A Harvest of Holiness

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

“The Rosary, so easy and yet so rich, deserves to be rediscovered by the Christian community . . . The Rosary remains a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness.”

(St. John Paul II)

It is October, the month of the Holy Rosary. And it is harvest time, when farms and gardens produce their abundant fruit. For those two reasons, among others, it seems especially appropriate that we focus once again on the beauty and power of the Holy Rosary. And there’s no better place to turn for our reflection than St. John Paul’s beautiful Apostolic Letter, “The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
John Paul says that the Rosary is destined to bring forth a “harvest of holiness” and I can think of three ways that happens.
First, in praying with Mary, the Rosary leads us to Christ. Mary had a unique closeness to Christ, throughout his earthly ministry and beyond, even now. And isn’t that what we strive for in our lives of faith – to be with Jesus, to know him, love him and serve him every day? The Mysteries of the Rosary help us recall and share in the life of Christ. The Rosary is a summary of the Gospel, a “compendium of the Gospel,” in Pope John Paul’s words.
Second, the Rosary is a powerful prayer of intercession. One of our primary reasons for praying is to ask for God’s help in our lives, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. In the Rosary we approach God’s throne with humility, but also with confidence, because Mary is beside us, advocating for us. And there are certainly many things to pray for in the Church and the world today, aren’t there? And I’m pretty sure that each of us has our own personal prayer list as well.
Third, the Rosary helps us to integrate the experiences of life into a vision of faith. The Mysteries of the Rosary focus on the important moments in the life of Jesus and Mary, moments that were joyful, sorrowful, glorious, and luminous. Aren’t there moments in your life also that are joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous? These things we experience – they are raw materials of life, but what we do with them is up to us. A prayerful recitation of the Rosary helps us to understand and accept God’s plan for our lives.
Dear friends, may the Holy Rosary bring forth for you a “harvest of holiness.”
Something to think about: “The family that prays together, stays together.” (Father Patrick Peyton)


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