Saint Philomena the princess of paradise (poem)

Here is my latest poem.

Saint Philomena the princess of paradise (poem)

Saint Philomena’s life
was a shinning light
that shone through the darkness
strong and bright.

The world’s false promises
we will not swallow
Saint Philomena’s example
we shall follow.

Saint Philomena Virgin Martyr,
from your throne of grace
cast a look of pity
upon the human race.

Saint Philomena the Wonder Worker
please hear us when we pray
and guide us through the challenges
that come to us today.

Please hear our prayers
and calm our fears
and guide us through
this vale of tears.

Hear us when we cry out to you
in our time of need
and your heavenly assistance
to us please do concede.

Invoke your Guardian Angel (poem)

Give your angel
some work to do
he will not mind at all.
Invoke him in all situations
whether big or small.

Send him in ahead of you
to prepare and smooth your way
and take care of all the details
that crop up in your day.

Talk to your angel
as you’d talk to a friend
and his wonderful assistance
to you he’ll extend.

Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory and read inspiring stories of their powerful intercession for their benefactors.

Read my book an answers to prayer free on-line by clicking here

Share these two links with your family and friends.

Overcoming infertility through prayer to St Philomena the Wonder Worker

Baby Filomena Elizabeth

The following story comes from Australia. It is told here in the words of Filomena’s mother Elizabeth. Having been married on the feast of Mary the Mother of God on the 1st of January, 2000, Francis and I were trusting that God might bless us with a baby at some stage.  This was going to be a big challenge for me, as I had never considered myself to be very maternal because my reproductive cycle was always extremely “light on” or in other words “spaced out.”  Nevertheless my husband was always trusting in God’s providence and he never doubted that one day we would have a baby. I think that I “flunked” the Billings Ovulation method because in the end, our Billings practitioner was not convinced that I had been fertile during any of the months that we had consulted her, so Francis and I stopped the analysis and started praying.  Instead of consulting the medical fraternity we consulted Jesus in the tabernacle and prayed many Saint Philomena Chaplets before a statue of Saint Philomena at Saint Patrick’s in the city.   In April 2001 I discovered that I was pregnant. The great miracle had happened.  Saint Philomena made her presence felt very strongly during the labour and we subsequently named our gorgeous daughter Filomena.  There were some special pointers that Saint Philomena had indeed interceded for us in bringing about this great favour. One of these indicators was a small incident with an Italian friend of ours.  She came and visited our baby daughter when she had just been born.  She then put a question to her father when she got back home asking him to guess what we had named our daughter.  He paused for a couple of seconds and then said “Filomena.” Our friend could not believe it!  Incredible, how did he guess it? Our friend said that the name Philomena is an extremely old fashioned name in Italy and a name that probably only one’s grandmother or great grandmother might have. We thank Saint Philomena for her intercession and pray that we will able to have a brother or sister for our little Filomena.

The story above is one of the many accounts of answers to prayer from my book entitled:

Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer), which can be read free on-line by clicking here. Please pay a visit.

A wonderful conversion through the intercession of St. Philomena the Wonder Worker

This story comes from Sydney, Australia.  It is related by the mother of the boy, who is the recipient of the favour.

When one of our teenage sons began drinking heavily, smoking pot and being involved with a heavy metal rock band, my husband and I decided to give him over to the care of Saint Philomena, who we had heard was a patron saint of youth and a wonder worker.  We had heard her story and had been impressed by the many miracles which had been attributed to her intercession.

We prayed a novena and went to our first Mass in her honour.  As the Saturday night binges progressed to the whole weekend and then to week nights we decided to pray the novena continuously, imploring Saint Philomena desperately as our son’s condition continued to worsen. By this stage he would come home from work and prowl around restlessly until the phone rang and then he was out again. His pores oozed the sweet/stale smell of beer continuously.

Usually he was very gentle – even when he was drunk, but he became more agitated, blaming us for filling him with all the “God stuff” as he was growing up.  This occurred on the Saturday night of the August Mass in honour of Saint Philomena. The week that followed was very distressing.  He went off to work on the Friday at 5am as usual and I was surprised when he came home at 1.15 p.m. – his usual home time on Fridays, but lately he had gone straight to the pub and we were lucky to see him all weekend.  My son came out of his room and put a broken CD into the bin. I was again surprised and so had a look at the title of the CD. He had dozens of heavy metal CDs. It was named “Diabolos Music.” I said, as I had often said, that means Devil’s music and that it was dangerous.  Usually he would laugh if off, but this time he said “I know mum.”

