What the Rosary Means to Me
“The Rosary is a part of my life, and of who I am. There is an authentic deep sense of consolation for me in Mary’s maternal presence,” writes Kelvin Banda OP
One of the joys I experience as a Catholic and as a Dominican scholastic, is to pray the Rosary every day, either in the morning or evening.
The Rosary is a simple, yet profoundly powerful and beautiful prayer that Christians cannot afford to live without. Daily devotion to the Rosary is a powerful witness to prayer that enhances my spiritual life through the visiting of the inner sanctuary of God’s castles in prayer.
Whenever I say the Hail Mary, it resonates in my heart like the echo sounds of seraphim in heaven whenever they sing Holy, Holy to God.
Even when I feel that I am unable to say the Rosary, such an experience revives me and gives me the strength to pray it anyway.
For me, the Rosary is a powerful, fruitful and unique example of devotion to Mary that rests in the heart of the Church. The Rosary is a unique prayer that is loved by many priests and laity alike; furthermore, it represents Mary’s particular role in our lives as an intercessor.
Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter on the Rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (2002) described the prayer as “simple yet profound”.
“It still remains…a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness.”
There have been times when praying the morning Rosary that I have experienced this harvest of holiness. Actually, we need only one special person whose holiness shines to pray with us, to feel what a harvest of holiness is like: the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Rosary has brought such joy in my life, as I believe it has done for many who pray with our beloved mother Mary. The Rosary is a part of my life, and of who I am. There is an authentic deep sense of consolation for me in Mary’s maternal presence.
The Rosary speaks so clearly of Mary’s abiding love for me and for all humanity. This happens whenever I pray, especially in times of trouble, loneliness, and so on.
A calming power
Mary’s maternal presence smooths my anxiety and troubles. This is because of the repetition of the prayer and the contemplation of the mystery at hand. It has a way of gracefully bringing me to a quiet resting.
The Rosary becomes even richer by calming me down before the mysteries of Christ when I am all alone in the early morning, either in my room, or in the chapel with only the light from the tabernacle radiating the presence of Christ and of our mother of perpetual help lit in my heart.
St Dominic spoke to God about people during the night and to people about God during the day.
By the time I have finished praying the Rosary, there is an intrinsically spiritual change in me as the Rosary echoes the mysteries of Christ and Mary’s maternal help. This gives me hope that the day will be fruitful and beautiful, filled with many blessings and that even challenges that may come my way will be overcome. I doubt no longer that God, with Mary our mother of perpetual help, will carry and rescue me.
Each person has been gracefully blessed with their own spiritual insights as one ponders on the life of Christ in the mysteries of the Rosary. For me, it is the Rosary that has led to a beautiful growth of my spiritual life.
Pope John Paul II wrote in his apostolic letter on the Rosary that “to recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the Face of Christ”. Although the Rosary is Marian in its character; it is at its heart a Christo-centric prayer. It is rooted in Christ.
The Rosary is a compendium of the whole Gospel — it echoes the prayer of Mary in the beautiful Magnificat where she praises God for the wonderful love God has for her.
“With the Rosary, we sit at the school of Our Lady and contemplate the beautiful face of Christ and experience the depths of the love of Christ,” John Paul II wrote.
Mary lived with Christ. She was his mother. Her eyes were always fixed on him. Her heart was broken because of the cruelty of those who crucified Christ. This can be the feelings of any of our mothers. Like any mother who raises a child, Mary had many memories of Christ. The Gospel of Luke tells us that Mary pondered and treasured the memories of Christ in her heart.
Those memories which Mary pondered in her heart are her Rosary. A living Rosary which she prayed uninterruptedly throughout her earthly life. And when we pray the Rosary, we too enter into those memories and the contemplative gaze of those memories.
Watch Christ through Rosary
Above all, Pope John Paul II writes, “the Rosary mystically transports us to Mary’s side as she is busy watching over the human growth of Christ in the home at Nazareth.”
We watch Christ grow in wisdom, knowledge and grace in the Gospels as he moves from Nazareth, to the Sea of Galilee, and to his death in Jerusalem on Calvary, and finally to his Resurrection in the tomb in the garden.
The Rosary comes from the rose garden. The rose is the symbol of joy. In the Litany to the Blessed Mary, Mary is properly referred to as the “cause of our joy”. And so she is our joy as she brought and continually brings Christ to us. Christ is the joy of our lives.
From Mary and her spirituality, each person is led to a deeper joy in Christ. St Francis once said: “If a town does not pray, then, the town labours in vain.” This simple wisdom can be applied to the Rosary.
The Rosary is a prayer. It is not simply a repetition of words. It is a prayer from our hearts to the heart of Mary, our mother of perpetual help, and it leads us to treasure, like her, the very memories that she pondered in her heart. All those memories enable us to see and to bring us into the presence of Christ.
Pray the Rosary and experience the power that it brings to all those who are devoted to Mary.