We are now halfway through the month of May, a month of praying the Rosary with Mary. I hope our parish Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) are faithfully coming together to pray the Rosary. During this month, our Catholic Church invites us to stay focused on Mother Mary, as her heart points us always to the heart of her Son, Jesus Christ.
As BEC members, we should unite with Mary, Joseph and Jesus and sincerely pray that our hearts might be open to share the love of Christ with the other members of our BEC, as well as with our parish community. It is hard to love one another when we are exhausted and drained due to our daily struggles and workload. Every time we pray the Rosary in our homes or in our BECs, we are opening ourselves to the love of Christ, and His love gives us new life.
At every novena to Our Lady of Mother of Perpetual (OLMP) and evening prayer (Vespers) from the Liturgy of the Hours (the Church prayer), we pray the most fascinating prayer – the Magnificat. We find in the Magnificat, in which Mother Mary begins with, “My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour… (Luke 1: 46-56), that every verse offers praise and thanksgiving to God for His goodness, faithfulness and promises. We should make the Magnificat our personal prayer. It is a way of increasing our gratitude to God, who has done marvelous things (cf. Psalm 98) in our lives and a refreshing way to renew the spirit of thankfulness in our hearts.
We tend to overlook our gratitude for the favours God grants us mainly because of our busy and distracted lives. We are constantly bombarded with worries about finance, status and responsibility which in turn causes anxiety, displeasure and unhappiness. In the life of Our Lady, she didn’t always feel happy, and she considered her heart pierced (Lk 2: 35) from the moment she heard Simeon’s prophecy until her own Assumption into Heaven. Praying the Magnificat daily can help us experience the joy and happiness we long for, in our hearts and in our homes.
St. Louis de Montfort said Mary is intimately united to the Trinity and she can unite us with God as well. He added, “Mary is the quickest, shortest, and easiest path to Jesus.” This month of May, we should get to know Mary, then love her and imitate her. As we deepen our relationship with her, we should have a desire to make her known to others.
As we pray the Rosary, let us pray for the grace to imitate Mary in her most inspiring virtues and put them into practice, so that it may lead us to heaven. The first virtue is her unwavering faith in the midst of all the trials of her life. Because of her great faith, she was known as “the first disciple of Jesus and the most faithful disciple,” (Lumen Gentium – The Church in the Modern World, Vatican II).
The second virtue we need to learn from Mary is patience. We should have the desire to teach ourselves to grow in patience and to grow gracefully in age too. Our Lady patiently accepted all the contradictions and sufferings when she conceived Jesus, and she patiently accompanied Jesus and stood under the cross with Him, for the salvation of the world.
The third virtue is to be in constant prayer. Mary had a constant spirit of perseverance in prayer, which led her to a profound union with God. We all need to pray constantly, asking her to teach us to pray as she unceasingly intercedes for us.
As we come to the end of the month of the Rosary, and as we approach Pentecost, we ask Mother Mary and the Holy Spirit to intercede for us to make us courageous and grow in virtue, so that we will be united with her forever.
Rev. Fr. George P.