If you ask almost any child to tell you the most important day in October, with fillings and braces in their beautiful smiles, they will surely shout, “Halloween!”
And before our Catholic hearts respond with a shocked, but somber “Boo! Hoo,” we ought to remind them that the candy riddled feast of All Saints Day Eve (i.e., Halloween) is not nearly as sweet as that all important feast day in the first week of the month: Oct. 7, the Feast of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. In fact, wouldn’t it be amazing if every Catholic spent the Month of the Holy Rosary praying it daily?
Praying the rosary will bring peace, and family unity in every situation. For instance, spending 15 minutes praying the rosary before everyone heads out to “raid” the neighborhood of Snickers, Laffy Taffy, and Twizzlers on Oct. 31, may be just the remedy you need to avoid WWIII when everyone returns home for the evening to divvy up the spoils, store them, and get to bed in order to be attentive at Mass for the Holy Day of Obligation the next morning. If you pray the rosary throughout the month of October, perhaps the young ones will be inspired to dress up at Halloween as a saint like St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, rather than something with the appearance of ones down in the pit, who are terrified by the Spouse of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.
Now, gathering everyone to pray the rosary is not always an easy task (especially adults). I remember well how my mother tried to gather her nine “chicks” each night, and these nine employed the most elaborate reasons to be excused from the family rosary: feigning ill, pretending to be asleep, or suddenly remembering that nuclear physics quiz the next day. Dads and moms, remember that your valiant efforts at prayer will always bear great fruit. Our Blessed Mother will bring abundant blessings to every home where the rosary is prayed. The family that prays together stays together!
Perhaps one of the more trying aspects of faithfully reciting the rosary is not so much the struggle to keep focus amidst distractions around Halloween, as much as charitably responding to our Christian brothers and sisters who were estranged from Holy Mother Church on Halloween day 1517.
At times our separated brethren will challenge and even chastise the children of Mary for their piety, which is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself was the first Child of Mary, and if people challenge or chastise Mary’s children they do the same to Him. However, mindless chastisement can lead impious Catholics to abandon the rosary.
Could it be that the devil himself hates the rosary and would encourage this chastisement? Could it be that the devil hates the children of Mary? We can find our answer in chapter 12 of the book of Revelation.
Here, the Blessed Virgin gives birth to Jesus and the devil is cast out of heaven. Watch who he attacks:
When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child…
Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of Her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus
.” (vs. 13, 17). Here, we see that Satan hates not only Jesus, but Mary and all of the children of Mary. He especially hates those who pray the rosary, because they are powerful against him.
Look at this story: Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Nigeria was in desperate prayer for his flock in 2014. The horrible terrorist group Boko Haram was bringing the most hideous frightening terrors upon the people of his diocese and the bishop begged God for an answer, a way to fight back. Jesus himself appeared holding a sword and the bishop instinctively held out his hands to receive the weapon which instantly turned into a ROSARY. After this amazing exchange, Jesus said three times to Bishop Doeme, “Boko Haram is gone.” The message was clear to the bishop, praying the rosary will defeat evil.
The holy rosary is very powerful, and it is completely based on Sacred Scripture. It has been faithfully recited daily by so many of the greatest saints. Be a faithful Catholic and pray the rosary daily. Always remember that infinitely sweeter than any amount of Halloween candy, is Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. We pray, “O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us! That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!”
Fr. Gardner is pastor of St. Peter in Fort Yates and the Catholic Indian Mission, as well as the satellite parishes in Cannon Ball, Porcupine, Selfridge and Solen.
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