The Scriptural Rosary
Last Friday we celebrated the feast of the Holy Rosary. The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Rocha, Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1206 after he had been praying and doing severe penances because of his lack of success in combating the Albigensian heresy. Mary praised him for his valiant fight against the heretics and then gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon, explained its uses and efficacy, and told him to preach it to others:
"Be of good cheer, Dominic, the remedy for the evils which you lament will be meditation on the life, death and glory of My Son, uniting all with the recitation of the angelic salutation (Hail Mary) by which the mystery of redemption was announced to the world. This devotion, which you are to inculcate by your preaching, is a practice most dear to My Son and Me. The faithful will obtain by it innumerable advantages and shall always find Me ready to aid them in their wants. This is the precious gift which I leave to you and to your spiritual children." (HT to ScripturalRosary.org HERE).
Saint Pope John Paul II, in Rosarium Virginis Mariae, said: The Rosary is “at heart a Christocentric prayer” (RVM 1). In other words, Jesus is at the centre or heart of the Rosary. We can see this with the Hail, Mary prayer. The Holy Name of Jesus is at the heart of every Hail, Mary we say.
Saint John Paul II says: “With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love” (RVM 1). Isn’t that beautiful! Every time we pray the Rosary we sit at the school of Mary and she, our beloved Mother, helps us to contemplate the beauty of the face of Christ. What do we mean by contemplate? The Catechism teaches us that when we recite vocal prayers like the Rosary in a prayerful manner, “Prayer is internalised to the extent that we become aware of him ‘to whom we speak’” (CCC 2704). In other words, we are drawn deeper in prayer by praying the words of the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be etc. and meditating or thinking about the mysteries of the Rosary so that we experience the love of God deep within ourselves.
Every Rosary we pray with love and devotion making our best effort to unite our hearts with our Blessed Mother draws us closer to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As Fr. John Mockler has reminded us a number of times, the Rosary is the most powerful prayer we can pray after the Mass. In fact, the Rosary is a continuation of the Mass because in the Mass we celebrate the Paschal Mystery, in other words, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the Rosary is a meditation on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The talk on the Rosary and the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary prayed by the Sacred Space Team is excerpted from our programme HERE. The text of the Scriptural Rosary for each of the Mysteries is available HERE.
Words on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical odds & ends
Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 4 - 28th week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week
October 11th - St. Canice and St. John XXIII
October 14th - St. Callistus
October 15th - St. Teresa of Avila