Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
I’ll go to Mass. I’ll have breakfast with a friend. Then I’m going to get my stitches out from some oral surgery that took place last week.
And I’ll pray the rosary.
In other words, its a typical day. And the rosary fits my life. It fits in my day anytime… morning, noon, or night. I often pray it in the car, or on my walks. Or with friends.
The Catechism calls the Rosary an “epitome of the Gospel (CCC 971).”
Here’s some of my favorite resources about this prayer that has shaped my life over the last thirty years.
I’ve got many Among Women podcasts about the rosary — about forming local rosary groups for mothers… plus interviews with several knowledgable guests like Rosary Army’s Jennifer Willits… and author Karen Edmisten with an epic primer on the rosary… and the rosary and pregnancy with Sarah Reinhard. Plus one of my favorite podcasts of all time — the Among Women listeners sharing what they love about the rosary!
My most favorite book to pray the rosary with is the Scriptural Rosary.
The best advice about loving the rosary and Marian devotion comes from the classic books of St Louis de Montfort.
Finally, I’ve learned what St John Paul has long taught: the Rosary conforms us to Christ. Outside of the Mass, it is the most powerful prayer we can pray.
Christian spirituality is distinguished by the disciple’s commitment to become conformed ever more fully to his Master (cf. Rom 8:29; Phil 3:10,12). The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Baptism grafts the believer like a branch onto the vine which is Christ (cf. Jn 15:5) and makes him a member of Christ’s mystical Body (cf.1Cor 12:12; Rom 12:5). This initial unity, however, calls for a growing assimilation which will increasingly shape the conduct of the disciple in accordance with the “mind” of Christ: “Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). In the words of the Apostle, we are called “to put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. Rom 13:14; Gal 3:27).
In the spiritual journey of the Rosary, based on the constant contemplation – in Mary’s company – of the face of Christ, this demanding ideal of being conformed to him is pursued through an association which could be described in terms of friendship. We are thereby enabled to enter naturally into Christ’s life and as it were to share his deepest feelings. In this regard Blessed Bartolo Longo has written: “Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection”.
In this process of being conformed to Christ in the Rosary, we entrust ourselves in a special way to the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin. She who is both the Mother of Christ and a member of the Church, indeed her “pre-eminent and altogether singular member” is at the same time the “Mother of the Church”. As such, she continually brings to birth children for the mystical Body of her Son. She does so through her intercession, imploring upon them the inexhaustible outpouring of the Spirit. Mary is the perfect icon of the motherhood of the Church.
-St John Paul II-
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 15