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The rosary is both a weapon for spiritual warfare and a rose presented as a gift to the Virgin Mary, said a TOR friar during a talk on the importance of the prayer Monday night.
Brother Daniel Klimek, TOR, who holds a doctorate in spirituality from the Catholic University of America, said that the rosary is a unique gift which allows Catholics to both defend themselves in spiritual warfare and honor the Virgin Mary by presenting her with spiritual roses.
Klimek drew heavily from the Rev. Donald Calloway’s book “Champions of the Rosary,” in which Calloway writes on the importance of using the Rosary as a spiritual weapon.
“Wars and bloody crimes have been stopped through the spiritual weapon of the rosary,” Klimek said. “If you’re facing a spiritual enemy, then you better be using a spiritual weapon.”
Klimek said that life is a battle between two kingdoms – heaven and hell – and that people will be judged based on how they fight that battle. The devil hates the rosary more than anything else, he said, because it comes from the Virgin Mary, the devil’s sworn enemy.
Like Calloway, Klimek likened the rosary to a sword to be used in the spiritual battle. He said that while some people consider it extreme to compare the rosary to a weapon of battle, the comparison is quite fitting because that is exactly the purpose that the rosary serves.
However, the rosary is not just a spiritual sword, said Klimek. He said that praying the rosary is also an act of intimacy with the Virgin Mary; each Hail Mary prayed is like presenting her with a rose to show love for her.
“If each Hail Mary is a rose, then what an act of intimacy of prayer the rosary is,” Klimek said. “The rosary is grace in action.”
Klimek suggested that people who struggle with focusing while praying the rosary try reading the Scriptures correlating with the mysteries, calling it a “game-changer.” Klimek said that the scriptural rosary mystically transports us to Mary’s side as she watches Jesus grow up.
“See in your mind what Mary is doing – you’d be surprised how transformative it is,” he said.
Freshman Jack Salitsky said that the talk fundamentally changed the way he approached Marian devotion.
“I never thought about reading the Scriptures while praying the rosary,” Salitsky said. “It makes me want to pray the rosary more.”
Junior nursing major Anna Brewer said the talk was a “beautiful reflection” on how the rosary is both a spiritual weapon and a source of consolation.
“Seeing the rosary as a spiritual rose reminded me of being a little girl and gathering flowers for my mother,” she said. “I can remember the smile on her face when I would give the flowers to her so I can only imagine what it’s like for the Virgin Mary when I pray the rosary.”
The talk was held in the Gentile Gallery and was hosted by Knights of the Holy Queen Household as part of the household’s Rosary Crusade event. Coordinator Chris McGurn said that the crusade is aimed at reigniting Marian devotion on campus and that one more talk will be held, in addition to Rosary Marches around campus and in Steubenville.
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