The Rosary: Christ in Context
It was a late Monday night in Spring. I couldn’t sleep. My undergrad courses were getting more and more intense as I was planning on graduating the following Winter. My mind was literally anywhere and everywhereâ€”but my body was in bed, so it was time to catch some Z’s. I reached towards my night stand to turn the bedside light on and find a book to help ease the transition into dreamland, but was redirected when something else caught my eye.
Under a thin layer of dust and in a tangled pile near the edge of my bedside table was the Confirmation gift I received from my fiancee weeks before… a Rosary, with wooden beads and a Miraculous Medal above the Crucifix. I had put off praying a Rosary since my conversion and sacraments because I still had reservations about devotions to the Blessed Mother. But there it was, like a loyal friend in time of need. So I picked it up, shook off the dust, and started into the prayers.
It was Monday night, so I meditated on the Joyful mysteries. I was sincerely amazed at what followed. When I would study the events in the lives of Jesus and Mary before, all too often I would do so in isolation. What I mean is, when I’d consider a sacred mystery like the nativity of our Lord, I would consider that mystery out of context, so-to-speak. I would consider it without really considering the mysteries that came before it or the ones that would come after it, and how they were all coherently interconnected. But as I thumbed through each Ave, I saw the face of Christ take shape as if reflected in the eyes of His Mother.
In her eyes, wide with wonder, curiousity and pierced with ecstasy, I envisioned the Archangel joyously proclaiming his salutation and the Holy Name, “Hail, full of Grace…you shall call His name Jesus.” In her eyes, softened with consolation and charity, I saw the humbled & joyous face of her kinswoman as she uttered, “blessed are you among women…and how is this that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” In her eyes, fixated in adoration, I saw the face of a tender childâ€”the fruit of her womb and the glory of God. In her eyes, clouded with tears of pre-emptive sorrow, I could see St. Simeon, his arms wrapped around the divine infant and his face wrapped in profound concern for the Blessed Mother, “this child is destined to be a sign that is contradicted…and a sword shall pierce your own soul also.” In her eyes, still tender from three days of tearful searching for her lost son, though now welling up once more with tears of solace and joy, I saw that same divine infant…the one announced by the Angel, the one born of her womb, now in that same temple He was presented in on the day of His circumcision, amongst the Rabbis of His time and “about His Father’s business.”
Our Holy Father, the Venerable Pope Pius XII, said “the Rosary is the compendium of the entire Gospel.” In the Rosary, it’s as if the whole of the Gospel narrative is strung together, so we can see the face of Christ in it’s richest contextâ€”through the eyes of His pure and all-holy mother. In Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, we are introduced to the Way the Truth and the Life. In the Holy Rosary, we are planted into the very pages and words of scripture and tradition so that we may walk the Way, hear the Truth, and experience the Life in a personal and mystical way.
For the rest of that night, I slept like a babe in the arms of his mother.
Categories: The Rosary