He brought out the printed lyrics of the song and said that the words to this song kept going through his mind and that he felt that he was going mad, but that he was at peace now. I was almost too scared to ask him why? how?  when? I just asked if he had called on God and he said “Yes.”  At work that morning he had experienced an overwhelming sense of peace and love. A feeling of great burden had lifted off him.  He felt the presence of a woman.  He looked around but there was no one there.

My son still had the music filling his head – so I gave him a much better tape to listen to. When his mate rang that night, before he left, he asked us to pray for him and said that he would not be

late. After a couple of Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets, we were disappointed as the night wore on, because our son did not turn up.  Finally around 2 to 3am he came in.  My husband hurried out and I started another Rosary – hoping that my husband wouldn’t ruin the obvious start that my son had made.  When my husband finally came back to bed a few hours later, he said that they had been talking and praying the Rosary together.

My son had waited back to make sure that his friends got home safely. He wanted to go and tell them about his experience. They were not interested and as he listened to them, all he would hear was “hate” in their talk. That morning August the 15th was the feast of the Assumption.  He went to the Sacrament of Confession and afterwards he shed many tears.  Our eyes were also filled with tears of joy. He went to three of the four Masses that weekend and did so for many months after.

He has never drunk alcohol, smoked pot, nor has he listened to heavy metal rock music since that time.  He threw out all his CDs and heavy metal T-shirts.  His conversion was sudden. We felt that it was miraculous. He now has a great love for Jesus and Mary, for Saint Philomena, the Pope and for the Catholic Church.

Looking back now we can see the strong spiritual battle that was going on for him in those last few weeks.  He even said a couple of times that he was tempted to go and kill someone.  We continue to pray the novena to Saint Philomena for our son for his continuing conversion and thanksgiving and “with joy in our hearts, we will bless God who is admirable in His Saints.” Our son attended the World Youth Day in Rome.  (M.W.)

Editor’s note: This conversion took place in the late nineties and is still going strong today.

This is one of the many story in my book entitled: Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer), which can be read free on-line by clicking here.

Please pop over and have a look.  I promise that you will not be dissappointed.

Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory and read inspiring testimonies of their  powerful intercession for their benefactors

and then teach this devotion to others, so that they will pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory as well.

Help to travel back home (a favour granted by the Holy Souls in Purgatory for one of their benefactors)

The following story comes from a religious sister in Africa. My sister had to travel about 800 km from the capital city back to her home town, but she did not have money for the transport, which costs $150. Our other sister and brother did not want to help her. 

I had no means of helping her to go back home, but something happened for her through the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. On the second day of my prayers for them, I heard that some of our sisters were coming to the capital city for a superiors’ meeting, so I called one of the superiors who came from my sister’s town, at first she told me that they were coming to the city by public transport, but later on she changed her mind and came by car, therefore my sister had a free lift back home. I thank the Lord for his wonders and love through the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

The story above is from my book: Help from Heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free on-line by pressing on this link.

Please pop over and have a read of the book.

The powerful intercession  of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors and ways to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory

A request for feedback on my book on answers to prayer

Dear Friends,

I have written a book entitled: Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer). It is both in an on-line version and a print version.

I would like some feedback on the on-line version (which is only slightly shorter than the print version). 

It can be viewed free-online at: 

http://missionbell.homestead.com/HelpFromHeavenBook.html 

Please give me the feedback privately at:  

catacomb@bigpond.com 

Please put the words: Help from Heaven book feedback, in the subject heading of the email. 

Your feedback might be useful to help me revise the book for a future edition. There is only one purpose for this book, that is to help people. Any feedback which you give me will be greatly appreciated.

Greetings and prayers for all your intentions,

Mary Ann

(Australia)

P.S. The print edition of the book contains two extra stories, which the person giving them to me, did not wish to have printed on the internet.

Send prayer petitions to Blessed Mary MacKillop

This is the link to the website of the shrine of Blessed Mary MacKillop at North Sydney, where her body is buried in the chapel:

http://www.marymackillop.org.au/prayer-space/add-a-prayer.cfm?loadref=33

You can send prayer petitions to her shrine via this link.

What happens to my prayers, if the person being prayed for, is already in heaven?

