Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 8, 2004
The rosary - the Church's lifeline
Praying the rosary can bring peace and calm to our weary souls
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The rosary is an ancient and powerful prayer of devotion to God through devotion to Mary by means of prayer and meditation on the life of Jesus and Mary.
It's very significant in the life of a Catholic and considered a powerful weapon of prayer, peace, serenity and healing, Father Stan Lasko said at a rosary rally at St. Joseph's Basilica Oct. 31.
Rich in its simplicity, the rosary has provided solace and courage during rocky times for centuries. Now, as society faces war, economic uncertainty, and moral upheaval, the rosary is needed more than ever, said Lasko, a Polish priest currently in residence at the basilica.
"The rosary is a lifeline for the Church and for today's society," he told more than 300 worshippers at the rally.
He said that through the rosary, Catholics ask Our Lady to pray for them and to include them in her prayers so that they may be blessed. In the process, they become closer to Mary and to Jesus. Catholics may also pray the rosary to defeat evil and bring peace. They call upon Our Lady to pray with them to mend the evil hearts of others and bring them back to God.
Lasko led a recitation of the rosary before speaking briefly on its significance. The congregation knelt to pray while holding rosaries in their hands.
The rosary is said on a string of beads comprised of five decades. Each decade is made up of one large and 10 smaller beads. On the large beads, the Our Father is said, and on the smaller, the Hail Mary is prayed. The actual rosary beads assist the individual reciting the prayer to help keep track of where they are in the meditation.
Lasko said the rosary is the most powerful way we have to get close to Jesus. But he said some young people who don't know how to pray consider it "the most boring prayer of all."
He agreed it would be boring if one were to recite the rosary as it is, saying 150 Hail Marys in one seating. But that's not always necessary, he said, noting that sometimes a few Hail Marys are sufficient.
Pope John Paul prays the rosary often since it is one of his favourite prayers. People pray the rosary for peace, for grace and for serenity. Some pray it when they are facing difficulties and even when they have trouble falling asleep.
"When you pray it at night it's like a sleeping pill, not because it's boring, but because (you achieve a sense of) calm and peace," Lasko said.
Remember Our Lady
Our Lady also encourages the rosary. According to Lasko, in every apparition she has made, from Fatima to Medjugorge, she always emphasizes the importance of prayer, especially the rosary.
Pope John Paul says the Church has always attributed particular efficacy to the rosary, entrusting to this prayer, to its choral recitation and to its constant practice, the most difficult problems.
"At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation," he wrote in 2002.
Lasko recommended praying the rosary as a family because "families that pray together stay together."
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