This is the first post in a four-part series of meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary. I pray this helps you in your prayer life and practice.
On Sunday and Wednesday, Catholics around the world pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. While not a required prayer of the Faithful, the Rosary is a powerful tool that assists Catholics in reflecting on important events in the earthly life of Jesus.
For those who are unfamiliar, I’ve heard the Rosary described this way:
Imagine that you’re at Jesus’ house for a visit and Mary is eager to tell you all about her Son (like any good mom). If she lived in an later era of history, Mary might pull out a photo album and tell you about the pictures. “Oh! This is when Jesus turned the water into wine at Cana. It was such a great day to begin His ministry. If He can change water into wine, think about how He can change you!” When we say the Rosary, with its 53 Hail Mary recitations, we’re journeying through the life of Jesus with His mother as a guide.
And like many, you may find yourself wandering to the outer recesses of your mind when praying. I do that, too. It’s easy for me to say “The first Glorious Mystery is the Resurrection of Jesus,” and then move on my merry way without another thought of the first Easter Sunday. My goal for the meditation questions and prayers below is to help both you and I to draw our hearts closer to Jesus through the recitation of the Rosary.
The Glorious Mysteries
- The Resurrection of Jesus: When the apostles and disciples thought all hope was lost, they were dumbfounded. Just as He said He would, Jesus conquered death and destruction. More often than not, we are like the disciples: We sometimes don’t believe what Jesus claimed about Himself. It’s easy to doubt when our lives are marred by sin. Try to contemplate your own sin; it’s not easy. How can you hand your shortfalls over to Christ? How can you let His resurrection transform you? Do you believe that Jesus conquered death so that you may one day resurrect into His kingdom? Prayer: Jesus, help me to trust in Your saving power.
- The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven: Before His ascension, Jesus told his disciples to go forth and to spread the Gospel to all nations. The Creed, which we recite at Mass, tells us that Jesus “sits at the right hand of the Father [and] from there, He will judge the living and the dead.” Do we live with the knowledge that while Jesus is our King and Savior, He is also our judge? Does this change the way we live? How do we honor the Ascended Christ with our lives? Do we strive to serve as “little Christs” here on earth? Prayer: Jesus, give me the grace to be a “little Christ” to everyone I meet.
- The Descent of the Holy Spirit: 50 days after Easter, the Holy Spirit alighted on the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Many consider this the birthday of the Church. Since then, the Catholic Church has reached every corner of the globe with the good news of Jesus. Today, how do you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you ignore His presence or embrace it? If you ignore the nudgings of the Holy Spirit, why? How can you live out the work and mission of the Church with the help of the Spirit? Prayer: Lord, help me to discern Your will with the help of the Holy Spirit.
- The Assumption of Mary into Heaven: The Church teaches, using Sacred Tradition and Scripture, that at the end of her earthly life, Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven. This is the goal of every Christian: to reach Heaven and to obtain the most intimate union with God. Some say that because Mary loved her Son so much, and Jesus’ love for her was even greater, this great love is what assumed Mary when her life was over. It was not done by her own power. How much do you love Jesus? What would you give up for His sake? Does your love for Jesus attract others? Prayer: Jesus, help me to love You as Mary loved You, so that I may, at the end of my life, join you in Heaven forever.
- The Coronation of Mary: Because of the merits of her Son, Mary is often referred to as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Mary is not divine, she is only a creature of God. Yet, as His mother, it is safe to deduce that Mary has a very special place in the heart of Jesus, her divine Son. As Catholics, we recognize Mary as not only a premier role model of the Faith, but also as our spiritual mother (John 19:27). Do you honor your family, just as Jesus honored Mary and Joseph? If not, how can you take steps to mend these gaps? How can you promote peace in your family and in the world? Prayer: Lord, fill me with your grace and help me to understand that true peace and healing only comes from You.
May God bless you as you meditate on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.