexes. The title alone should intrigue anyone who is serious about having a truthful and loving relationship.

Saint Pope John Paul II's book, Theology of The Body is the extensive collection of catechesis that he delivered during his Wednesday general audience at St. Peter's Square between 1979 to 1984. This body of work is considered to be our late Pope’s most important catechetical project of his pontificate. Saint Pope John Paul II divided his work into two fundamental questions of “who we are?” and “how are we to live?” In short, Theology of the Body is a presentation of the truth about the body and its significance in God's divine plan for humanity. As one who has read both of these two key sources in their entirety, I can assure you that they, in conjunction with the Catechism of The Catholic Church, form a complete set of readings for Catholics to discover the truth about life, our bodies, sexual ethics and the proper relationships men and women are to have with each other. 

Pro-lifers witnessing against the evil of abortion.

In addition to what our Catholic faith says about abortion, I would also like to provide scientific evidence which proves that within the womb there is a developing human being. The proof comes in the form of a YouTube video, Dr. Bernard Nathanson's, Silent Scream. It is a ultrasound presentation of what happens when a baby is aborted. Beginning with a stable and peaceful environment within the womb, the video reveals the physical changes the baby goes through when the killing is about to begin. Changes to the baby's normal heart beat, stable positioning and other indicators are illustrated by the ultrasound imaging in this video and the monitoring devices of the babies functions. In the end, it reveals the heart breaking killing of a baby who was in great distress prior to his/her brutal death.

I thought I would end my post by explaining why I held an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, when everyone else was holding signs that are typical for Life Chain. The significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe's role in protecting lives needs to be promoted. Saint Pope John Paul II on December 12th, 1999, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, entrusted the cause of life to the loving protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially the unborn children. As a result, Our Lady of Guadalupe has received the additional title of Protectress of The Unborn. By my showing this image in public, I hope to make this better known in my community.

Holding up an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe also points to the fact that the abortion fight is a spiritual battle, one that demands we employ spiritual weapons. With Our Lady of Guadalupe as a powerful intercessor, we fight the good fight against this evil in our society.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Protectress of The Unborn, pray for us.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Medjugorje's Luminous Mysteries Mosaics

In keeping with October's theme of the Month of the Rosary, today's post seeks to not only encourage my fellow Catholics to honour Our Lady with a new or renewed Rosary Devotion, but also shares some of my personal experiences during my pilgrimage this summer in Medjugorje at the Luminous Mysteries mosaics.

I thought it fitting to share this post today, in part, as a continuation of the spirit with which Saint Pope John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries in 2002, with his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

A photo that displays the walking path at the back altar of St. James Church
The interlocking stone walking path at the back altar area of St. James Church where to
the left in this photo are the Luminous Mysteries mosaics.

Medjugorje is a place of many ideal prayer locations and the Luminous Mysteries mosaics is one such location. I can tell you from my own personal experience that praying at the Luminous Mysteries mosaics is truly a time of Divine Intimacy.

If you are currently in Medjugorje as part of a group pilgrimage and have not been informed about these mosaics in your orientation or become aware of them as part of your personal discovery, I hope that by reading this post, you will take the opportunity to pray at these mosaics during your remaining days in Medjugorje.

If you are reading this post as part of an on line research effort for your pilgrimage to Medjugorje, I hope it will help you to better understand the spiritual treasure that awaits you in Medjugorje. 

The Luminous Mysteries mosaics are located at the area adjacent to the back altar of St. James Church and flanked by the interlocking stone walking path leading to the Risen Christ statue. The top photo published with this post will give you a visual of where to find them should you be in Medjugorje.

Each mosaic is at least seven to eight feet in height and is approximately the same dimensions in width. The skill with which they were created is beyond professional and truly the result of gifted workmanship. One would be hard pressed to view these mosaics without coming to the conclusion that God sent many graces, inspiration and guidance to the artist(s) who worked in putting them together. They really are magnificent to look at and easily achieve their job of bringing pilgrims into the spirit of prayer, inviting each pilgrim to contemplate on the various individual mysteries presented in the imagery of each mosaic.

