Dear Sacred Heart Family,
This week we have begun the month of May; the Month of Our Lady. Pope Francis has invited all of us to renew the practice of reciting the Rosary this month, especially for peace. How can we grow in devotion to the Blessed Mother? There are several perennial practices: meditation, pilgrimage, and ongoing education.
In recent years, medical studies have focused on the physical and mental benefits of meditation. As contemporary science reemphasizes this practice, it is encouraging to realize that we have a tool at our disposal to reduce stress and get healthy: the Rosary! Perhaps you, like me, have struggled in the past with the Rosary. However, a second look can motivate to rediscover or begin this helpful and simple practice.
Reciting the vocal prayers of the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be not only affect our heart beat, breathing patterns, and brain waves, they also praise God and honor Our Lady. Not only can we reduce our blood pressure, we can clear our minds, and calm our worries as we place all things in her hands. The heart of the Rosary is to think about and contemplate the life of Our Lord and Our Lady, while keeping pace with prayers said out loud or in our hearts.
A pilgrimage is a sacred journey. Why not learn the benefits which our ancestors knew so well, and take a day to visit the Shrine of Our Lady in Washington, DC? Showing our love to her is such a sign of renewed interest in this friendship with the Blessed Mother. Find a statue of Our Lady somewhere, recite part of the Rosary on the way, and leave all your burdens with her.
We cannot love a person we don’t know. Maybe consider visiting formed.org for videos, documentaries, audio books, movies and digital reading about Our Lady to learn just how amazing she is, and in a sense more importantly, how much she loves you.
Rosary meditation, pilgrimage, and ongoing learning can be three channels of grace for our lives in this beautiful month of Our Lady. I hope you had a wonderful Apple Blossom celebration, and that your spring is a time of grace and renewal.
In Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Bjorn Lundberg