If you are praying for the soul of a particular person who has died and that person is already in heaven, your prayers won’t be wasted. God will apply your prayers to another soul in Purgatory, so it is always valuable to pray for the souls of those who have died, even if they are actually in heaven, because you will be helping another soul in Purgatory.

If the church has declared someone to be a saint: e.g.  St Therese, you do not pray for them, but to them!

Purgatory stems from God’s Mercy.

If there were was no Purgatory, anyone who died with even a slight stain on their soul would go to hell. Purgatory is a place of purification.  Make no mistake about it though, it is a place of great suffering. It is not like a waiting room, where there is air-conditioning, a water cooler, a vending machine with drinks, snacks and some magazines to read while you wait for your appointment. Having said all that, God does not want you to go to Purgatory and you don’t have to. God can give you all the graces that you need to go straight to heaven.  You need to respond to them.

Devotion to Maria Bambina

In some countries there is a devotion to Maria as a baby, just as many of us pray to Jesus as an Infant.  This statue is in a church in Italy.

KAM0444

The Mother Teresa Emergency Novena is a real winner!

Fatima 004A mother and father were trying to talk their daughter out of going to a particular social gathering, which was going to place her in a situation that was bad for her. They tried to reason with her, but she is by nature a stubborn person and did not listen. Later in the day the mother made one Mother Theresa Emergency Novena to ask Our Lady to change her daughter’s mind. She also gave a donation to a charity on behalf of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and asked them to obtain this important favour. The daughter was determined to go to the party and even started dressing for it and putting on her makeup. When the parents saw that, they felt depressed. The mother thought that her prayers had not been answered.  The father asked the mother to go and talk to the daughter again.  The daughter informed her. “I am not going”.  She decided to go to the Saturday night Vigil Mass instead. It was amazing. The parents were so relieved.
(The Mother Teresa Emergency novena consists of saying nine  Memorares  in a row.) It is the novena which was made famous by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who used it when praying for favours.
This is the Memorare prayer:
Remember O most loving Virgin Mary that never was it known in any age that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided, inspired by this confidence, therefore I fly to thee O Virgin of Virgins my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful, do not O Mother of the Word Incarnate despise my prayers but in thy mercy graciously hear and answer them.  Amen.
A few suggestions
Life is full of situations that need help immediately, not in a week’s time.  If a mortgage is going to be foreclosed at lunchtime today, because you can’t pay it, a nine day novena or even an eight hour novena is not quiet the way to go!

Think of this emergency novena as being like an express train. It is 10.30 a.m. and  you have an appointment in the city at 11 a.m. so you catch the express train that speeds pass many stations, not the slow train that stops and picks up passengers at every station!  Imagine also that you leave at petition station and arrive at miracle station!  I like to see a picture of Mother Teresa on the outside of the train, with the words: The Mother Teresa Express novena on it. It helps to use your God given imagination when praying.

Good works and their hidden flow on effects

Good works that you do in this life, may have hidden flow on effects, which you might not see until after your death e.g. if you give a prayer card with the St. Gertrude prayer for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory to someone, they might say it many times, but might also teach it to someone else. That person might put it on a blog or a website or make cards with the prayer on it to distribute.  People who come to that website or receive one of the cards, might recommend it to their families, who then might spread it elsewhere. From there the good works might continue to spread.

You may have tried to promote a good work and no one appeared to be interested, but there are sometimes factors which you do not see, and the work might also have a good works flow on effect.

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son,  Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

http://missionbell.homestead.com/Afavourgrantedbytheholysouls.html

The web page has accounts of the intercession of The Holy Souls in Purgatory, for their benefactors in cases of illness, addictions, cars that won’t start, infertility problems, protection in accidents, conversion, chronic insomnia, their help for people who are experiencing major trouble with city councils, success with projects, employment, real estate, television sets that don’t work properly, finding lost property and trouble with relations, etc. and prayers and ideas on how to help The Holy Souls in Purgatory.

The False Ecumenical Movement (poem)

Let’s ditch the differences
And play a game.
Let’s pretend the churches,
Are all the same!
We don’t let facts,
And truth, slow us down,
We bury them safely,
In the ground!
The facts we choose,
To ignore,
As ways of unity,
We explore!

