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Why Praying the Rosary is “so special, so powerful,” South African Prelate Explains

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

On the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated on Wednesday, October 7, the Archbishop of South Africa’s Cape Town Archdiocese has, in a video reflection, highlighted five reasons that make praying the Rosary “so special and so powerful.”

One of the reasons that makes praying the Rosary special and powerful is because praying the Holy Rosary is based on the Sacred Scriptures in the same way the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is founded on the word of God, Archbishop Stephen Brislin says in the 10-minute video reflection published Wednesday, October 7 on the Facebook page of the Archdiocese of Cape Town.

Archbishop Brislin explained that the mysteries of the Holy Rosary “are not human constructs, but they are given to us in the Bible, which is the foundation of our faith.”

“The Church continues to teach and give teachings in the light of modern life and new experiences, but the roots of those teachings are in Scripture and the tradition of the Church,” the Archbishop adds in his reflection that was also posted on the YouTube channel of the Archdiocese.

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He emphasizes, “In praying the Rosary we remain faithful to Scripture and that tradition.”

That the Holy Rosary is a “Christ-centered prayer, focusing on the life of Christ and the culmination of God’s great acts of salvation history for the redemption of the world” is another reason that makes the prayer special and powerful, Archbishop Brislin further says.

“This prayer, more than any other, helps us to remember and concentrate on the life of Christ, his teaching and his self-giving. It re-affirms our faith in the Incarnation, the Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus, as well as our faith in the great gift of the Holy Spirit,” the 64-year-old Prelate explains in his October 7 reflection.

The Marian mysteries help us to meditate on the power of God to save since “Mary, after all, like all human beings, is saved by Jesus Christ and she represents all of us,” the South African Archbishop adds.

Another reason praying the Holy Rosary is special and powerful is that it is prayer of contemplation, Archbishop Brislin says, making reference to the 2001 Directory for Popular Piety and the Liturgy by Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments that described the recitation of the Holy Rosary as a “contemplative prayer, which requires tranquility of rhythm or even mental lingering, which encourages the faithful to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord’s life.”

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“The point about contemplative prayer is that it is not just about ‘thinking’ of the mysteries or calling them to mind,” the South African Prelate says and explains, “In contemplation, we are assimilating the mysteries into our lives, so that prayer is no longer just words we use, but becomes a living prayer – prayer that changes and transforms us so that we are able to live what we pray.”

The Archbishop who has served the people of God in Cape Town since December 2009 also finds praying the Rosary special and powerful because “it is a prayer that seeks the intercession of Our Lady.”

“One theologian described praying the Rosary as participating in the life of Mary whose focus was on Christ,” he says in reference to Romano Guardini and adds, “Like Mary, through the Rosary, we try more and more to focus our lives on Jesus.”

The Holy Rosary “is also a recognition that Jesus himself gave Mary to be mother of the Church and, indeed, mother of us all” he further says, making reference to the Gospel of John that recounts, “Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman this is your son.’ Then to the disciple, he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

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“United with Mary in this great prayer, as we too focus on Christ, we seek her intercession for the world, for the Church, for those we love and for ourselves,” the Archbishop says in his ten-minute video reflection on the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The Holy Rosary is also special and powerful because it is a “prayer of hope,” the Archbishop says.

He explains, “No matter what difficulty we may be facing, no matter what emotions we may be subjected to, the Rosary lifts us up to see beyond ourselves in recognition of God’s acts of salvation and his continued presence and activity in the world.”

The Rosary “reminds us that God does not abandon his people, and that after the darkest of nights, which we may experience physically, emotionally or spiritually, there comes the dawn and new light,” Archbishop Brislin adds.

He goes on to say that the Holy Rosary is an uplifting prayer that brings us peace even in the most tumultuous times.

“Yes, you say, but it is so monotonous and repetitive. Indeed, it is monotonous, but St Josemaria Escriva counters this objection, with what seems to me to be quite a caustic remark, saying, Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!” he says.

Still referencing St. Josemaria Escriva, the Archbishop adds, “He also said that it is the very monotony of praying the Rosary that destroys our vainglory and pride.”

“Pray the Rosary – it is a beautiful, peaceful, powerful and Christ-centered prayer,” he says at the end of the 10-minute video recording on the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.