More on Rosarium Virginis Mariae--Shared


More on Rosarium Virginis Mariae--Shared Lectio

I'm sorry to presume one more time on your patience, but as I was sitting at lunch reading (no car, unable to make it to Mass, alas) I came upon this passage and spent several minutes thinking a marveling, realizing what a revelation it was to me. Perhaps that revelation will also come as news, or at least as a reminder to you.

from Rosarium Virginis Mariae His Holiness Pope John Paul II

The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium.2 It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. 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. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.

Nothing stunning here, you say. Done this for years, you say. And well you may have. But I have not. I have done the Rosary largely because I was told to do the Rosary. I dutifully said the prayers and realized that yes, the mysteries were centered on the life of Christ, but always wondered vaguely what it was I was doing. Yes, I'm honoring God through His Mother, and that's well and good, but I had no real focus for the Rosary. Not being a cradle-Catholic the devotion was perhaps not as meaningful from the get-go for me. But here, I have a sudden notion. I sit at the feet of, or thinking of myself as a child, in the lap of Mary, and here her tell me about her son. I am given the privilege of talking to the one who loved Christ nearly as much as He loved the world. And being with her, I am honored by being able to see through a mother's eyes, the reality of the Person who was Love itself. Too often Jesus is an abstract. Yes, He's an historical figure, and yes, He is a person of the personal God. But too often, He remains up there in His lofty abstraction, never really speaking to me personally, but looking down as an Icon, not fiercely or judgmentally, but too distant to be embraced. Here, with Mary, we begin to realize the personhood of Jesus. We begin to recognize the depth of Love, real, human Love, both emotion and act of will, but act of Will that transcended His own. I begin to understand Jesus as one who cares about me personally. I have done this in other ways, but it has never been the focus of my Rosary devotion. Too often my Rosary is simply said to have said it. I get to the end of it, and it's one more checklist item in the obedience column. No levitation, no transcendental states, if truth be told, probably not much in the way of prayer. But, had I known that in the course of this prayer I was supposed to be finding out about Someone--it might then have had more purpose and more meaning.

So, I'm a slow learner. Or perhaps no one has ever spoken this quite so directly to me. But even leaving out the new mysteries (which I absolutely love and which I will pray at least as often as the Holy Father recommends) this simple paragraph gives new meaning and new life to the praying of the Rosary. Thank you, your Holiness, for helping at least one poor soul who had somewhat lost his way.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 17, 2002 12:40 PM.

A Word of Great Consolation--Here was the previous entry in this blog.

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