“Following one’s vocation means waging a continuous battle because the devil will make every effort to ruin vocations. Thus, the Rosary is a great means of victory” (Blessed James Alberione).
When I first began discerning my vocation, the Rosary played a major role in my prayer life. As I would meditate upon each mystery passing each bead through my fingers, there was an awareness of Christ’s peace flowing from my heart. It is our Blessed Mother who, during times of doubt and uncertainty, can bring us to her son if we only come to her. She patiently waits for us to accept the graces that she longs to offer from God; that which has been obtained for us by the death and resurrection of Christ. The Rosary has remained a powerful force in my life that has helped me immensely in the spiritual battle to continue the fight for my vocation.
Many young women, when they first begin the process of discernment of their vocation, are met with feelings of anxiety and even fear. It is a natural part of being human when we are hesitant to make a serious change in our lives, one that affects our future. Whether we are discerning religious life or marriage, the feeling of butterflies fluttering in our stomach is very real when we first set out on the journey. We all remember how we felt before going out on our first date with a young man or the first time we contacted a vocation director in a religious community: nervousness, nervousness and more nervousness. But once we realize that we are not in control, and that God has ahold of the steering wheel in our ride through life, then we can find peace. Our Lady can help us to know the truth and to find that peace much sooner, if we go to Jesus through her.
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There are days when it is a challenge to pray the Rosary, and our minds simply cannot settle down, but we need to go to our mother anyway. We present ourselves to her despite our baggage and bring it all to prayer. I remember a priest once telling us during a homily, “On days when you don’t feel like even praying the Rosary once, then pray it twice.” With humility we can surrender all that we are to Christ and run to his mother as little children with arms wide open, ready and willing to accept her with complete trust that she will endow us with all that we need.
During some of the most difficult times in my life, it was by praying the Rosary in the serenity and quiet of the chapel that I truly felt the consolation and love of Our Lady. While sitting in the hallowed space gazing upon the golden crucifix before the reredos of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the sweet fragrance of prayer would envelop me. I knew I was safe in the Madonna’s embrace; the Rosary was my calm in the midst of the storm. In those moments when I felt abandoned and alone as I gazed upon the face of Christ while clutching a rosary in my hand, I remembered how Jesus was also abandoned and rejected by those he loved. With each Fátima prayer spoken from my lips, more tears flowed down my cheeks because I could feel how much he loved me. I became aware of the intimate dialogue taking place within my heart, where Jesus whispered to me, “I am in control, not Satan, and be at peace in knowing that I am your beloved, the spouse of your heart for all eternity.” The devil is no match for Our Lady because he is set to flight at the words, “Ave Maria,” and it is in those moments of prayer that we can feel the presence of Christ.
It is by praying the Rosary that we are able to obtain the strength and courage necessary to endure the trials and afflictions of life. As our mother she holds us close beneath her mantle, and through each mystery we meditate upon she gently leads us to a deeper and more intimate relationship with her son. The devotion of the Rosary is a beautiful gift that Our Lady has given us; more precious than gold because, as St. Louis de Montfort said, it is “a priceless treasure inspired by God.”