“Alright. You’ve got the Rosary this Friday,” he told me right before we hung up. Lance is a man who I met over the summer a few years ago and keep up with from time to time. He has a strong devotion to the rosary and will often make sure to tell me that he is praying for me at some point during our conversation.
What always strikes me about the way he speaks is that he firmly believes that Mary does in fact listen to him and acts on those prayers to be with those for whom he prays and to intercede before God on their behalf. On the one hand, it is a reminder and a call to me to make sure that I too am maintaining my spiritual life. However, it also is an image for me of what we as Catholics believe about Mary and the Saints, devotional prayer, and God’s activity in the world.
Last semester, our Catholicism in the US professor described to us three levels that surround the Church’s devotional prayer:
- Level 1: The practice
- Level 2: The meaning of the practice
- Level 3: The worldview
The first simply is what it is, the Rosary, the Litany of the Saints, a procession, etc. The second addresses what the person is doing, such as asking for Mary’s intercession for a cure or for comfort, etc. The last is the one that has stuck with me, that there is an understanding of the world inherent that undergirds our prayer. It includes what we understand about life and death, that Christ, Mary, the saints and angels, are all near to us, ready to listen, and actively working on God’s behalf in the world around us,…that we have Mary’s ear when we pray the Rosary.
Each time he calls, Lance is a reminder to me of the power and presence of Mary and the saints in our world. It can be humbling yet exciting to think that the saints are here, walking up and down the halls with us, constantly praying for those in the world.
Mr. Bryan Williams, C.S.C. is in third year of temporary vows at Moreau Seminary on the campus of Notre Dame. He and his fellow seminarians write a post each month for the Spes Unica Blog, sharing on their life and formation. Bryan is originally from Houston, TX.