Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
Scripture Readings: Acts 1:12-14; Lk 1:26-38
St. Therese of Lisieux found it hard to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. She writes, “I love the Blessed Virgin so much. If I find myself anxious or in a difficult situation I very quickly turn to her. However, I’m ashamed to admit it, but recitation of the rosary is harder for me than wearing an instrument of penance. I force myself in vain to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, to fix my mind on them.” 1
Like St. Therese there are many of us who find it hard to meditate while praying the rosary. But adoration of Christ in the mysteries of his life is much easier than meditation. Would you like to have been one of the shepherds who adored Christ in the manger at Bethlehem? Well, you can, right where you are today, as you pray the rosary. For Christ in his divinity, as he lies in the manger, by his divine knowledge, sees not only the presence of the shepherds, but also the presence of all people from all times. Most are ignoring him entirely. But you, here and now, can turn the eyes of your heart to look at him with love and adore him as he lies in the manger, or at his Transfiguration, or when he is being scourged at the pillar, or when he is leaving the cave of burial at his resurrection. Back then, he sees you now, and exchanges with you a glance of love.
The great theologian, Fr. Karl Rahner, writes about this in his article on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I quote, “It is correct to say and it is taught in the encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that the Lord knew during his suffering in virtue of his divine and infused knowledge, the atonement and reparation of all people at all times … and he could by this knowledge draw consolation for his human heart from their love.” 2
The mysteries of the rosary are meant for our adoration and love of Jesus more than our meditation. We can worship Christ in the manger, adore him during his glorious Transfiguration, offer our sorrow to him as he is being crowned with thorns, and rejoice with him as we see him ascending into heaven. When we pray the rosary we can look at Christ back then in the mysteries of his life, and see him looking back at us, sharing with us a glance of love that melts the harness of our hearts and fills us with adoration and compunction, with worship and gratitude. Like St. Therese we may find it hard to meditate. So, let us be like her and look at Jesus with love not only as he is now in heaven, but also as he is in the mysteries of his life on earth. Oh, how fortunate we are to enter the mysteries of Jesus’ life and love him as we pray the rosary!
1. Story of A Soul, translated by Fr. John Clarke, O.C.D. Copyright (c) 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, ICS Publications, 2131 Lincoln Road, N.E., Washington, DC 20002 U.S.A., pp. 242-243.
2. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Helicon Press, MD, vol. 3 p. 348