As a man of a “certain age” (50, at the time of this being published), I came to the Rosary later in life (with gratitude to the spiritual direction of Fr. Theodore Smith at St. Michael’s Abbey). Looking back on my younger years, I really wish I had been praying the Rosary every day, as I am now. The closeness I feel to our Blessed Mother, and the nourishing way the Holy Rosary has ignited my heart, would have served my well in my younger years.
There’s a familiar quote, attributed to Jim Rohn, stating, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” With this in mind, along with my beloved wife and children, I’m fortunate to have a close group of men in my life that also make praying the Rosary a centerpiece of their spirituality. I consider this a cherished band of brothers, and they continually inspire with their devotion to Jesus through Mary.
Yet, there are many other men I encounter, especially those of today’s younger generation, that seem to hold on to misconceptions and unfounded stereotypes of the Rosary. You too may have encountered some of these reactions: “Isn’t it just for old people?” “It’s just repeating prayers over and over,” “It reminds me of funerals.” All of this couldn’t be farther from the truth…especially considering the Rosary is the ultimate source of truth! And, real men believe in heroism and the pursuit of truth!
So, let’s dispel any misconception, and highlight a few examples of why “Real Men Pray the Rosary.”
The Rosary is a weapon against the enemy and his snares. It’s a literal WEAPON against satan…and real men make the most of this powerful weapon! St. Padre Pio declared, “The Rosary is the weapon for these times.” This is especially relevant now, as the world is in dire need of this weapon to combat the darkness of hatred, illness, hardships, and disorder. Real men seek purpose, and desire action and and access to dependable armor, as they fight a daily spiritual battle in their lives. Mary is often referred to as the New Eve, and depicted crushing the head of the snake. When we pray the Rosary we’re asking her to intercede for us, which serves as a powerful prayer for our own battles as men against temptation and sin, and every evil.
The Rosary Destroys Addictions
No Christian man should be a victim to unhealthy addictions. Praying the Holy Rosary sets one free from such addictions. Being fully holy and free of addiction requires grace…and the way to grace if through Mary. When we’re closer to her, and therefore closer to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we’re blessed with the graces to overcome the struggle against sin (especially sins of the flesh).
The Rosary Defends Against an Attack on The Family
Men encounter many trials on their journey, especially when being called to fulfill a role as spiritual head of the family. There’s an attack by our enemy on the family, aimed at creating confusion and disorder — he hates families and is out to destroy them. There are signs of this all around us. Leading the family through praying the Rosary (or praying it in the presence of family, or with intentions for family) defends against these attacks, and lets the fruit of the Holy Spirit, through Mary, characterize our lives. As men of faith who pray the Rosary, we turn to God to protect and restore our families for His own honor.
Praying the Rosary, with dedicated intentions, solves problems. Sister Lucia of Fatima said, “There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
School for Humility
Praying the Rosary can help men experience and grow in the virtue of humility. This serves as a way to glorify God and be a charitable man, husband and father. The Rosary reveals to us “Mary as the pattern of all virtues.” (via Fr. John Proctor in his book, The Rosary Guide for Priests and People). Throughout the mysteries of the Rosary, humility is held up and present in each decade. Often times it’s difficult to see humility as a masculine trait. Strength or courage are what most comes to mind. However, humility is a foundation for growth, and plays a prominent role in achieving mastery, which real men continually aspire to achieve.
The Time is Now for Men to Get Fired up for the Rosary!
“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” – Pope Pius XI
Let’s continue to bring men together, deepening their devotion to Christ through Mary.