The Rosary Pope Speaks

December 9, 2018

The Rosary Pope Speaks

During his 25 year papacy, Pope Leo XIII encouraged all Christians to pray the rosary every day because it was a key to personal holiness and a powerful weapon in combating evil. Here are a few quotes from his numerous writings on the rosary.

“The rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”

“The spirit of prayer and the practice of Christian life are best attained through the devotion of the rosary of Mary.”

“The rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, combining in a convenient and practical form an unexcelled form of prayer, an instrument well adapted to preserve the faith and an illustrious example of perfect virtue, should be often in the hands of the true Christian and be devoutly recited and meditated upon.”

“In places, families, and nations in which the rosary of Mary retains its ancient honor, the loss of faith through ignorance and vicious error need not be feared.”

“May Mary, the Mother of God and of men, herself the authoress and teacher of the rosary, procure for us its happy fulfillment.”

“A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Advent

December 2, 2018

Advent

Today is the First Sunday of Advent. As we begin a new Liturgical Year in the Church, indeed a Year of Grace, we should all be striving ever more to live in the Grace of God. This new beginning of the Church Year is an opportunity for us all to resolve to learn more about our beloved Catholic Faith, to understand more deeply the incredible Mystery of the Holy Mass, and to thrive on the Sacramental Graces available to us.

Don’t get caught up in the pointless rat race to find the best gift for this or that person. Understand that the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is the greatest of all Gifts. It is the efficacious sign of our salvation. It is the Source and Summit of our Faith. Instead of getting caught up in the pursuit of what you may “get” for Christmas, get caught up in what you can GIVE to God in celebration of the Incarnation of His Son. How about a heart and soul cleansed from sin? How about a deeper study of Sacred Scripture? It’s a new Church Year, and opportunities abound!

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

The Rosary Priest and the Family Rosary

November 18, 2018

The Servant of God Patrick Peyton (1909-1992) was an Irish priest whose efforts to spread the family rosary are unparalleled. Because he believed the rosary to be an effective tool for evangelization and catechesis, he desired to get 10 million families to pray the rosary every day. He initiated several movements to promote the family rosary and produced 15 short films that used the mysteries of the rosary as their central theme. He organized numerous rosary rallies some of which were attended by as many as two million people.

Fr. Peyton influenced Pope Saint Paul VI to write the 1974 apostolic letter Marialis Cultus in which the pope defended the rosary and placed special emphasis on the family rosary.

His devotion to Mary inspired people all over the world to pray the rosary as a means of peaceful resistance to dictatorial regimes. In 1986 Fr. Peyton’s message gave the Filipino people the courage to stand in front of President Ferdinand Marcos’ oncoming tanks with nothing but their rosaries. They were encouraged by billboards along the freeway that read, “The family that prays together stays together” and “A world at prayer is a world at peace.” The rosary brought about a peaceful revolution without a single shot being fired.

“The family that prays together stays together.”

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

The Rosary Pope

Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903) is best known for Rerum Novarum, his famous encyclical written in response to the social injustices of the Industrial Revolution. He also composed the prayer to St. Michael, the archangel, following a mystical experience in which he heard Satan tell Our Lord that he could defeat the Church if he had more time and more power. Pope Leo understood that the coming century would be the bloodiest in history and that the Church would be attacked from many directions. In order to enter into spiritual combat, he ordered that extra prayers be said after every low Mass including the St. Michael prayer. These are the same prayers that we now say after Sunday Mass.

There has never been a papacy as dedicated to the Rosary as that of Pope Leo XIII. He understood that the rosary was a spiritual weapon that would help expand the kingdom of God and establish peace in families, society, and the entire world.

In his eleven encyclicals on the rosary, he taught that a Christian trying to live the faith without Mary is like a bird trying to fly without wings. He believed that the rosary was part of the solution to the social problems of his day. He encouraged everyone to pray the rosary daily. He expected all priests and missionaries to preach the rosary because of its power to conquer evil and heal human hearts.

“A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Thank a Veteran

November 11, 2018

As we celebrate Veterans’ Day today, it is a time for us all to pause and reflect on just what our Veterans have done for us. “Some gave all; all gave some.” When a man or woman enters into military service, he or she vows to defend our nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Included in the documents signed at that time is the sobering admission that joining the Service may cost you your life.

In times of armed conflict (read: war), huge numbers of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have laid down their lives in the name of freedom. Countless myriads have gone through events that would absolutely petrify the average citizen. Those who saw the face of war came home scarred for life, if they came home at all. And the vast majority of those who survived those wars absolutely do not talk about it. It’s not a topic for dinner conversation.

We owe our Veterans a debt of deepest respect. It is because of their selfless sacrifice that we enjoy all the creature comforts of life that we routinely take for granted. It is because of our Veterans that speaking Japanese, Chinese, Russian, or Arabic in the USA is an academic option, not a social necessity.

It is a tragedy that Veterans are not universally respected in our modern society. It is disgrace that Veterans are homeless in our nation. And it is a disservice to our young people that video games glorify war and killing. War and killing are not games. In reality you don’t “get another life” or get to start over. And you can’t just forget the “game” when it’s over.

Whenever you encounter a Veteran in any social setting, be sure to tip your hat and offer thanks. When I was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, someone called the base to complain about all the loud jet engine noise, and the planes flying over their house. The Airman asked, “Did you get a good look at the tail of the airplane?” “YES I DID!” the caller shouted. The Airmen then asked, “Did it have an American flag on it?” “YES IT DID!” the caller boomed. “You’re welcome,” the Airman said, and hung up.

