Oct 7 – Memorial for Our Lady of the Rosary
This day was originally observed as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory. Its date was chosen to commemorate the European victory at the third naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571. This battle marked the high point of Turkish (Muslim) advance on European soil with the Balkans and the regions west and north of the Black Sea returning to Western (Christian) hands in the succeeding centuries. This victory, after two earlier defeats at the same location, was attributed to Our Lady of the Rosary as special processions were made on that same day in Rome for the sake of this crucial victory.
Pope Pius V ordered that a commemoration of the rosary should be made upon that day, and at the request of the Dominican Pope Gregory XIII in 1573, allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the rosary. In 1671, the observance of this festival was extended by Pope Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Pope Clement XI, after the important victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene on 6 August 1716 at Peterwardein in Hungary, commanded the feast of the rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church.
Mal 3: 13-20
“Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”
In the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, Morgan Freeman has a searing line about hope – “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It’s got no use on the inside (prison). Better get used to the idea”. He says this after the protagonist, Andy Dufresne, a man in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, tells him how music gives him hope and how hope reminds him that there is a life outside the prison walls.
I suffer from anxiety attacks. I always have. Only now has medical science coined a name for it. When I’m in the grip of an anxiety attack, I hunker down and become very quiet. The feeling usually passes, but never at the speed that I need it to. The first time it happened, I was sitting for my second-year finals at university. The fear was paralyzing. It didn’t help that everyone around me seemed to think I was overreacting. I was not. I was genuinely terrified. It’s hard to pray when you’re that scared. Words fail you. Hope fails you. I know what Morgan Freeman is talking about, because fear is like a prison that completely overwhelms you. I remember trying to breathe normally. I remember sitting in a church, not praying because I couldn’t form the words to the Our Father. I remember realizing that I was going to bomb my finals that day. I remember not crying because I couldn’t. I remember my deep sadness at being a disappointment to my parents.
I don’t know what happened that day, how I walked myself to the exam hall to sit for a test I needed to pass, but wasn’t going to. I do know this – that when words failed me and I couldn’t ask, or seek or knock, God found me. He found me even when it seemed like all hope was lost. In that church, God picked up all the broken pieces and walked me through that test so I wouldn’t disqualify myself completely by not showing up. He knew what I needed, even when I couldn’t ask for it.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:19-20)
(Today’s OXYGEN by Sharon Soo)
Prayer: I pray for all those who suffer from anxiety, that they might experience God’s deliverance as I did.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for His saving grace when we are too lost to ask or pray for ourselves.