By Father Bill Kneemiller
“10 Wonders of the Rosary” by Father Donald Calloway, MIC, available from Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (800) 462-7426
“10 Wonders of the Rosary,” the latest book of Father Donald Calloway, MIC, is an ideal Christmas gift, and at 192 readable pages, an insightful and devoted history of the wonders of the rosary.
Father Calloway shares an amazing quote from St. Louis de Montfort on how to increase the merits of the rosary. “The holy rosary contains many mysteries of Jesus and Mary and since faith is the only key which opens up these mysteries for us, we must begin the rosary by saying the Creed very devoutly, and the stronger our faith, the more merit our rosary will have.”
I have been implementing St. Louis’ wonderful advice. All of us, who pray the rosary, think of the many times that we rush through the Creed. Why? Because we gotta get to the decades. This one piece of advice on the value of the prayer of the Creed is worth its weight in gold.
The rosary has great spiritual power and theological richness because it is praying the living Scriptures. Father Calloway’s 10 wonders range from the rosary’s divine inspiration to its being a spiritual weapon to its origins with St. Dominic to its devotion by saints and popes. It is indeed a “Crown for Mary.”
Father Calloway traces the rosary’s origins and its connection with religious history. His account of the history of the Luminous Mysteries should be a real help for anyone who has any doubts on its connection with the long-standing other three mysteries.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen summarizes the wonders of praying the rosary, “No normal mind yet has been overcome by worries or fear who was faithful to the rosary. You will be surprised how you can climb out of your worries, bead by bead, up to the very Heart of Love itself.”
What if you have never personally experienced these exalted wonders, and have only experienced the rosary as a rote prayer? I can relate, since in my Catholic grade school 50-plus years ago, the teachers prayed a “quick” rosary that had little meaning.
But, what a difference for me, as I fast-forward to the early 90s. A family invited me to a family rosary, which they began by asking for the grace to “pray from the heart.” They did, in a devoted and contemplative manner that St. Louis would commend. At the end of the rosary, I felt a profound peace that I had never felt before. This peace I connect with the 1917 Fatima message that prayer and conversion could avert another world war. This is indeed a message of wonder of the rosary!
(Father Bill Kneemiller is chaplain at The Kahl Home in Davenport.)