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Friday, July 24, 2015

Rosary Wars: The Apathy Strikes Back

You know that you ought to pray the Rosary; you actually know that somehow, it is your Obi-Wan Kenobi. You may have mildly impious arguments as to whether Mary is interceding, or whether you are simply distracted from the wickedness you'd rather be doing.

Your enemy is more subtle than we tend to think. He only says, "Don't pray; praying sucks" to a certain kind of weakly virtuous person. To another he says, "Do you really mean it when you pray? Why do it just to do it?" and other things.

Everybody needs a St. Ignatius-style fire-breathing Jesuit (realizing that sounds absurd today) to simply look at you and your devotional life and say, "Just do it." Real Jesuits (and others) laugh at being called Pelagians and such like, because the whole point of grace is to be with God, and to be like Him. Frankly, I don't know that many Catholics today who are actually in danger of trusting in the number of prayers that they've said, as if God needed anything we have. The greater number are ascetic pansies who stumble into bad things because they don't pray enough. I'm one, although admittedly I have enough pride to have been the former at one time or another.

If you are actually afraid that you're treating the Rosary like a charm, then stop, address yourself to God and the saints, and talk about what you want and need. Talk about your sins or your tendencies toward them, that you fear sin and evil because it can separate you from God who loves you. Ask for virtues; ask to understand holiness, to be utterly defined and marked by it.

In short, talk to God as if he's really there.

I suspect that a lot of us regarding prayer are like the people who say they hate vacation: once we're there, we have a wonderful time. Now, someone will say, "The saints tell us God takes away consolations as we grow!" That's true. But I'm saying all this to those of us who know we are nowhere near that unique spiritual challenge. Please be quiet.

By God's mercy, we can win this thing. The point is not to give up before you start.

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