The healing of Vertigo (The Blessing of a priest), The Sacrament of the Sick

The healing of vertigo  (The blessing of a priest)

A young boy of about four years of age was suffering from vertigo attacks.  (This feels as though the room is spinning very quickly around the person. This can be terrifying experience even for an adult, so it is hard to imagine how a young child would cope with it). He used to cry out in terror: “The room is falling down”.  His mother asked every priest that they met to bless her son.  He was healed of the vertigo.

The Sacrament of the Sick

A priest was called to a nursing home to give the Sacrament of the Sick to a dying elderly lady.  After he had done that, he had a cup of the tea with the nursing home’s matron.  A few minutes later to their amazment the elderly lady walked into the room.  She was healed.

Another priest gave a blessing to a very ill patient in a hospital and the patient, much to the surprise of the priest was healed immediately of the sickness.

An interesting contradiction (prayers for the soul of Princess Diana)

At the Princess Diana funeral service (Church of England) of course, there was the implication that she is in heaven* and at the same time the clergy man there commended her soul to the Mercy of God.  How’s that for a bet each way!  I have seen some of this bet each way thinking at some Catholic funerals also.

If Princess Diana is in heaven as was  implied, why did she need the Mercy of God? Blessed Mother Theresa and her nuns prayed for the soul of Princess Diana, who was Mother Theresa’s friend. They were more with it!

*The implication was in the Song that Elton John sang at the funeral service.

A question about the Green Scapular

A situation has just come about that makes me feel just how hard it is to pray for conversions among my relatives.  Each thing that pops up seems to be worse than the last thing. The praying is everyday, the conversions seem to be non-existent. It might be hard to get some of these relatives to accept a Green Scapular. Do any of you know of any cases where someone kept a Green Scapular in their own house and said the prayer on the Green Scapular daily for a person who lives elsewhere and that person’s conversion took place?

Background information: Our Lady said that the Green Scapular should be given to the person or at least placed in their room. (That can be done without their knowledge). Some people sew a Green Scapular into the clothing of the person they want converted. They also have to say the prayer on the Green Scapular daily for the person (with confidence in Our Lady to grant this conversion).

This is just to clarify things:

My relatives are actually Catholics, but some do not go to Mass or only go when the mood suits them, others live in wrong situations. (Some relatives do live proper Catholic lives).  There are many serious problems there. They need conversions because they are baptised Catholics who don’t live or think Catholic.

I recommend to everyone to read the first comment to this posting by Sandy about her conversion from being a Protestant to coming into the Catholic Church.  It is a wonderful inspiring testimony.

The Green Scapular

St Lawrence the martyr and deacon of Rome (Feast day, August 10)

PictureofstLawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawrence was born in Osca (Huesca), a Spanish city, in the first half of the 3rd century. He came to Rome,  the centre of Christianity. He was noted for his piety, his charity in favour of the poor people and for his behaviour and integrity. 

On account of his endowments, Pope Sixtus II named him Deacon of the Church.  He had to superintend the administration of goods, accept donations, look after them and provide for the needy, orphans and widows. 

On account of these duties, Lawrence was one of the most well-known personages of the early Roman Christianity, and one of the most venerated martyrs, so much so, that his memory was preserved by many churches and chapels built in his honour. 

History tells us that Lawrence was captured by the soldiers of the Emperor Valerian, on the 6th of August, 258 in the catacombs of St. Callixtus together with Pope Sixtus II and other deacons.  While the Pontiff with the other deacons suffered martyrdom, Lawrence was set apart, so as to extort from him the treasures of the Church.  It is related that when the emperor Valerian commanded him to hand over the treasures of the Church, Lawrence  brought to him the poor and the sick people and said: “Here are the treasures of the Church”. 

Afterwards Lawrence was taken into custody by the Centurion Hippolytus who confined him in the dungeon of his palace located on Urbana Street where the Church of S. Lorenzo in Fonte is located. 

In this dark damp narrow place there was a prisoner named Lucillus who was blind.  Lawrence comforted his fellow prisoner, encouraged him, catechized him in the doctrine of Christ and used a spring of water gushing out from the ground to baptize him.  After the baptism Lucillus recovered his sight. The centurion Hippolytus often used to visit his prisoners; and having ascertained the prodigious event and more over struck by the serenity and the meekness of the prisoners illuminated by God’s grace he became a Christian, receiving baptism from Lawrence. 

Afterwards Hippolytus being recognized as a Christian was tied to the tails of horses and dragged along on stones and brambles until he died. Lawrence was burnt alive on a grill in a place not too far from the site of the prison and his ashes were placed in the Verano graveyard in the Saint Ciriaca catacomb.  St. Lawrence’s martyrdom is dated in the Roman martyrology, on the August 10, 258 A.D. 

