Welcome to the Summer Months! Sunshine, beaches, ice cream, holidays…
To celebrate, we at Golden Rose propose to you… Penance! Yayy!!!
Need some convincing? We have a video for you. Since this is a Rose Challenge rather than a Seed Rose you’re not getting a ‘box’ here but if we did your ‘seedtime’ would be 55 minutes – 52 to watch the video, 3 to read this blog. Feedtime is designed to be spread out over the course of a month or so, so let’s talk about that after the video:
OK, so Gabi makes a good case for Penance, for the Rosary, for Communions of Reparation – but what is being asked of you, and what is this Rose Challenge? Do some of the suggestions he made overwhelm you? Am I about to tell you to go to Mass every day or pray 4 Rosaries or something that you don’t see how you can possibly make time for?
Here’s your challenge: Gather 33 Penitential Roses between 13th July and 19th August
This blog is posted a few days early to give you time to think, pray and prepare.
Why those dates?
Let’s recap from the video: Our Lady appeared to the children and showed them hell on 13th July, and it was at the (delayed) apparition on 19th August that she said:
“Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell because they have no-one to pray and make sacrifices for them.“
Therefore, though it is good, indeed important, to maintain a lifestyle of reparation all year round, the month and a bit between those two dates seems like a good time to add a seasonal focus on this kind of reparatory penance.
Why 33 Roses?
On a practical note, that asks you make the effort to cultivate an average of about a Rose a day for the duration of the challenge – excluding Sundays (since we are talking about penance!) That said, Sunday may be one of the easier days for you to complete a Rose, if you are not a daily communicant – so you can count your roses from whatever days suits, we just challenge you to to aim for 33 (more is also awesome if you’re eager!)
But 33 also has significance in being the age at which Jesus was offered on the Cross for our sins, and the number of years He spent on this earth. Since our little prayers and sacrifices have value and meaning only in union with the Prayer and Sacrifice of Christ, we aim at 33 penitential offerings to remind us of our union with Him in undertaking the challenge.
What do I mean by a Penitential Rose?
N.B. There are quite a few options below. We invite you to undertake ONE for each of your 33 Roses, we’re not saying you have to do all of them each day!
Although if you have the time and fervour to do them all, be our guest! If some of these practices are already part of your daily routine, maybe consider adopting some new ones in addition… It is up for you to discern! Here are your options:
Firstly, we have specific penitential roses outlined under perennial options here on the site. Perhaps this is an aspect of the site you haven’t had a chance to look at much before now – here we invite you to begin.
Any of those roses listed can count towards that 33 – should you choose to embrace this challenge! If you are thinking this is too much to ask with your schedule or lifestyle, take a careful read of the first penitential rose.
Is there anyone who really can’t do that even every day of their lives, if one’s daily duties are approached with an attitude of recollection and intentionality? In fact, the busier you are, the more duties you have, the better equipped you will be to find five substantial efforts to offer! Ask your guardian angel in the morning to help you to remember to make your five offerings during the day.
That said, we do also encourage making some extra efforts at some of the other penitential options – as is possible for you and as you discern to be best.
In addition, we will take the two suggestions Gabi makes in the video and outline how they can be offered as Roses (which just means remembering/adapting some of the prayer perennial roses that already exist).
If you decide to undertake the Communion of Reparation Lifestyle, that is to live the First Five Saturdays request every day (with the Confession aspect weekly) as Gabriel suggests, the things he mentions will contribute towards the challenge as follows:
For the duration of the challenge any day you receive Holy Communion, the Holy Communion offered in reparation (normally in the context of assisting at a full Mass unless this is impossible on a given day) can it be one of your 33 penitential roses. The 15 minutes of spending time with Mary, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary suffices for the 10 minutes of preparation/thanksgiving that is normally required for a Mass and Holy Communion to count as a rose. However in this case the meditation is not counted as part of another prayer Rose. If the preparation/thanksgiving time is also made separately, then for the duration of the challenge every four sets of 15 minute meditations can be a Rose.
If you are praying a daily Rosary with the above, remember that every four Rosaries you offer counts as a Perennial Rose – we invite you to watch or read a little refresher in between each set of 20 decades. Depending on whether or not you take him up on praying the whole thing every day, this could be your daily Rose for the challenge!
So what happens after the challenge?
Nobody’s going to check up on how well you did or didn’t do with this Rose Challenge, it’s between you and Heaven – but in order to help you focus on it in a practical sense, the PDF below may help you:
If you have benefitted from undertaking the challenge, maybe think about how you could take what has most helped your spiritual life and incorporate it more regularly.
God bless you!