Let’s Pray the Gospel
The Rosary: Such a mysterious object yet such a loved item in sharpening prayer. What is its appeal? How does this relate to Christians? Where is the Bible in all these beads? Most importantly, how does this bring me closer to Jesus Christ? I am glad you asked!
The word mysterious comes to mind when we discuss the Rosary; not because it is a mystery to investigate but a spiritual mystery to understand. When we seek the Holy Spirit we often do not do it alone. As one body in Christ, when we pray (even in private) we pray together for the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven ruled by Jesus himself. The Rosary is just one of many ways we Christians pray together.
The Rosary focuses on Jesus’ life through the eyes of his mother Mary. As any real mother, she knows her son and remembers each step he took from birth to the cross. In the Rosary, we are meditating on moments in Jesus’ life found ONLY in the Bible! We call those particular moments, “mysteries” not because we do not understand but because we understand that those moments in Jesus’ life have a deeper meaning than what is understood on the surface. For example, the first Joyful “mystery” is the Annunciation, where the Arch-Angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her she is to be the mother of God. But deeper than that Mary is hailed as a woman Full of Grace (Luke 1:28). Mary is the ideal creation, (Jesus is not a Creation: he was there from the foundation of the earth. John 8:58) she is referred to as the 2nd Eve where eternal Life (Jesus!) is born from her as opposed from the 1st Eve where Sin and Death was born.
We understand as Christians that we pray for one another to help intercede for one another. And if we do believe that God is the God of the Living (Luke 20:38) then we must agree that those in Heaven are alive and act according to God’s will. God’s will is that we love and pray for one another to help build God’s Kingdom on earth. Why should we limit God’s Kingdom to those walking on earth; rather why do we not include the masses of God’s servants in Heaven to join us in prayer. And who better than Jesus’ Mother?! Just remember, if Mary is good enough for God, she should be good enough for us too!
But to expound on the reverence for Mary, the first Christians recognized the importance of intercession through Jesus’ mother. At the crucifixion, Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”(John 19:26-27) We know that when Jesus spoke, he never spoke to teach just one person alone. He spoke to the mystical body of Christ (all those baptized in Christ through the Apostolic faith in which He founded). In that moment, he gave a spiritual mother for all us.
Remember, it is the Lord we worship, not Mary. Let’s dig deeper, did the Jews worship the Ark of the Covenant (a box) or did they worship the Presence of the Lord inside the Ark (a box)? Obviously the Presence of the Lord inside! But what was physically inside the Ark? Materially speaking, the Ten Commandments were inside the Ark or in other words “the Word”; also the manna (bread) that was given to Moses and the Jews in the desert. Think about that. What did Mary hold in her womb? The “Word” made flesh…who is also the “Bread” from heaven! Mary IS the Ark! Interestingly enough, King David joyfully danced nude (2 Samuel 6:14-15) in front of the Ark saying, “How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9). Now skip to the New Testament where Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb…” (Luke 1:41) and Elizabeth said, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Now, “a mother has a unique perspective of her son. It isn’t that she loves the child more or her spouse loves the child less. Nobody sees the life of a child the way the child’s mother does—not even the father. This is Mary’s perspective of Jesus’ life. It seems to me that every genuine Christian, not just Catholics should be interested in that perspective—and not just interested, but fascinated. In the rosary we ponder the life of Jesus through the eyes of his mother. This is an incredibly powerful experience if we enter into it fully.”—Matthew Kelly
“No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary”
-Bishop Hugh Doyle
“The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”
-Pope Leo XIII
For history of the Rosary, visit this site – http://www.theholyrosary.org/rosaryhistory