“Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
My heart lifts with hope when the priest speaks these words after the Our Father at Mass, especially now. For many people, even those of deep faith, lingering anxiety remains one of the more sinister aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And that is why I’m leaning on faith in Christ now more than ever. It’s also why I’m pondering more deeply His life through the prayers of the Rosary. This morning, as sunlight began to fill the front window of our home, I was pounding away on the treadmill, praying my heart out as I meditated on the Glorious mysteries of this ancient prayer that soothes the soul and fosters peace of mind.
I can’t give you any deep theological reasons why praying the Rosary works. All I can tell you is that in my experience, it does. To borrow a phrase from The Chosen, “Come and see, and if you don’t like it, I’ll refund you your misery.”
Misery is all you’ve got to lose when you turn your troubled heart to our tender Savior and ask His Mama to pray for you. He listens to her — remember the Wedding Feast at Cana? He wasn’t eager to begin His ministry until His Mother implored Him.
I got serious about praying the Rosary about 15 years ago when my troubles seemed overwhelming and I was paralyzed by fear. Somehow, praying the Rosary began to bring about an overarching sense of peace. Contemplating the lives of Jesus and Mary and asking for their help is far more productive than white-knuckling it, that’s for sure.
Self-help books have nothing on the Rosary. Oh, they might have a few good ideas, but without Jesus, things are going to be way too hard, if not impossible. He has the answer and He offers His followers new life, forgiveness and peace. Who wouldn’t want that?
God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He WILL free us from anxiety, if we’ll let Him.
Like any good son, Jesus listens to His Mama. So go ahead and ask her to pray for you to her Divine Son. (Don’t you ask friends to pray for you?) Jesus gave His Mother to the Apostle John and by extension, all of us. The Rosary, Mary’s prayer that’s based on Scripture, is a great way to get closer to Jesus!
If you haven’t discovered this powerful way of praying, dive right in! The Glorious mysteries are prayed on Sundays and Wednesdays and they’re a good place to start:
The Resurrection: Jesus conquered sin and death by His death on the cross. He gives us that same power to overcome sin and fear, to break free of anxiety and live in freedom.
The Ascension: Jesus entrusted the Apostles and each one of us with a mission to spread the Good News of the new life and freedom He offers. He calls us to go forth with boldness and in total trust.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit: Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to know and understand the truth, to live it and share it effectively. His Spirit helps us to live in holiness, freedom and peace.
The Assumption: Jesus loved His Mother so much that He saved her from the moment of her conception (He’s outside time, so He applied the saving act of His death on the cross to her soul at the moment she was conceived.) He did not allow His sinless mother to undergo the corruption of death. She prays for us and in His love, He pays particular attention to her requests.
The Crowning of Our Lady: The Virgin Mary was welcomed into heaven and received a crown from her Son. We too will stand before Him one day; may it be with humble and totally repentant hearts, eager for His embrace.
There won’t be any fear or anxiety in Heaven, and the road there begins today, here and now. Pick up a rosary and let’s walk that path together in joy.