My hat is off to all of our Veterans. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service. And Ooh-Rah, Aim High, Semper Fi and Hold Your Heads High!

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Lourdes and the Rosary

November 4, 2018

Lourdes and the Rosary

Exactly 650 years after the Virgin Mary gave St. Dominic the rosary, she began appearing to a French girl named Bernadette Soubirous on February 11, 1858. This occurred four years after Pope Pius IX defined the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The dogma states, “that from the first moment of her conception, Mary – by the singular grace of God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ – was preserved immune from original sin.”

In one apparition Mary identified herself by saying, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Lourdes became known as a rosary apparition because in each of her eighteen appearances Our Lady had a golden rosary draped over her right arm. As Bernadette prayed the rosary, Mary let her fingers glide over the beads and joined Bernadette in praying the Glory Be.

In addition to the many miracles that occurred at Lourdes, the apparitions sparked a renewed worldwide devotion to the rosary.

Every evening pilgrims to Lourdes gather in Rosary Square in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary to pray the rosary in a torchlight procession. One of the largest celebrations occurs on October 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Pope Pius XI canonized St. Bernadette on December 8, 1933, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

“A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

The Rosary Defeats Boco Haram

October 28, 2018

The Rosary Defeats Boco Haram

    About 4 years ago Nigerian Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme was praying his rosary before the Blessed Sacrament. He was seeking divine guidance on how to respond to the presence in his diocese of Boco Haram, the murderous Muslim terrorist sect. In the middle of his prayer Jesus appeared to him holding a sword. Jesus said nothing but stretched out his hands inviting Bishop Doeme to take the weapon. As the Bishop took the sword it turned into a rosary. Jesus said three times, “Boco Haram is gone” and then disappeared.

    Bishop Doeme got his answer. He stated, “I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation. It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boco Haram.”

    He directed his Priests to begin began rosary crusades throughout the diocese. By early 2017 he announced that Boco Haram was nearly vanquished in his diocese. In the areas of Nigeria where they do not have the rosary crusades, Boco Haram is still active.

    You can hear Bishop Doeme speak about this on YouTube. Check it out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83KIv9tlC0Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwVdYXyxln0

    “A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”

    For the Greater Glory of God,
    Fr. Matt

Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 21, 2018

Because he had failed to combat the Albigensian heresy, St. Dominic retreated to a forest in southern France to seek divine guidance. Our Lady appeared to him there and instructed him on how to use the rosary as a spiritual “weapon of war and a battering ram against heresy.” She said,

“Wonder not that until now you have obtained so little fruit by your labors; you have spent them on a barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth, he began by sending down on it the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore, preach my Psalter.”

Mary then gave him the 15 mysteries and instructed him to divide the 150 Hail Marys of the Marian Psalter into 10 Hail Marys with each decade attached to one of the mysteries. The faithful were to meditate on each mystery while reciting the Hail Mary.

When Dominic combined “the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation” with preaching on the mysteries of Christ he was able to win hearts back to Christ and overcome the Albigensians. Imagine what we could do if everyone prayed the rosary daily!

“A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

St. Dominic and the Rosary (Part One)

October 14, 2018

For centuries the rosary has been the weapon of choice to combat evil, overcome heresies, win military battles, and achieve personal holiness. Now, more than ever, we need the assistance of Our Lady of the Rosary to combat the evils and scandals of our time.

The pious tradition of the Church is that St. Dominic (1179-1221) received the rosary in its present form from Mary Herself in 1208 at the time of the Albigensian heresy.

The Albigensians believed that a good deity created the world of the spirit and that an evil god created the material world. All matter including the human body was, therefore, evil. They rejected the Sacraments and denied the Incarnation. To them the idea that God would take on evil flesh to save all mankind was unthinkable.

Though a trained theologian and a gifted preacher, Dominic had failed in his attempts to combat the Albigensians. In frustration, he retreated to a forest in France to pray and seek heavenly guidance. After three days of prayer, fasting, penitential acts, Our Lady appeared to him with a message and a weapon that would change the world. The rosary has indeed changed the world. More on this next week.

“A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Holy Communion, Sacred Sacrament!

October 7, 2018

Receiving our Lord in Holy Communion is the most sacred act of our lives. When we receive Holy Communion, we are united with our Lord in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that we approach Holy Communion reverently and receive Him properly. In the United States, Holy Communion may be received either kneeling or standing, either on the tongue or in the hand. Whichever the case, it is important that we are not in a hurry, and not a “moving target.”

When receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, it is most appropriate to lean the head back just a bit, open the mouth sufficiently, and lay the tip of the tongue on the lower lip. This posture is perfectly suited so that Father or the Extraordinary Minister can easily place the Host on the tongue.

When receiving Holy Communion on the hand, it is most appropriate to place the right hand under the left, so that a stable platform is created for the Host. Once the Host is placed in the palm of the left hand, the right hand can then grasp the Host with the thumb and index finger, and the Host is consumed immediately. It is never acceptable to walk away with the Host.

It is also very important for us to remember that we are receiving Holy Communion, not taking Holy Communion. We are being fed by God with the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of His Divine Son. It is therefore not appropriate to reach for the Host.

It is most appropriate to make an act of reverence immediately before receiving Holy Communion, and in the United States, a simple, slow bow of the head is the norm. After receiving Holy Communion the Communicant responds, “Amen,” and it is customary to make the Sign of the Cross.

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt