As today we start the month dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, we lift our eyes towards heaven in admiration of that great little Doctor, Therese of Lisieux.
I recall with joy the vivid images in my mind of her relics in Aylesford Priory this time last year. What a moment of grace for so many it was and what a splendid forerunner to the publishing of Anglicanorum Coetibus and the visit of the Holy Father to our beloved nation. Both visits encouraged English Catholics in their patrimony and calling, and encouraged many Anglicans too, a year ago today her relics rested in York Minster.
The writings of
Therese are inspiring and infused with pure love towards Our Lord, a 24 year old heart that reached perfection! How far away I am from that pure love but what encouragement and consolation her witness and her writings are. One of the sentences she wrote which I like to remind myself of often is the following: “Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts; neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity.” This sentence speaks to me of the necessity of simplicity in life which flows from simplicity in prayer, or better still the prayer of simplicity.
At the heart of the prayer of simplicity is the simple but profound prayer of the Rosary, an aid and a focus to arrive at the still and simple heart of prayer. For those who this devotion is part of the essential diet, this month encourages us to rejoice as we explore new depths, for those who do not pray the Rosary this is the time to explore it. It comes highly recommended.
By gently repeating the biblical words of the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary and by rejoicing in the doxology that praises Father, Son and Holy Spirit we reflect on twenty moments of great blessing, the mysteries of the Rosary on different days of the week, so that in a whole week we meditate on the mysteries of our salvation. We become familiar with these saving events and they will take deep root in our lives, they will form and shape us in being more Christ-like.
I recommend to you to take up your rosaries and let this prayer carry you in those green pastures were our Lord resides. This month I am offering my rosaries for those reflecting on joining the Anglican Ordinariate, and those who are struggling with it. May this prayer be a balm of peace and unity to all Anglo-Catholics wherever they may be. Would you care to join me?