The second Luminous Mystery Mosaic in Medjugorje, the Wedding of Cana
Luminous Mystery Mosaic, the Wedding at Cana

This summer I had the privilege of staying in Medjugorje for several weeks. It was a time that afforded me the opportunity to meet many people and establish new friendships, experience wonderful sharing and connect with people from all over the world. It also allowed me to better acquaint myself with the people of Medjugorje, the culture of Herzegovina, the natural landscape, as well as to determine when would be the most optimal time to visit the various prayer locations, including the Luminous Mysteries mosaics.

I visited the Luminous Mysteries mosaics at different times of the day and night as part of my discovery and simply as a matter of obeying the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. It was an extension of what I experienced each day. Arising with thoughts of how each day would unfold, I concluded each evening with a special prayer of gratitude to God for the wonderful and spiritually beneficial days I experienced that were well beyond my expectations. Everyday in Medjugorje was amazing including my time at the Luminous Mysteries mosaics.

I had originally arrived in Medjugorje with fellow pilgrims as part of a pilgrim group. The pilgrim group's stay in Medjugorje was for one week. The pilgrimage schedule was full with a well developed daily agenda that took us to the many prayer locations and other places of interest. It was during that first week that I discovered the Luminous Mysteries mosaics and immediately felt very drawn to them. I did not visit them as much as I would have liked, in part due to the group pilgrimage setting I was in. It was something that I made a mental note about and set out to change during my second week and for the remainder of my stay in Medjugorje.

The fourth Luminous Mystery mosaic in Medjugorje, The Transfiguration
Luminous Mystery Mosaic, The Transfiguration

During my second week I began to make daily visits to the Luminous Mysteries mosaics, as part of my daily recitation of all fours sets of the mysteries of the Rosary.

Since the Evening Prayer Program included the group recitation of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, I typically set out to recite the Luminous Mysteries at the mosaics prior to my participation at the Evening Prayer Program. I hope you will be encouraged to do likewise; it is time well spent.

If you have yet to discover and include the Luminous Mysteries in your recitation of the Rosary, I would like to recommend the reading of Saint Pope John Paul II's aforementioned Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae. Saint Pope John Paul II was well known for his Marian Devotion, one that animated his pontificate and is clearly evident in the writing of this document. It is a devotion that is spotlighted by his personal declaration that he soon made after his election to the papacy in October'1978, that the "...Rosary is my favourite prayer." (2) 

May the Blessed Virgin Mary inspire you to include the Luminous Mysteries in your Rosary Devotion.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Saint John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae

The first Luminous Mystery mosaic in Medjugorje, The Baptism of Jesus
Luminous Mystery Mosaic, The Baptism of Jesus

Each year in October, I strive to improve upon my Rosary Devotion by reviewing my Rosary reading materials. This year, I decided to reread Saint Pope John Paul II's document, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, an Apostolic Letter issued on October 16, 2002, to bishops, clergy and the faithful on the Most Holy Rosary. Today's post not only shares this wonderful gift to the Church with every visitor at my blog, but forms part of my own evangelization efforts to promote the Rosary and make it better known and understood.

For those who are somewhat new to the Liturgical Calendar of the Catholic Church, October is traditionally considered to be the Month of The Rosary, a time when all members of the Church are called to honour Our Lady with greater dedication including the recitation of the Rosary. By doing so the Church remembers Our Lady's intercession during the Battle of Lepanto, which saw Christian forces defeat the Ottoman Turks on October 7, 1571. So grateful is the Church that this victorious day was assigned as the special feast day of Our Lady of Victory and later changed to Our Lady of The Rosary.

October truly is a special time of gratitude that is properly expressed by both individual and group recitations of the Rosary, other Marian prayers, Mass and processions. Participating in such prayers and celebrations further opens our hearts to Mary and allows for an abundance of graces to flow to us from her motherly love, bringing us closer to Jesus. As St. Pope John Paul II notes in the Introduction of Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the Rosary is "...[A] prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness." (1) When we endeavour to pray the Rosary each day more effectively, we as Christians sit at the "School of Mary" allowing Our Lady to lead us to contemplate the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love.

For those Catholics that do not recite the Rosary, October is an invitation to discover its meaning and significance for your earthly pilgrimage and more importantly for your eternal salvation. I have published a post for just such individuals entitled, The Rosary: An Introduction. For those that only recite the weekly scheduled mysteries, October can serve as time for you to not only rediscover the many treasures contained in this most beautiful meditative prayer, but to also include additional sets of mysteries to your recitation. To do so is to come closer to eventually reciting all four sets of mysteries everyday, completing the Marathon of Grace.