As a reminder of these events three churches were built in Rome which are still in existence.  St. Lawrence in Fonte (site of the prison), St Lawrence in Panisperna (the place of the martyrdom) and St. Lawrence in Verano (site of the burial). 

Click here to read a poem on the life of St Lawrence

Click here to learn about the powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors and ways to help them.

St John Vianney

vianney1

 

Our parish of St John Vianney displays his relic on his feast day.

Favours from the saints: A bad case of laryngitis (Saint Blaise)

Each month I used to meet with a friend.  We attended Mass at the cathedral and then had lunch at the shopping centre afterwards. On one of these occasions my friend showed up with a very severe case of laryngitis.  She told me that she had been in this state for a few weeks. I introduced her to the priest.  He gave her a blessing in honour of Saint Blaise the patron saint of throats.  I jokingly remarked to her, “You should be all fixed up now because Father has blessed you.”  We went into the church. A few minutes later the Mass began.  I was amazed to hear my friend singing the hymn in her full strength soprano voice. 

Saint Blaise is the saint who is invoked for protection against throat problems. On his feast day (February 3),  there is a special blessing.  The priest takes two candles which are held in a crossed position and places them upon the throat of the person to be blessed and invokes Saint Blaise to protect the person from throat troubles.

This story is from my book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free on-line here. 

Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of Blessed Mary MacKillop and also her feast day.

Today is the one hundredth anniversary of the death of Blessed Mary MacKillop of Australia and it is also her feast day.

She was a much misunderstood woman who suffered greatly at the hands of the clergy particularly the bishops.  Blessed Mary MacKillop was unjustly accused of so much, for example, each month she suffered great pain for a couple of days and had to stay in bed on these occasions.  There were no suitable pain killers in those days, so the doctor suggested that she take a tablespoon of brandy to dull the pain. Another nun even measured it out and administered it to her.  Despite this she was accused of being an alcoholic!  She was pronounced “excommunicated” by a bishop when she was just asking for a clarification of his words. This was actually an invalid action on the part of the bishop and was fixed up when he was dying. There is heaps to say about Blessed Mary MacKillop and I can also relate some great stories about her intercession. Do yourself a favour and read the story of her life.

