Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Padre Pio on the Rosary
I am searching for Padre Pio's views on the Rosary. While I have been saying the Rosary daily for ten years, I have discovered some gems of wisdom about the Rosary that I never knew, such as Our Lady 'taught it to us, as Jesus taught us the Our Father'. This has made it clear to me that both Mother and Son were teachers of prayer, but of different prayers. St Pio said that it is a 'weapon', meaning that we protect and defend ourselves by reciting it.
To be fair, I used to cringe when I heard people describe it as 'a weapon', because I thought the warfare imagery was exaggerated a little bit, and that it was violent, but it makes sense to me now. Padre Pio also said that the evil one is intent on destroying it, and in 'destroying' the Rosary, the devil would be taking our defence, and so get to us more easily.
Padre Pio also encouraged us to say the Rosary 'as often as possible'. Bear in mind that he was not doling out advice, that he did not take himself. Padre Pio said the Rosary as often as was humanly possible for him, and on one occasion when he was asked to pray more, he said that it was impossible for him to do so, because he was already praying the Rosary at every spare moment.
My one reservation would be that I've known quite a number of people, especially mothers who are worried about the state of the world, and who become unhealthily obsessive about the Rosary for a short time. They say four to eight Rosaries a day, while neglecting other duties such as eating regularly, caring for their kids or attending to their job. It catches up with them, they might get fired or sick, and then they react negatively by dropping the Rosary altogether, so they go from saying it many times a day to not saying it at all.
It's good to be balanced and do as Our Lady asked and say one five decade Rosary each and every day, while saying more Rosaries if we have the occasion. It may seem 'weaker' and 'less committed' than the fired-up person who says four Rosaries a day for a short period of time and then burns out. But do the sums. If someone says four Rosaries a day for two months and then stops for good, they will have said about 240 Rosaries for that year. But if someone commits to saying a five decade Rosary each day, and recites it every day for a year, they will have said 365 in one year.
If the Rosary is our weapon or our defence, then the person who says it everyday is like the person who locks their house at night, keeps their valuables in a safe and has a pepper spray in their pocket in case they are attacked in public. While the person who goes through a phase of saying it 8 times a day, is like someone who temporarily makes their home like a maximum security prison, only to suddenly stop saying it, thus making their home like a building with broken windows and doors hanging off their hinges.