If you have never heard of Rosarium Virginis Mariae, it was issued not only to promote the recitation of the Rosary, but to facilitate a greater understanding of its purpose and daily inclusion in our lives. It was also used to introduce a new fourth set of mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries. So significant was this new addition that Saint Pope John Paul II declared October 2002 to October 2003, "The Year of The Rosary." Reading this document is a treasure to draw from and for my fellow Marian devotees, it is sure to be one of the most enjoyable reads on the Rosary. The document is twenty six pages printed, outlined with an Introduction, Chapter I - Contemplating Christ With Mary, Chapter II - Mysteries of Christ Mysteries of His Mother, Chapter III - For Me To Live is Christ and a Conclusion

Saint Pope John Paul II's Introduction alone is sure to intrigue those new to the Rosary, those who have recited it all their lives, read extensively about it and for any one in between. In the Introduction, St. Pope John Paul II sets out immediately to identify and declare that the Rosary although clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. The Rosary can be considered a compendium of the Gospel and through the Rosary, "...[T]he faithful receive an abundance of grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer." (1)

Citing such documents as Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Supremi Apostolatus Officio and Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus the Introduction also provides the reader with a brief historical note on the promotion of the Rosary from the past 150 years in the Church.

Saint Pope John Paul II also includes three other individuals from the Catholic Church who have made very significant contributions to spreading the Rosary Devotion: Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina and Blessed Bartolo Longo.

Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort's life was animated by the promotion of the Rosary and it resulted in the writing of two very well know publications in the Church: The Secret of The Rosary and True Devotion To Mary

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, affectionately known as "Padre Pio," a figure closer to many in the Church, was constantly and consistently praying many Rosaries each day.

Blessed Bartolo Longo's Fifteen Saturdays Devotion promoted the Christocentric and contemplative heart of the Rosary with an extensive prayer program. Although not mentioned in the document, these historical notes build upon the long established tradition of the Rosary in the Catholic Church. It is a tradition that began with St. Dominic in 1214, who received the Rosary directly from Our Lady during an apparition, to combat the Albigensian heresy that was plaguing the region of Southern France. This important event in the history of the Catholic Church can be read from St. Louis De Montfort's Secret of The Rosary, Second Rose - Origin.

The prayer intention of peace is given a prominent inclusion in the Introduction. At the time of this document's release, the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center was still fresh in the minds of many. Since then, terrorist attacks have continued and peace has yet to be achieved in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and Africa. Peace can be obtained from God through the intercession of Our Lady.

Saint Pope John Paul II also pointed out the pressing need to pray for the family, the primary cell in society. He noted the attack on the family by menacing "...[F]orces of disintegration on both the ideological and practical planes..." (6) He also noted that the proper response to combat these attacks is the revival of the Rosary in Christian families that coupled with a wider pastoral ministry, will be an effective aid to countering the devastating effects of "...[T]his crisis typical of our age." (6) 

In Canada, it is easy to identify the "menacing forces." Ever since "same sex marriage" was legally recognized in 2005, the attacks on the family seemed to have increased at a rapid rate. The subtlety of the attacks comes in the form of deceptive language that has hijacked words such as rights, equality, inclusivity and freedom. The bold attacks have come in the form of: genderismpornography, abortion, euthanasia, New Age and occult children's literature such as Harry Potter, and political platforms and strategies such as Ontario's Equity and Inclusivity Strategy that has introduced, indoctrinated and normalized immorality.

There is hope for the future and all Catholics have the opportunity to make it a better one through the recitation of the Rosary. Anything is possible with God and with the Blessed Virgin Mary as our most powerful intercessor, there is good reason to be hopeful. Our Lady of The Rosary as she announced herself at Fatima, has stated in her Fifteen Promises to Christians who recite the Rosary, "You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary." (Promise11May you leave my blog encouraged to improve upon or begin your Rosary Devotion. The Church and the world are in need your prayers. 

Rest assured that I will continue to include in my daily Rosary, all those who visit my blog. Please pray for me.