October 7, 2005 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
Reading (Acts 1:12-14) Gospel (St. Luke 1:26-38)
As we celebrate today the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, we are called immediately by the Church to this point in the first reading, that after the Resurrection of Our Lord the apostles gathered in prayer together with some women and our Blessed Lady. They understood instinctively that they needed to be where Our Lady was. They gathered around her and she taught them to pray. She formed them so that they would be able to do what they were called to do. They had spent three years with our Blessed Lord and they did not understand; they did not get it. But through the work of our Blessed Lady–and especially, of course, through the Holy Spirit, Who was given to them–suddenly they became aware of what it was they were supposed to do. They understood what it meant to be conformed to Jesus Christ, and that was the way they lived their lives from that point forward, everyday becoming more and more conformed into the very likeness of our Blessed Lord.
Well, the same is true for each one of us. If we are going to be conformed to Christ, it is in a particular way to be able to place before ourselves the very mysteries of His life, of His death, and of His glorification. That is exactly what we have in the Rosary. We meditate upon the mysteries of Our Lord’s life; we place them before us every single day; and in so doing, slowly, little by little, we become conformed to the mysteries upon which we meditate. Our Lady is at the very center of all of that, and it makes perfect sense. God chose her, as we heard in the Gospel reading, to be the mother of His Son. Our Lady, being a mother, has formed then but one child, and she formed Him perfectly. She was perfectly conformed to Him so that He could become perfectly conformed to her. This is a mystery we will ponder for the rest of eternity, but the reality is that Our Lady knows then, as Saint Louis de Montfort would say, how to form only one child. If that is the case, then if we place ourselves in her hands, she will conform us to the image of that one child that she knows how to form–and that is Jesus.
The Rosary is an exceedingly powerful weapon, a spiritual weapon against the enemy of our souls. It is the chain, I believe, spoken of in the Book of Revelation which is going to bind Satan. It is with that chain bound around him that he will be cast into the fiery pit for all eternity. Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima, made very clear the power of the Rosary as she understood from what Our Lady had shown her. She said simply, “Through the Rosary anything can be obtained. Anything.” That is the power of the Rosary. Once again, it moves us right into the central mysteries of the life and passion of Our Lord and into the mystery of Our Lady’s relationship with Christ. We learn from her how to live the Christian life and through her we become perfectly conformed to Christ. That is the power of the Rosary. The Rosary is able to take a situation which seems impossible and help us to see God’s Will, to turn it into something which is not only completely possible, but something which is going to give the greatest glory to God. That is what we have to be about.
Through this very humble means, we see that we have the most powerful of all weapons. It is a weapon to be wielded on the spiritual realm, a weapon that is used against Satan. Through the Rosary, all things are possible for those who really pray it, for those who trust in the power of God. Through Our Lady’s intercession, everything can be obtained through the prayerful recitation of the Most Holy Rosary.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.