A method of meditating on the Rosary

This article outlines one particular method of saying the Rosary. It is not necessarily the best one; however it may be a valuable aid to some people. The Rosary consists of two parts.  The first part; is the actual prayers; The Our Father, The Hail Mary, The Gloria, etc. The second part is meditation upon the mysteries of the Rosary. At the Catholic secondary school that I attended; once a month, all the teachers and students would recite the Rosary in the church before Mass. I do not recall even one class lesson being given to us on how to say the Rosary. My family also recited the Rosary during the Christmas season. When I married, I learned from my husband that you had to meditate on the mysteries while saying the prayers of the Rosary. This came as a great surprise to me. Actually it was more like a shock. I kept asking myself why didn’t the Catholic schools that I attended tell me about this. To be fair they did teach me the catechism.
The business of meditation while saying the prayers of the Rosary; conjured up visions of something like juggling balls in one hand and playing the piano with the other hand.  It was hard for me to imagine how you could do both of them at the same time. I also looked upon the business of meditation as something for mystics who lived in caves in the desert. Meditation didn’t seem to be anything remotely connected with me.
After the initial shock wore off, I started to learn how to meditate on the mysteries, while saying the vocal prayers.  The first stage of this process was the use of books which contained ten scriptural verses for each decade of the Rosary. My eyes slowly scanned each scriptural verse, while I said the vocal prayers (Hail Marys) etc. This method felt somewhat artificial and mechanical, but at least I was combining both the meditation and the prayers at the same time. When the scriptural verses were partly memorised, I did not use the books anymore.  The “walking stick” was thrown away.  The verses went through my mind, while saying the prayers vocally. Pictures from books, depicting the decades were also utilised. The next stage was that as well as scriptural verses going through my mind; the pictures that I had seen in the books were also visualised. I closed my eyes and literally could see these scenes as though they were in the room. These scenes filled up the whole area that I was viewing. All of this was in colour.
The vocal prayers receded into the background, like background music that is played softly, while you are eating dinner and talking in the restaurant. The meditation came to the forefront. As well as visualising scenes from the actual decades (such as the Archangel Gabriel appearing to Mary), for variety I added at the beginning of each decade, a visual image of either the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or the Divine Mercy and at the end of each decade an image of Mary as she appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure in the Miraculous Medal vision, which depicts Mary distributing graces, as rays coming from her hands. Studying the pictures on holy cards was useful in helping me to visualise these images.
By the time that this stage was reached it was a great deal easier for me to say Rosaries even when I was very tired. A good way to keep up your motivation to say the Rosary is to make a 54 day rosary novena for a special intention.  It is amazing how this will keep you going when your motivation to say the Rosary is running on low.
The method described above also can be employed when saying other chaplets: such as The Little Chaplet of the Holy Infant Jesus and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. In the Infant Jesus Chaplet, you can visualise a picture of the Infant Jesus of Prague. In the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy you can mediate on the Divine Mercy picture and also visualise Saint Faustina having a vision of the angel who is about to carry out God’s just punishment on a particular part of the world, and the angel becoming helpless in carrying this out as Saint Faustina prayed the words of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.  There are many other appropriate scenes which you can visualise while saying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.
Some benefits of meditating on the Rosary.
Meditation on the Rosary puts before our minds, the true purpose of our lives and also keeps us focused on where we hope to spend our eternity (heaven). It counteracts the blatant messages in the media, which seek to corrupt our behaviour and get us interested in things like, money making, pleasure seeking and many immoral practices. The thoughts in our minds will greatly influence the choices that we make in how we live our lives.  Saying the Rosary will tilt the balance heavily to the side of making good moral choices. It is well known that people sometimes act out criminal activities, even murders and robberies that they have seen in movies.  It is because these things occupy their minds, because they had been viewing them and thinking about them. On the other end of the scale, if your mind is filled with images from Rosary meditations: such as Mary going to visit her elderly relative Elizabeth to help her, you will be more inclined to practice the virtue of charity. If you like the method that has been offered of saying the Rosary try it. When you are familiar with the method modify it to your own special needs. It is like learning any other skill. First you learn the basics and then you adapt it as your ability develops. Meditation on the Rosary prevents it from being a mechanical repetition of vocal prayers. If you learnt the art of meditation on the Rosary, and then attempted to just say the prayers again, without meditation, you would find it a very dry and tedious exercise.
Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary helps lift our minds out of the bog of everyday things that we see and experience, to things eternal that we cannot see.  We are reminded that the here and now is not all that there is. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary stops our mind from focusing too much on the unimportant.
Rosary beads
Rosary beads help you to keep track of where you are up to in the Rosary and give a soothing feeling as you move the beads through your fingers. It is best to have one pair of Rosary beads for use at home and one pair to keep in your handbag or pocket.  Seeing your Rosary beads will remind you to say the Rosary.  If you do not have a pair of Rosary beads with you, remember that you have ten fingers to pray the Rosary with. There are occasions when a one-decade set of Rosary beads comes in handy. One decade Rosaries are sometimes made into rings and bracelets.  (On my First Holy Communion day, I was given a bracelet made with pearls that had the beads for five decades. It has a small silver coloured crucifix.  I don’t think that they are available anymore.) Remember to get a priest to bless your Rosary beads.

rosary_beads_number_3

This article outlines one particular method of saying the Rosary. It is not necessarily the best one; however it may be a valuable aid to some people. The Rosary consists of two parts.  The first part; is the actual prayers; The Our Father, The Hail Mary, The Gloria, etc. The second part is meditation upon the mysteries of the Rosary. At the Catholic secondary school that I attended; once a month, all the teachers and students would recite the Rosary in the church before Mass. I do not recall even one class lesson being given to us on how to say the Rosary. My family also recited the Rosary during the Christmas season. When I married, I learned from my husband that you had to meditate on the mysteries while saying the prayers of the Rosary. This came as a great surprise to me. Actually it was more like a shock. I kept asking myself why didn’t the Catholic schools that I attended tell me about this. To be fair they did teach me the catechism.

The business of meditation while saying the prayers of the Rosary; conjured up visions of something like juggling balls in one hand and playing the piano with the other hand.  It was hard for me to imagine how you could do both of them at the same time. I also looked upon the business of meditation as something for mystics who lived in caves in the desert. Meditation didn’t seem to be anything remotely connected with me.

