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

 

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!

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.

Our Lady’s 15 Promises to Those Who Pray Her Rosary

At the Family Night Out on Wednesday, we heard about the Rosary and why we should pray it every day. But with only 15 minutes, that’s just not enough time share all the special information about the Rosary. So each week, we’ll feature an article about the Rosary for you to read here. Beginning with Our Lady’s 15 promises to those who pray Her Rosary:

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.

[A signal grace may be a simple sign in daily life that answers a question made in prayer or points towards God’s will. For example, seeing a rose after finishing a novena to St. Therese of Lisieux could be considered a signal grace. Signal graces are often subtle or seemingly coincidental.]

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.

4. It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.

[In other words, anyone who faithfully prays the Rosary and asks for Mary’s intercession will be saved from hell.]

6. Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.

[An unprovided death means dying while not in a state of grace (that is, in dying with unconfessed mortal sin in the soul). The Blessed Mother promises that anyone who regularly prays the Rosary, and earnestly tries to live according to God’s will, will be spiritually prepared when their time of death comes.]

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

[Our Lady ensures that the soul will receive sanctifying grace through the Sacraments prior to its departure from the body.]

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my Sons, and brothers of my Only Son Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.

[By this the Blessed Mother means that a devotion to the Rosary is a good indication that the devotee is on the path to Heaven.]

It is amazing to realize how much grace and heavenly help we can receive by an act so simple as praying the Rosary regularly. It only takes 15 minutes to pray! Set aside time alone, with your family or with some friends to start the habit of reciting a daily Rosary. If you don’t think you have time, try praying on the way to work in the morning. You will surely notice the grace it brings to your life, as promised by Our Lady!

Got Confidence?

  • Are you beset by worries about making ends meet?
  • Do you ever wake up in the morning dreading to get out of bed and face the trials of the day?
  • Do you sometimes feel that your world is coming apart and you’re falling into a black hole of hopelessness?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please remember –

YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN!

All of us have moments when our self-assurance fails us. We need to look to Jesus and Mary for help. The Book of Confidence is full of genuine comfort and inspiration. Therefore, it provides the help you need to find true peace in these troubled times.

When you read this book that draws on Holy Scripture and writings of the Saints, Jesus will speak gently to your heart. As a result, just when you think that things cannot get any worse, you’ll find the strength you need in the consoling truths that Father Thomas de Saint-Laurent presents in his book on confidence.

Order yours today. Only $9.95! Call (888) 317-5571

FREE SHIPPING – Mention Code: 151BOC

The book is offered by The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). The American TFP is an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned about the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization. See their bi-monthly current publication Crusade Magazine here or issues from 2017 here

Crusade Magazine seeks to educate the public on the issues that affect them most. They apply the Church’s inexhaustible teachings to national and international events, culture, history and more. It also illustrates the seldom-perceived relationship that exists between the Faith and every aspect of life, including politics, ambiences, customs and civilizations.

Common issues dealt with include: abortion, homosexual agenda, blasphemy and escalating persecution against the Church. Furthermore, each issue contains a progress report on activities carried out by the American TFP’s America Needs Fatima campaign to spread Our Lady’s Fatima message.

NOTICE: Assumption does not receive any financial gain whatsoever for featuring this information. We’re simply sharing information we feel may be helpful to some people.
Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for Catholic Relief Services

Lent and Catholic Relief Service’s Rice Bowl

The Feature Image:  Teacher Joseph Andrise, 29, from Notre Dame de Lamerci de Robillard school, in Nord Department, Haiti, and her students of first grade eat cassava bread with peanut butter that is given as a morning snack. Many children come to school without eating. This gives them energy to stay awake and learn. Donations to the CRS Rice Bowl helps to make a difference.

Catholic Relief Services in partnership with the diocesan office of the Catholic Education Commission, are implementing the program Haiti Reads. Every student receives a new workbook to practice reading and writing. This is a big change from before, when students had to copy notes from the board.

Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for Catholic Relief Services

Read a letter from Bishop Walkowiak here.

 

Your Lenten Gifts Change Lives

Did you know that by sacrificing $1 a day for 40 days of Lent, you help provide:

1 MONTH OF FOOD for a family

2 YEARS OF SEED for a farmer

1 EMERGENCY KIT for refugees

75% of your CRS Rice Bowl donation supports Catholic Relieve Services programs around the world.

25% helps alleviate hunger and poverty in our local Diocese of Grand Rapids!

  • Catholics in the U.S. touch more than 120 million lives through CRS programs.
  • Motivated by the example of Jesus Christ, CRS reaches communities in 112 countries.
  • CRS Rice Bowl helps families reflect on and respond to global issues like hunger, migration and poverty.

Companions on the Journey

PRAY to encounter Christ in your life and in every member of our human family.

FAST to encounter the obstacles that keep you from serving God and your neighbor.

GIVE to encounter God’s love, and share it with our brothers and sisters in need.

Rice Bowls Available in the Church Narthex

Please stop by the table in the Church Narthex to pick up your family’s Rice Bowl beginning after all Masses the weekend of February 10th and 11th. They will remain there until they’re all gone!

Help Your Children Understand What the Rice Bowl is!

Please share this video with your children!

More info to come throughout all of Lent! Stay tuned…

With Lent quickly approaching, let’s talk about more ways to prepare for Lent! Giving up something for Lent is traditionally what most of us tend to do. Because that’s what we always did in the past when we were younger, right? Indeed, we tend to do what’s familiar. With this in mind, why not challenge ourselves to do something different but extremely meaningful? Something that will make this the most meaningful Lent ever?

Prepare for Lent!

If you’re reading the previous posts, you’ll see other ideas you can incorporate into your Lenten devotions. Recall there are hundreds of videos and books on FORMED. Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever is once again offering their amazing Lenten devotions. All are fantastic options! But there’s more…Add to the scene another great option to help you pray more this upcoming Lenten Season.

A New Lenten Devotion

Introducing FORMED.org’s Lenten Devotion:

Interested in signing up? Click this link HERE!

Don’t Give Up Chocolate For Lent

Want to have the Best Lent Ever? See what Dynamic Catholic offers to help get you there!

 

Sign up for BEST LENT EVER, a free email program from Dynamic Catholic. Lent comes every year. It’s meant to be a time when we invite God to help us become the-best-version-of-ourselves. But for many of us, Lent isn’t a transformative experience. It’s just a time when we give up chocolate or something else we enjoy, then go back to it at Easter. This year, you can change that with BLE. You’ll receive daily emails with short inspirational videos, practical tips for your everyday life, and real-life stories to encourage you in your journey. All you have to do is sign up at DynamicCatholic.com/BestLent.