By Saint Louis de Montfort

How to Avoid Distraction When Praying the Rosary

To be guilty of willful distractions during prayer shows a great lack of respect and reverence. It makes our Rosaries unfruitful and makes us guilty of sin. Let’s learn how to avoid distraction when praying the Rosary!

How can we expect God to listen to us if we ourselves do not pay attention to what we are saying? How can we expect him to be pleased if, while in the presence of his tremendous majesty, we give in to distractions, like a child running after a butterfly? People who do that forfeit God’s blessing, which is changed into a curse for having treated the things of God disrespectfully: “Cursed be the one who does God’s work negligently.” Jer. 48:10.

Of course, you cannot say your Rosary without having a few involuntary distractions. It is even difficult to say a Hail Mary without your imagination troubling you a little, for it is never still. But you can say it without voluntary distractions. And you must take all sorts of precautions to lessen involuntary distractions and to control your imagination.

To do this:

1) Put yourself in the presence of God and imagine that God and his Blessed Mother are watching you.

2) Imagine that your guardian angel is at your right hand, taking your Hail Marys. If we say them well, our guardian angel will use them like roses to make crowns for Jesus and Mary.

3) Remember that at your left hand is the devil. He’s ready to pounce on every Hail Mary that comes his way. He will write it down in his book of death if they are not said with attention, devotion, and reverence.

4) Do not fail to offer up each decade in honor of one of the mysteries. Try to form a picture in your mind of Jesus and Mary in connection with that mystery.

STORY

We read in the life of Blessed Hermann of the Order of the Premonstratensians. At one time, he used to say the Rosary attentively and devoutly while meditating on the mysteries. Our Lady used to appear to him resplendent in breathtaking majesty and beauty.

But, as time went on, his fervor cooled and he fell into the way of saying his Rosary hurriedly and without giving it his full attention. Then one day our Lady appeared to him again. But this time she was far from beautiful. There were furrows on her face and her face shown great sadness.

Blessed Hermann was appalled at the change in her. Our Lady explained, “This is how I look to you, Hermann, because this is how you are treating me. As a woman to be despised and of no importance. Why do you no longer greet me with respect and attention while meditating on my mysteries and praising my privileges?”

The Rosary is the hardest prayer to say well

When the Rosary is well said, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious for the soul than any other prayer. But it is also the hardest prayer to say well and to persevere in, owing especially to the distractions which almost inevitably attend the constant repetition of the same words.

When we say the Little Office of Our Lady, or the Seven Penitential Psalms, or any prayers other than the Rosary, the variety of words and expressions keeps us alert. It prevents our imagination from wandering.  And makes it easier for us to say them well. On the contrary, because of the constant repetition of the Our Father and Hail Mary in the same unvarying form, it is difficult, while saying the Rosary, not to become wearied and inclined to sleep, or to turn to other prayers that are more refreshing and less tedious.

This shows that one needs much greater devotion to persevere in saying the Rosary than in saying any other prayer, even the Psalter of David.

Keeping the Imagination Focused

Our imagination, which is hardly still a minute, makes our task harder. And then of course there is the devil who never tires of trying to distract us and keep us from praying. To what ends does not the evil one go against us while we are saying our Rosary against him.

Being human, we easily tire and our prayers can then be slipshod. But the devil makes these difficulties worse when we are saying the Rosary. Before we even begin, he makes us feel bored, distracted, or exhausted. And when we have started praying, he oppresses us from all sides. And when after much difficulty and many distractions, we have finished, he whispers to us:

“What you have just said is worthless. It is useless for you to say the Rosary. You had better get on with other things. It is only a waste of time to pray without paying attention to what you are saying. Half-an-hour’s meditation or some spiritual reading would be much better. Tomorrow, when you are not feeling so sluggish, you’ll pray better. Leave the rest of your Rosary till then.”

By tricks of this kind the devil gets us to give up the Rosary altogether. Or to say it less often. And we keep putting it off or change to some other devotion.

How to Defeat the Devil

Dear friend, do not listen to the devil. But be of good heart, even if your imagination has been bothering you throughout your Rosary, filling your mind with all kinds of distracting thoughts. So long as you tried your best to get rid of them as soon as you noticed them.

Always remember that the best Rosary is the one with the most merit. There is more merit in praying when it is hard than when it is easy. Prayer is all the harder when it is, naturally speaking, distasteful to the soul and is filled with those annoying little ants and flies running about in your imagination, against your will, and scarcely allowing you the time to enjoy a little peace and appreciate the beauty of what you are saying.

Even if you have to fight distractions all through your whole Rosary, be sure to fight well, arms in hand. That is to say, do not stop saying your Rosary even if it is difficult to say and you have no sensible devotion. It is a terrible battle, but one that is profitable to the faithful soul.

Don’t give in to the evil one

If you put down your arms, that is, if you give up the Rosary, you will be admitting defeat and then the devil, having got what he wanted, will leave you in peace. On the day of judgment he will taunt you because of your faithlessness and lack of courage. “He who is faithful in little things will also be faithful in those that are greater.” Luke 16:10.

He who is faithful in rejecting the smallest distractions when he says even the smallest prayer, will also be faithful in great things. Nothing is more certain, since the Holy Spirit has told us so.

So all of you, servants and handmaids of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin, who have made up your minds to say the Rosary every day, be of good heart. Do not let the multitude of flies (as I call the distractions that make war on you during prayer) make you abandon the company of Jesus and Mary, in whose holy presence you are when saying the Rosary. In what follows I shall give you suggestions for diminishing distractions in prayer.

More Helpful Ways to Avoid Distractions

After you have invoked the Holy Spirit, in order to say your Rosary well, place yourself for a moment in the presence of God and make the offering of the decades in the way I will show you later.

Before beginning a decade, pause for a moment or two, depending on how much time you have, and contemplate the mystery that you are about to honor in that decade.

Always be sure to ask, by this mystery and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, for one of the virtues that shines forth most in this mystery or one of which you are in particular need.

Take great care to avoid the two pitfalls that most people fall into during the Rosary. The first is the danger of not asking for any graces at all, so that if some good people were asked their Rosary intention they would not know what to say. So, whenever you say your Rosary, be sure to ask for some special grace or virtue, or strength to overcome some sin.

The second fault commonly committed in saying the Rosary is to have no intention other than that of getting it over with as quickly as possible. This is because so many look upon the Rosary as a burden, which weighs heavily upon them when it has not been said, especially when we have promised to say it regularly or have been told to say it as a penance more or less against our will.

Ask, and you shall receive! The Dynamic Catholic Institute is extremely excited to share with you The Turning Point, their very first Bible study experience! But this isn’t your typical Bible study. It’s a unique look at the Gospel of John that will help you encounter Jesus in a new and personal way—and it’s easy to bring to your parish or start in your small group. Check it out, and let Dynamic Catholic know what you think: https://goo.gl/WaJUnX

 

Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!

And a very special Happy Birthday to you, who are the body of the Church!

We’re all familiar with our own birthdays. We celebrate them because they mark the day of the year in which we entered into this life. But did you know you have a second birthday?

Because you are part of the body of the Church, Pentecost is the Church’s birthday. And it’s yours as well. Like any birthday, it’s a cause for celebration.

Pentecost

The word Pentecost is Greek and it means “50th day.” Fifty days after Easter Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their followers. It’s also the beginning of their Earthly ministry to make disciples of all nations.

Pentecost is also a Jewish holiday, which the Jews use to celebrate the end of Passover. Jews celebrate the gift of the law to Moses at Mt. Sinai on this day. But we, as Catholics celebrate the birth of our Church.

What Happened On The Day of Pentecost?

At Pentecost, the Apostles and their followers were gathered in a room. Jews from all over the world were gathered with Peter, the leader of the Apostles and the Eleven. At this time, a great wind blew and a flame appeared as a tongue of fire, which split itself into many individual flames above the heads of all those present. The Holy Spirit came upon these people and each began to speak in tongues. Despite the fact many had no common language, they were perfectly able to understand one another.

Others who were not so blessed, accused those speaking in tongues of being drunk, but Peter arose and addressed the crowd, explaining that it was only 9 o’clock, and that this phenomenon was not intoxication, but rather this was the work of the Holy Spirit, prophesized in the scripture.

Peter then called all those present to be baptized and about three thousand people were baptized that day.

The Birth of the Catholic Church!

These people were among the first Catholics, and Peter is the first pope of the Catholic Church.

The symbols of Pentecost are the flame, wind, and the dove, which represents the Holy Spirit. The color of Pentecost is red and the priest wears red vestments on this day. Parishioners are also invited to wear red on this day. Red decorations as well as celebrations are appropriate, similar to any other birthday. Special prayers are often said just for Pentecost.

Why Be Catholic and Not Just Christian?

Let Fr. Mike Schmitz from Ascension Presents share the answers to the question, “Why Be Catholic and Not Just Christian?” in this video!

Here are Four Ways to Implement Our Lady’s Peace Plan from Heaven!

Introducing the first installment in a short series about the Peace Plan from Heaven. For the next two weeks, we will share four steps. These steps show how you can begin putting the Plan into action. Even more importantly is how you can implement these steps into your everyday lives. Finally, the series will end with special prayers given by the Angel at Fatima! So let’s begin our journey into the Peace Plan from Heaven…

Implementing – Step 1 of 4:

Next installment –  Step 2 0f 4 coming soon!

Read about 3 Saintly Teenagers Who Can Inspire Young People Today

Think you’re not old enough to make a difference? Do you think you’re not old enough to be saintly? Age has nothing to do with success. Read these short stories about saintly teenagers who lived their faith to the end! And be inspired to do the same…

The list includes a “computer geek,” “popular girl,” and “smart kid.”

When reading the lives of the saints, it can sometimes be discouraging. Why? Because we’re not able to find anyone who is even remotely like us. It can seem as though only old priests, nuns and monks can be saints. Its almost as if you have to be a gray-haired religious to be holy.

However, this is nowhere near the truth. Pope Francis clearly points this out in his exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate.

To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.

Young people especially are capable of becoming saints, though we often think that is impossible. Their zeal and energy, if pointed in the right direction, can change the world.

Meet 3 Amazing Teenagers

Here is a short list of three teenagers who prove that holiness is possible for everyone, and how God uses their gifts and talents for his greater glory.

Bl. Chiara Badano

Badano was a popular girl in her class with lots of friends. She frequently played sports, sang, danced and stayed out late with friends. Bl. Chiara was paralyzed at 17 and offered everything to God, saying, “For you, Jesus, if you want it, I want it too!” She died of cancer at 18 with the words, “Goodbye. Be happy because I’m happy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CarloAcutis.com

Servant of God Carlo Acutis

Acutis loved computers and used them to spread the faith. One of his most significant computer ventures was cataloguing all the Eucharistic miracles of the world. He said, “The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven.” He died of leukemia at age 15.

Courtesy of Anickazelikova.cz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Servant of God Anna Zelíková

Zelíková was a simple teenager who loved Jesus dearly. She wrote, “true beauty is hidden in faithfulness in little things. I always desired to do great and heroic deeds of love, but when I saw that I was unable, I was grieved by it. Now I find great heroism precisely in little things, so that now I haven’t the slightest regret whether I can do something or not.” She died of tuberculosis at age 17.

This weekend, you are invited to Take a Closer Look.  After each Mass, representatives of the Care for the House of the Lord steering committee will offer guided tours so that you can view the areas included in the project and learn what the professionals have recommended.

Most families have recently completed filing their 2017 income tax returns.  This is the perfect time to review the level of charitable contributions you have made, compared to your income.  Each of us has been blessed with unique talents and financial gifts.  One expression of an ultimate financial goal is to contribute 10% of our income from our first fruits, to the needs of others to justly share our resources with the church and those who need our help.  Five percent is a goal for support of the parish, one percent for CSA and four percent to other charitable causes.

Did you know? Median Catholic household income in the U.S. is about the same as median Protestant household.  If U.S. Catholic households simply gave at the same rate as their Protestant friends (not necessarily tithing, but 2.2 to 2.5% of their income) each U.S. Catholic parish would see its annual collection revenues double.

Please prayerfully consider what your response will be to this year’s CSA/Care for the House of the Lord appeal. Gifts of all “shapes and sizes” will be needed.  Be as generous as you can!  The gift range chart below, illustrates the types of gifts necessary to achieve the financial goal. The timing and scope of the project will be determined after all commitments have been received.  The project will be debt free.  Let’s gather as a community of faithful and complete the whole project as soon as possible!

Gifts Needed Above and Beyond Your CSA Contribution

 

Gift Range# Gifts RequiredCumulative Total
$35,000+1$35,000
$15,0002$65,000
$10,0002$85,000
$5,0005$110,000
$2,50010$135,000
$1,00015$150,000
$70061*$192,700
Under $500Several$233,000

Mary’s Peace Plan from Heaven

When our Blessed Mother appeared to the children at Fatima, she gave them the Peace Plan from Heaven. The requests of the Peace Plan include:

  1. penance and reparation
  2. the daily recitation of the Rosary
  3. the five First Saturday Devotions
  4. consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Putting the Peace Plan into action is our only hope for our future. So how do we put it into action? Let’s break it down…

Penance and Reparation

By penance, our Lady explains that men must amend their lives. How? Give up their easy lives of sin, ask pardon for their sins and make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Why? Because both are so grievously offended by the sins of men.

By reparation, Our Lady means 4 steps. 1) Offering sacrifice to atone for our sins. 2) Fulfilling our daily duties to the best of our abilities. 3) Accepting the responsibilities of our state in life. 4) Obeying the Commandments of God.

