To pray the rosary live (11am central, 17h00 GMT). Look for the Upcoming Events Column on the right side of the page. You can also pray an audio version using one of the audio versions at the end of this post.
Some of the most satisfying ministry I have done has involved celebrating Mass, hearing confessions and praying with those in prison. Why was this so satisfying? Simply put, I have found time and again that God can do amazing things in a prison, even in the lives of those who have committed some pretty awful crimes.
We can cast prisoners out of our minds because we can simply suggest they are getting what they deserve. But even the worst criminal is still a human made in God’s image and likeness. Also, while we may be quick to think of the crime, and the victim, we can be less quick to recognize we live in a world where people, who through no choice of their own are born into such strikingly different circumstances where committing crime can be more possible.
Pope Francis said this when he spoke to Italian prison chaplains: “When I would receive a letter from one of the inmates in Buenos Aires I would go to visit him; now when those from Buenos Aires write to me I sometimes phone them for a chat, especially on Sunday. When I finish, I think: why is he there and not I who have so many and different reasons to be there? Thinking about this does me good: seeing that we share the same weaknesses, why did he fall and I did not? This is a mystery that makes me pray and makes me draw close to inmates.” While there is a punitive aspect to prison, it is better thought as the chance for conversion and redemption. And we can provide that opportunity if we think of the goal to be conversion and redemption. To be sure, those in prison will not always convert. At the same time, those outside of prison do not always convert either. As we continue to pray this Rosary Marathon, let us pray for all prisoners.
Today’s Intention: For all prisoners.