Ruth Pakaluk on the Rosary

[Some straight talk from an articulate and devout Catholic mom and pro-life speakerShe died from cancer in 1998, at the age of 41.]

“In the past century… it has become abundantly clear that Mary wants to increase devotion to the Rosary.  Her appearance at Fatima should have been enough to settle the question for all time. [She even identified herself there as “The Lady of the Rosary“]  Those of us who are mothers know that saying something once never suffices for all time, so Mary has taken the trouble to appear numerous times to many different people, reiterating this little piece of maternal advice: ‘Say the Rosary.’

“Now, many people today think the Rosary is too old-fashioned.  They think that, since the time of Vatican II, we have moved beyond simplistic, repetitious, maybe even superstitious vocal prayer into the superior realm of ‘centering’ prayer, or praying in tongues, or conversational, spontaneous prayer.  I do not mean to disparage any other form of Christian prayer—all have their good points, and we should all be developing our prayer life to include other forms of personal prayer.  But people: if the Mother of God, who stands, body and soul, in the presence of God already enjoying the beatific vision; if the Mother of the Church, the creature whom only God Himself is greater than; if this Lady from heaven says, ‘Pray the Rosary,’ well, I think we should do just what she says, no matter what.  Chances are, she has a pretty darn good reason for being so insistent about asking us to say the Rosary.

“Think about the way you deal with your children.  You tell them to brush their teeth.  You tell them to wash their hands before eating.  You tell them to change their socks regularly.  They usually do not see the efficacy of doing what you say.  They complain that it’s too hard, or too boring, or too time-consuming to do all of these dumb little things.  But we know that if we can bludgeon them into forming these habits, then they won’t lose their teeth, they won’t die of typhus or dysentery, and their socks won’t be reduced to shreds in a matter of days.  It takes time, but most children come to realize that their mothers were right about these matters.

“Why don’t we recognize that the same thing applies to our relationship with Mary?  We should do just what she asks and trust that she really does know what is for our own good.  She wants people to say the Rosary each day…

[Concerning May devotions to Our Lady] “…the beauty of the flowering trees, the fresh pale green of the new grass and leaves, the delicacy of the spring flowers—all these things put us in mind of the extraordinary beauty of the Blessed Virgin, the Bride of the Holy Spirit, this youthful Mother of the living.

“Mary is our Mother… You know you love your mother. You know she knows you love her.  And yet it is important to give outward, even somewhat formal, expression to this love.  So when Mother’s Day rolls around, most of us make a point of doing something extra to let our mothers know that we appreciate what they have done for us, even if it is just a small thing like a phone call or a card…

“The reason we love Mary is because she brought Christ into the world.  She is our Mother because she was Jesus’ Mother first, and He gave her to us.  Mary plays an essential role as the spiritual Mother of each and every individual Christian.  It would be obtuse and ungrateful if we were to fail to acknowledge her.  And if we consider that Jesus is fully human, it becomes clear that He wants us to recognize Mary.  ‘Are you not moved to hear some affectionate word addressed to your mother?  The same thing happens to Our Lord. We cannot separate Jesus from his Mother’ [St. Josemaría Escrivá]. To hear praise of one’s own mother: as adults, isn’t this a great joy for us?  So it is for Jesus, as for the Holy Trinity who made her.”

[From a talk on The Rosary and May Pilgrimages, found in The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God: The Story of Ruth Pakaluk—Convert, Mother, Pro-life Activist]

About Father Joseph

I am a priest and monk currently serving with the Contemplatives of St Joseph in South San Francisco, CA. I am in my 33rd year of monastic life and in my 24th as a priest.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: