It had been just four months since I joined the community when one of the singles who were part of the CFCI Kids Segment contacted me to ask if I was available to help out with the kid’s program while their parents attend a retreat. I was a bit reluctant because I don’t get along with kids that well. To add to this, she asked me to give them teaching on Mother Mary and the Holy Rosary.
Since this was my first opportunity to serve, I finally agreed. The rosary had never played an important part in my life or even in my prayer life which had only begun recently and so I did not know what teaching to give the kids. There were two days to go for the program and I was clueless. That night, I was sitting at the study table in my hostel with a pen and a blank sheet in front of me thinking hard for an hour without any result. I closed my eyes and told Jesus: “I know nothing about the Rosary. I have to teach your little children. Please help me”.
After a few minutes, I saw one of my friends in the hostel walk towards the study hall with a book in her hand. I am not a book reader, but that night my attention was drawn towards that book and I stopped her and asked if I could see what book she had. To my surprise, it was the ‘Heralds of the Gospel’ magazine, the entire edition dedicated to Mother Mary and the Holy Rosary. I borrowed the magazine, read it completely and prepared to teach. I was all set and excited to deliver it. The day arrived and there were over fifty children gathered in the hall. All of them were so full of energy and enthusiasm that it became very difficult for the service team to discipline them. My session was scheduled after lunch, so I assumed that since their tummies would be full, they would attentively listen to me.
But it turned out to be just the opposite. Their energy doubled and they became very noisy and restless. After a few attempts of trying to give the teaching, I was asked to stop. I came back home disappointed that day, thinking that all my efforts. were in vain. That evening, I shared this incident with one of the brothers in the community and he told me this one thing that changed my prayer life altogether. He said, “Maybe this teaching was meant for you. Maybe God wanted you to know about Mother Mary and the Holy Rosary”. I was taken aback as I pondered on his words. I went through the teaching again and reflected on everything I had prepared.
Mother Mary takes our intentions, weaves them into a garland of roses and offers it to her son, our Lord Jesus Christ. She is an intercessor before the throne of God. The rosary is a super powerful prayer. Throughout the rosary, we meditate on the life of Jesus and we get to know Jesus better. In her appearances, Mother Mary asked us to pray the rosary. She said to the shepherds in Fatima,
“There is no problem: personal, family, national or international, the Holy Rosary cannot help solve”.
Battles have been won, lives have been changed and impossible prayers have been answered by praying the rosary. Pope St. John Paul II in his writing ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary and the rosary’ insisted that we pray the rosary for the sake of the family which is under constant attack. The church always teaches us that a family that prays together stays together.
Mother Mary is the queen of families. When we pray the Rosary as one family, it brings unity, peace and happiness in the family. Every family needs this prayer for protection against the vices of this world and to overcome temptations. “The Rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell; it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies”. This is one of the 15 promises given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan by Mother Mary. Pope Francis reminds us in his Lenten message: There is widespread globalization of indifference because there is a lack of love of God in the world. This love can be planted and ignited through the love of our Lady and the Holy Rosary – a summary of the Gospels and a true biblically-centred prayer.
That was the day I started praying the Holy Rosary, offering each decade for a specific intention and asking Mother Mary for her intercession. I have experienced the power of the Holy Rosary and our Mother’s intercession in numerous ways in my life. As the hymn reminds us “All I have, I give you. Every dream and wish are yours. Mother of mine, Mother of Christ, present them to our Lord”. Let us pray the Holy Rosary, teach our children this beautiful prayer and pray it together in our families and invoke the most powerful intercession of our beloved Heavenly Mother.