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Change the World One Rosary at a Time

There was a time when I believed the only way to make a difference in this life was to do something dramatic, powerful, influential.  The people who made headlines were wealthy and famous, noteworthy for their non-profits, foundations, and large donations to charity.  I wondered how, then, I could impact the world in an indelible way, so that it would be changed for the good and for the glory of God.

This summer tempted me to believe that evil was prevailing, and the massive acts of terrorism, senseless riots, and violence weighed heavily on my heart.  My immediate thoughts were, There’s nothing I can do about this.  I can’t change what’s happening.  Desolation, despondency, and discouragement result in their dark cloud of doom upon my soul.

The social media chatter confirm my suspicions as I scroll through the virtual conversations in the aftermath of such chaos and controversy.  It seems trite and incomplete to merely comment, “Prayer changes lives.  We must pray more fervently in times like these.”

The truth in this sort of statement gets lost nowadays, and I have to admit I understand why.  But when I think about it more deeply, I realize that the sagacious words of Mother Teresa timelessly reverberate in my heart:  Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.

No one can change everyone’s heart, but we can begin at home.  In my small family of four, that means introducing a family rosary (or at least a decade) several nights per week.  As I watch our 3- and 5-year-old daughters pray each Hail Mary with radiance in their eyes, I know their prayers are resounding in Heaven with alacrity.  The prayers of a child, one at a time, can change the world.

The prayers of a child, one at a time, can change the world. Share on X

It’s not because the entire world is converted, but it begins with one – with you and me.  Then we reach out to our families and neighbors, and eventually God sends others to cross our paths.  It may seem oversimplified and insufficient to say this, but heroic faith is confident that God hears every prayer uttered with sincerity and generosity.

...heroic faith is confident that God hears every prayer uttered with sincerity and generosity. Share on X

I know without doubt that the prayers of a child do not fall on deaf ears in Heaven.

Sometimes all I can muster is one Hail Mary. Other days it’s a decade or two. And, when I am very fortunate, I pray an entire rosary without interruption. Each prayer, as I silently reflect, is offered for the countless people – some strangers – who approach me for prayer. Some are facing terminal illness. Some have wayward children. Others are caregivers who are overwhelmed. Some have marriages barely hanging on to life. Others are battling addiction.

No matter, I hand each prayer to Our Lady, and I know she takes each one offered sincerely. In her merciful hands, she gives them to Jesus, and together their united Love showers countless graces upon the souls in most need.

We need to remember that we can change the world one rosary at a time. It sounds trite at times, maybe even cliched, but it’s true. It’s a lot like taking one step at a time – one foot in front of the other, step by step, inch by inch. We cannot convert a hurting family, community, nation, or world in one leap. But we can, bit by bit, through our small, often hidden, offerings of love through prayer.

Text (c) Jeannie Ewing 2018, all rights reserved. Photo by Fischer Twins on Unsplash

Jeannie Ewing is a Catholic spirituality writer who focuses on the topics of grief, redemptive suffering, and waiting. Her four books include a meditation journal, a devotional, and two books on the topic of discovering joy in the midst of grief and waiting with expectation. She is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and contributes to several online and print Catholic periodicals. For more information, please visit her website

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