The Holy Rosary at the time of a seemingly endless plague
A heartwarming consolation during the pandemic, the rosary is prayed around the world
In the dark landscape of the coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic Church has once again entered the month of the Rosary. This is the second month of the Rosary since the start of the pandemic – a seemingly endless scourge.
A heartwarming consolation in these difficult times, the Holy Rosary is, at no other time than today, prayed by more and more Catholics around the world. After all, an integral part of the Catholic faith is the belief that the quickest way to Jesus is through Mary.
According to Father Johann Roten, a world-renowned authority on the Mother of Jesus, the rose symbolizes the rosary with rosebuds that represent the Child Jesus. Half-bloomed flowers characterize the passion of Christ, while fully-bloomed flowers signify Christ’s triumph over death. Called the mystical rose, Mary is believed to have enjoyed the blessings that come with roses.
As the pandemic continues to claim the lives of millions of people, in exasperation people ask: how long should we wait? Will this misery ever end?
During this global catastrophe, on one hand we see the best of people, especially health workers who, despite the risks, give the greatest sacrifice of their lives to try to save precious lives. The obstacle to the difficult test of respecting the Hippocratic Oath is unprecedented. On the other hand, we unfortunately see the worst in people, especially human rights violators who ironically allow themselves to be instruments of violence and death at this time when saving lives is of paramount importance. paramount value.
The virtues of faith, hope and charity are essential in these uncertain times, virtues easier to say than to internalize and to practice. The mysteries of the Holy Rosary manifest such virtues.
Not only do we need immunity to the virus but also immunity to the fear of death
At the beginning of October, I was confronted with the sad news of a friend who, due to heart and lung failure, chose not to be intubated anymore. She succumbed to Covid-19. In a fleeting video a few hours before death, she bade a poignant farewell to her loved ones. Oscillating between hope and despair, his doctor assured his family members that he would hold the patient’s hand on their behalf until her last breath.
Watching the video, everyone can only be afraid of the not so distant possibility of meeting the same fate. Not only do we need immunity to the virus but also immunity to the fear of death.
As the pandemic continues to victimize all of humanity, faith in God is a powerful weapon for believers. In this predominantly Catholic nation, people commemorate the month of the Rosary in creative ways. During the pandemic, the rosary is a source of hope and comfort for families. We can only be thankful that this pandemic brings family members together to pray. These prayers were not always possible in normal times.
Nowadays, the mysteries of the rosary are a reflection of the daily life of people. More pronounced in this global crisis is the painful mystery. Just like in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed on the eve of his death, people kneel in supplication, imploring that the light shine on the way in this long and dark night of sickness, death and misery, and where the responses of many governments to their people’s woes are lacking.
Like Jesus being whipped by the flogging to the pillar, the Filipino people are victims of human rights violations linked to the pandemic in the form of arrests, torture, murders, enforced disappearances and detentions, exacerbated by extreme poverty, the unemployment, malnutrition and natural disasters. These are analogous to thorns, which represent the excruciating pain of the people.
A virtue that springs eternal, the hope for the eventual healing of the nation holds the faithful together. In one of his prayers for the healing of the nation, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, expressed his faith: “We believe, with little prayers; whether it is through tears, words or songs, the voice of the Filipino people will reach God through Jesus. And also through Jesus, weeping becomes a song of light and hope.
Devotees believe the rosary prayer will eventually shed light on the mysteries surrounding the pandemic. As Oratio Imperata puts it: “We pray that you will guide those charged with finding cures for this disease and stemming its transmission. The answer to the difficult question of why God has allowed mankind to suffer through this pandemic will hopefully be realized from the inspiration of the luminous mysteries.
What does the country have in store? In a few months, the Philippines will hold their national elections. Now is the right time for the electorate to chart the fate of a country whose 500 years of Christianity they are commemorating this year, but whose history is marred by corruption, violence and unspeakable violations of the right to life. .
It is certain that true voter education, with a historical perspective unraveling the vicious cycle of vote buying and selling, political dynasties and corruption, will go a long way in empowering people to make a difference. for the future of their country.
Realistically, however, the expressions of the joyous and glorious mysteries in the Philippines are translucent or, worse yet, opaque.
Especially during the month of the Rosary, a collective national prayer for clean, orderly and honest elections whose results will bring real officials whom the people deserve will give confidence for a better future. The luminous mysteries will light the way to the desired change in the governance of the country.
Counting the benefits of solidarity in building community pantries, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, providing sanctuary for the sick and other bodily and spiritual works of mercy is a manifestation of our meaning. gratitude.
Realistically, however, the expressions of the joyous and glorious mysteries in the Philippines are translucent or, worse yet, opaque. People are unemployed. They have no food on the table. The sick do not receive basic health care. Human rights are violated. Cases of virus infections continue to increase. Instead of meeting the needs of citizens, the government prioritizes its perpetuation in power.
Believing in the eventual realization of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, predominantly Christian and Catholic Filipinos should realize the reality that losing hope and faltering faith in these uncertain times is a blunder we cannot afford to make.
Together, let us witness the full flowering of roses in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
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