Pray the Rosary… (Resources, and more on this Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary)

Pray the Rosary… (Resources, and more on this Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary)

Mary with the Infant Jesus, St Catherine of Bologna, 15th century. Source: wikipedia.

Mary with the Infant Jesus, St Catherine of Bologna, 15th century. Source: wikipedia.

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

I’ll go to Mass. I’ll have breakfast with a friend. Then I’m going to get my stitches out from some oral surgery that took place last week.

And I’ll pray the rosary.

In other words, its a typical day. And the rosary fits my life. It fits in my day anytime… morning, noon, or night. I often pray it in the car, or on my walks. Or with friends.

The Catechism calls the Rosary an “epitome of the Gospel (CCC 971).”

Here’s some of my favorite resources about this prayer that has shaped my life over the last thirty years.

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I’ve written about praying the rosary many times. About prayer in groups. About my grandmother’s rosary.

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I’ve got many Among Women podcasts about the rosary — about forming local rosary groups for mothers… plus interviews with several knowledgable guests like Rosary Army’s Jennifer Willits… and author Karen Edmisten with an epic primer on the rosary…  and the rosary and pregnancy with Sarah Reinhard. Plus one of my favorite podcasts of all time — the Among Women listeners sharing what they love about the rosary!

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My most favorite book to pray the rosary with is the Scriptural Rosary. 

The best advice about loving the rosary  and Marian devotion comes from the classic books of St Louis de Montfort.

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Finally, I’ve learned what St John Paul has long taught: the Rosary conforms us to Christ. Outside of the Mass, it is the most powerful prayer we can pray.

Christian spirituality is distinguished by the disciple’s commitment to become conformed ever more fully to his Master (cf. Rom 8:29; Phil 3:10,12). The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Baptism grafts the believer like a branch onto the vine which is Christ (cf. Jn 15:5) and makes him a member of Christ’s mystical Body (cf.1Cor 12:12; Rom 12:5). This initial unity, however, calls for a growing assimilation which will increasingly shape the conduct of the disciple in accordance with the “mind” of Christ: “Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). In the words of the Apostle, we are called “to put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. Rom 13:14; Gal 3:27).

In the spiritual journey of the Rosary, based on the constant contemplation – in Mary’s company – of the face of Christ, this demanding ideal of being conformed to him is pursued through an association which could be described in terms of friendship. We are thereby enabled to enter naturally into Christ’s life and as it were to share his deepest feelings. In this regard Blessed Bartolo Longo has written: “Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living the same life in Holy Communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection”.

In this process of being conformed to Christ in the Rosary, we entrust ourselves in a special way to the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin. She who is both the Mother of Christ and a member of the Church, indeed her “pre-eminent and altogether singular member” is at the same time the “Mother of the Church”. As such, she continually brings to birth children for the mystical Body of her Son. She does so through her intercession, imploring upon them the inexhaustible outpouring of the Spirit. Mary is the perfect icon of the motherhood of the Church.

-St John Paul II-
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 15
[
Emphasis mine]

Among Women 185: The Life of Ryan, with Mary Ellen Barrett

Among Women 185: The Life of Ryan, with Mary Ellen Barrett

This latest episode of Among Women may require a box of Kleenex handy. My most wonderful and gracious guest is  Mary Ellen Barrett.

This week we look at the difficult subject of losing a child to death. Blogger and Long Island Catholic columnist Mary Ellen Barrett reflects on the fifth anniversary since the death of Ryan, her 14 year old son, who died during a camping trip. The search for Ryan, who at first was thought to be lost, went on for some time, and many, including myself, were glued to the internet for news of him during that search as prayers stormed heaven.

Listeners or blog readers familiar with this event will be encouraged by the musings and memories of Ryan’s mother, Mary Ellen. Those uninitiated will be blessed by the faith of this Long Island family who suffered the keenest of losses.

Since this is Respect Life Month, my goal with Mary Ellen is to talk about the beauty and dignity of Ryan’s life — his Christian devotion even as a young boy with special needs — as well as the ups and downs that he faced in family life and elsewhere. Finally, we discuss the outpouring of support from near and far for this grieving family, plus offer tips for helping others facing a similar grief.

In our saint segment, I once again look at the life of St Anna Schaffer, whose life of prayer and acute physical suffering offers a witness to us for how to make our heartaches and pains a path of redemptive suffering.

If you’d like to read a little bit about Mary Ellen’s life with Ryan, you might enjoy this recent article in Seton Magazine, or this one from Catholic Digest. I’ve left a few more, plus blog posts from Mary Ellen’s blog, over with the episode notes for Among Women 185.

Listen to Among Women 185 right now!

If you enjoy Among Women, kindly leave a rating and a review over on iTunes!