After the initial shock wore off, I started to learn how to meditate on the mysteries, while saying the vocal prayers.  The first stage of this process was the use of books which contained ten scriptural verses for each decade of the Rosary. My eyes slowly scanned each scriptural verse, while I said the vocal prayers (Hail Marys) etc. This method felt somewhat artificial and mechanical, but at least I was combining both the meditation and the prayers at the same time. When the scriptural verses were partly memorised, I did not use the books anymore.  The “walking stick” was thrown away.  The verses went through my mind, while saying the prayers vocally. Pictures from books, depicting the decades were also utilised. The next stage was that as well as scriptural verses going through my mind; the pictures that I had seen in the books were also visualised. I closed my eyes and literally could see these scenes as though they were in the room. These scenes filled up the whole area that I was viewing. All of this was in colour.

The vocal prayers receded into the background, like background music that is played softly, while you are eating dinner and talking in the restaurant. The meditation came to the forefront. As well as visualising scenes from the actual decades (such as the Archangel Gabriel appearing to Mary), for variety I added at the beginning of each decade, a visual image of either the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or the Divine Mercy and at the end of each decade an image of Mary as she appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure in the Miraculous Medal vision, which depicts Mary distributing graces, as rays coming from her hands. Studying the pictures on holy cards was useful in helping me to visualise these images.

By the time that this stage was reached it was a great deal easier for me to say Rosaries even when I was very tired. A good way to keep up your motivation to say the Rosary is to make a 54 day rosary novena for a special intention.  It is amazing how this will keep you going when your motivation to say the Rosary is running on low.

The method described above also can be employed when saying other chaplets: such as The Little Chaplet of the Holy Infant Jesus and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. In the Infant Jesus Chaplet, you can visualise a picture of the Infant Jesus of Prague. In the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy you can mediate on the Divine Mercy picture and also visualise Saint Faustina having a vision of the angel who is about to carry out God’s just punishment on a particular part of the world, and the angel becoming helpless in carrying this out as Saint Faustina prayed the words of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.  There are many other appropriate scenes which you can visualise while saying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.

Some benefits of meditating on the Rosary.

Meditation on the Rosary puts before our minds, the true purpose of our lives and also keeps us focused on where we hope to spend our eternity (heaven). It counteracts the blatant messages in the media, which seek to corrupt our behaviour and get us interested in things like, money making, pleasure seeking and many immoral practices. The thoughts in our minds will greatly influence the choices that we make in how we live our lives.  Saying the Rosary will tilt the balance heavily to the side of making good moral choices. It is well known that people sometimes act out criminal activities, even murders and robberies that they have seen in movies.  It is because these things occupy their minds, because they had been viewing them and thinking about them. On the other end of the scale, if your mind is filled with images from Rosary meditations: such as Mary going to visit her elderly relative Elizabeth to help her, you will be more inclined to practice the virtue of charity. If you like the method that has been offered of saying the Rosary try it. When you are familiar with the method modify it to your own special needs. It is like learning any other skill. First you learn the basics and then you adapt it as your ability develops. Meditation on the Rosary prevents it from being a mechanical repetition of vocal prayers. If you learnt the art of meditation on the Rosary, and then attempted to just say the prayers again, without meditation, you would find it a very dry and tedious exercise.

Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary helps lift our minds out of the bog of everyday things that we see and experience, to things eternal that we cannot see.  We are reminded that the here and now is not all that there is. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary stops our mind from focusing too much on the unimportant.

Rosary beads

Rosary beads help you to keep track of where you are up to in the Rosary and give a soothing feeling as you move the beads through your fingers. It is best to have one pair of Rosary beads for use at home and one pair to keep in your handbag or pocket.  Seeing your Rosary beads will remind you to say the Rosary.  If you do not have a pair of Rosary beads with you, remember that you have ten fingers to pray the Rosary with. There are occasions when a one-decade set of Rosary beads comes in handy. One decade Rosaries are sometimes made into rings and bracelets.  (On my First Holy Communion day, I was given a bracelet made with pearls that had the beads for five decades. It has a small silver coloured crucifix.  I don’t think that they are available anymore.) Remember to get a priest to bless your Rosary beads.

Audio tapes, Video Tapes and CD’s

Audio tapes, video tapes and CD’s on the Rosary might be useful aids in some cases to assist with meditation on the Mysteries.

This article is an extract from my book: Help from Heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free on-line here.

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