Thursday, October 6, 2016

On the Rosary

from: Octobri Mense, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Rosary (09-22-1891):

8. Moreover, we may well believe that the Queen of Heaven herself has granted an especial efficacy to this mode of supplication, for it was by her command and counsel that the devotion was begun and spread abroad by the holy Patriarch Dominic as a most potent weapon against the enemies of the faith at an epoch not, indeed, unlike our own, of great danger to our holy religion.
The heresy of the Albigenses had in effect, one while covertly, another while openly, overrun many countries, and this most vile off spring of the Manicheans, whose deadly errors it reproduced, were the cause in stirring up against the Church the most bitter animosity and a virulent persecution. There seemed to be no human hope of opposing this fanatical and most pernicious sect when timely succour came from on high through the instrument of Mary's Rosary.
Thus under the favour of the powerful Virgin, the glorious vanquisher of all heresies, the forces of the wicked were destroyed and dispersed, and faith issued forth unharmed and more shining than before. All manner of similar instances are widely recorded, and both ancient and modern history furnish remarkable proofs of nations saved from perils and winning benedictions therefrom.
There is another signal argument in favour of this devotion, inasmuch as from the very moment of its institution it was immediately encouraged and put into most frequent practice by all classes of society. In truth, the piety of the Christian people honours, by many titles and in multiform ways, the Divine Mother, who, alone most admirable among all creatures, shines resplendent in unspeakable glory. But this title of the Rosary, this mode of prayer which seems to contain, as it were, a final pledge of affection, and to sum up in itself the honour due to Our Lady, has always been highly cherished and widely used in private and in public, in homes and in families, in the meetings of confraternities, at the dedication of shrines, and in solemn processions; for there has seemed to be no better means of conducting sacred solemnities, or of obtaining protection and favours.
9. Nor may we permit to pass unnoticed the especial Providence of God displayed in this devotion; for through the lapse of time religious fervour has sometimes seemed to diminish in certain nations, and even this pious method of prayer has fallen into disuse; but piety and devotion have again flourished and become vigorous in a most marvellous manner, when, either through the grave situation of the commonwealth or through some pressing public necessity, general recourse has been had-more to this than to even other means of obtaining help - to the Rosary, whereby it has been restored to its place of honour on the altars. But there is no need to seek for examples of this power in a past age, since we have in the present a signal instance of it. In these times - so troublous (as we have said before) for the Church, and so heartrending for ourselves - set as We are by the Divine will at the helm, it is still given Us to note with admiration the great zeal and fervour with which Mary's Rosary is honoured and recited in every place and nation of the Catholic world. And this circumstance, which assuredly is to be attributed to the Divine action and direction upon men, rather than to the wisdom and efforts of individuals, strengthens and consoles Our heart, filling Us with great hope for the ultimate and most glorious triumph of the Church under the auspices of Mary.
10. But there are some who, whilst they honestly agree with what We have said, yet because their hopes - especially as regard the peace and tranquillity of the Church - have not yet been fulfilled, nay, rather because troubles seem to augment, have ceased to pray with diligence and fervour, in a fit of discouragement. Let these look into themselves and labour that the prayers they address to God may be made in a proper spirit, according to the precept of our Lord Jesus Christ. And if there be such, let them reflect how unworthy and how wrong it is to wish to assign to Almighty God the time and the manner of giving His assistance, since He owes nothing to us, and when He hearkens to our supplications and crowns our merits, He only crowns His own innumerable benefits;(8) and when He complies least with our wishes it is as a good father towards his children, having pity on their childishness and consulting their advantage. But as regards the prayers which we join to the suffrages of the heavenly citizens, and offer humbly to God to obtain His mercy for the Church, they are always favourably received and heard, and either obtain for the Church great and imperishable benefits, or their influence is temporarily withheld for a time of greater need. In truth, to these supplications is added an immense weight and grace - the prayers and merits of Christ Our Lord, Who has loved the Church and has delivered Himself up for her to sanctify her . . . so that He should be glorified in her.(9) He is her Sovereign Head, holy, innocent, always living to make intercession for us, on whose prayers and supplication we can always by divine authority rely. As for what concerns the exterior and temporal prosperity of the Church, it is evident that she has to cope with most malicious and powerful adversaries. Too often has she suffered at their hands the abolition of her rights, the diminution and oppression of her liberties, scorn and affronts to her authority, and every conceivable outrage. And if in their wickedness her enemies have not accomplished all the injury they had resolved upon and striven to do, they nevertheless seem to go on unchecked. But, despite them the Church, amidst all these conflicts, will always stand out and increase in greatness and glory. Nor can human reason rightly understand why evil, apparently so dominant, should yet be so restricted as regards its results; whilst the Church, driven into straits, comes forth glorious and triumphant. And she ever remains more steadfast in virtue because she draws men to the acquisition of the ultimate good. And since this is her mission, her prayers must have much power to effect the end and purpose of God's providential and merciful designs towards men. Thus, when men pray with and through the Church, they at length obtain what Almighty God has designed from all eternity to bestow upon mankind.(10) The subtlety of the human intelligence fails now to grasp the high designs of Providence; but the time will come when, through the goodness of God, causes and effects will be made clear, and the marvellous power and utility of prayer will be shown forth. Then it will be seen how many in the midst of a corrupt age have kept themselves pure and inviolate from all concupiscence of the flesh and the spirit, working out their sanctification in the fear of God;(11) how others, when exposed to the danger of temptation, have without delay restrained themselves gaining new strength for virtue from the peril itself; how others, having fallen, have been seized with the ardent desire to be restored to the embraces of a compassionate God. Therefore, with these reflections before them, We beseech all again and again not to yield to the deceits of the old enemy, nor for any cause whatsoever to cease from the duty of prayer. Let their prayers be persevering, let them pray without intermission; let their first care be to supplicate for the sovereign good - the eternal salvation of the whole world, and the safety of the Church. Then they may ask from God other benefits for the use and comfort of life, returning thanks always, whether their desires are granted or refused, as to a most indulgent father. Finally, may they converse with God with the greatest piety and devotion according to the example of the Saints, and that of our Most Holy Master and Redeemer, with great cries and tears.(12)
8) S. August. Epi CXCIV al 106 Sixtum, c. v., n. 19.
9) Eph 5.25-27.
10) S. Th. II-II, q LXXXIII, a. 2, ex S. G. reg. M.
11) 2 Cor 7.1.
12) Heb 5.7.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Reminder: First Saturday Devotion is Tomorrow!

Dear Friend of Our Lady,
 
    I’ll be very quick – DON’T FORGET the Fatima Saturday devotion tomorrow!
 
    Receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and of course, spend 15 minutes with Our Lady, thinking prayerfully (meditating) on the mysteries of the rosary.
 
    Finally, please get to Confession within 8 days, as Mary asked at Fatima.
 
    Then you can rest assured that once again you have made a huge investment in your eternal salvation!
 
    Haven’t started your Five First Saturdays devotion yet?
 
    Well, there is no time like the present – click here and see what all the excitement is about!
 
    In a nutshell: Our Lady of Fatima revealed Heaven’s solution for the times we live in and is asking for 5 days (first Saturdays of 5 consecutive months) in exchange for Eternity!
 
    Not a bad deal, my friend.
 
    Be sure to take Our Lady up on it.
 
I remain your friend,
In Jesus and Mary,
 
 
Robert E. Ritchie
 
Robert E. Ritchie
America Needs Fatima
www.anf.org
 
PS:  Click here to read all about the Five First Saturday devotion. The forgotten part of the Fatima message!