Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Last night I traveled to St. Frances Cabrini Parish in West Bend. I conducted a rosary and benediction service commemorating the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in the presence of an image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii. This image is a full-sized replica, commissioned by the U.S. Representative to the Pompeii Shrine in Italy.
The first Sunday in October was the usual day for this celebration, when in 1571 the Christians defeated the Turks in a major naval battle of Lepanto. It is said that the Christians prayed the rosary publicly in a street procession while the battle was being fought. Of course, naval strategy had a lot to do with the victory, however, no one discounts the power of prayer. It is always interesting to me how Our Lady joins us together in prayer. We are all her children even if separated by miles or continents.
The theme of the service at St. Frances Cabrini was the rosary being central to peace and the family. Private devotion is an important aspect in personal spiritual development. We need to discover those devotional prayers to Mary or the saints and integrate them as part of our daily lives. The rosary certainly is a major instrument in focusing our spiritual direction and offers a convenient method of prayer.
One can pray the rosary wherever they are; even if the beads are not available, there are always one’s fingers. I can personally testify that the rosary has brought me personal peace during times of stress. Many times, I have been seen with a rosary in my hands in hospital rooms or at patients’ bedside, in the chapel before a challenging time, and even in the car while driving, especially when friends asked for prayers of intervention.
It is so comforting to ask Our Holy Mother for her assistance. The “family” needs our prayers today more than ever. The “family” is under attack by the secular forces. People quickly turn to divorce as a solution to marital problems. They accept a contraceptive mentality, which sees children as a burden, and engage in sexual promiscuity that demeans the interpersonal relationship of the couple. There is an old saying, “the family that prays together, stays together.” The older I get the wiser that statement becomes.
Prayer is at the core of our unity. It keeps us in contact with our God and holds us responsible before Him for the actions that we take. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pray a rosary and ask our Blessed Lady to help our country; after all, our Mother would want us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Note: This blog originally appeared as the October 9, 2012 "Love One Another" email sent to Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. If you are interested in signing up for these email messages, please click here.