III. Where the Rosary Is Best Recited
The Rosary is a devotion which may be practiced in any circumstances of life. We may recite it kneeling or walking or sitting; we may even recite it before rising or after retiring to rest. We may choose it as our morning prayer, and offer it as the first-fruits of our piety each day; or we may set it apart as our evening prayer. We may recite it on our journey to work, whether we drive, or ride by train, or walk; or we may possibly find a quiet quarter of an hour during the day, when we can withdraw from the distracting worry of our duties, and silently commune with the Mother of God.
But there is one circumstance especially, in which we shall derive most abundant fruit from the recitation of the Rosary—in the seclusion of the Church, before our Eucharistic God. There our minds are easily raised above the fleeting joys of this changing life; there we easily close our eyes to the false glamour of this world, which allures us away from God; there our hearts are quickly inspired with holy and lofty aspirations and ideals. The heavenly fragrance and supernatural sweetness that linger around the Tabernacle calm our troubled souls, which no longer resemble a stormy sea, but rather a clear, placid lake, wherein God’s perfections are distinctly reflected. Oh, how sweet it is to kneel in the presence of our God veiled beneath the sacramental species, and there reflect upon the mysteries of Redemption while we lovingly breathe forth the Hail Mary, thus earnestly entreating Mary to intercede on our behalf before the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus!
Pope Leo XIII, who is known as the Pontiff of the Rosary, recognized this truth, and ordered the Rosary to be publicly recited during the month of October, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed. It would need an Angel to describe the wondrous graces that inundate earth during this holy month, when the adorable Eucharist is enthroned on myriads of Catholic altars, and the voices of the faithful unite in reciting the Rosary, thus making sweet music which is wafted heavenwards to the throne of the glorious Queen of Heaven.
The Rosary is especially popular as a form of family prayer, and no Catholic father or mother should allow a night to pass without assembling the children, and offering together to the Mother of God this tribute of praise and of supplication. Surely every family can consecrate a quarter of an hour each day to this practice, which will bring down on the family as a whole, and on each member in particular, the richest graces that Mary’s sinless hands can bestow, and will be at the same time a pledge of her gracious and powerful protection in life and in death.
As I write these lines, a vision comes before my eyes, and a sentence uttered long ago echoes in my ears. I seem to behold, in the dim and distant past, a mother stretched upon a bed of sickness, gradually sinking, yet perfectly calm. She is about to leave those on whom she has ever impressed, by word and example, the need of devotion to the Mother of God, and amongst her farewell requests there is one that is still deeply imbedded in my memory: “Don’t forget to say the Rosary together every night; and offer it for three months for the repose of my soul.”
Dear readers, though our earthly mother may not have explicitly expressed that wish to us, we all know that it is the ardent desire of our heavenly Mother that we should daily recite her Rosary in token of our filial attachment to her. O, let us regard that practice as one of the most sacred duties of our life; let us daily present the Rosary to Mary as a crown of roses; let us incessantly honor her by that sweet devotion until we are at last admitted into the courts of Heaven, there to sing for all eternity the glories of Jesus and of His Immaculate Virgin Mother.