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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Truth of the Rosary


Many Catholics struggle with the Rosary.  

Some have never prayed it before, others have tried and failed.  
Some have heard so many negative comments about the Rosary, they are unsure whether its even a valid type of prayer.  


Maybe you have heard these comments in the past or have even made such comments yourself:

"The Rosary is just a string of beads." 

"The Rosary is for the ignorant or for the old. Any educated person doesn't pray in this antiquated way.  Although the Church prayed this way in the past -- now it knows better." 

"The Rosary is a superstitious, misguided practice that demonstrates that Catholics worship Mary." 

But, are these statements really the truth of the Rosary?


What is the Rosary?
Perhaps no other form of prayer is so greatly misunderstood.  

Although the above comments are common views about the Rosary, they actually represent gross misunderstandings of a deeply contemplative and deeply Scriptural prayer.  A prayer that seeks greater intimacy of Christ and worships God alone.  

I think all Christians agree that one of the greatest forms of prayer is reading and reflecting on Jesus present in Holy Scripture -- pondering Who He was and is and all He has done and continues to do for us.  

That is the essence of what the Rosary is. It is taking time to ponder and reflect on the life of Christ.  To call to mind Our Savior - Jesus - in His Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension and Glory in Heaven, with the aid of Scripture and His Blessed Mother’s help and prayers. 

Every moment of Jesus’ life has meaning for us.  


The more we reflect on Who He is and all He has done for us, the more we realize how vast, limitless and infinite His Love is! Jesus “became man to make us God” (St. Irenaeus) – to transform our humanity with His Divinity and to raise up both our earthly lives and eternal lives to everlasting joy and glory. 


Christ is truly Present in His Word, which is “living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart” (Heb 4:12). This verse expresses why a Scripture passage we’ve heard hundreds of times before can suddenly touch us in a brand new way.  And why, when we pray and meditate on Scripture, we can discern God’s will guiding us in our decisions and the particular circumstances of our lives.
Additionally, when we pray the rosary, Mary prays with us and intercedes for us. We can confidently put our hand in hers as we meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary – asking her to share her remembrances, her understanding and her love with us – knowing it was God’s will to use Mary to bring Jesus to life, and it is still God’s will for her to help us and lead us ever closer to Him -- bringing Him to life in us.
Do we take time to ponder Jesus' life, death and resurrection each day?  Whether it be one prayer, one mystery of the Rosary or a complete Rosary, let us strive to begin today, praying: 
Click here for more information.  

But Why Do You Pray to Mary?  
Isn't prayer reserved for God alone?

Our worship is directed to God alone.  But, just as we can and do ask others to pray for us in our need.  So, too, we ask Mary to pray for us.  


No one has opened themselves up more to the Love of God or to His Word than Mary.  No one knew or loved Jesus more intimately or experienced the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit more than she.  As Jesus was dying on the Cross, He knew how much we needed Mary, so He gave her to us (through John, the Beloved Disciple) as our own Mother, asking us to "Behold your mother" and take her into own homes (cf. Jn. 19:27).  What we find if we invite Mary into our homes is that her only desire is to lead us to Jesus; and just imagine the stories, the remembrances, and the gifts she has to share with us about her Son and her life with Him! 



But what about the mysteries about Mary's Assumption and Coronation in heaven?  Isn't that a sign that you worship her; or at the very least, a sign that you focus too much on her?  

On the contrary.  These mysteries are a source of hope for us. They point to the eternal destiny and reward that is meant for each of us through the power of Jesus' Death and Resurrection.  Mary is our model.  She has gone before us as the first Christian disciple, but every action of love given to Mary (which she received in its fullness of grace) is also meant for us and given to us as well (to the extent of our capacity -- based on our humility, desire, faith and love). For, we, too, are called to be filled with grace and living tabernacles of God’s presence -- bearing Christ within our bodies so to give birth to Him to the world.  We are called to ponder and treasure His Words, to live in intimacy and love with Him each day, to nurture His life within our families, to bear witness to His miracles and to the Truth of His Words, to stand with Him unto the Cross bearing our sufferings, to be one with the Apostles and pray for the Holy Spirit’s outpouring upon the Church, to be united with him at death, and taken up body and soul into glory on the last day. 

Without Mary, we would not have Jesus.  She is an indispensable part of God's plan. God could have given Jesus to us a different way, but He didn't.  He willed for Jesus to come to us through her.  Thus, each time we say a "Hail Mary" we are simply echoing the words of the Archangel Gabriel and of Elizabeth who was filled with the Holy Spirit. Each time we say it, we are recalling the greatest event of all history, the moment that God became man in the Incarnation, through the "yes" of a virgin.  Each time we pray the Hail Mary we are invited to remember Mary's continual "yes" to God, to His Son and to the Holy Spirit -- even unto the Cross.  Each time we pray this prayer from heaven, we, too, are called to consider that our "yes" to the Holy Spirit's power in our lives can bear Christ into the world.

O Jesus, help us to realize that the Rosary is a prayer for all Christians who seek to draw closer to You by meditating on Your Life and Your Holy Word.  May we seek to enter into the mysteries of this beautiful prayer, asking Our Blessed Mother to help us love Jesus as she does. 




Copyright Janet Moore 10-13-2014


2 comments:

  1. I'm a devotee of the Rosary and Our Blessed Lady. I pray the rosary every single day. Thank you for this article and others you have written about this ancient and powerful devotion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm a devotee of the Rosary and Our Blessed Lady. I pray the rosary every single day. Thank you for this article and others you have written about this ancient and powerful devotion.

    ReplyDelete