Catholics and the Rosary

Rosary and bible

photo credit: Courtney Emery via photopin cc

In a previous post, I explained a little about the Catholic’s devotion to Mary. This week I want to write a little about the Rosary. Actually, a lot can be, and has been, said about the rosary and in an upcoming post I will point you to some resources that do a good job explaining why we pray the rosary.

However, before  I do, I want to point out one thing: Although we direct many of the prayers to Mary, the rosary is all about Jesus and meditating on the life of Jesus – and based on the Bible.

Let’s take a look at the mysteries of the rosary: During the Joyful mysteries, we meditate on the birth and early life of Christ, from when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would conceive a son, to the visitation to Elizabeth where John the Baptist “leaped for joy,” to the birth of Jesus, to His presentation in the temple and finally to His being found in the temple by Mary and Joseph.

During the Luminous mysteries, we contemplate Jesus’ public life. In the first mystery we think upon Jesus’ “baptism” by John. In the second we meditate on Jesus’ first miracle at Cana and the third mystery is centered on the proclamation of the kingdom and call to conversion. In the fourth mystery we meditate on the Transfiguration of Jesus and in the fifth we meditate on the Institution of the Eucharist.

The Sorrowful mysteries are centered on the suffering and death of Jesus. In the first mystery we accompany Jesus during his Agony in the Garden. In the second mystery we meditate on Jesus’ flagellation at the pillar. In the third mystery we see Jesus as he is mocked and receives the Crown of Thorns. In the fourth mystery we join Jesus as He carries His cross and in the fifth mystery we meditation on the Crucifixion and  death of Our Lord.

Finally, the Glorious mysteries allow us to rejoice in the great mysteries of the Resurrection (decade one) and Ascension of Jesus (decade two). In the third Glorious mystery, we meditate on the Descent of the Holy Spirit. In the fourth and fifth Glorious mysteries we honor Mary as she is Assumed into heaven and Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

I also want to encourage you to take a closer look at the prayers of the rosary. The Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Glory Be and even the Hail Mary are God-centered and Christ-centered prayers.

Even the Hail Mary is focused on Jesus. The first part of the Hail Mary comes from Gabriel’s greeting to Mary (from the gospel of Luke) and Elizabeth’s cry of joy (“blessed is the fruit of thy womb). In the second part of the prayer we are asking her to pray for us, just like we would ask our own mother to pray for us.

It would be impossible to expound on the rosary in this short post, but I hope you can begin to see how rich and Christ-centered the rosary is and why it is such an important devotion to Catholics. In tomorrow’s post I will share some links on the rosary that I trust you will find helpful.

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Catholics and the Rosary

Did you realize that the Rosary is all about Jesus? It is!

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