As it was in other times —such as Lepanto—,* the Rosary must be today a powerful weapon, to conquer the enemies of the Holy Roman Church and of your Country.
Offer reparation to the Lord, exalt His Mother with your lips: your God asks for atonement, for praises from your tongue, because —and these are words of the Holy Father, spoken to his Noble Guard, on the last day of the year 1944 —
"The hostility of the enemies of Christ and of the Church has been served in all times, not only by wicked criticisms, and vehement attacks, but especially by that poisonous slander, those sly insinuations and vague, anonymous rumours, which skillfully spread, have often deceived persons of good faith, even some ignorant and credulous Christians."
Their tongue is a piercing arrow, says Jeremiah (9:8).
—I hope you will have the knowledge and the will to cure those wounds, with this beautiful devotion to Our Lady and with your vigilant charity.
At the Shrine of Fatima, February 6, 1945
Note to the Fifth Spanish Edition
For you, my friend, the reader of this book: I have written the "Holy Rosary" so that you and I may learn how to become absorbed in prayer when we are praying to Our Lady.
Don't allow yourself to be disturbed by the sound of words as you meditate on the thoughts I set before you: do not read them aloud, for then they would lose their intimacy.
On the other hand, pronounce the Our Father and the Hail Marys of each decade clearly and without haste. In this way you will always gain more from this practice of love of Mary.
And don't forget to pray for me.
Msgr J.M. Escriva
Rome, on the Feast of the Purification, February 2, 1952
These lines are not written for "little women." —They are written for full-grown men, and very... manly men, who at times, no doubt, have raised their hearts to God, crying out to Him with the Psalmist: Notam fac mihi viam, in qua ambulem; quia ad te levavi animam meam. —Make the way known to me, wherein I should walk; for I have lifted up my soul to Thee (Ps 142:8).
I must tell these men a secret that may very well be the beginning of the way that Christ wants them to follow.
My friend, if you want to be great, become little.
To be little it is necessary to believe as children believe, to love as children love, to give yourself up as children give themselves up... to pray as children pray.
And all of this is necessary to accomplish what I am going to reveal to you in these lines:
The beginning of the way, at the end of which you will find yourself completely carried away with love for Jesus, is a confident love for Mary.
—Do you want to love Our Lady? —Well, get to know her. How? —By praying her Rosary well.
But, in the Rosary... we always say the same things! —Always the same? And don't those who are in love always say the same things to each other?... Could it not be that there is monotony in your Rosary because, instead of pronouncing words like a man, you emit sounds like an animal, while your mind is very far from God? —Moreover, listen: before each decade we are told the mystery to be contemplated.
—Have you... ever contemplated these mysteries?
Become little. Come with me and —this is the essence of what I have to confide— we will live the life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Each day we will render them a new service. We will hear their family conversations. We will see the Messiah grow up. We will admire His thirty years of hidden life... We will be present at His Passion and Death... We will be awed by the Glory of His Resurrection... In a word: we will contemplate, carried away with Love (the only real love is Love), each and every instant of Christ Jesus.