“Father, now I am terrified to open my whatsapp account. On my mobile, I have only spiritual friends and groups. My mother censors everything”. “Then, what is the issue?” “Father, this chain rosary, when you receive the message for the chain rosary, wherever you are, you are to recite the rosary for that specific intention. In the event that I don’t recite, won’t I break the chain rosary? Now itself, I am a member of 5 chain rosary groups. Then my personal Rosary, family Rosary…” This girl who came to the retreat wants to know whether breaking a chain rosary will turn into a sin for her. Years back the miracle of the “Mother of Velankanni” used to reach every home as leaflets. Now this task has been assumed control by whatsapp. During the Holy Mass, receiving the one who is the source of all blessings and then after receiving the final blessing from the Priest, still we wait, “Father, a blessing please!”
The daughter, an MBA holder, isn’t keen on working. For a long time, she is at home. Her mother is continually in the retreat centre pleading and crying for her daughter. At that point, a counsellor as a solution advised her to offer the Gregorian Mass for her daughter. By attending and conducting retreats, the believer has turned to be more superstitious than the non-believer. Holy Mass and Rosary are becoming mere instruments for the fulfilment of various intentions. No Holy Mass or Rosaries are offered without intention. The scale of spirituality is the number of Rosaries and Holy Mass attended!
St. John Paul II beautifully defined Rosary. ‘It is sitting at the school of Mary and to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love (Apostolic letter-Rosary of the Virgin Mary). It is a Christ centred prayer with Mary than a supplication to Mary. When we overload these prayers with our intentions, we lose its spirit and finally deform it. Isn’t this the reason that we are not able to enter into the hearts of Jesus and Mary? How many of us can say the last Hail Mary with the same faith, love, piety and concentration as that of the first Hail Mary in a Rosary recital. Then how it will be if we endeavour to complete 33 Rosaries in one day? In the Holy Mass, which is the supreme sacrifice of selfless love, I am holding up with my heap of intentions, to offer!
Mary treasured up all incomprehensible life experiences and divine mysteries and ‘pondered them in her heart’. There is no one like Mary, who meditated and lived glancing at the face of Jesus. The Rosary is the power source, the inspiration for our lives filled with joy, sorrow, light and glory. There is no one who understands Jesus like Mary. Hence we have to learn from her school. She teaches us not only how to pray, but also how to live. Those who implore like Mary will confront life like Mary. In the Holy Rosary, we meditate upon what the Heavenly father did for humanity through Jesus. When we ruminate upon the life of Jesus, it will end up being an event to discover our lives as well. Then Rosary would turn out as a mirror in front of you.
Mary is not a “Goddess” sitting in heaven and answering your prayers. Her invisible presence is there in your family, in your patios, kitchens and corridors. Even when a rosary is not hanging in your car, she is sitting in the back seat. Have you not experienced it till now? God knows that you need a mother too, alongside a father.
We can’t yet overlook the painful encounters of a lady from her introduction to the world till death. This month when we contemplate Mary, somehow Asifa of Kashmir is haunting my memory. Before going into a world without physical torment or body, what number of wounds she receives on her body and mind as a mother, daughter, sister and wife. Is there any family where she has not cried? When her lullaby singing tongue and cradling hands get tired, she is also pondering everything in her heart. After all the explosions, she is the only one who cries! She still awaits sword to pierce her heart. But yet again, subsides everything within her and tries to chuckle at all.
If the long and extended supplications are not making us better persons or stronger, something is erroneous. It’s high time to reconsider the lullabies of the spiritual world. Let Mary, who formed Jesus through a normal and simple life, not only be our intercessor, but a role model too.