As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, my trip to Lourdes, France resulted in my having a deeper devotion to the Blessed Mother and a desire to pray the Rosary more often. Although there are many misconceptions about the Rosary, what I love most about it is it gives me the opportunity to meditate on the pivotal moments of Jesus’ life and ministry. You see, the Rosary is more about contemplating Jesus than about “worshiping” Mary. In fact, devotion to Mary is NEVER about worshiping her but it IS about acknowledging the fact that she played an extremely important role in bringing about the salvation of the world. Because she said Yes Jesus Our Savior, The Word was made flesh!
When prayed genuinely and with intention the rosary invites us to meditate on each mystery while the melody of the prayers we’re reciting play in the background. The rosary should never become rote prayer that we rush to “get through.” It should be an event we earnestly prepare for because through it flow many graces we must be prepared to receive.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when the distraction of everyday life cause me to lose sight of the beauty of the rosary. Despite my effort to remain aware of its beauty and benefits and my desire to make it a regular part of my life, there are times when I claim I don’t have the time or energy. There are also times when my focus is just not there. However, just like in meditation we have to bring ourselves back to the moment and our intention. Back to the “word” in meditation and back to the “mystery” of the Rosary. Awareness is the key to getting back on track.
As I meditated on the Glorious Mysteries the other night, I was moved by the Mystery of the Ascension. Just imagine the sense of loss the disciples must have felt. First, their leader, friend and strength dies on the cross. They lose Him once and bury Him. Three days later they are elated when they realize He has risen from the dead. Can you imagine? The relief, the awe, the comfort and then………..He’s gone again.
They’re told not to worry. He promises to send an advocate, but who could have known what that really meant? What or who would it be? Would it be enough? Could this so called advocate ever take His place? It must have been heartbreaking for them to experience this loss for a second time. It was for good this time or so they thought. Who could have known what Jesus had in store for his disciples. Despite the pain and uncertainty, they trusted in His promise and they waited. Amazing! Do we possess that same sense of trust? It’s certainly something we should strive for.
While pondering the mystery of the Rosary I tried to imagine my life without Jesus. Of course, Jesus is not physically present to us today as he was to His disciples. However, He is present to us spiritually and stillness helps us to feel that presence more profoundly. Life without Jesus……..what would that look like? For me it would be depressing, devoid of hope, difficult to cope with.
As I imagined what life would be like without Jesus I was saddened to think of non-believers and all who keep Jesus on the periphery (like a good luck charm they pull out when they need it) and not in the center. I can imagine the lack of hope, depression, despair and cynicism that resides in their minds and hearts because I’ve been there before. It’s what is wrong with the world but it doesn’t have to remain that way. Prayer and God’s graced helped transform me. I pray that somehow, some way hearts will be opened to receive the graces God is so ready to shower down upon them. The graces that will move Jesus from the periphery to the center. THAT’S the only way our world will become a better place.
Prayer truly changes things. The Rosary is an awesome form of prayer. Make it a part of your life. Use it as a form of meditation, meditate on scripture using it. Receive the graces it has to offer and pray that others will be open to it too! God bless you!
Links for further reading on the Rosary
Here is a post on the Rosary by Dr. Edward Sri – more good points.
Click here for a short explanation on why we pray the rosary.
Here is a list of the 15 promises made by the Blessed Mother for all who pray the Rosary.