I periodically encounter a devout Catholic who is struggling with emotional issues that are causing him or her to experience significant suffering. After a short discussion about what’s troubling the person, I always ask the exact same question: Do you pray your rosary every day? The answer is always ‘no.’ Always.
Immediately after answering ‘no,’ the person usually follows up with a comment admitting that he or she should be praying the rosary but can’t seem to get around to it. Yet, the person somehow finds the time to talk to friends and one or more counselors about the ongoing problem.
The emotional suffering these people are going through is real and is a heavy cross for them to carry. Most of us forget that before we can ever share in our Lord’s Resurrection, we must first be willing to accept and carry our crosses with faith and perseverance. Our Lord made it clear that he expects us to willingly carry our crosses: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Although we each have a cross to carry, we are not expected to carry it alone. Assistance is only a short prayer away. All we need to do is ask. Not even Christ Himself was able to carry His cross to the destination His torturers picked out for Him without the assistance of others. He needed help along the way, most notably from Simon of Cyrene, who was plucked out of the crowd by the soldiers to assist our Lord. Prior to that, a woman named Veronica disregarded the orders of the soldiers who were controlling the crowd and courageously approached Jesus to wipe sweat and blood from His face.
But something important occurred before Veronica and Simon assisted Jesus. After falling for the first time under the heavy weight of the cross, our Lord was met by His holy mother. It was at that moment that she silently petitioned God the Father for assistance.
The most powerful woman who ever lived on Earth (and who now lives in heaven with her Son) is that same humble handmaiden who was given the unique and exclusive divine gift of becoming the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the mother of God the Son — all at the same time.
For the devout Catholic, the mother of God is present with each of us when we fall under the heavy weight of our own cross. She patiently waits for us to ask for her help before she exercises her influence to assist us. The best way for us to reach out and communicate with her is to speak her language, which is the language of the rosary.
If you develop the habit of praying a rosary every day while doing your best to meditate on the appropriate mysteries, the mother of God will, over time, bring balance to your life. By “balance” I mean that she will help minimize your suffering and, at the same time, introduce more joy, illumination, and glory into your life.
We know that our Lord did what His mother asked of Him, as demonstrated at the wedding in Cana when, at her request, He turned water into wine. This was the first miracle He performed in public, and He did so even though He told her that He was not yet ready to begin His public ministry. (Matthew 1:26-38)
There can be no doubt that she has the power to influence her Son on our behalf; however, in most situations, there is one condition that must be met before she will intervene and help us. We must reach out to her and ask for her assistance. She will not force herself on us, but will fly to our aid when we ask her for help.
We all know from our own experience that a good mother always feels the pain of her child and will do whatever is in her power to alleviate the pain. There is a perfect mother in heaven who is waiting for the opportunity to assist us.
Do you pray your rosary every day? I hope your answer to that question is different from the answer I always get.