The Month of October
October is a popular month for many causes to have the “month of….” during this time. In the Church, there are two things that are highlighted, in a particular way, during the month of October. I mentioned in my homily on October 4th that October is observed as Respect Life Month as (with the first Sunday being Respect Life Sunday). This is not to say that it is the only month during which we are concerned with raising awareness of the need to respect life. As a priest, it is a distinct privilege for me to see the way in which the gift of new life is celebrated in welcoming a baby into a home, as well as the respect that is given to people when they are being cared for, either at home or in a nursing home, towards the end of their journey in this life. Life is a gift from God – none of us can claim to have willed ourselves into existence. This month calls us to bear in mind, too, that, in order to respect life at its later stages, we must uphold the dignity of human life from the moment it begins, at conception. Thus it is something to be held as precious - from the womb until natural death.
The Church, in the month of October, also invites in a special way to foster the devotion of praying the Rosary. It is the “Month of the Rosary,” and, in fact, October 7th was the Memorial of Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary. This memorial commemorates the naval victory of the Christian Holy League against the Ottoman Turks in the year 1571, stopping the spread of the Ottoman Empire into Europe. Ahead of that battle, Pope Pius V encouraged Christians to seek Mary’s intercession through praying the rosary. The Christian victory was attributed to Mary’s intercession. We must remember that the rosary remains a very powerful weapon in the spiritual battles that we all experience today. To seek the prayers of the Mother of God in our needs and in our daily struggles is a noble and prudent act. Information on how to pray the rosary can be found by clicking here.
In this Month of the Rosary, as we reflect on Mary as our Mother, would you consider praying the Rosary in a special way for a greater respect of life in our society? Reflections to assist with this can be found by going to the U.S. Bishops’ web site by clicking here.