In the Saint Thomas Aquinas priory garden in Toulouse
11 July 2009
The cards for the General Promotion of the Rosary have been distributed by tens of thousands. On the front they show a photograph taken by Brother Louis-Marie Ariño-Durand, OP, and can be used as a simple and evocative sermon. Be they large or small, they are all the same overleaf: you will find the site’s slogan in the three official languages of the Dominican Order, “Pray, preach, live… the Rosary!”
A rose! The queen of flowers for the Queen of Heaven! A flower which, incidentally, will give its name to the Rosary.
The one which served as model for this card was photographed in the early morning, while still bathed with dew.
This rose is certainly not perfect, but it is beautiful.
It is beautiful simply because it exists. Not because it thinks, says or does… but because it exists.
It is the same with my life or my prayer. Certainly, it is not perfect but it is beautiful. Not because I think, say or do… but because I exist… in the image of God! If I wait until my life is perfect to live fully, if I wait for my prayer to be perfect to pray…then I would never do anything and would never start praying!
The rose, queen of flowers, is the gift the lover gives to his beloved. A brother in my Province, when he teaches children to say the Rosary, compares each Ave Maria to a rose offered to Our Lady. Our prayer becomes a bouquet which can but please her!
This dew-covered rose gives us an impression of freshness, almost of innocence. Our life should be like that and our religious life even more so: always fresh! There is nothing worse than a young man of 20… who is already old! A number of our elders, whose bodies are suffering from the passage of time, are anything but old… they are so young of heart!
In praying the rosary, repetitive by nature, it is the Word, always fresh and new, which inhabits us. Let’s learn to welcome it into a renewed heart!
And finally, this rose, like all life, is ephemeral. It gives off a subtle perfume, just as our life should exude the good odour of Christ.
Certainly, to approach it, one must deal with a few thorns… but what a joy to contemplate the beauty of this flower, free of charge!
What are we waiting for to offer our loveliest roses to Our Lady?
Fr. Louis-Marie ARIÑO-DURAND, OP
General Promoter of the Rosary