Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Most Holy Rosary - The Our Father

                        Introduction to the Series on the Rosary:
Recently I read a book called, Secret of the Rosary, by St. Louis de Montfort. Often we read that the saints were always very devoted to the rosary and urged us to pray it. We hear good priests telling us over and over, "Pray the rosary!" We are drawn to the rosary, but why is it so important? What is its significance? I asked this to myself and I am reading this book at the moment - it has truly changed my life. The rosary was given by Our Blessed Mother as a weapon for these times! Its power is infinite, since it is made up of the two most powerful prayers - The Our Father which was given to us by the Word incarnate, and the Hail Mary, instituted by an angel! Between these most perfect and powerful prayers, and meditating upon its mysteries, it infuses in our souls the graces contained in each mystery. For example, when we meditate upon the Visitation of Our Lady and try to apply the example contained within them, we receive charity, faith, and all the other graces contained within this specific mystery. But let me explain the specific elements of the rosary, using quotes from the most incredible book, Secret of the Rosary. I will do this in a series of parts in order to cover all the details. Stay tuned!

                                                              The Our Father

(All these quotes are taken from the book mentioned above) "THE OUR FATHER or the Lord's Prayer has great value----above all because of its Author Who is neither a man nor an Angel, but the King of Angels and men, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Saint Cyprian says that it was fitting that our Savior by Whom we were reborn into the life of grace should also be our heavenly Master and should teach us how to pray."

"The beautiful order, the tender forcefulness and the clarity of this Divine Prayer pay tribute to our Divine Master's wisdom. It is a short prayer but can teach us so very much and it is well within the grasp of uneducated people, while scholars find it a continual source of meditation on the mysteries of our Faith."

"The Our Father contains all the duties we owe to God, the acts of all the virtues and the petitions for all our spiritual and corporal needs. Tertullian says that the Our Father is a summary of the New Testament. Thomas à Kempis says that it surpasses all the desires of all the Saints; that it is a condensation of all the beautiful sayings of all the Psalms and Canticles; that in it we ask God for everything that we need; that by it we praise Him in the very best way; that by it we lift up our souls from earth to Heaven and unite them with God."

"Saint John Chrysostom says that we cannot be our Master's disciples unless we pray as He did and in the way that He showed us. Moreover God the Father listens more willingly to the Prayer that we have learned from His Son rather than those of our own making which have all our human limitations."


"Our Father----this means that He is the Father of mankind because He has created us and continues to sustain us, and because He has redeemed us. He is also the merciful Father of sinners, the Father Who is the friend of the just and the glorious Father of the blessed in Heaven."
 

"When we say Who art, by these words we pay tribute to the infinity and immensity and fullness of God's essence. God is rightly called "He Who is'' [1]; that is to say, He exists of necessity, essentially, and eternally, because He is the Being of beings and the cause of all beings. He possesses within Himself, in a supereminent degree, the perfections of all beings and He is in all of them by His essence, by His presence and by His power, but without being bounded by their limitations. We honor His sublimity and His glory and His majesty by the words Who art in Heaven, that is to say, "Who is seated as on a throne, holding sway over all men by Thy justice."

"When we say hallowed be Thy name we worship God's holiness; and we make obeisance to His Kingship and bow to the justice of His laws by the words Thy Kingdom come, praying that men will obey Him on earth as the Angels do in Heaven."

"We show our trust in His Providence by asking for our daily bread, and we appeal to His mercy when we ask for the forgiveness of our sins."

"We look to His great power when we beg Him not to lead us into temptation, and we show our faith in His goodness by our hope that He will deliver us from evil."

"The Son of God has always glorified His Father by His works and He came into the world to teach men to give glory to Him. He showed men how to praise Him by this prayer which He taught us with His Own lips. It is our duty, therefore, to say it often----we should say it reverently and attentively and in the spirit in which Our Lord taught it."


"In saying "Our Father Who art in Heaven," we make acts of faith, adoration and humility. When we ask that His name be hallowed and glorified we show a burning zeal for His glory, and when we ask for the spread of His Kingdom we make an act of hope; by the wish that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, we show a spirit of perfect obedience.

"In asking for our daily bread we practise poverty of spirit and detachment from worldly goods. When we beg Him to forgive us our sins we make an act of sorrow for them. By forgiving those who have trespassed against us we give proof of the virtue of mercy in its highest degree."

"Through asking God's help in all our temptations, we make acts of humility, prudence and fortitude. As we wait for Him to deliver us from evil we exercise the virtue of patience."

"Finally, while asking for all these things----not for ourselves alone but also for our neighbor and for all members of the Church----we are carrying out our duty as true children of God, we are imitating Him in His love which embraces all men and we are keeping the Commandment of love of neighbor."

"If we mean in our hearts what we say with our lips and if our intentions are not at variance with those expressed in the Lord's Prayer, then, by reciting this prayer, we hate all sin and we observe all of God's laws. For whenever we think that God is in Heaven----infinitely removed from us by the greatness of His majesty----as we place ourselves in His presence we should be filled with overwhelming reverence. Then the fear of the Lord will chase away all pride and we will bow down before God in our utter nothingness."

"When we say the name Father and remember that we owe our existence to God by the means of our parents and even our knowledge to our teachers who hold the place and are the living images of God, then we cannot help paying them honor and respect, or, to be more exact, honoring God in them. Nothing then, too, would be farther from our thoughts than to be disrespectful to them or hurt them."

"We are never farther from blaspheming than when we pray that the Holy Name of God may be glorified. If we really look upon the Kingdom of God as our heritage we cannot possibly be attached to the things of this world."

"If we sincerely ask God that our neighbor may have the very same blessings that we ourselves stand in need of, it goes without saying that we will give up all hatred, quarreling and jealousy. And of course if we ask God each day for our daily bread we shall learn to hate gluttony and lasciviousness which thrive in rich surroundings."

"While sincerely asking God to forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us we no longer give way to anger and thoughts of getting even----we return good for evil and really love our enemies."

"To ask God to save us from falling into sin when we are tempted is to give proof that we are fighting laziness and that we are genuinely seeking means to root out vicious habits and to work out our salvation."

"To pray God to deliver us from evil is to fear His justice and this will give us true happiness. For since the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, it is through the virtue of the fear of God that men avoid sin."


(read the whole book here: http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary.htm)