Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
The Rosary is a reflective prayer. I call it a bit like a ‘Christian Mantra’.
A mantra is a tool used for meditation. It is the quiet repetition of a word said slowly. The aim is to give the mind, i.e. the discussive mind, a ‘toy’ to occupy it so that it does not get in the way of connection with the inner spirit.
A mantra can be used as a useful tool in Christian meditation.
The Easter Catholic Church, many years before the split between Catholic and Orthodox Church, used the ‘Jesus Prayer’.
The Jesus prayer is the slow repeating of the name of Jesus as a ‘mantra’ so as to connect prayerfully with God. There are many forms of this prayer, but they are all about moving from the head to the heart and connecting with Jesus.
In the Rosary we pray with Mary. She is a member of the family of the Church, a very special member. She is the Mother of Jesus, Mother of Christians.
There are 20 mysteries that we reflect on in the Rosary.
Joyful Mysteries (Monday & Saturday)
1) The Annunciation
2) Mary visiting Elizabeth
3) The birth of Jesus
4) The presentation of Jesus in the Temple
5) The finding of Jesus after he was lost for three days
The Mysteries of Light (Thursday)
1) Jesus is Baptised by John the Baptist
2) The miracle of Cana at the wedding feast
3) Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God
4) The Transfiguration
5) The Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist
Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday & Friday)
1) Jesus in Gethsemane
2) The scourging of Jesus at the pillar
3) The crowning with thorns
4) Jesus carrying the cross
5) The death of Jesus
Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday & Sunday)
1) The Resurrection
2) The Ascension
3) The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on the early Church
4) The Assumption of Our Lady
5) The crowning of Our Lady
The reflection of each mystery takes place as the 10 Hail Marys are prayed interspersed with a Glory Be between each decade. The Our Father is prayed before each decade.
The decade is announced, e.g. the Annunciation, etc. The ‘Our Father is prayed’; the 10 Hail Mary’s follow. At the end of the five decades the Hail Holy Queen is prayed.
The Rosary can be prayed quietly by an individual anywhere. They can be walking, sitting, etc. It can also be prayed by a group, family, etc.
It is a wonderful prayer that many find helpful. We are reminded of profound mysteries of our faith, remembering the example that Our Lady gave us while relying on her help as Mother of Christians.