 

Among Women 182: The Power of Forgiveness

Among Women 182: The Power of Forgiveness

Set FreeIn this latest episode of Among Women  my guest, author Genevieve Kineke and I discuss the thorny problem of forgiveness and making it happen in our lives, as related to Genevieve’s book,  Set Free. You may recognize Genevieve Kineke’s name from her writings about the feminine genius, and Among Women listeners may recall our previous interview on the silver anniversary of St John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatem. Together we unpack the need to make an concerted act of the will to forgive another, or to forgive ourselves. Such resolve brings freedom and healing, and Genevieve serves up some practical lessons on the subject.

I’m also profiling St Paula, a 4th century saint from Rome who eventually traveled to Bethlehem and assisted the work of St Jerome. Plus you’ll hear where I’m speaking next in the next few months, as well as find links to Catholic sources that are helping bring compassion to those most needy in our troubled world.

Among Women 181: Spiritual Muscle for Life’s Curves (with Jennifer Fitz)

Among Women 181: Spiritual Muscle for Life’s Curves (with Jennifer Fitz)

I’m happy to be back with a new episode of Among Women after an unplanned hiatus due to family obligations and spiritual direction school. In this episode I unpack seven spiritual weapons found in the writings of St Catherine of Bologna (with the help of Pope Benedict). This subject is especially helpful to all of us in a struggle as St Catherine is well acquainted with the spiritual warfare and difficulties that increased as her faith and love for Christ increased. Indeed, struggle and suffering plus grace equal spiritual muscle. My guest on this episode also has some wisdom to share about that.AuthorPhoto1

The Among Women guest segment finds me conversing with my colleague from Patheos and the Catholic Writer’s Guild, author-blogger Jennifer Fitz, the Guild’s vice-president. Jennifer shares her life as a blogger-catechist-author and the good work of the Guild, plus she opens her heart describing how her past experience as a competitive cyclist enlightens her faith today as she powers through suffering when it comes.

Listen to this new episode of Among Women!

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The MOM podcasts: 12 “Best of” Among Women episodes on Motherhood – Bookmark these!

The MOM podcasts: 12 “Best of” Among Women episodes on Motherhood – Bookmark these!

Mother is another word for LOVE! Motherhood is call to raise saints for heaven. (<–this link has an except from my book.)

I’m pleased to look back to the Among Women archives to bring you some of the most memorable conversations I’ve had the joy of hosting. I hope you’ll be blessed.

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AW 179 Momnipotent with Danielle Bean – Don’t miss this most recent podcast dedicated to the feminine virtues that make Moms great! With author and editor Danielle Bean. Plus I discuss Mary’s spiritual motherhood in our lives. Listen!

AW 119 The Interior Life of Mothers - Make no mistake motherhood matters! Join me for a lively conversation with author Dorothy Pilarski about her book that explores that vital truth. Listen!

AW 71 Small Steps for Catholic Moms – They are the dynamite duo behind the book of the same name: Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss. These married women and longtime writers have eight and nine children respectively and give us a glimpse into the meaning of it all. Listen! 

AW 178 New Life in Christ – My guest describes how an unplanned pregnancy in her successful single professional life brought her to her knees and back to the faith. This is a joyous testimony. Listen! 

AW 56: CatholicMOM.com Founder Dishes – Catholic Mom.com founder, author, and social media maven Lisa Hendey takes us through the pages of her first book, The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Listen! 

AW 163 A Name for Eternity – A perfect podcast for mothers and mothers-to-be! Learn all about naming your baby from author Patrice Fagnant MacArthur. Listen!

AW 15o The Rosary and Pregnancy – perfect together! - Hear author Sarah Reinhard’s loving advice from her book, A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy. Listen!

AW 104: Little Ones in the Domestic Church, Part One, and Part Two – A rare gem for mothers getting their bearings in building up a Catholic home. Blogger Melanie Bettinelli  offers sage advice for starting to share the faith with the very youngest members of the family by creating an environment that naturally communicates the faith over time.  Listen to part one! Then: Listen to part two! 

AW 90 The Icing on the Cake - Got little ones? Need some cool — and simple!– ideas for growing your domestic church at home? Meet blogger Lacy Rabideau whose blog Catholic Icing is a favorite! This podcast offers great Lenten ideas, but make sure you check out her blog year round! Listen! 

AW 160 Mary’s Astonishing Motherhood – I teach a bit on Mary’s life with Joseph and her miraculous pregnancy, then I’m joined by Katherine Coleman who talks about her life’s joys and sorrows as she looks back on raising her autistic son, Matthew, to adulthood. Listen!

AW 121 Each Life is a Masterpiece - Moms of special needs children will be encouraged by the life and writing of Leticia Velasquez as she unpacks the wisdom from her collection of stories found between the pages of A Special Mother is Born. Listen!