Especially relevant is the sacrifice Our Lord requires of each of us, most notably is that sacrifice necessary to avoid sin and the occasion of sin as well as to accept with submission all the suffering sent to us. Everything we do, we can offer it as a sacrifice, and in offering it to God, we should say this prayer:

O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of poor sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Daily Rosary

Our Lady pleaded and insisted that men must say the daily Rosary. Reparation holds back the had of God from striking the world Pray a Rosary a Dayin just punishment for its many crimes. The Rosary is like a sword or weapon the Mother of God can use to cut down heresy and the forces of evil. It is most powerful. And many times it has saved the world from situations as bad as, if not worse than, the ones facing us today.

In addition, the Blessed Mother encourages and recommends The Family Rosary. “The family that prays together stays together”. Threats continually bombard families with breakup on all sides.

The Five First Saturday Devotions

This devotion consists of 4 parts. 1) Going to Confession. 2) Receiving Holy Communion. 3) Reciting 5 decades of the Rosary. 4) Spending 15 minutes with Our Lady meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. Complete all with the intention of making reparation to her.

Why? Because the Mediatrix of All Graces promises, at the hour of death, all graces necessary for salvation to those who faithfully practice this devotion for the First Saturday of any five consecutive months. (NOTE: The Confession may be made under the usual condition of 8 days before or after Holy Communion, provided the person is not in the state of mortal sin when he receives Holy Communion.) Due to the graces we receive, it seems like all people will make this devotion an especially relevant part of their lives!

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

This consecration is the least understood but one of the most important parts of the message of Fatima. Our Lady is looking for people willing to become cells of prayer and sacrifice through consecration to her.

Our Lady

The Rosary & the Scapular

Personal consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can take many forms. It can be done simply by reciting with sincerity the Act of Consecration. This consecration can be renewed each day merely by saying the morning offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, the act itself should be repeated on all important feast days of the Blessed Mother. More important than reciting the act is to live up to the conditions which it sets forth. Most noteworthy by fulfilling Our Lady’s requests at Fatima. In consecrating oneself to Mary, a Christian fulfills four goals. Christians pay her homage. You place yourself in her service. One places himself under her protection. And you strive to imitate her virtues.

Best Form of Consecration

The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

The Brown Scapular

For the average layman, it’s best to wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Therefore, Sister Lucia states that all Catholics need to hear the call to wear the Brown Scapular as part of the Fatima message. She says, “The Rosary and the Scapular are inseparable.” A person who wears this Scapular declares that he or she belongs to Mary. In return, the Mother of God promises eternal life to those who die wearing this mantle. In 1251, when she gave the Scapular to St. Simon Stock and thereby to the world, the Queen of Heaven stated, “Whoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire.” Consequently, wearing the Scapular serves as a constant reminder of one’s personal consecration to Mary and of the necessity of imitating her virtues and heeding her requests.

Her Immaculate Heart Will Triumph

At Fatima, Our Lady’s promises reveal that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph, Russia will be converted and God will grant some time of peace to the world. That final triumph can come soon if enough people will still grant Her requests from Fatima. It depends upon how many of us are willing to follow Our Lady’s “peace plan from Heaven.” Are you willing?

 

 

The Group Rosary Brings Forth Numerous Graces!

Group Rosary prayer is the best way to pray the Rosary. In Sacred Scripture, Our Lord says: “For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”Matthew 18:20

This verse is often quoted to show the power of group prayer. This certainly includes praying in a group Rosary but is not exclusive to the Rosary. Furthermore, many popes have encouraged group Rosaries.

Group Rosaries are Powerful

To further demonstrate that the group recitation of the Rosary is indeed powerful are the words of Blessed Pope Pius IX, “Give me one million families praying the Rosary and the world is saved.”

He also said, “If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, in your country, assemble every evening to recite the Rosary.” This theme of families, groups, countries and even armies praying together is carried forward by the words of Pope St. Pius X. He said, “Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.”

Clearly these Pontiffs were encouraging, no beseeching, people to pray the Rosary together in groups. The Rosary is not only efficacious for personal spiritual growth and special graces. The Rosary is also powerful enough to end war and even save the world!

Please join our voices together in a Group Rosary every Saturday and Sunday:

5:00pm before the 5:30pm Masses Saturday and Sunday evenings
8:30am before the 9:00am Mass Sunday morning

All ages (from infant to adult) are encouraged to join as it’s never too early and it’s never too late to start praying the Rosary! If you’ve forgotten how to pray the Rosary, the Group Rosary recitations are the best way to re-learn. Fall in love with the Rosary all over again. Please join us.