Given this solemn feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7th) I thought it most appropriate to write about the many ways that the Holy Rosary has been instrumental in my life; and specifically of the many ways and times that it has saved me. The Rosary has saved me a multitude of times- from the horrors and errors of the New Age Movement, to saving me from personal sin, to the fight against scruples, all the way to allowing me to persevere in the faith and avoiding any form of heresy, apostasy, schisms, and the like. It has furthermore been instrumental in my own faith life and has been indispensable in my love for Holy Mother Church and her various Traditions.
The first time the Rosary saved me was during perhaps the worse years of my life. It all started when I exposed myself to the errors of the New Age Movement, as well as to different types of Eastern Spirituality. This combination with all its pantheism, neo-paganism, relativism, and feel good spirituality. A time when I dabbled in Zen Buddhism for a short while, as well as Hindu meditation, and more wacky stuff like astrology and astral projection. It was during this time that I also fell into an abyss of sin; mostly sexual in nature. It was during this time that in the midst of all this I fell into great depression, and which I clearly heard the voice of the enemy in a suggestive sort of way, which caused me to apostatize from the faith for a short while. It should be said that up to this point I had always been a cradle, but completely nominal Catholic, who for the last five years had for most part been non-practicing. Rarely going to Sunday Mass and knowing my faith in a most superficial and superstitious sort of way. I hardly knew my basic prayers, and definitely did not know how to pray a full Rosary.
Something had moved me in the abyss of sin, which made me feel at rock bottom. By this point I knew I was living wrongly and not only did I feel it; I knew it. Something moved me to pray the Rosary. Something which I had done occasionally with my mother, but which I did not know how to pray completely on my own. But by this time I desired to trust Our Blessed Mother, whom at this point I also knew about in a most superficial sort of way. Nevertheless I started praying the Rosary not occasionally but almost daily. From this moment on I desired to please God and be right with him. At this moment I had moved houses to where I currently live now. I quickly found that there was a Catholic parish nearly about 15 minutes walking distance. The first thing I desired to do was go to Confession. I had already received First Communion by this point. I had prepared for Confession and had a perfect Contrition. At this point I first started to go to Sunday Mass in order to fulfill my Sunday obligation, but soon after I went to Daily Mass. Why not? I desired to receive Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist as much as I possibly could. I then enrolled myself for RCIA, since the Sacrament of Confirmation was the only Sacrament that I needed left.
All well that ends well right?
Not so fast! The Rosary’s impact on my life did not end there. The second biggest way and time that the Rosary had saved me was in the midst of the battle against scrupulosity, as well as in the fight in what would be called the “spiritual combat.” It was a battle between trusting in God and not trusting in Him; a battle over the possession of my soul between Our Lord and the Enemy. In addition to scrupulosity I am sure I dealt with a series of profoundly strong demonic attacks of some sort. I remember at one point often coming out of Confession, just to be severely tempted with the vilest of thoughts. Many times I fell or was at the brink of falling into despair shortly after coming out of Confession. This was a time when it was most difficult for me to receive Holy Communion. A time where it was just as difficult for me to trust in Divine Providence. Yet the Rosary was once again my chief choice of weapon. A weapon which didn’t run out of ammunition. More powerful than a two-edged sword and deadlier than any dagger ever known. It was also my phial like that one given to Frodo by Lady Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings. It was my light in dark places, when all other lights seemed to have gone out. The Rosary was what allowed me to have the courage to go to Confession as much as I needed it, and to remain close to the Sacraments, particularly Confession and Holy Communion.
It does not end there!
There was a last main way that the Rosary had been instrumental in my faith life. This has to do both with the fact that the Rosary has allowed me to persevere in the faith, but also given the fact that the Rosary has simultaneously allowed me to have such a profound love for Christ and His Church, as well as the Traditions of Holy Mother Church. Furthermore the Rosary has allowed me to constantly do the will of God and to do everything for his glory “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.”
The Rosary has allowed me to persevere in the faith given the fact that during this time it was my faith that was being attacked. It was both from inside as well as from outside. It was from inside in so far as that I dealt with a series of constant temptations against different articles of the faith. Yet the recitation of the Holy Rosary
quickly and always brought these temptations to naught. It was from outside in so far that in the midst of the journey of knowing my faith I came across what I deem “Beauty, Truth and Goodness.” The Rosary was indispensable in allowing me to appreciate the rich patrimony and traditions of the Catholic Faith. A time when my life became completely liturgical. I would not want anything short of a profoundly reverently celebrated liturgy. A time when I came completely in love with things like the Traditional Roman Missal (The Missale Romanum) and hence the Latin Mass which is justly called “The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven.” I know it was the Rosary that allowed me to center my life liturgically and furthermore to appreciate the True, Good, and Beautiful. Yet in the midst of all this I often came to experience the opposite; clergy and lay individuals who often showed a lack of zeal for truth, a lack of appreciation of reverence and beauty, and to some extent perhaps lacked goodness itself. Yet alike all other accounts it was the Rosary which allowed me to persevere in the faith. It was the Rosary which allowed me to always have a proper perspective of things. It was the Rosary that above all things allowed me to do God’s will and to have a profound love for His Church regardless of whatever someone else did.