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Below is our featured article for this issue. This article is a defense of the wonderful prayer of the rosary from common objections raised, mostly by our non-Catholic brethren.
Totus Tuus, Maria
Defending the Rosary
By Arthur R. Policarpio
Why pray the rosary?
Many times have we heard people from non-Catholic religions and denominations condemning the rosary. There are even some Catholic priests and ordinary Catholics who criticize or belittle it. Not a few times have I personally heard during mass Catholic priests belittling those who love to recite this prayer, telling the faithful to either reduce the frequency of praying it or substitute it with daily scriptural reading. I am not even counting those Catholics who are plain indifferent to it.
This article is an attempt to answer some of the most common objections to this beloved Catholic prayer. With Our Lady's help, may this humble treatise help us to love and understand her prayer more and more, and spur us to defend this most beautiful devotion against the attacks of those who condemn and belittle it.
On a purely psychological level, the constant repetition of the Hail Mary induces our minds to a state of relaxation, a state where our minds are freed from the worries of the world and we are thus able to meditate on the mysteries. In psychological terms, this is called the "alpha" state, a state of mind between deep sleep called "delta" and the state of full consciousness. This method of repetition is prevalent in other religions, and is likewise widely practiced in the field of psychology. It seems that God, who fully knows our human nature, designed the rosary in such a way that it will help our minds relax, enabling us to pray and meditate.
This meditative and "relaxing" nature of this prayer, as well as other prayers in general, is perhaps the reason why doctors and scientists around the world have proclaimed the "miracle of prayer" in healing. Research has shown that prayer has the power to heal, even on a purely scientific and psychological level. Sick people who have had a habit of prayer have demonstrated higher chances of healing versus those who did not pray regularly.
On a religious and spiritual level, the constant repetition of the Hail Mary is a manifestation of our love for Mary. When a person is in love, he or she cannot but constantly repeat and express his or her love to the beloved through the words, "I love you". The Hail Mary is a flower which we offer to Mary, our beloved - flowers which show our love and affection for her. A mystic once saw a vision of beautiful, red roses drifting up to the air towards Mary. The mystic saw that each Hail Mary recited by a devout disciple of Mary was converted to a beautiful, red rose which was gathered one by one by Mary. Our Lady, in turn, offered the roses to God.
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