Welcome to October! Do you, as I do, find it hard to believe that it’s October already?
The cool crisp air of last week ushered in cold damp showers this week, invoking that New England feeling of the joy of fall, the longing for summer, and the resigned anticipation of the winter that lies ahead. The seasons of nature and the seasons of the Church provide us the opportunity to prepare physically and spiritually for the changes awaiting us. Summer clothing makes its way to the attic and the hoodies and sweaters take their place in our bureaus and closets. We find ourselves, too, making our way through the Church calendar approaching the end of the Liturgical Year with just 2 months before the new year begins. How do we prepare for the coming of Advent? The Church gives us the answer.
In the midst of Ordinary Time, the Church dedicates the month of October to the Holy Rosary. If there’s one daily prayer I recommend unreservedly to all people, it’s the rosary. My grandmother had a great devotion to the rosary. By the time she died, she prayed 27 rosaries a day. She called it “her job”. “I can’t do much, but I can pray,” she’d say. From the time I was little, it was present in my family, but I never prayed it regularly until I became a mom. Quite honestly, there’s nothing that will bring you faster to your knees than being a mom. I knew I needed prayer, and, pray I did.
I don’t quite understand it, but something happens when you pray the rosary, something powerful and profound. I’ve seen it time and time again – spiritual growth, a deeper relationship with Jesus, marriages healed, babies born, prayers answered – all through Our Ladies quiet intercession. It is truly remarkable. If you don’t already do so, I encourage you to pray the rosary daily – over your oatmeal, in the car, or in a quiet corner of your house – to transform ordinary time into extraordinary time.
About a year and a half ago I added the Memorare to my daily prayer rhythm, praying for a very specific intention. I now have a whole bunch of prayer intentions for the Memorare, which I pray frequently throughout the day. I pray in complete confidence in Our Lady’s intercession. I don’t know when things will happen, but I know they will.
In last month’s Magnificat, I ran across a meditation by Caryll Houselander (one of my faves) which spoke of this confidence, and I thought it you might like it as well, so I pass it along, hoping it touches you as it did me.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you! Anne
You say, “Will I ever be able to become good and sincere and true to God?” My belief is that you are, and you need only to trust him completely; then one day you will realize this suddenly, when you least expect it, in the form of peace.
But say the Memorare often – the result of it is wonderful, as I have learnt lately. I seldom say prayers by heart, or say much at all, but I was persuaded to say this prayer by a convert Jew, so to please him I did and have found the answers to it astonishing. Some people think it foolish to ask God for little things, but I do not think it matters at all what one asks for, so long as in asking for anything one recognizes one’s own dependence on God, his Fatherhood and his longing to give himself, no matter in what way. Sometimes a tiny childish thing brings home to us more than a big thing the intense love which can make Omnipotence concerned, for our sakes, with trifles.
(From the Letters of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy, Maisie Ward, Ed. 1965, Sheed & Ward Publishers.)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.