Jacqueline Burkepile is an award-winning journalist who writes for several publications in addition to the Register. She writes for the The North Texas Catholic and the The Texas Catholic, and has blogged for Johnnette Benkovic’s Women of Grace, as well as Leah Darrow. Jacqueline is also a Catholic Campus Minister at Texas Woman’s University with St. John Paul II University Parish in Denton, Texas. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism News (with a broadcast emphasis) from the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas in 2011. She and her husband had their first child in January 2015.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, “The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual…”
Archbishop Sheen was absolutely right, because my devotion to the Rosary began as therapy. At age 27, I look back at the many hours I spent praying the Rosary because of my brokenness. However, this is how God reeled me into something that would change my life forever.
While I was growing up, my family prayed the Rosary together daily. It may have been a couple of mysteries a night, but we hardly ever failed to pray it. My mother faithfully instilled this in us.
However, I didn’t understand the value of prayer until I experienced my first heartbreak at 17. Even at that time though, I didn’t fully grasp it. Then at 18, my heart was broken again, but much more so than the time before. At that point, I began praying the Rosary for comfort often multiple times a day. Although, through these trials, God was transforming my heart, and I didn’t even realize it at the time. I now see that it is the Blessed Mother’s intercession that leads me on my journey to holiness.
The Rosary Gives Me Peace
The Rosary is the prayer that instills peace within me. Next to receiving the Eucharist, there is no other prayer that provides me the peace and joy I need to get through my day. Complete spiritual emptiness encompasses my day if I do not pray it at the start.
“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” —Pope Saint Pius X
The Rosary Renews My Faith
Every time I recite the Rosary, I have more strength and endurance to live my faith, carry out God’s will, and overcome trials. Without it, I would be lost.
“The Rosary will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.” —Our Lady to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche, one of the 15 Promises of the Rosary
The Rosary helps me combat sin
Prayer should always help us combat sin, but why would Jesus deny us this assistance if we ask Him through His Mother? Mary is pure and sinless, but she can also relate to us through her humanity. She is there any time we call upon her. She wants us to be holy and to be in Heaven with her someday. Mary promised that “the Rosary shall be a powerful armor against Hell; it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.” I am not immune from temptation, but Our Lady gives me the strength I need to combat and overcome my vices. She provides me with the drive to want holiness. She makes holiness attractive and beautiful, and she gives me the desire for the sweet taste of heaven.
The Rosary Draws Me Closer to the Sacraments
When I began faithfully praying the daily Rosary on my own, I also started asking for the intercession of the saints. This ultimately drew me closer and closer to the Eucharist. I began making a Eucharistic holy hour and attending weekday Mass almost daily, and would receive the sacrament of reconciliation regularly.
By the time left home to attend a university, I knew exactly where I wanted to be: our campus’ Newman Center. There was a Eucharistic tabernacle right next to campus, and I would spend most of my time there when I wasn’t studying or socializing. I would study there, lead group prayer, and spend countless hours just sitting before Jesus. All of this increased my love for God and gave me the graces to know what God wanted for my life.
Through the Blessed Mother’s Intercession, the Rosary Led Me to My Husband
Because my mother instilled in our family the importance of the Rosary, I used it as a means for comfort. This comfort led to an intense devotion to Our Blessed Mother, which, in turn, led me closer to the sacraments. This devotion then inspired my involvement at the Catholic Center, where I eventually met my husband. I also prayed daily for my future husband to the Blessed Mother—that she would guide, protect, and lead him to me at the right time. And she did. We have now been married for three years, and just had our first child in January. Even though my state in life doesn’t allow me to visit the Eucharist every day, I know I am living the life God called me to. This life has been a beautiful blessing. I attribute it all to the Blessed Mother’s intercession.
So the next time you question whether or not you should pray the Rosary, my answer for you is a definite yes. Since October is the month of the Rosary, I encourage you to begin your journey now. The Rosary changed my life. I hope it changes yours too.
"The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you'll be amazed at the results." —St. Josemaría Escrivá