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I Came to Cast Fire upon the Earth; and Would that It Were Already Kindled

“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49)

Before ascending to Heaven, to the father, Jesus tells His Apostles to remain in Jerusalem to wait for the “promise of the Father,” the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:4). They went to the Upper Room where Jesus ordained them the first priests of the New Covenant and where Jesus instituted the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, the Most Holy Eucharist. There they remained for 9 days in prayer, with the other disciples and Our Blessed Mother Mary. Then at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came rushing down upon all those gathered in the Upper Room in prayer like a mighty wind (cf. Acts 2:2), through the Heart of Our Blessed Mother His Spouse and Mediatrix of all graces. Her prayers drew Him down powerfully upon the newborn Church gathered there in the Upper Room.

When we pray the Rosary, we are gathered around Our Blessed Mother as one priest said, just like the Apostles and disciples gathered in prayer with Her in the Upper Room in preparation for Pentecost.  And the Holy Spirit descends into our hearts through the Heart of Our Blessed Mother Who is present with us when we pray. While we are praying the Our Father, which Jesus Himself taught us, and the Hail Mary containing the words God spoke to Our Blessed Mother through the Angel Gabriel, we are meditating on the Mysteries of the Life of Jesus. The Life of Jesus is profoundly and inseparably intertwined with that of Our Blessed Mother. These Mysteries are not merely past events. What happens to God, and Jesus is God, remains present for all eternity because God is the eternal present. His acts are theandric—they are acts of God, thus they remain eternally present in Him, and He in them. The Mysteries of His life remain ever present in Him, and He in them. As we meditate on these Mysteries then, we are gazing with Our Blessed Mother at Christ Who is present with us when we pray the Rosary as St. Louis de Montfort says. We are gazing at the Living God; we are in contact with Him. This contact purifies us since “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29). His gaze purifies us. In this prayer—the Rosary—we gaze at Christ through Mary, with Mary, and He gazes at us.

Every Mystery of Jesus’ Life has graces which He merited for us and these graces descend into our hearts as we pray. Jesus said: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49). This Fire of Love blazing in His Heart is cast into hearts (provided one is in the state of grace, that is, one does not have mortal sins on one’s conscience) as we pray the Rosary. The Fire of Love is cast into our Hearts through the Blessed Mother the Mediatrix of all graces. This Fire of Love is the Holy Spirit, and just as He descended upon the disciples gathered in prayer with Our Blessed Mother at Pentecost, so does He descend into our hearts as we are praying the Rosary with Her. St Louis de Montfort says in the “Secret of the Rosary” that these Mysteries will “help light the fire of love in our hearts.”

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