By Allison Gingras
One of the blessings of speaking at conferences is listening to the other presenters. The priest leading the afternoon reflection during a recent event garnered my full attention with these profound words, “The rosary ends wars.” Perhaps speaking these words on a military base added extra credence and power to these words. The imagery went beyond military battlefields, however, to personal wars.
“The rosary helps end wars,” Father continued, “not only wars in our world, as with Fatima and World War I, but the many wars in our lives. Those wars that rage within our hearts, our bodies, our families.” Yes, the Rosary is a powerful adversary against the attacks of invisible (as well as visible) enemies.
The daily skirmishes can weigh upon us, making praying is difficult. Some days, honestly, I do not want to pray. Some days, when I am particularly beat down by my internal conflicts, prayer seems like a futile task. When combat escalates beyond my feeble strength, I’ve oft only the strength to hold onto my Rosary, like a lifeline waiting for the Blessed Mother to drag me under the loving protection of her mantle. I grasp my Rosary to be comforted by the feel of the beads when words to pray; fail to come. Someone once told me holding those beads was like holding Mary’s hand, she then added, “Who doesn’t love holding your momma’s hand!”
In a conversation between Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima, one of the children visited by Our Lady in Fatima, and Fr. Augustin Fuentes, Dec. 26, 1957, Sr. Lucia said this: “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
Mother Mary by our Side
A necessary reminder to the faithful, there is no war, Mama Mary and the Rosary cannot tackle. Among the many problems we face, none of them are above the reach of our Lord and our God. We love and follow an unfathomable God who thinks far beyond our comprehension and owes us no explanation. As the prophet Isaiah tells us, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Yet, generous and kind, God does allow us the Holy Spirit to enlighten where we need, to understand all we out, to restore our hearts to a place of peace. Through prayer, we do not fix ourselves; instead, we set our gaze upon Jesus. We take attention from the inward seeking of answers, bringing them outward and upward to the One holding not only answers but also a peace that surpasses our understanding. And where we can find comfort and consolation when the answers are not what we were hoping to hear, or we can find no explanation at all.
Properly (Spiritually) Armed
Like a good soldier, we know our enemy, and most importantly, we know their weakness. We bring into the battle the weapons for victory; there is none better in the spiritual realm than the Rosary, along with Mary, the special mother Jesus gave to each of us as he battled for us from the cross.
About the Author:
Allison Gingras shares her faith with honesty, laughter, and hope. Allison created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), which includes her titles: Seeking Peace and The Gift of Invitation. She tends the Virtual Vineyard as the National WINE Steward — facilitating WINE book clubs and social media.