"Come Let Us Worship Christ, the Son of Mary. . ."

| | Comments (4)

Long time readers of this blog know that I have a real problem with the Rosary. I view praying it as a penance rather than a grace, and I have to drag myself through the prayers most times.

The antiphon above is in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, and I thought I'd spend a couple of minutes writing about Our Lady of the Rosary and what she has done for me.

While I may not be of the right personality or demeanor to truly appreciate the beauty and wonder of the Rosary, I do have a solid appreciation for the power of its prayers. When I am stressed beyond my own ability to cope, frightened, anxious, worried, fearful, carried beyond the emotions that have a name into a realm I would rather not visit, my solid anchor is the Rosary. At that point the prayers become a sound of comfort and a promise of home. When things are going well, when I am coping reasonably well with life around me, when everything is looking up--the Rosary is a penance, a seemingly endlessly break in the day that cannot be prayed fast enough, and yet whose stately rhythms admit of only one possible pace.

When I am fearful those same tiresome rhythms, those same time-worn words, the exact same prayers that I can barely restrain my patience to pray become a lifeline. The rhythms calm the jagged rhythms of my own thoughts, they bring into line the wayward thoughts and heartaches, they restore balance. This is the gift of Our Lady to me. In times when I really need a Mother, she is there in all solace and comfort to hold me, reassure me, and guide me own my way by her prayers for me.

When I saw this morning the antiphon, "Come let us worship Christ, the Son of Mary," I was reminded once again of my brotherhood with Christ. Through my adoption into the family of God, Christ becomes both my brother and my Lord. I become part of the largest extended family in the world. It is within the bosom of this family that I am nourished and reassured, "Let nothing alarm you. . .all things are passing. . . God alone endures."

So, today I celebrate, along with all my Catholic brothers and sisters, the great gift of the Rosary. While I may not have been granted the grace or wisdom to appreciate it in all of its beauty, I have been given the gift of consolation in times of crisis--of finding a Mother when I need one.

Bookmark and Share


Saying the Rosary can certainly be a penance if we try to force ourselves into praying all five decades of a set of mysteries at one sitting. It is noteworthy that even Pope Benedict XVI finds this gruelling. In his interview-book "God and the World", he admits that he is too "restless" to do this and he prays no more than 2 decades at a time.

I think this is a far more humane way to pray the Rosary and it may be more fruitful too. Our Dominican style, here in the UK, is to pray just one decade at a time.

With persistance in this prayer (as indeed any other prayer), we are granted great spiritual gifts and insights. On occasion, Our Lady shares a vision of her Son's life with me and it's wonderful! But most of the time, the Rosary is a this gentle ebbing prayer one can say, especially in times of distress and need.

Happy and Blessed Feast!

I think Fra Lawrence Lew's suggestion of praying only a few decades at a time is excellent advice and particularly suited for one whose mind cannot stay focused for a long period of time. Also, have you tried interior imagination based on scriptural scenes? Your poetic disposition would seem to be particularly suited for this. For instance, based on John 21, listen to the sound of the waves, visualize Jesus standing on the shore in the early morning; Peter, half naked, jumping impulsively into the sea to greet his Lord and friend, the smell of fish frying, the love of friends -- this scripural scene has always been so precious to me -- Jesus frying fish for his friends. When praying the Rosary this way, one decade really isn't long enough to savor all the images, sounds, smells...well, I know you get my drift. I'll pray for you.

you and I have exchanged views on prayer before, and this continues the theme. I love to pray the rosary (are you surprised...?). I love to pray it whether I'm happy or sad, fearful or confident, grateful or seeking assistance. I have the rosary with me at all times and I never feel that it takes too long. It seems just right.

I once saw a book (but did not read it) that talked about different type of prayers for differnt Myers Briggs personality types. I wonder if personality differences has something to do with this?

I don't pray all 5 decades of the rosary at once, either.

But, like you, when I am low or stressed, it is my fall-back prayer; the prayer that I can pray when I can't compose myself enough to pray anything else.

You might try what a group that Smock and I are in is trying. There are 5 of us, so each month we pick one set of mysteries to pray--then we each randomly draw 1 mystery to pray each day. The group as a whole completes a rosary each day, but we have the time to focus on just one mystery. And it's amazing how often that mystery that we've drawn "at random" is actually just what we needed to meditate on that month!




About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 7, 2005 9:01 AM.

Reading Redux was the previous entry in this blog.

A Gift Via Talmida is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll