Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Do you pray the rosary absentmindedly and mechanically or do you meditate on the mysteries of our salvation? - Daily Reflections October 7,2015

On this feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, it is good to reflect on this simple yet difficult prayer. It is the prayer that Our Lady encouraged St. Bernadette in Lourdes and the three children at Fatima to pray.
       It is easy to recite one Hail Mary after the other, but that’s not what the rosary is all about. In 1974, Pope Paul VI issued the apostolic exhortation, “Marialis Cultus,” about the proper devotion to Mary. He calls the rosary a “Gospel prayer” because the mysteries are based on the Gospel stories. The Pope makes us aware that the rosary is a prayer with a Christological orientation. The greetings of the Angel to Mary and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary in the Hail Mary “become an unceasing praise of Christ, who is the ultimate object of these greetings.” This makes us aware that the rosary is actually not a Marian prayer but a prayer that focuses on Christ. That’s why the Virgin Mary urged the children to recite the Rosary, not to honor her but to be brought closer to her Son, Jesus Christ.
       Unfortunately, the rosary has become, for many, a routine, rushing through the Hail Marys and decades as fast as possible. Again, Pope Paul VI corrects this when he stresses “the element of contemplation. Without this the rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ: ‘And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do…’” The Pope then encourages “a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord’s life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord.”
       May today’s feast and the words of Pope Paul VI help us to make the rosary more meaningful in our life. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you pray the rosary absentmindedly and mechanically or do you meditate on the mysteries of our salvation?
Lord, through Pope Paul VI, You make me aware that I often pray the rosary mechanically. Guide me, Lord, that through Mary, Your Mother, I will be brought closer to You.

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