October is the traditional month of the Holy Rosary for in this month we celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady Queen of the Rosary on October 10th.
The Church calls us ever afresh to renew our devotion of this wonderful prayer, for in it we see before the life and mystery of Jesus through the eyes of his Mother. Every mystery in which we contemplate and pray is made present in that quiet moment as we slip the beads through our fingers and offer up that great gospel prayer, the words of the Angel Gabriel, “ Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with you.”
Like the Holy Mass which makes present in our time and place, the Sacrifice of Calvary and allows us to share and benefit in its saving mysteries. So too in a differing way, we are allowed to share in every mystery of our Lords life when we recall that saving life upon the Rosary beads. We make present that mystery in our hearts, our minds, our homes and families and by doing so we are allowed to participate and receive the graces and mercy that flow from Jesus. We not only grow in grace, we also grow in knowledge of Christ and his life. This knowledge of Jesus, as Aquinas teaches us, makes us grow in love of him and his mysteries.
The Rosary therefore is the gospel on the beads, it is chain of love which unites heaven and earth wherever it is prayed, making present in that place the mystery of Love Incarnate in the presence of Christ's Mother.
Wherever Mary is, there is to be found Christ, wherever Christ is, there his Mother stands interceding.
This month of October is a holy month, a month to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ and so it is a time to increase our love for him and experience his love for us.
Throughout Europe Dominicans encourage the faithful to pray the Rosary in groups, for where two are three are gathered the Lord promises to come among us.
Ireland has a long tradition in rural places of local communities coming together during the summer months and celebrating the “Station Mass” in family homes, this traditions stretches back centuries when practicing the faith in public was forbidden.
As promoter of the Rosary, I would encourage the faithful in rural areas, towns and cities to set apart one evening a week during this month. Invite your neighbours and friends to come together and say the Rosary in a family home. To pray together for the intentions of the families gathered, for their children, for their sufferings, their sicknesses, for employment and for an increase in faith. All it takes is twenty five minutes, to spent the time as a family, a local community or a gathering of friends and pray together in the presence of the Lord in the company of Mary. No priest or minister is needed, just an open heart and open home to welcome.
We are celebrating this year in Ireland what we are calling “The Gathering.” Ireland learned its hospitality from its ancient faith, perhaps we could have a gathering among those closest to us, and invite those whom we know are in any need to come together in a family home, and make present the mysteries of our Salvation there in that very place.
Christ longs and thirsts for us to know him and experience his love and mercy. In this holy month of October, may we find him like the Magi in the presence of his Mother in places the world or even ourselves would have ever expected, those places are firstly our homes and hearts, open wide to welcome the Lamb, the true guest of our souls.