Thursday, October 24, 2013


There are a number of good ways to pray the rosary.  By that I mean ways of contemplating while you pray it.  As long as one finds a way of focusing on the life of Christ, it is, in general, Okay.  In fact, though not ideal, if I’ve already said my rosary, I might do another one passively, letting the Aves pass through my mind like music from the radio.  This started one day when I started actually listening to the messages of the music playing instead of just hearing it and was disgusted by the thought of those sentiments being passively pumped into my brain.  I’d rather have the back ground of the rosary than that junk.  Maybe not the best use of the prayer, but it is a far better thing than what I was doing.

Today I tried something new (to me.)  It was interesting and insightful for me.  If you’ve not already tried it, give it a shot and see if it does anything for you.  This morning (Thursday) I was praying the Luminous Mysteries (to be honest, not my favorite but I do them and they always seem to be fruitful) and thought about the mysteries in this way: How would I view them if I were remembering them as if they just happened yesterday – not two thousand years ago with all the baggage that implies – not with all the belief that I already have and the evidence that we now hold as them being true and fitting so nicely theologically?  What if I was just hearing about the Person named Jesus and the claims He is making?  What is all this fuss?  What if, being a person of faith in God (pre-Jesus) already, I was suddenly confronted with the possibility that such a Person was among us?

What if I were on the shore of Galilee last week watching John baptizing people and wondering if what he is doing is making any real sense.  And then this guy comes along and is baptized and all of these wonders happen?  I might be able to put that into the back of my mind to think about for awhile, but then last night I was at a wedding and this same guy turned water into wine.  I know he did!  I was there!  What does this mean?  Who is He? 
The most interesting personal insight came from the Transfiguration.  I was never quite sure what to do with this mystery other than to imagine it or do some theological ponderings around it.  This exercise pointed out to me perhaps why this might be the case.  If this whole story were taking place in my neighborhood and these miraculous things kept happening, if I met these pious and zealous young men who were His followers and they told me of this story of their leader being transfigured and appearing with Moses and Elijah and nobody saw it except them, with this particular point I would have some skepticism.  Perhaps this is exactly why they didn’t tell anybody what they had seen until much later.
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly believe in the Transfiguration but now understand that I have to come at it in a different way than something like the miracle at Cana.  It is different and requires a different aspect of belief and is teaching me something different and therefore requires something different of me.


That is part of the joy of the rosary and how it leads us closer to our Savior. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Father -

I most particularly love the Luminous Mysteries. They seem to me to be the set of mysteries that most reflect Jesus in religious and secular vocations and Sacraments of the Church. Baptism, Marriage, The Proclamation of the Gospel, and the Eucharist (I think the Transfiguration points to all of us being transformed by these Sacraments into something pleasing to God). These are necessary to those in Holy Orders as well as the laity (where would we be without our good priests celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage, as well as the rest). Maybe I'm way out of line about this, but I always particularly pray these mysteries for my parish priests and deacon.

I really enjoy your blog - thanx!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Father, there are many ways to make the mysteries more real to us.

In a meditation given by a priest on EWTN, he spoke of Mary having to give birth in the stable at Bethlehem. Could she have been tempted to wonder, "Where is God now? Where is the Angel now?"

Even moreso, as Mary stood at the foot of the cross, might she have called to mind the events we now call the Joyful mysteries? Pray the Joyful mysteries while pondering them from Mary's vantage point at Calvary.

MaryofSharon said...

Great perspective on looking at the mysteries as if they were all new to you. We take the wonder of the Gospel for granted sometimes. What a great loss that is.

Not having quite so good of an imagination, I use my iPod to guide me through the rosary. I've got several different sets of meditations that I like to use. Here are a few of them:

Fr. John Riccardo leads the rosary with meditations.

Scriptural Rosary from Rosary Army. (Scroll down to English Scriptural Rosary.)

Discerning Hearts Holy Rosary (they've got some gorgeous chant playing in the background)