|The Annunciation (Fra Angelico)
A simple method to pray the Rosary without distractions
— Preamble: warning of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the world
In conclusion, we will recall these words, spoken by Sister Lucy of Fatima to Father Fuentes in 1959 (Messagero del Cuore di Maria, nos. 8-9, August-September, 1961):
“ – She told me this three times:
“Firstly; she stated that the devil is engaged in the decisive battle, that is to say, the final battle, from which one will emerge the victor or the vanquished: either we are with God or we are with the devil.
“The second time, she repeated to me that the ultimate remedies given to the world are: the holy Rosary and devotion to the immaculate Heart of Mary. The ultimate signifies that there will be no others.
“The third time, she told me that the other means, scorned by men, having been exhausted, she gives us in trepidation the last anchor of salvation which is the Blessed Virgin in person. The Lady said again that if we do not listen and if we still offend, we will no more be forgiven.
“Father (Lucy said to me), we must urgently take heed of the terrible reality. We don’t want to frighten souls, but this is an urgent appeal to reality. Since the Most Blessed Virgin has given so great a power to the Rosary, no problem exists, material or spiritual, national or international, which cannot be resolved by the Holy Rosary and by our sacrifices. To recite the Rosary with love and devotion will allow us console Mary and wipe away the many, many tears of her Immaculate Heart.”
— A method to pray the Rosary without distractions
Have you ever heard this episode from the life of St. Francis de Sales? The illustrious bishop of Geneva had promised his horse to a brave peasant, provided he could recite one Our Father without distraction. Having barely arrived at “give us this day our daily bread…” the poor man stopped to ask if the saddle and bridle were included!
Who can boast of never experiencing any distractions during prayer? The Blessed Virgin, knowing the difficulties of her children, has given us through St. Dominic a very effective way to fight against dissipation in prayer. The Rosary, with its beads linked together, gives us a tangible reminder that we are in the act of praying. However, we must know how to use it. One method of reciting the Rosary suggested by St. Louis Marie Grignon-de-Montfort (but coming from the Middle Ages) is to precede each Hail Mary with a different thought relating to the mystery. This does not add much time to the recitation of the Rosary (contrary to what one might think), and it helps us to refocus our attention.
Here is an example of this method as applied to the Joyful Mysteries:
1. The Blessed Virgin withdraws to a corner of the house to meditate on the Scriptures.
2. She reads the passage from Isaiah (7:14), “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a child…” and she begs the Lord to send the Messiah.
3. The Angel Gabriel appears and greets her by saying, “Hail full of grace.”
4. “Full of grace means she was preserved from all sin from the first moment of her existence.
5. She was conceived without original sin and never committed the slightest fault, even venial, neither through weakness, nor through surprise, nor through negligence.
6. The Blessed Virgin, who understands the meanings of his words, is troubled.
7. She knows that she is sinless, but it would be unthinkable for her to glorify herself.
8. It would be unthinkable for her to be greeted by an angel; who is by nature superior to men.
9. The angel says to her, “Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shall bring forth a son…And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
10. She understands that she has been chosen to be the Mother of God.
1. The Angel Gabriel announces that Elizabeth has also conceived a child.
2. The Blessed Virgin, not thinking of herself, thinks only of her aged cousin.
3. She begins the tiring journey under the watchful protection of St. Joseph.
4. On arrival, the Blessed Virgin greets her cousin.
5. At the sound of the Blessed Virgin’s voice, St. John the Baptist is cleansed of original sin, and he leaps in the womb.
6. St. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, exclaims: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb…”
7. The Blessed Virgin gives all the glory to God.
8. “My soul magnifies the Lord….”
9. The more we glorify the Blessed Virgin, the more God is glorified.
10. The Blessed Virgin remains three months in humble service to her cousin.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
1. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph travel to Bethlehem for the census.
2. Because the crowds come to be enrolled, there is no room in any inn.
3. Thinking back to his youth, St. Joseph remembers a cave away from the city.
4. He sweeps the ground a little and puts things in order, then he leaves to go search for firewood.
5. During his absence, the Blessed Virgin prays deeply, waiting for the great mystery about to happen.
6. She enters into a state of ecstasy.
7. She awakens and there in her arms she sees the most beautiful baby the world has ever seen.
8. She has experienced no pain. Her soul is filled with unspeakable joy.
9. She contemplates the radiant Child, and she recognizes there her own features.
10. St. Joseph returns; upon seeing the Child, he falls to his knees to adore Him.
PRESENTATION OF THE CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
1. Forty days after His birth, the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph carry the Infant Jesus to the Temple to present Him to the Lord.
2. They give five shekels of silver to “redeem” the Child. (Numbers 1 8:16).
3. They also bring a pair of turtledoves for the sacrifice prescribed to women after birth. (Leviticus 12: 1 et seq.)
4. The old man Simeon, moved by the Holy Ghost, goes to the Temple.
5. He sees the Holy Family and recognizes Jesus as the awaited Messiah.
6. “Now thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation.”
7. Simeon blesses the Holy Family.
8. He prophesizes: “Behold this Child is set…for a sign which shall be contradicted,” that is to say, now every man will be either for Him or against Him.
9. To Our Lady he says, “A sword will pierce your soul.”
10. The Blessed Virgin keeps all these things in her heart.
RECOVERY OF THE CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
1. As Jesus is now twelve years old, the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph have taken Him to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.
2. They are part of a group of pilgrims from Nazareth. Men and women and walk separately during the day.
3. During the return trip, St. Joseph thinks that Jesus is with the Blessed Virgin, and Our Lady thinks that Jesus is with St. Joseph.
4. In the evening, after having searched among all the pilgrims and not finding Jesus, they retrace their steps.
5. The Blessed Virgin knows that Jesus must suffer and die, but she does not know when.
6. This uncertainty is torture for her.
7. Jesus asks questions of the rabbis about the coming Messiah.
8. It was not to learn anything, but rather to show them that they themselves had misconceptions about the subject.
9. He quotes passages of Scripture that teach that the Messiah will have to die to save us from our sins, and not to assure world domination by the Jews. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph find Jesus among the amazed and confused rabbis.
(To be continued with the sorrowful and glorious Mysteries)