AW 5 How to Form a Mothers Prayer Group – I am joined by Colette Crowley and together we both share our experiences in founding mothers prayer groups in our locales. My experience with my Mothers Morning of Prayer was a powerful aid to my spiritual life and my mothering. Don’t miss this very early archive from the early days of Among Women! Listen! 

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Summer listening from Among Women’s “Best of” archives — Kitty Cleveland, Sarah Hart, Daughters of St Paul

Summer listening from Among Women’s “Best of” archives — Kitty Cleveland, Sarah Hart, Daughters of St Paul

From the Among Women archive vault: Here’s some great music-laden podcasts featuring a variety of Catholic artists!

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AW 177 with Kitty Cleveland - I love this podcast because I’m a jazz lover and because I’ve been blessed by this “musical missionary.” We’ll sample some of Kitty Cleveland’s earlier religious-themed albums, as I happily feature this breezy new jazz album. Listen for Kitty’s cover of “Summertime” and “Blue Skies”! Listen!

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AW 134 with Sarah Hart – Sarah’s music is perennial in my house – I’m always listening to it! Listen as Sarah opens up about some of my favorite songs, including her Grammy-nominated “Better Than a Hallelujah”, and the song I love to play at BBB retreats: “Wonderfully Made”. Listen!

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AW 96 with the Daughters of St Paul - Listen to the making of a recording as I go behind the scenes with the sisters in the only convent I know with a recording studio in the basement! Listen!

 

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Getting more familiar with the Bible — Among Women podcasts to help you dig in!

Getting more familiar with the Bible — Among Women podcasts to help you dig in!

Summertime = down time for many people. If you enjoy having a summer reading list, consider upping your time spent reading God’s Word — the Bible!

Here’s a few podcasts, drawn from my archives at Among Women, that might inspire you along the way.

AW 92: The Bible and You – listen as Among Women listeners share their favorite bible verses, and I share resources for your bible study.

AW 70: The Professor and St Paul – Professor Mary Ward, a PhD in theology, shares her love of St Paul.

AW 8: The Gospel of Mark – Professor Mary Healy, a PhD in theology, shares her love of Scripture. Dr Healy is one of the key developers and editors of the Catholic Commentary on Scripture. Dr Healy’s book on Mark is here. (You might also get a kick from knowing this is one of the earliest AW podcasts – dating all the way back to 2009)

A few more articles and resources:

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Catholic Resources online — we love ‘em, we need ‘em! Share this!

My good buddy, author and blogger, Sarah Reinhard, AKA the Snoring Scholar has a great reference piece up at OSV: “Untangling the Catholic Web”.

Let me also share my Resources page at Among Women. 

Make sure your local church bulletins have this information too — share it with your pastors, church leaders, as well as your social media circles.

Go Deeper with God: 7 Among Women “Best of” Podcasts about Prayer

Go Deeper with God: 7 Among Women “Best of” Podcasts about Prayer

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 7.09.47 PMAW 77 A Special Edition on Prayer:  Among Women listeners open up about why prayer is important to them, and the role it plays in their lives. Listen!

AW 143 Growing in Friendship with Jesus and His Queen: A conversation with the dynamic and fun-loving author/blogger/film producer Sr Helena Burns FSP as we break open her book, He Speaks to YouListen!

AW 146 The Power of a Praying Friend: Joined by podcaster/blogger Maria Johnson, my personal friend, we dive into the intentionality of making prayer something we do regularly with our friends. Listen!

AW 93 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: I’m joined by a panel of guests who describe their experience of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in their local parish. Listen!

AW 94 Ringing Round the Rosary: Author/podcaster Jennifer Willits of the Rosary Army and The Catholics Next Store podcast talks about putting faith in action with the rosary. Plus, I offer the wisdom of the saints with regard to this very powerful Marian prayer. Listen!

 AW 20: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary: Author Karen Edmisten walks us through her faith life and her love of the Rosary and its mysteries as we discuss her book The Rosary: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary. (Enjoy this very early AW podcast from 2009!) Listen!

 

 

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Celebrate World Communications Day ! Get Catholic TV! Discover other media resources!

Celebrate World Communications Day ! Get Catholic TV! Discover other media resources!

 “The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ.”

- Pope Francis –
World Communications Day message, 2014

If evangelization is part of church’s identity, then spreading the message of the gospel is what we need to be about. I’m a fan of all Catholic media: radio, television, print, film, and internet and digital media.  I’ve been very fortunate to work in media.

Today let me invite you to Get Catholic TV! – an easy way to see if Catholic TV is in your area. It’s simple: just input your zip code here, and find which channel gives you access!

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I also invite you to read my previous post on World Communications Day, and Pope Francis’ message for today.

Finally, bookmark my Catholic Resources page at Among Women. You’ll find my recommendations for the best Catholic books, media, and more.