[dropcap type=”4″]W[/dropcap]hen life kicks you in the teeth and you’re down for the count, you find out quickly who your friends are.
“Faith,” a friend of mine said to me after one such occasion, “It’s a nice idea, isn’t it?”
It’s easy to have faith when things are going just as we’d hoped. It’s when our hearts have been broken that we begin to wonder. And that, by the grace of God, is when true faith arises. Trusting in the Lord in troubled times can seem like so much foolishness — until it doesn’t.
Bishop Oliver Dashe Dome of Maiduguri, Nigeria knows all about troubled times. His diocese has been under relentless attack by Boko Haram, a terrorist organization that in March declared its allegiance to ISIS. Boko Haram’s aim is to create an Islamist state and they’ve been zealously working toward that goal through bombings, attacks on churches, kidnappings and other brutalities.
Last year they abducted 276 young girls from a boarding school, presumably to use as sex slaves or child brides. Some of the students escaped, but 219 of the “Chibok Girls,” as they have come to be known, are still missing.
Into the middle of this nightmare scenario steps Bishop Dome. He was praying before the Blessed Sacrament near the end of last year when he had a vision of Jesus Christ. During the vision, Christ handed him a sword. As the bishop reached for it, the sword became a rosary. Jesus then told him three times, “Boko Haram is gone.”
Although he was reluctant to speak of the experience at first, Bishop Dome said the Holy Spirit was prompting him to share the message. And I wonder, as I sit here safely in my air-conditioned home after a pleasant meal, are American ears ready for such a message? Or are we too busy checking our smart phones?
Enter the mystery
Praying the daily Rosary is one of those things that until you try it, seems, well… tedious. We know Our Lady has asked multiple times for us to pray the Rosary daily, but we’re too busy. And it doesn’t “do” anything for us.
But, if we step out in faith and truly enter the mysteries as we pray each decade, we find that no matter what happens, an overarching sense of peace takes root in our lives. We meet Jesus and ponder the Gospel and allow Mary to wrap her mantle of love around us. Jesus and Mary become our dearest friends. Faith deepens.
If we step out in faith and truly enter the mysteries as we pray each decade, we find that no matter what happens, an overarching sense of peace takes root in our lives.
Worried about your adult children who have left the faith? Pray a decade for each daily. Worried about the future of our country? Offer a decade. Loved ones battling cancer? They get a decade too. You might start out praying one Rosary a day and discover that you really need to pray two!
Bishop Dome’s vision has meaning for each of us. Whatever we’re battling in our lives — marital woes, depression, job loss — the Lord is right beside us. He sheds tears along with us and holds us to His heart. He never could deny His Mother anything, and knowing that, we trust that praying the Rosary with faith really does defeat evil and bring about good, just as it will in Nigeria. Just as it will in your home.
At Fatima, Our Lady told the visionaries: “There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that cannot be resolved by the prayer of the Rosary.”
If you’re not praying the daily Rosary yet, why not give it a try now during May, a month devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary? If you’re as busy as most people, you can listen to the Rosary on CD and pray it when you drive. Imagine how much safer we’d all be if more drivers were praying the Rosary.
Tune into the Rosary when you’re chopping vegetables or scrubbing the floor. Envision Jesus and Mary right there with you and let the Rosary help sanctify these everyday tasks. Watch as faith begins to build and worries diminish. Check out comepraytherosary.org for more ideas.