Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Mary’s Rosary: A Lesson in Faith and Prayer

Devotion to the Mother of God is a vital and beautiful aspect of our Catholic life. In October 2002, the twenty-fifth year of his pontificate, Pope John Paul the Great wrote Rosarium Virginis Mariae, an Apostolic Letter on the Rosary of the Virgin Mary. In this month of May, a month traditionally dedicated to Mary, we turn to our Blessed Mother in a unique way. The words of Pope John Paul II help to inspire and focus our devotion to Mary.
The Pope’s letter begins by pointing out that the Rosary is a prayer focused on Christ, which draws together the rich depth of the Gospel message. Those who pray the Rosary truly sit “at the school of Mary,” learning from her maternal example and complete acceptance of God’s will; and being led by her to contemplate the face of Christ. Mary contemplated the face of Christ – in His infancy, His ministry, and His Passion and Resurrection – in a more faithful and devout way than anyone in human history. She remained devoted to Jesus, both as a mother devoted to her son and as a disciple to her God, throughout her entire life. From her love and devotion to Christ we learn the incomparable for our own journey of faith.
The Rosary offers to us both a “compendium” of Gospel lessons and stories, as well as an exercise in contemplation. As we pray, we walk with Mary through her life with Jesus, and, together with her, we draw closer to God. The Mysteries of the Rosary present to us stories of the lives of Jesus and Mary. As we recite each mystery and read the accompanying Scripture verse, we have an opportunity to ponder the grace of Jesus at work in that particular event. The more deeply we ponder the mysteries of our faith, the more our relationship with Jesus grows.
The prayers of the Rosary also come from the Scriptures. The “Our Father” is the perfect prayer that the Lord Himself taught the Disciples. The “Hail Mary” is a combination of the words spoken to Mary by the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth. The repetition of prayers that is characteristic of the Rosary allows us, through the rhythm of words, to enter more deeply into contemplation of the mysteries of faith. Repetition calms the soul and helps us to be quiet in God’s presence.
The Rosary is a tried and true prayer for families. The “Family Rosary” gives each parent and child in the family an opportunity to lead a decade, and to offer their own personal intentions. It gives children a lesson in prayer and draws families closer together in the grace of the Lord. Family Rosaries are not always perfectly pious experiences but such devotion is essential for a healthy family. Writer Mary Ellen Barrett describes her family’s experience of the Rosary as “…more athletic than contemplative.” Here’s one example she presents: "Hail Mary, full of grace (sit down) the Lord is with (stop swinging the beads) thee. Blessed art thou (ssshh) among women (please leave your sister alone) and blessed is the fruit (get the baby off the table) of thy womb Jesus.” In the midst of the very human and at times even chaotic side of family prayer, God’s grace is at work. Pray always with Mary, and she will lead you ever closer to Christ her Son!

No comments: