Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Learning to Meditate on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

The Holy Rosary is a beautiful way to honor our Lady but it may not be the easiest devotion to do correctly in order to enrich our spiritual life.

It is easy to fall into the trap of just speeding through the Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glory Bes just to be able to say we said our daily rosary.  However, if we do that we are cheating ourselves out of the richness of what the Holy Rosary really is....Mary's Family Album.  Father Eric Bowman, a priest in Ohio and a friend, described the Holy Rosary in such a manner.  He pictured himself next the the Blessed Mother and she would show him the photos of the life of her Son, Jesus..."and this is when He was a baby being presented in the temple...and this was the time He was lost in Jerusalem..."

I made a promise a long time ago to pray the Rosary daily.  But I doubt I was enriched with the graces of praying Our Lady's Rosary by the way I said it.  I rushed through the Rosary in the morning, just to get it out of the way.  My mind meditated on my daily problems, food,  and duties I had to perform and never once on the mysteries of Christ's life.  Yet,  our Lady took pity on my poor attempts and gradually over the course of twenty years or so, I finally learned how to meditate on each mystery.

At first I used a little Scriptural Rosary book to help me.  I would read the scriptural passage pertaining to each mystery before I recited the Hail Mary.  I did not really meditate on the mystery but it was much better than the way I had been praying it so I persevered.

Then like a child learning to ride a bike without training wheels, it was time to let go of the Scriptural Rosary book and try to meditate on each mystery before the recitation of the Hail Mary.

I still used the method of recalling the scriptural passage but I found that when I tried to recall each passage myself, instead of reading it, it lead to another thought and another imagery regarding a particular mystery.  I did this for each of the four mysteries:  The Joyful, the Sorrowful, the Luminous and the Glorious.  Some meditations of the mysteries were more difficult than the others.  I found the Glorious Mysteries difficult to meditate on because I had trouble picturing Heaven.  The Sorrowful mysteries I found to be easy to meditate on,  and are also my favorites.  I was in awe on how much Jesus had to endure, in suffering, in torture and willingly, because He wanted to save our individual souls.  Sometimes, I brought myself to tears thinking of a particular mystery maybe because of how much Jesus or  Mary suffered for my sins but also because I could relate to it on a personal level.  For example,  after Jesus rose from the dead, I pictured Him being greeted by His dear Mother in the dark sepulchre, and then He has to leave her side to continue His work on redemption during the 40 days prior to His Ascension.  That mystery brought tears to my eyes as I recalled the day my son left home and my side to start his own life.

The following are examples of how to meditate on the mysteries.

1.  The First Sorrowful Mysteries:

a.  Imagine Jesus going to the Garden of Gethsemane with His chosen apostles.
b.  Imagine Jesus warning them to pray because He knew they were weak men.
c.  Imagine Jesus going off by Himself to talk to God in private, all this while experiencing an agony we cannot even begin to fathom.
d.  Remember His words:  "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me."
e.  Remember:  "Yet, not My will, but Yours be done."
f.  Imagine great drops of sweat like blood dripping from His sacred head.
g.  Imagine an angel ministering to Him but wiping His brow and giving him words of comfort. Sometimes I image the Blessed Mother sending the Angel to help Jesus.
h.  Imagine Jesus going back to His disciples because He needed them for strength and finding them sleeping.  Imagine how disappointed He must have been.
i.  Remember His words to them "Could you not keep watch with Me for even an hour?"
j.  Imagine how Jesus must have felt at being betrayed by one of His own.