My Twitter friend Annaclimacus ordered me to post about the rosary. I told her that I had naught to say since, despite my great reverence of the rosary, I am not a prayerful person. And then we made a secret pact to each post about our individual non-relationships with the rosary. According to the terms of our pact, once she posted on Friday I was bound to post by midnight tonight or else forfeit my entire collection of Edith Stein books. If you don’t believe me, don’t ask Anna Lindsey, for I’m sure she will have an even more sinister story for you!
I invite you, dear young people, to make of the Rosary your daily prayer. I encourage you, dear sick, to grow, thanks to the recitation of the Rosary, in the trusting abandonment to the hands of God. I exhort you, dear newlyweds, to make of the Rosary a constant contemplation of the mysteries of Christ. -Benedict XVI
Close your eyes and imagine your mother’s face. Now imagine your best friend holding a small child and laughing. Now imagine a man whom you have never met walking dejectedly through a dark forest.
Did you see them?
I did not. If I close my eyes and try to bring a face to mind… I cannot. It does not matter how hard I try, or how little I think about it. I do not visualize. The great beauty of the rosary is in its powerful mental participation in the mysteries of redemption, and I just cannot do it.
And so the rosary is for me all of the things it should not be: rote repetition, dreary penance, and an uninspiring duty.
The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary. -Pius X
It is not that I do not appreciate the rosary. I firmly believe that it is non-optional for any Catholic who accepts the testimony of the Saints and guidance of the popes. I have had a few (two?) astounding moments of understanding while praying the rosary. I have experienced the power of others praying the rosary for me.
When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived. The various steps of Christ’s mission are traced. With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. –Benedict XVI
When you say your Rosary, the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too, and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary. -Mary to Alan de la Roche
Yet the rosary is the rosary. And it is okay that this treasury of graces is not directly open to me.
But the more pressing need at present is to remind you in your piety what a good thing it will be for all of us to take up our rosaries once again and to recite the prayers with the simplicity and fervor of the humble, of the little ones, of the devout, of the afflicted and of the trustful – and to do so for peace in the Church and peace in the world. -Paul VI
Honestly, I probably would not give the proper devotion to the rosary even if I could pray it well. If experiencing its grace one time out of a hundred is not enough, would 100 out of 100 times really make a difference? There is a time to experience beauty, and there is a time to do what is right because it is right.
If only I would.