I am pleased to say that the Rosary is my favorite prayer. The root of my love for this prayer comes from my parents as both of them prayed the Rosary on a regular basis. In my younger years we also prayed the Rosary as a family. While I can't say that I have prayed the Rosary on a consistent basis throughout my life I can say that is has always been my go to prayer both when I was anxious and when I wanted to spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Like many boys at a young age I remember getting a Rosary as a gift during important moments of my faith life and though I am not a big collector of Rosaries there are a few that mean a lot to me. In most cases I have use my Rosary ring as it is something I tend to keep in my left front pocket. I think the main reason for that is that while I do love to pray inside of a Church I also like to pray when I am moving around my house, which means that there is not chance for my Rosary to get caught on something.
Many people describe the repeated prayers of the Rosary as a mantra, a rhythm that is supposed to assist us with our concentration. As a drummer this is something I can really appreciate because while many discuss how the universe moves in rhythm I was conscious of that before ever coming across the concept. One of my favorite times to pray the Rosary is when I am watering my plants because I really love the sound of the prayer in my head while hearing the consistent flow of water.
While some question how this repeated prayer is of any benefit to us I also like to think of the gift it can be to us when we are angry or hurt and not in a condition to know what to say to Our Lord. Such moments are when these memorized prayers are of great assistance to us.
Being a part of the Universal Roman Catholic Church, I know of the traditions and practices that are known by my brethren around the world. While I prefer to pray in private I have very fond memories of attending Catholic conferences with people from around the world as we prayed this simple prayer that I grew up with. It was both exhilarating and comforting to know that I am part of this tradition that is truly, catholic!
The Rosary to me is also an equalizer. In other words, it can be done by anyone who simply comprehends what is going on. Therefore, the people next me to could be highly educated or illiterate, rich or poor, famous or unknown. It doesn't matter. And Our Lady and Our Lord hear our prayers equally.
Now I would like to offer some short observations on the Mysteries of the Rosary.
The Joyful Mysteries
As a student of the Theology of the Body these Mysteries are very moving to me because of the fact that they center around the Incarnation. Of course this is not just the moment when God became man but also showed humanity our true value. To come into this world as one of us always reminds me of the love that Our Lord has for us. This empowers me most during those moments when I struggle both with myself as well as my relationships with others.
Of course the Nativity could not occur without Our Lady's Fiat, which always reminds me to pray fo the same faith and courage as Our Lady. And, since we pray these Mysteries twice a week I focus on this regularly during my spiritual journey.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
What is interesting for me is that I rarely meditate on my own struggles as much as I pray for the struggles of others. I tend to focus a lot on those who are persecuted with violence or even slander as my heart pleads with the Lord to be with them. I also focus on those who have carried burdens for many years as I wish them the peace that only God can offer.
There are also times when I focus on Our Lord's suffering, usually after I hear a religious song that speaks of Our Lord's Passion. It is always important for me to remember all that Jesus endured for us, from the rejection He encountered during His ministry to the complete suffering He endured during His Passion.
The Luminous Mysteries.
I still remember when Pope Saint John Paul II added these Mysteries and right away, I loved them! It just made sense that we had some Mysteries from Our Lord's earthly ministry and our Holy Father gave us some beautiful moments to meditate on.
These are my preferred Mysteries to pray with my ministry partner, especially when it comes to The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God because that is what we are all called to do. Further, the Institution of the Eucharist always reminds me of how Our Lord left Himself with us, which is why I always love attending Mass.
The Glorious Mysteries
These Mysteries have always been my source of hop, which is why I am filled with joy when I complete them. The thought of Our Lord not only conquering death but also the the thrill it must have been for His followers to see their faith rewarded. Meanwhile, the Risen Lord is also a gift for us while the witnesses to His Resurrection wish for us to see the same thing that they saw on that fateful day. Further, while I am aware of Our Lady always being with us while we pray the Rosary, thus, allowing us the chance to fulfill Matthew 18:20 as he pray alone, I also feel the presence of the apostles as they are participants in the first two Mysteries.
The last three Mysteries are also moving to me. I always pray to be open to receiving the same Spirit that came upon the early Church during Pentecost so I too can fulfill God's will. Then, as I reflect on all that Our Lady endured during her time with Our Lord I rejoice at the way Our Lord honored His Mother when she was welcomed into heaven.
Let us conclude this blog with the following from St. Louis de Montfort:
The spiritual rewards are without measure.
BA & MA in Religious Studies from Cal State Long Beach
Certified Through the Theology of the Body Institute
Co-Founder of Humana Corpus Dignitate