A Bright Cloud of Spirituality Rising from Every Home and Every Heart
(Letter of Don Dolindo to E.C., a spiritual child of his)
I am writing to you in the light of the Holy Rosary, the prayer that brings us so close to Our Lord and is today the object of a feast day on the Church’s liturgical calendar. One wonders how it is possible that a prayer can be the object of a feast day. The object of a feast is usually a divine mystery, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or a saint. With this prayer, however, the Blessed Virgin Mary comes to meet Christians in the same way she meets them at Lourdes, Fátima, Tre Fontane, and any other place where she appeared. She comes with all the riches of the mysteries of the life, Passion, death, and Resurrection of Our Lord.
Do we not honor the wheat that is used for the Sacrament of the Eucharist? The Rosary is a granary of graces.
Do we not honor the grapes used for the Sacrament of the Eucharist? The Rosary is the vineyard that produces the fruits of Jesus and Mary. It has been and still is the vineyard of God and the fullness of life for us.
The Blessed Virgin Mary wanted the beads to be called a rosary—that is, a rosebush. Roses bloom in the mild weather, but they remain in bloom all year round. The same is true of the Rosary for Christian people. This prayer is like a rosebush and, from it, we can offer God a fresh rose every day—much as incense was offered to God on an altar of gold in ancient times.
The Rosary is not only an instrument for counting each Hail Mary, Our Father, and Glory Be; it is a heavenly garland of precious pearls, and every part of it affords a treasure of indulgences and assurance of mercy through the merits of Jesus and Mary.
Praying the Rosary is like the rolling of the pictures of a movie, a reminder of the great mysteries of our redemption, showing them over and over again. The soul is like the big screen on which we see the movie, and in this vision, the soul can remain attentive to God and His Church.
Who can recall well the mysteries of our redemption without the Rosary? The secret of our interior life is in the recalling of the mysteries. They are essential if we want to be good Christians and bear the marks of Christ.
Amid the disharmony of our chaotic lives, the Rosary is the instrument—the harp or the psaltery with its ten strings for each group of harmonies. With the Rosary, we raise a continuous song of love from Earth. In the excessive materialism of our lives, it is a bright cloud of spirituality, rising from every home and every heart.
Does not the harpist play music written by a master? Does he not go over it again and again, with his fingers on the strings, making the sweet sounds written from the heart and produced by the touch of his hands?
Well then, so do we. We recite the Rosary by going over the strings of love flowering from the lives of Jesus and Mary that we recall in the mysteries. On the beads of the Rosary, we sing those canticles of love that redeemed us.
As an army has its marching songs, keeping time for the soldiers, so does the Rosary lovingly keep time for the Church Militant. It is like the clashing of the trumpets that accompanied the siege of Jericho, which shook its walls to the foundation. The Turkish fleets could not resist the power of that sound of faith; they were put to flight. And in a situation that was even worse, the communist army could not offer resistance to it.
O Most Holy Rosary, the incense kindled by the Blessed Virgin Mary, you are the fragrance mixed by her with the art of a master, because the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries raise a fragrant cloud of prayer. O Most Holy Rosary, may your flowers bloom on the desolate flower beds of unbelievers, and let simple and lively faith come to bloom again.
—Don Dolindo Ruotolo Feast of the Holy Rosary 1948
Art for this post: Cover and featured image used with permission.