Chapters 18, 19 and 20 The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God 1


Chapters 18 and 19 focus on the Rosary. Sheen addresses the common misconception that because the rosary is so repetitious it becomes boring and the words meaningless. He gives the analogy of a spouse telling his beloved, “I love you”. Truly, those words cannot be said enough and each time the meaning and feelings behind those words are unique. So too, the rosary. Each prayer is an “I love you” to the Trinity, to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. I must admit, I too, earlier in my life, fell victim to the thought that the Rosary was boring, repetitious, and a form of prayer that was for old folks and not for me. Praise God that changed! The Rosary has become my “go to” prayer and has greatly enhanced my prayer and spiritual life.

Chapter 20 speaks about mercy. In our interaction with the Divine, coincidences seem to happen in unexpected ways! The end of this chapter mentions Saint Gemma Galgani and her plea to Jesus to show mercy on a sinful man she encountered. I am often reading 2 or 3 books at a time and, as it would happen, I am reading “The Life of St. Gemma of Galgani.” Okay, so maybe that is not so coincidental, but I happened to be reading Chapter 12 of this book which details this very scene and how Gemma, not gaining the action she wanted from our Lord, makes a move he cannot refuse! She appeals to the Blessed Mother. Let me share Saint Gemma’s words from this part of the chapter as she makes her plea to save this sinful man.

“Well, I am a sinner. Thou Thyself has told me so, that worse than me Thou couldst not find. Yes, I confess it, I am unworthy that Thou shouldst listen to me. But look, I present to Thee another advocate for my sinner; it is Thine own Mother who asks Thee to forgive him. Oh, imagine saying no to Thy Mother! Surely, Thou canst not say no to her.”

How courageous Gemma was and how wise in her seeking Mary’s intercession. We too, have a treasure in seeking Mary’s help. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

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One thought on “Chapters 18, 19 and 20

  • Mary French

    Reading Deacon Ralph’s comments, I was sitting here nodding my head — agreeing about the analogy between the rosary and saying “I love you” that Sheen laid out for us. I also love the story about Saint Gemma and read that same book a handful of years ago! Unfortunately I can’t find it. I must have loaned it out once upon a time but I so loved her story, I found myself wishing I had known of her in my younger days so that I could have named one of my daughters after her. In Chapter 18 Sheen tells us that the rosary is the best form of therapy. I take that right to heart and believe it to be true. It calms. It heals. It leads us down a spiritual path. Chapter 19, however, really inspired me. I am going to use Sheen’s summaries of those 15 mysteries for my next few rounds of the rosary. I personally prefer to meditate in different ways, not necessarily always on the scripture that applies to the mystery, and I love the succinct way that our author expressed his thoughts on each one. I can sum up my thoughts on Chapter 20 in one quick aspiration; “Mary, mother of mercy, pray for us”.

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