Beads to Bliss: Rediscovering the Rosary
Fr. Ed Benioff - Added on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Gospel means “good news,” and what could be better than the news that Jesus came to give us?


He came to give us himself. He came to give us everything he has. He shares his table with us in the Holy Mass. He shares his home with us in heaven. He teaches us to call his Father “Our Father.” And, as he was dying on the cross, with his last breath, he gave us his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, to be our mother, too.


This is how Saint John remembered the moment.


When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”


Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)


Now we are all the disciples whom Jesus loves, and he invites every Christian to behold his mother.


Believers in every age have taken up his invitation and gone to her with great love. They have meditated on the life of Jesus, trying to see it from Mary’s perspective. They have prayed in the words of the angel Gabriel: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28). They have prayed in the words of the Gospel: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Luke 1:42).


Praying in this way, Christians in every generation have come to know the warmth of the love of Jesus and Mary — the intimate life of the Holy Family. We fulfill the Gospel prophecy that all ages should call Mary “blessed” (Luke 1:48).


Over time, this simple way of prayer developed into the Rosary. It has become perhaps the most beloved way of Christian prayer. It is easy to learn. And it has proven to be a satisfying method for all kinds of people — from factory workers to farmhands, from nurses to Nobel Prizewinners.


Archbishop José Gomez has urged us: “Rediscover the Rosary! It's the prayer of saints and the prayer for you … simple enough for a child, so deep we enter the mysteries of the Son of God.”


When we pray the Rosary, we consider the great scenes from Jesus’ life as we repeat the words of the Church’s basic prayers. In our hearts we enter the scenes, because surely Jesus wants us to be there with him. In all those places — Nazareth, Bethlehem, Egypt, Galilee, Mount Tabor, Jerusalem, Calvary — he loved you and me and acted on that love. We belong there with him. The Rosary takes us there in our prayer and our imagination.


In the Rosary we draw close to Mary as our spiritual mother. She gently guides us in the ways of Jesus’ life. She teaches us to live in our new and heavenly home. She teaches us to do whatever Jesus tells us (see John 2:5).


Like any good mother, she is educating us and forming our character. As we meditate on the Gospel scenes, she shows us how to be kind like Jesus, brave like Jesus, patient like Jesus, and forgiving like Jesus. She shows us how to be like God.


Living this way, in Mary’s care, in the arms of the Mother of God, we know the protection of the angels. We know the life of heaven even here on earth. We were made for this, to be her offspring (Revelation 12:17), born anew as the brothers and sisters of Jesus.

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