In Praying the Rosary

October 7, 2020 – Memorial of Our Lady of Rosary

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The rosary has become a popular devotion to us. It has a rich history and miracle stories for the past hundreds of years. This repetitive form of prayer is not unique to us Catholics, but other religions too have their own similar to our rosary. Saints and ordinary faithful have been drawn to this form of prayer and have been passed down from one generation to the next.

Many have become accustomed to wearing or bringing rosary beads and keeping them in wallets, bags, or cars. Some would consider it a spiritual weapon. Others would even believe that it is their amulet or their lucky charm.

As we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Rosary today, we are reminded of the significance of this ancient and popular devotion. The rosary which come from the words “rose,” is not just any amulet or lucky charm that we could carry around. It is not a way of bargaining with God that in praying the rosary God will be indebted to us that God has to grant our petitions. This is not a mere decoration of our identity but a tool for us to contemplate the life of Jesus.

The rosary has its own history and indeed developed into a religious instrument for us to carry and pray easily the mysteries of our faith. In fact, the rosary reminds us of the life of Jesus and of Mary’s participation whose life is so significant in the story of our salvation.

The mysteries assigned in each decade allow us to reflect on the actions of God within our human context, within human experiences. Take for example the joyful mysteries.

The Annunciation of the Angel to Mary allows us to see how God fulfills his promise through us. Mary’s participation tells us that humanity can be pregnant with God and that we can bring God’s presence to others.

The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth reminds us of God visiting us in an ordinary but surprising way. When we are mindful of God’s presence, we would leap with joy just like the baby John in the womb of Elizabeth. This kind of excitement tells us how our heart and soul really long for God.

The Birth of Jesus tells us that God is not far out there but He is here living among us. God tells us that He is not a God of anger, or punishment and condemnation but of peace and gentleness. God shows compassion to the humble and sinners for He has come to live among us.

The Presentation of Jesus to the Temple reveals our innate desire to be with God, to dwell in the house of God, where God wants us to be.

The Lost and Finding of Jesus reminds us of our anxieties and worries that may distract us. As Mary were so worried about Jesus, she pondered all those things in her heart that allowed her to encounter God even in a seemingly confusing situation.

Other mysteries would certainly, also bring us deeper into the mysteries of the life of Jesus and also into our own lives. Praying the rosary is a life-journey to take with Jesus and Mary, to be able to make ourselves present in the life of Jesus. Consequently, this allows Jesus through Mary to be present in our everyday life and experiences.

Thus, just as the disciples asked the Jesus to teach them to pray, pray the rosary also with the intention to change our heart and mind according to God’s desire for us and not the other way around. Pray the rosary and develop it into a habit but not merely to just murmur prayers, but a way to realize God’s manifestation in our life. Pray the rosary with Mary who is our powerful companion that we may also clearly see Jesus, and discern clearly His desire for us.

Let us remember this, that as we pray the rosary, let us also allow God to be ever present in our life so that as we take our steps, we will be assured that God truly journeys with us. Hinaut pa.

Jom Baring, CSsR


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