I think most of us can agree that the culture of today is in desperate need of one thing: God’s mercy. I seldom check the news, but when I do, I am always shocked and disheartened at what I see or read. At times, it seems as if I am living in the Twilight Zone, alone in my worldview and perception of reality, as well as lifestyle.
Maybe you feel that way, too. Maybe you have been struggling with despondency and discouragement like I have. I think it’s fair to say that many of us who are trying to remain faithful to God are reaping the spiritual intensity of what our culture has sown through social and personal sin. If your heart is heavy like mine has been, with the weight of such desolation and brokenness, then you need to read Shane Kapler’s newest book, Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
When I opened it, I instantly sensed that Kapler was on the cusp of opening a hidden treasure – that of uniting two incredibly powerful prayers, the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet. For those of us who pray either or both of these, we can attest to the powerful fruits that often result from sincere devotion. But how beautiful an inspiration – a holy and timely one at that – for Kapler to create the idea that we can pray both together.
The book is a very short read, intended as a meditation booklet really. Each page is filled with illustrious and sublime images that pertain to a particular Mystery of the Rosary, accompanied by Kapler’s thoughtful reflection. He guides the reader on how this devotion works, but it’s very simple: After you pray your decade of the Rosary, add a decade of the Chaplet. Conclude with prayers derived from both.
I started praying in this way just a few days ago, and though I do not know exactly how God is responding to my prayers, I sense very deeply that He is moving through them. You see, we appeal to His mercy when we incorporate the Chaplet into our meditations on the Rosary. Both have been linked to innumerable miracles, some recorded but even more that are known only to you and me. We each have our stories, don’t we?
Praying the Rosary has protected people from harm, brought others back to the Church, and consoled those who are lost. Praying the Chaplet has saved souls from the fires of Hell, comforted people at the hour of death, and released suffering souls from Purgatory. How much more powerful, then, will praying both together be for you and me?
We know that so many are suffering, lost, lonely, on the brink of despair. The world seems bleak, and any mention of God is often hollow upon the ears of one who is experiencing such darkness. We see violence and strife, political division and economic hardship, terrorist attacks and blasphemies against the Church.
But the Rosary and Chaplet renew our strength. They uplift us and give us that much-needed dose of hope when we are at a loss for words or prayers. During times when you don’t know how to reach someone or are desperate to assuage the pain of a loved one, turn to this new devotion. You will discover that Our Lady journeys with you through these valleys. She encourages you to keep moving forward, to carry your cross without complaint, and to become a Simon of Cyrene for someone else who may be close to losing his soul.
So pray fervently and without ceasing, dear friend, because what else do we have? What other hope is there but to pray, to cling to the familiarity and strength in the Rosary and Chaplet? Even if you are able to combine the prayers only once per week, it is enough. It is more than enough to bestow showers of graces upon you and those for whom you pray.